Roanoke (tribe)

From ENC Phillips Group Wiki

The Roanoke, also spelled Roanoac, tribe were a Carolina Algonquian-speaking people whose territory comprised present-day Dare County, Roanoke Island and part of the mainland at the time of English exploration and colonization. They were one of the numerous Carolina Algonquian tribes, which may have numbered 5,000-10,000 people in total in eastern North Carolina at the time of English encounter.[1]

The last known chief of the Roanoke was Wanchese, who traveled to England with colonists in 1584. The smaller Croatan people may have been a branch of the Roanoke or a separate tribe allied with it.[1]


Indigenous peoples had inhabited the region since 8000 BC in the Archaic Period, when Roanoke Island was still part of the mainland. Scholars believe ancestors of the Carolina Algonquians arose in the Colington component, about 800 AD.[2]

The Roanoke may have had their capital on the western shore of Croatan Sound, at Dasamonguepeuk. This was one of the significant towns noted by the English colonists in the sixteenth century.[1]

Numerous place names were derived from the Roanoke.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Indian Towns and Buildings of Eastern North Carolina", Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, National Park Service, 2008, accessed 24 Apr 2010
  2. "Archeology of the Tillett Site", Carolina Algonkian Project, 2002, accessed 23 Apr 2010

External links