ancestryink fisherman

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

1800's or 1900's? The Schooner Adventure Captured on BW Film

Schooner Adventure Rockland, Maine circa 1969





The Schooner Adventure sailing past the Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland, Maine in....1969.  A lovely sight caught on BW film, reminiscent of a previous century.

 The "Adventure," is a McManus design, built by the John F. James Shipyard in Essex, MA in 1926.   She fished the Grand Banks,  hauling in a phenomenal 4 million dollars worth of cod and haddock.

The Rockland, Maine Facebook page continuously posts historic photographs of old Rockland, Maine.  If you are interested in historic Maine, the fishing industry, old vessels, and vintage photographic images, you might want to Follow their Page. This morning this lovely photo appeared in my Newsfeed. 

My own great-grandfather Henderson lived on Rockland's waterfront, right downtown. He worked at a local fishery, and sailed out of Rockland to points north to Nova Scotia and south to Philadelphia, during his life as a master mariner from 1890 to his death at Sailor's Snug Harbor, Staten Island, in 1934.  He undoubtedly knew the "Adventure" very well.

The "Adventure" was moved to Gloucester, MA in 1988. She is now a designated National Historic Landmark and functioning as a non-profit organization, has been undergoing restoration.  The importance of the mission to preserve the schooner as an educational vessel and historic landmark is best explained by these words:

"A fully restored and operational Schooner Adventure will heighten awareness of Gloucester’€™s role in the development of the American Fishing Industry, the plight of the thousands of men lost at sea, and how a fleet of fast and able schooners defined a regional economy.

Visit her website to learn more about  "Adventure."


Monday, October 19, 2015

New Facebook Page for Researchers of Sailors' Snug Harbor

Are you a descendant of a mariner who once resided at Sailors' Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY?  Or a researcher?   Or a reader of good sea-going tales?  Or perhaps you are interested in the SSH records, and the SSH Cemetery?




 This weekend, spurred on by one of my blog readers, I created the Facebook page:  "Mariners of Sailors' Snug Harbor History and Genealogy."  The purpose of the page is to share stories and information specifically about the former inhabitants of SSH: the aged, sometimes ailing mariners who found rest and camaraderie there.


The physical property and buildings of Sailors' Snug Harbor, which began in 1801, and eventually closed doors in the mid 1950's, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
Some of the buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished over the years, but many of the beautiful original structures remain.

The entire property has been renamed:  Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens.
and overseen by a board of Trustees.  This entity has their own website (above) and their own Facebook page.


Perhaps the most interesting story of Sailors' Snug Harbor, however, originates with the lives of those men who lived there.   My own g-g-grandfather master mariner stayed there on several different occasions, and eventually died there.  The new Facebook page I have created, is a place to illuminate the lives of those men by sharing any stories we hold.

I have a handful of letters, in my family archives, written on stationary with the Sailors' Snug Harbor letterhead.  I came to know my g-g-grandfather through these letters. I came to understand what forces affected his life on the sea and how he made a living.  What treasures do you have, what tales to tell? 

Please visit on Facebook:  Mariners of Sailors' Snug Harbor History and Genealogy.  The page is open to anyone, but please "Like" the page so we can get to know you.   Thanks!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lloyd's Register of Ships Continues to Streamline Historic Information

Recently, I was directed to the website for the historic "Lloyd's Register of Ships."



Lloyd's is a multi-faceted organization, but this particular page included on their website - located in the "Research and Innovation" section - directs the interested researcher to resources listing shipping and vessel information from the earliest and first edition of Lloyd's in 1764.

All in one place.
In case you are not a Londoner, and therefore unable to visit their physical reference library, a virtual visit is in order.  Lloyd's website will direct you to several online sources of Lloyd's historical data.  These include Google Books, The Internet Archive, and Plimsoll ship data project (digitized cooperatively with the Southampton (England) Library and Archives associations.)

From Google Books - Early archives of Lloyd's


The very first Lloyd's Register of Ships, 1764 - 1766, is included on a separate page of the Lloyd's website.  This is simply a fascinating view of the original book which appears to have been digitized in 2012.

From Lloyd's Register of Ships: 1764-66


This page provides a table for locating ships alphabetically by their name (ex:  in this earliest time period. Each page appears as a downloadable PDF.

Page from earliest Lloyd's Register (website image)






It is always a pleasant discovery to learn of continued efforts to consolidate and streamline valuable historic information, in this case, regarding vessels, captains and arrival and departure ports of sea.  Lloyd's does it well.  Again, the link to Lloyd's Register of Ships.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sailor's Snug Harbor Digital Records New Locations

A reader just alerted me to new links for the historical records of Sailor's Snug Harbor held by the Maritime College of SUNY.



The Sailor's Snug Harbor Collection, Stephen B. Luce Library Archives located here.    http://stephenbluce.sunymaritime.edu/sailorssnugharbor/index.html

The digital records which contain records, letters, photographs are held by the "The New York Heritage Digital Collections

Clicking here will take you directly to the records pertaining to Sailor's Snug Harbor.

Thank you to the reader who contributed this new information.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ben Affleck Attempts to Change the Course of Genealogical History

...Or, at least slightly "edit" away the unseemly stuff in his family tree.

From NYTimes: Saul Loeb, Getty Images: Ben Affleck


Since my last posting about Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s show, "Finding Your Roots" hosted by PBS, a case of "improper influence" has arisen concerning celebrity guest, Ben Affleck, in regards to his attempt to "mega-star manage" how his family history is portrayed on Gates' show.

The New York Times today reveals an investigation, and an "editing" of PBS editorial staff, due to the incident.  PBS also announced the suspension of Gates' show.

