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The Lost Colony of Roanoke


The Lost Colony of Roanoke

In 1587, 117 Men, Women & Children settled on Roanoke Island, USA and vanished. Today, American and British Genealogists are searching for them. This Group is dedicated to finding descendants in the UK who may help to prove they survived.

Location: Bideford, Devon
Members: 26
Latest Activity: May 13, 2021

Surnames of Interest

If you have any of the following surnames and can prove your ancestry back to pre-1700, we would like to chat with you. NB: It is likely that your Ancestors will have come from Devon, Somerset, Dorset, or London.
Allen; Archard (Orchard); Arthur; Bailie (Bailey); Bennet (Bennett); Berde (Bird); Berrye (Berry);
Bishop; Borden; Bridger; Bright; Brooke; Browne; Burden; Butler; Cage; Chapman; Cheven (Jevons); Clement; Colman; Cooper; Cotsmur (Cotsmuir); Dare; Darige (Dorridge); Dorrell; Dutton; Earnest; Ellis; English; Farre (Farr); Florrie; Gibbes (Gibbs); Glane; Gramme (Graham); Harris; Harvie; Hemmington; Hewet (Hewitt); Howe; Humfrey; Hynde; Johnson; Jones; Kemme; Lasie (Lacey); Lawrence; Little; Lucas; Mannering; Martyn; Merrimoth; Myllet; Mylton; Newton; Nicholes; Pattenson; Payne; Stevens; Pierce; Powell; Prat; Rufoote (Ruefoot); Sampson; Scot; Shaberdge (Shawbridge); Smart; Smith; Sole; Spendlove; Starte (Start); Stevens; Stilman; Sutton; Tappan; Taverner; Tayler; Tomkins; Topan (Topham); Tydway (Tideway); Viccars; Warner; Warren; Waters; White; Wildye (Wild); Wilkinson; Willes (Willis); Wood; Wotton; Wright; Wyles; Wythers.

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Comment by Barbara Kim Thigpen on January 23, 2014 at 9:23am

This is so exciting. I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up. John White, the artist who lost the colony, is my ancestor. I have immigrant ancestors by Allen, Planter Elizabeth Agnes (b.1607)

  • Allen, Planter John (1600-1630)
  • Allen, Planter Judith
  • Allen, Planter Valentine
  • Allen, Planter Valentine (1630-1712)
  • Bennett of House of Burgesses, Planter Merchant Edward I (1578-1664)
  • Burton, Planter Richard (1580-1650)
  • Burton of Cobbs, Planter Thomas Sr. (1600-1670)
  • Byrd, Planter Robert? (1615-1675)
  • Hardy, Planter Esq. Richard I (d.1645)
  • Hardy, Planter John Sr (1613-1677)
  • Jones, Planter Richard (1590-1660)
  • Manwaring, Planter Steven (1630-1699)
  • Warren, Planter Elizabeth Francis (1644-1728)
  • Warren, Planter Elizabeth [Francis?] (1612-1662)
  • WARREN, Planter Mister Francis (1620-1693)
  • Warren, Planter William (b.1586)
  • Watton, Planter Thomas (1612-1669)
  • White, Planter Captain Nathaniel (1629-1711)
  • White, Planter John (1600-1683)
  • Willis, Planter Mary Agnes? (1620-1665)
  • [Flinton], Planter Jane/Joane (b.1576)
  • [Houston], Planter Esther
Comment by Nancy Joan Kathryn Frey on August 2, 2013 at 8:16pm

Hi Rhys,

My research tends to confirm your update.  I am in touch with a YOUATT researcher in that regard.


Comment by Rhys Edward Howitt on August 2, 2013 at 3:42pm

A quick update to earlier comments on Thomas Hewet.  Almost certainly this wasn't the Thomas Hewet who got the law degree.  I did find a couple of interesting Chancery references at the right period to a Thomas Hewit of Beghall in Yorkshire referring to a tenement "now or late in the tenure of" him, which could hint at his disappearance.  But more likely he's an ordinary younger son of a branch of the family that settled around South Molton/Chittlehampton in Devon; their spelling changed to Yewet or Youatt over time.  I can provide more detail if needed.

Comment by Nancy Joan Kathryn Frey on August 2, 2013 at 12:05pm

I've just discovered this site thanks to the LCRG Newsletter.  I am the UK Genealogist for the LCRG and have been conducting an extensive search for the family of Ananias DARE.

I would very much like to hear from Warren DARE exactly what oral traditions he has from his family.  I have extensive research on the DAREs of Lyme Regis, and to date no connection to Ananias DARE of the lost colony.

