I'm not sure how well known Tangier Island is outside the Chesapeake region. To make a long story short, Tangier Island is an isolated fishing community in the Chesapeake bay. It has been mostly isolated for hundreds of years. You constantly hear that the accent has remained unchanged since the 17th century. This accent is often cited as an example of what an Elizabethan accent would sound like.
My question is — without audio recordings, how can one make conclusions about how the accent has changed? What do we truly know about the Elizabethan accent that we can use to infer that the Tangier accent is very close? Is it actually close or has it just evolved down its own line?