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A case for solving the Mystery of the "Lost Colony."
By Patrick A. Payne

See web site at http://papayne.rootsweb.com/Lost-Colony

Reply to the author, Patrick A. Payne at ppayne1203@earthlink.net .

I am sure that everyone is familiar to some degree
with Sir Walter Ralegh's "Lost Colony" that has become
engrained in our American folklore and is our
countries most enduring mystery.

Under Governor John White, 150 men, women and
children, set out on May 8th, 1587, from Plymouth,
England, for the new Virginia colony. On August 27th,
at the request of the colonists, the Governor, and one
other man, departed from the colony to return to
England for badly needed supplies and support. No
white man was to ever see these colonists again.

For over 400 years, many theories have been put forth
as to what became of the colonists, but none of these
have solved the mystery as proof is lacking to support
them. Among these theories, it has been claimed that
the colonists had either been massacred by the local
Indian population or by the Spanish. Yet no remains
have ever been found to indicate that this occurred.
In fact, the evidence points to an orderly abandonment
of the colony. They had taken the time to pull down
the structures they had erected and to bury the
personal items of Governor White, as they had agreed
to do before his departure. They had even left the
marks of "CRO" and "CROATOAN," without the cross as a
sign of distress, which they had also agreed upon with
Governor White. As a result, the prevailing conclusion
is that the colonists had simple removed themselves
from Roanoke Island to some other place. Many believe
that they had either sought to join with the Croatoan
Indians or that Croatoan indicated a place rather than
a people. There are those that believe the traditions
held by the Lumbee and other Indian Tribes that they
are descendants of the Lost Colonists who had
assimilated into their population. The Lumbee
tradition is particularly interesting and
long-standing, while researchers have also suggested
other Tribes as the possible haven for the colonists.

With this brief narrative of the problem confronting
historians who would solve the mystery of the Lost
Colony, I would like to acquaint you with a possible
solution that I am now undertaking. You, or perhaps
someone you know, may be able to assist in this effort
by participating in this project.

In January of 2002, I coordinated a Payne family DNA
project in an effort to determine if there was any
genetic evidence to support my research indicating
that some of our 17th century Payne families, which
came to America at that early date, had been related.
The project met with a great deal of success
[http://home.earthlink.net/~ppayne1203]. During the
process, however, it occurred to me that we also had
the opportunity to perhaps solve some of the questions
surrounding the Lost Colony, as one of the colonists
in 1587 had been a Henry Payne. There are claims among
Native American Tribes that they are descendants of
the 1587 colonists- particularly of Henry Payne among
the Lumbee. Researchers and historians have also
suggested other Tribes. Because of this, it was my
hope to locate a Lumbee to include in our Payne family
DNA testing.

The idea behind including a Native American in our DNA
testing is that all males (regardless of race) inherit
the Y-chromosome of their fathers, and they from their
fathers, and so on. The Y-chromosome remains virtually
unchanged as it is passed on from father-to-son in
successive generations. Therefore, if a Native
American could be identified to have a Y-chromosome
that matches the Y-chromosome of a participant of
European descent, we could conclude that, at least in
this case, some Native American's do indeed descend
from the Roanoke colonists. It is a bit more
complicated than this, but this will do for an
introduction. If you would like more details, visit
the web site above or

I was unable to locate a Lumbee with the surname Payne
(although there are apparently at least a few- and I
did not make a thorough search at the time), it
occurred to me that it is not necessary to limit my
search to a Payne, or a surname, or even to a Lumbee.
It could be any Lumbee or other Native American Tribe
member from which there are traditions or claims of
descent from the Roanoke colonists. The Y-chromosome
of select Native Americans could then be compared with
participants of European ancestry who have the most
likely chance of belonging to the same family lines
from which the Roanoke colonists derived to see if a
match exists, indicating that both shared a common
ancestor. Such a match would provide our first
scientific proof that the Roanoke colonists not only
survived, but that they had left descendants among the
Native American population.

I believe that this is a very worthy research effort
and one that should spark a great deal of interest and
support. But it is one that will require the
participation of many people. Therefore, I am
initiating a search for potential participants using a
variety of methods, including posting this information
to rootsweb mailing lists. I realize that there are
likely other mailing lists for many of the surnames in
the list below, and I would ask that if anyone has
knowledge of other lists, or is in contact with anyone
that may have an interest in this project, please
forward a copy of this to them.

The first requirement for this project to succeed will
be to identify suitable candidates for DNA testing
among European descendants with the surnames present
at the 1587 colony. A list of those surnames is
included below. Ideally, I will be looking for
individuals who have traced their ancestry to early
colonial America from England whose ancestors had been
associated with other surnames present at the Roanoke
colony. For example, my research indicates that over
50% of the surnames present at Roanoke were also
present at the later Virginia colony, beginning with
Jamestown in 1608. Like the Roanoke colonists, whom
historians have concluded were largely kinsmen and
friends, these surnames that later appear in the
Virginia colony, can also be associated as kinsmen and
friends in some cases. So I will be looking closely at
the genealogy of these families in an attempt to find
such associations when making selections for DNA
testing. I should mention that this DNA testing is
simple and painless. The participant collects the DNA
sample by simply using a cotton swab on the inside of
the cheek. Also, confidentiality will be of the utmost
concern and identities protected. As you scan the list
of surnames below, consider what you know about your
genealogy and see if any of the surnames in the list
correlate with your family near the same time frame,
say between 1550 and 1650. I know that is reaching far
back in time for most of us, but if you have some
experience within this period, you may have knowledge
of interest to this project.

