The Lost Colony Center
for Science and Research

Possible Croatan Descendants

   There are presently 250-300 people living seventeen miles due east of Greenville, North Carolina in a small town with the Indian name of Chocowinity. This group of people all live within a three-mile radius of a "targeted" Indian village named Panawicky (there are seven variant spellings of this name). The Panawicky village is on the 1588/1618 Theodore deBry maps. Its location, as of this date, has not been confirmed. This contact period Indian village appears on about twenty or more maps dated up to about 1700. This group of people, living in Chocowinity, have recently been informed that they and their ancestors may be a finite part in the famous mystery of the "Lost Colony of 1587".

   The Elks name first appears in the southern district of Virginia in what is now the Albemarle region of North Carolina in the seventeenth century. Richard, An, (sic) Richard Jr. and Margaret Elks are listed as people brought into the province as head rights (indentured servants). It is of interest that Richard, in 1694, is listed along with Henry, Ruth, Lavern and Mary Keeton, The Keetons are Indians from Massachusetts.

   The Lost Colony Center Research Group was able to establish a continuing line of the Elks lineage to Marmaduke Elks, who resided on the Perquimans watershed and had a son named Samuel Elks and another son named Jacob.

   Samuel Elks purchased the land called Buck Ridge near the headwaters of the Alligator River, in Tyrrell County, NC. This Land was sold in 1777 to an ancestor of one of the primary informants of our research, Mr. Buddy Brickhouse, who now lives a few miles from Buck Ridge in Tyrrell County. The Buck Ridge site has been registered as a possible Indian site by the Lost Colony Center, but it has not been scientifically confirmed at this time. The grandparents of the people that now live near Buck Ridge in the community called Gum Neck told their grand children they had ancestors who had lived on Buck Ridge that were Indians. (They report that the last Indians moved "up country" about 1885.) The families of Dr. Roy Sawyer, who now lives in Wales, and Wayne Norman were told the same story. We were able to locate the site with old maps and satellite imaging in a short time. Mr. Norman was able to take us directly to the Buck Ridge site where we found Indian and English pottery and stone discarded implements within ten feet from where we parked, in a cut-out ditch bank. Most of the people living in Gum Neck have large surface collections from the ridge and surrounding areas, which they have shared with us.


Where we found our information:

Princess Anne County, VA
Currituck County, NC
Pitt County, NC
Beaufort County, NC


Samuel Elks (Born approx. 1730, Died approx. 1810-1820)

- Sold land in Blackwater Province in Princess Anne County, VA on 2-1-1762, possibly in present-day Camden, NC area; land was inherited from Marmeduke Elks and his father John Elks in his will of 1708.
- By 1765 we see the last evidence of Samuel in Princess Anne County, VA.
- In 1777, Samuel sells to Isaac Meekins the land known locally as Buck Ridge in Gum Neck, Tyrrell County, NC; this is the possible location of an Indian village on the Alligator River.
- In 1781, Samuel begins buying land on and around Chicod Creek in Pitt County, along with his brother Jacob.
- Samuel had four known children:

  1. Samuel II (1763)
  2. Jacob (approx. 1770)
  3. Uriah (1759)
  4. A daughter that married a Hudson; mother of Jesse and John Hudson
- Samuel Elks II married Elizabeth Smith; had three known children, one of which was Charles Elks.


Charles Elks (Born 1809, Died in 1881)

- First married to Martha Ann "Patsy" Elks, the great-granddaughter of Samuel I, brother of Jacob.
- They had eight children, the fifth of which was John Elks, born 1838.
- Secondly married to Piney Paramore with whom he had three children.
- Purchased a lot of land around the Pitt/Beaufort County line.


John Elks (Born 1838, Died in 1913)

- Married to Alvania Frances Edwards.
- Had eight children, most of their descendants still live in the Pitt/Beaufort County areas.

  1. Christopher Sherman Elks
  2. Charles Robert Elks
  3. William Silas Elks
  4. Lewis Edward Elks
  5. John Jordan Elks
  6. James Warren Elks
  7. Rufus McAdoo Elks
  8. Martha Elks
- John and Alvania Frances Elks are buried on land they owned near Ham's Crossroads in eastern Pitt County, near the Beaufort County line.


Charles Robert "Bob" Elks (Born 1868, Died 1945)

- Married to Minnie Dora Wayne.
- They are buried in Trinity Cemetery in Chocowinity.


Charlie Mason Elks (Born 1900, Died in 1957)

- Married to Emily Marie Cox.
- They are also buried in Trinity Cemetery in Chocowinity.
- They had five children:

  1. Charlie Mason Elks, Jr. (died as infant)
  2. Dona Victoria Elks
  3. Emily Jeannette Elks Rowe
  4. Dora Wayne Elks
  5. Charlie David "Sam" Elks

The earliest two Elks that we have found in our research are
Richard and John Elks

Richard Elks

- Indentured servant in approx. 1684 along with his wife, Ann, daughter Margrett, and son Richard Jr.
- A will exists in Raleigh, NC archives dated 1696; his plantation on the Yeopim River in present-day Pasquotank/Perquimens area was left to William Darby.


John Elks

- Married to Mary Stroud of VA.
- Five known children mentioned in his will, also in NC archives dated 1708.

  1. John, who possibly settled in Bertie County
  2. Thomas (A will found in Princess Anne County, VA)
  3. Amanuel
  4. Marmeduke
  5. Ealse
- Left land to all of his sons and a cow to his daughter.
- Samuel and Jacob are possibly the grandsons of John Elks, based on the fact that Samuel sold land that he inherited from Marmaduke.


Jacob Elks (Died in 1788)

- First record we have is when he started buying land in Pitt County in 1781.
- Only known heir is William Elks I who fought in the Revolutionary War.


William Elks (Possibly died in 1788)

- Got land grant in 1759 for Old Indian Town on Hatteras Island; in NC archives; grant reads "William Elks and the rest of the Hatteras Indians....".


Mary and Elizabeth Elks

- Listed in Currituck County as sisters.
- Both refer to themselves as native Indians of Hatteras Banks in Currituck County.
- Deed found selling Old Indian Town to Nathan Midgette in 1788.
- Elizabeth Elks' last known deed on Hatteras Island was in 1802; she puts land in trust to Nathan Pinkham for her son (unknown name) until he is or if he lives to be 21.
- Exactly 21 years later the deed is recorded (1823); states that Elizabeth Elks and Nathan Pinkham are dead; doesn't state whether land was turned over to son or someone else.

Future Plans

- We will try to find who the son is and if he received the land.
- Try to tie William, Mary, and Elizabeth to the Pitt/Beaufort County Elks.


These eighteen European surnames have the strongest correlation and identification with the Croatan and Mattamuskeet Indians from Dare, Tyrrell and Hyde Counties.

Elk Mayo Caroon
Gibbs Berry Hodges
Buck Pain Farrow
Pinkham Brooks Jennette
Carrow Squires Whahab
Padgett Barbour Pierce

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