It is not known what happened to Virginia or the other colonists. Her grandfather, John White, returned to England for supplies at the end of 1587, and did not return to the colony until August 1590. He found no sign of his family or the other colonists; the colony was deserted. The only clue to their fate was a word carved into a post. White had instructed the colonists to leave a message if they had to leave the colony or were attacked. If they moved to a new place, they were to carve the location on a tree or post, and if they were attacked then they were to try and leave the Maltese cross symbol. There was no cross, just the word “Croatoan”, which White took to mean that they had moved to Croatoan Island. He was unable to search for them due to bad weather and he returned to England in October 1590. The colony became known as “the lost colony”, and their fate is still a mystery.
Recently thinking is that the settlers "were assimilated by neighbouring tribes" - see
Carolina's Lost Colony: The fate of the first British settlers in America was a mystery... until now
Picture: "Baptism of Virginia Dare," lithograph, William A. Crafts (1876), from Pioneers in the settlement of America: from Florida in 1510 to California in 1849, Published by Samuel Walker and Company.