The other necessary component of this process will be
to find participants among the Native American
population. This will undoubtedly be the most
difficult aspect of the project. Not so much because
they will be difficult to locate, but because there
are sensitive tribal issues to consider. Native
Americans have worked very hard to achieve a
recognized status as a Native People. In some cases,
they still have not obtained full government benefits
as such. Therefore, they may well feel that it is not
in their interest to compound the problem by
presenting evidence of European descent within their
population. However, I believe that there are many
benefits to this project that will ease this concern.
Even if it were to be found that some descend from
Roanoke colonists, it would not jeopardize the fact
that they had been an indigenous Native American
people; Only that they had accepted Europeans as part
of their own. Moreover, the great publicity that would
undoubtedly arise from such a discovery would bring
their cause to the forefront. They would be on the
mind of every American and the keepers of great
legacy. The outcry that such publicity would generate
would certainly assist their cause. In any case, if a
suitable list of potential participants can be
collected among the European descendants with the
necessary surnames, I will make every effort to locate
participants among these Native American Tribes and
work within their community as an advocate. I have
initiated contact with Tribe Council's to obtain their
support and to coordinate my activities with. If you
can be of some assistance in this area, I would
welcome it.

Once we have the necessary participation, I will begin
to approach historical organizations, media, and
genetic testing facilities to garner support for the
project. With this support, we can move on to the
testing stage. In fact, I have already consulted with
a testing facility to ensure that the idea behind this
project is technically sound. I have been assured that
the technology exists to support the project and they
have indicated [with some excitement I might add]
their willingness to do so.

I hope that you see the merit of this project and that
you will consider participating. REMEMBER that you
must be a MALE direct line descendant holding one of
the surnames in the list below, or have some
indication or tradition of descent from the Roanoke
colonists. Only males carry the necessary Y-chromosome
used in this type of genetic testing. If you are not
able to participate for this reason, perhaps you will
know someone suitable. I urge you to advise them of
this project. I will be sending this message out in a
variety of ways seeking participants and asking them
to respond with their interest to me at
ppayne1203@earthlink.net or by visiting my web site at
http://papayne.rootsweb.com/Lost-Colony. Those wishing
to participate in the project should respond with
their full name and contact information, as well as a
brief summary of their ancestry with any details (if
possible) they can provide which might lead them to
believe their family had a connection with the Roanoke
colony. Or, perhaps they will identify a family
connection with other surnames on the list below. I
will respond to all of those who seem to meet the
requirements of the testing and add them to my list.
Once that list has developed into something useful, I
will contact everyone with further details. I will
also provide updates and other information from my web
site. You might also wish to visit the site if you
have an interest in what this Genetic testing business
is all about. You will find several useful links on
the page with information on Genetic testing.

One final word... I am likely to be very busy fielding
questions about this project and unable to respond to
everyone. I would suggest that you first visit the web
site above to see if your question can be answered
there or at one of the links provided. General
questions about the project should be answered by
these resources. If that proves to be unhelpful, by
all means, contact me. However, please limit your
questions as much as possible to participation

Thank you for your consideration and support.


Patrick A. Payne

The Names of the 1587 Virginia Colony (from "The First
Colonists," David B. Quinn and Alison M. Quinn,
editors, published 1982, North Carolina Division of
Archives and History; originally published in 1973 as
"Virginia Voyages from Hakluyt," Oxford University

(Note: not all of the surnames in the list below are
suggested as being possible ancestors of Native
Americans. Also, these surnames represent the
spellings found in contemporary documents. In some
cases, several alternate spellings may be found. For
example, "Bailie," would also include Bayley, Bailey,

White, John (Governor)
Bailie, Roger (Assistant)
Dare, Ananias (Assistant)
Cooper, Christopher (Assistant)
Stevens, Thomas (Assistant)
Sampson, John (Assistant)
Harvie, Dyonis (Assistant)
Prat, Roger (Assistant)
Howe, George (Assistant)
Fernando, Simon (Assistant)
Johnson, Nicholas
Warner, Thomas
Cage, Anthony
Jones, John
Tydway, John
Viccars, Ambrose
English, Edmond
Topan, Thomas
Berrye, Richard
Spendlove, John
Hemmington, John
Butler, Thomas
Powell, Edward
Burden, John
Hynde, James
Willes, William
Brooke, John
White, Cutbert
Bright, John
Tayler, Clement
Sole, William
Cotsmur, John
Newton, Humfrey
Colman, Thomas
Gramme, Thomas
Bennet, Marke
Gibbes, John
Stilman, John
Wilkinson, Robert
Little, Peter
Wyles, John
Wyles, Brian
Martyn, George
Pattenson, Hugh
Sutton, Martyn
Farre, John
Bridger, John
Jones, Griffen
Shaberdge, Richard
Ellis, Thomas
Browne, William
Myllet, Michael
Smith, Thomas
Kemme, Richard
Harris, Thomas
Taverner, Richard
Earnest, John
Johnson, Henry
Starte, John
Darige, Richard
Lucas, William
Archard, Arnold
Wright, John
Dutton, William
Allen, Morris
Waters, William
Arthur, Richard
Chapman, John
Clement, William
Little, Robert
Tayler, Hugh
Wildye, Richard
Wotton, Lewes
Bishop, Michael
Browne, Henry
Rufoote, Henry
Tomkins, Richard
Dorrell, Henry
Florrie, Charles
Mylton, Henry
Payne, Henry
Harris, Thomas
Nicholes, William
Phevens, Thomas
Borden, John
Scot, Thomas
Lasie, James
Cheven, John
Hewet, Thomas
Berde, William
Sampson, John (boy)
Ellis, Robert (boy)
Viccars, Ambrose (boy)
Archard, Thomas (boy)
Humfrey, Thomas (boy)
Smart, Tomas (boy)
Howe, George (boy)
Prat, John (boy)
Wythers, William (boy)
Harvye (child born in Virginia)