Today we discussed the Lost Colony of Roanoke. I knew this one would be a big hit because GeekBoy loves a good mystery. So we read the short little bit in the book about the Roanoke colony, and then we watched the NatGeo special (embedded below). After ward, we discussed the Eleanor Dare stones, and some theories, and the kids each gave their own theory of what might have happened to the colonists at Roanoke Island.
GeekBoy’s idea: A hurricane hit and wiped out most of their colony, forcing the survivors down to Croatoan Island. Then another hurricane forced them to the mainland. There they moved to South Carolina and married into the friendly Indian tribe down there. I think Eleanor Dare carved the first stone. Then some point later, she died.
thePinkDiva’s idea: They got captured by Indians.
BigBoy’s idea: they married the Indians, then they died.
My personal theory, is that they, much like the colonists in Plymouth, got very sick that first winter. Most of them would not have survived. I think the few that did decided to move to the nearby Island of Croatoan with the friendly Native American tribe that lived there. I believe it’s possible that a hurricane hit that drove the remaining survivors inland, where they intermarried with Hatteras Indian Tribe and the Pembroke Indian Tribe. Both tribes are reported as having “light eyes” and speaking as the English did, and both tribes would have been in the right area. The Hatteras are descended from the Croatoan. There is documentation that the Pembroke Tribe had many of the last names of settlers, and claimed to have ancestors from Roanoke. (Here’s a link to one of many sources for my theory.)
One thing is certain. Whatever happened to them, it’s a mystery to us.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a 2 part NatGeo special, hosted by Leonard Nimoy.