Meet four very brave children...

The four children whose adventures appear in Children of the Wild - Eliza, Maud, John and Francis - are invented characters. But we know that nine Elizabethan children sailed on the 1587 voyage to Roanoke, because their names are included on a list of colonists:

John Sampson

Robert Ellis

Ambrose Viccars

Thomas Archard

Thomas Humfrey

Tomas Smart

George Howe

John Prat

William Wythers

Nothing is known about them, apart from the fact that they’re all boys. We’re not sure where they came from in England and we don’t even know how old they were at the time they set sail.

The true story of the first English children to live in North America remains a total mystery.

Two babies were born in Virginia. The first was a girl: she was given the name Virginia, in honour of the country in which she’d been born. (North America was at first known as Virginia, the land of the Virgin Queen.)

The second baby is known only by his or her surname, Harvie.

And what about Keetam and Oakee, the native American children who make friends with Eliza and the others? There are very few records about the native children of North America. But there’s a lovely old picture of a little girl just a few years younger than Oakee.

It was painted by John White, the leader of the Roanoke colony, who was also a skilled artist.

The child is clutching a little Elizabethan doll. It was probably given to her so she would keep still while White did his painting.