Warren, you can contact me directly at


Nancy Frey

Comment by Andrew Thomas Powell on July 13, 2011 at 2:11am
In White's journal he talks in some detail about the discussions he had with the Colonists. In it he specifically names Christopher Cooper as one who volunteered to come back with him, but who later rescinded. The sick sailors (some of whom died) are also detailed in his notes. His actual quote reads (of those who died) "Roger Large, John Mathew, Thomas Smith and some of their sailors..." (whose names he did not know). Now I grant that Thomas Smith is also a name in Hakluyt's colony list but White is specifically referring to the ships crew and "their" sailors at this point in the journal, not Colonists. White had a further opportunity to mention names (but doesn't) when he boards another ship at Dingle, bound for Southampton. Ultimately, his rather emotional commentary of the 1590 voyage and indeed his 1593 letter to Hakluyt convince me he travelled alone.
Comment by Rhys Edward Howitt on July 13, 2011 at 1:44am
We know White (sorry, thanks) made it back to England in 1587, with some sick sailors.  How do you exclude anybody else coming back then too?  I've only seen a very sketchy journal of the trip.
Comment by Andrew Thomas Powell on July 12, 2011 at 8:12am
Rhys, this has real possibilities but... To answer your question, the most accurate list is that which is in my book 'Grenville and the lost colony of Roanoke' (amazon, waterstones etc); this is because when I studied the earliest know accounts, I realised that there were several contradictions in the accounts. However, for Hewett (or derivative) returning to England, I am wholly convinced that there is only one conceivable possibility for anyone returning to England and this is not with John White (Smith was 1607 Jamestown); but with the Pinesse captained by Edward Stafford which is unaccounted for. However, I cannot see how a ship from Roanoke could arrive back in England unannounced. Therefore I have to deduce Hewett of the colony dissapeared over there with the rest. We have scoured the PCC Wills for clues but although we clearly have some family connections going on; we have yet to identify one as the Will of a Colonist.
Comment by Rhys Edward Howitt on July 12, 2011 at 4:38am
I've been thinking about this some more, and wonder if the answer is not in plain sight.  The second son of William Hewett of Sawbridgeworth (the second Sir Wm in my earlier post) was called Thomas (later Sir Thos) and fits the bill well -- except he died in England in 1612.  He was an educated member of the Clothworkers Guild and the family had money.  He sold many of his interests in 1608 to his nephew (another Thos>Sir Thos) to invest in the Virginia Corporation, not a smart move in retrospect.  He could be the Thos Hewet on the settlers list if (a) he never actually left England or (b) he returned with Smith in 1587 seeking additional resources and funds.  For (b), the fact that he was the son of a London merchant and closely related to many more might come into it.  Andy, what is the standing of the Settlers List -- when was it written, and how accurate is it considered?  Any other info in your sources?  It did seem rather odd to me that somebody of the gentleman class could disappear without trace.  Rhys from Australia.
Comment by Rhys Edward Howitt on April 14, 2011 at 5:36am

Alas, the will I got back shows that Thomas Hewet to be a yeoman and grandfather, and apparently living in Derbyshire till he died. 


There's a couple of other possibilities in this family (as heaps of them were called Thomas) but nothing compelling.  Will write again if I turn anything up.


Comment by Rhys Edward Howitt on March 27, 2011 at 1:57pm

Thanks Warren and Andy, I do know about the BCL and have seen the "law advisor" bit but don't know if there is evidence, or just an assumption because of his degree.

There is a very good possibility that he's related to the Hewets of Killamarsh Derbyshire, being a family of well-off merchants who sent many of their offspring to university, very unusual in the 1500s. They were originally traders with Antwerp for wool, but opened up trading lines to Turkey and Africa, and then after this period the family were much involved with setting up the Virginia Company and the East India Company.

Unfortunately every generation has a Thomas, a John, a William and a Nicholas, so it gets wildly confusing over a few generations.

Killamarsh is just near the border with Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, and the family spread out over that area, and indeed London where many of them mostly lived, with a country seat in that 3-county area.  Wills in all directions.

There were two Sir William Hewets, clothworkers and cousins, in London in the early 1500s.  The first became Lord Mayor of London.  The second William had a nephew Thomas who fits in a number of circumstantial ways; though that has got me into trouble in the past!  Anyway, I'm waiting on what I think is his will dated 30 May 1586 -- so the key info will be the probate date.

If that pans out, I have a lot more info to contribute.  So I will write again then.

If it does stack up, it would appear that he left a couple of young sons, and perhaps a wife, behind in England.  Perhaps as a youngest son of a youngest son in a family of prominent merchants, he felt it was worth taking a risk.


Goulburn NSW Australia


Members (26)



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