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While the British origins of North American colonization currently are widely accepted, there is new evidence that other countries and non-Christians may have been earlier in establishing permanent settlements on the North Atlantic coast. Using the new research tool of human genomics, this paper provides DNA evidence that Croatians and Sephardic Jews were absorbed into the ancestral population of the Lumbee Native American tribe of North Carolina during the mid- to late-1500s. We further propose that these Sephardic Jews originated, in part, from a subgroup of the Roanoke colonists of 1586. Given this, a new historical narrative of early European colonization in North America during the 1500s is proposed.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • DNA Evidence of a Croatian and Sephardic Jewish Settlement on the North Carolina Coast Dating from the Mid to Late 1500s

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 95

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Elizabeth C. Hirschman is the Hill Richmond Gott Professor of Business at The University of Virginia's College at Wise. James A. Vance is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at The University of Virginia's College at Wise. Jesse D. Harris is a student studying Computer Science at The University of Virginia's College at Wise.