Virginia Dare was the first person of English descent born in North America. It's likely she was born 18 August 1587, shortly after a settlement colony had been established on Roanoke Island. Dare was born to Ananias Dare and his wife, Elinor (Eleanor) White. Virginia's grandfather was John White, a scientific illustrator and painter who had previously been to Roanoke as part of a failed expedition in 1585. Under the authority of Walter Raleigh
, the elder White acted as governor of the new colony. Nine days after his granddaughter was born, White returned to England for supplies. His return was delayed by England's war with Spain, and when he reached Roanoke again in 1590 the settlement had been abandoned and there was no trace of the colonists. Carved into a post was the word "Croatan," possibly signifying a native tribe or nearby island (Hatteras), but the colonists were never seen again. Nobody knows what happened to Virginia Dare or any of the other English settlers, and the fate of the "lost colony" has remained a popular mystery for centuries.