Published on January 19, 2011 by John
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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.
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.
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.
Numerous place names were derived from the Roanoke.