Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who's afraid of Virginia Dare?

Virginia Dare is considered the first "white" child born in the Americas, in 1587 while her parents were part of the ill fated "lost colony" some say was on Roanoke Island off of North Carolina.

While researching my mother's family I came across a story that one of her ancestors John Fulford, was the first white male child born in the Carolinas. While Virginia Dare and others in the original colony were lost and today there is controversy over where they lived and what happened to them, John Fulford's family settled in what is now Carteret County North Carolina and lived on the same land for over 300 years. His descendants have a rich history of farming and fishing in the area and now number in the thousands. At one time they owned over 30,000 acres in the area.

The reference to John Fulford's birth in 1629 is contained in a book published by the State of North Carolina, Division of Archives and History, called "The Correspondence of William Tryon and Other Selected Papers, Volume II, 1768-1818."
Tyron was the first Governor of what is now North Carolina from 1764-1771. The papers have copies of legislation passed by the North Carolina legislature relating to Joseph Fulford, grandson of John Fulford.

Some claim that what is now North Carolina was not populated in 1629 with English settlers but the fact remains that John Fulford's grave (born 1629 died 1723) was located in a family cemetery near Straits bricked up with English brick in the late 1800s.

Such a grave was in Fulford Cemetery off of Piper Lane in Gloucester, NC when the cemetery was surveyed in 1971 but is no longer visible.

The property has been developed with large homes and the original cemetery that once had several hundred graves now only has nine with markers.

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