In fact - in genealogical facts - an ancestor of Ben Affleck was a slave owner.  Uncomfortable about this fact, Affleck requested this particular information NOT be included during his hour on Gates' show.

This is all in past tense.  What actually happened was that Gates, or his editorial staff and management, bowed to Affleck's wishes and focused on other, more laudatory members of his family tree during the show that aired last year.

Photo: Steven Senne/AP:  Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Yesterday, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. issued an apology for the incident.  You can read that here in an LA Times article dated June 24, 2015. 

Affleck certainly wouldn't be alone in being embarrassed by the life or actions of an ancestor.  We all may have a few "black sheep" in our families.

Or, maybe he was concerned a negative response to the news of his slave owning ancestor might result in a backlash that would endanger his own family.  (One hopes this may have been behind his actions, anyway.)

However, it seems to me Affleck's personal history is an opportunity for greater understanding of the slave era in our country, and the relationships between African Americans and Whites today - especially at this most crucial time following the shooting in South Carolina. But, this exists only if we are allowed to hear all sides of the story - celebrity or not.

Ben, whom I generally admire by the way, wanted to lie.  And he convinced a few other key folks to lie right along with him.  In the end, what he has done is to be untrustworthy.  PBS now appears untrustworthy. And we are left with a nagging, free-floating feeling of mistrust in the media and maybe human kind, in general.  Not a good thing.

When the truth is edited out of history, we lose a valuable opportunity to learn. Most importantly, we lose an opportunity to develop compassion and tolerance for others by having a fuller, deeper understanding of the woven threads of humans and circumstances that came before us - all of which serves to create who we are and how we act,  today.

To Ben Affleck - be a braver man for us.  In the words of none other than George Orwell:

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

To read about the story of PBS, Gates Jr., and Affleck:  visit NYT here.




Friday, June 19, 2015

Fifty Ways to Find Your Family - Free!

Photo Credit: Family History Daily website



 A dream come true for genealogists:  Fifty free genealogy websites for you to use.  No subscription needed.  Start right now.

And who provides this valuable list?

Family History Daily is a "help and how-to" website full of tips for stream-lining and enhancing research  - for the avid beginner or amateur genealogist. 

Besides the "Fifty Free Genealogy Websites" article, you will undoubtedly relate to common research woes in  "The Grumpy Genealogist" by Susan Wallin Mosey.  Or an article on how to prepare for your cemetery visit.   Ten free Canadian websites. .. How to use Facebook to break through your brick walls...   The list of articles and research tools is plentiful. 

There are also many wonderful BW photos on this website. I wish the website provided photo credits for them all.

Go visit.   Website:  FamilyHistoryDaily.com


Friday, June 12, 2015

The Root - Tracing Your Roots with Help From Henry Louis Gates & Co.

"Finding Your Roots" is the PBS series hosted and researched by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Compared to "Who Do You Think You Are,"  a similar show produced by Ancestry.com  investigating family histories of well-known people, Henry Louis Gate's approach has a less scripted,  more of a no-holds-barred delivery of ancestral news for the chosen celebrities who are on his show.  He has a perpetually earnest demeanor on the show as well,  and an obvious genuine interest in each and every story he reports - usually accompanied by his signature, somewhat mischievous half-smile.

Article by Gates, Moore and Siekman


I have recently discovered "The Root: History" which is an historical webpage authored by Gates and other research experts, offering good tips on investigating your own roots.  The format is a question/answer style approach with, in some articles,  Gates responding to real inquiries from real people who are not celebrities.

After years of tackling genealogical research projects, it is easy to fall into using the same set of research records, websites, sources, and tools.  We all do this because they are familiar to us.

I find Gates research suggestions to be fresh and outside-the-box.  He understands a doggedly inquisitive mind and how sometimes following the thinnest of clues or connections can offer good promise in solving ancestral mysteries.



A great example, is last week's posting authored by Gates and Zachary Garceau titled:  "How to Trace Your Ancestor Through a Name Change."

Gates answers letters written by real people, often African Americans, and often dealing with the confusing and fascinating and sometimes uncomfortable history of slavery in America.


For those who have explored these deep waters, you will know that slaves, even once freed, often retained the surnames of their owners.  The tangled records this produces is a serious challenge.

Another week, Gates offers tips on how to find that missing death certificate -a brick wall that can stymy the best of us.  He encounters wrongly-transcribed records, spelling problems, and the crooked trail to the death of a Miss Ola Mae Waters.

Here in MA, for example,  a frequent research result for death information that pops up in Ancestry.com is the MA state Death Index.  What does this tell you?   Well, it will confirm the town, and year of death for your ancestor, a volume and page number.  But it will tell you nothing about who was present, cause of death, family members, etc.

example of MA Death Index



 Gates suggests faster and more informative
trails for finding a missing death record.  Again, more thinking outside the box by suggesting not to take things at face value:  names can be misspelled on records, for example.


"The Root" is a good source for genealogical research tools, in general. It will not necessarily jump out at you in a random Google search, however.   I discovered the website via my connection to PBS through their Facebook page.  No matter how you get there, "The Root" History articles,  authored by Gates and  by other experts, will undoubtedly offer you some new ways of breaking through your ancestral brick walls.  It certainly did for me, and I count myself among the most dogged of investigators.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Aboard the Corwith Cramer

Here is a follow-up to my last post about the SSV Corwith Cramer, a SEA Education research and study vessel.

A long line formed along the dock next to the ship at 2pm last Sunday afternoon.  Fortunately, my excitement about going aboard for the tour brought me to the dock about 15 minutes early and I was among the first 5 folks to be file on deck.

Our tour guides, alumni of past trips and current crew, seemed to have a bit of a "spirit" session on deck before beginning what would be for them, two hours of lots of questions about living conditions while at sea, destinations, studies,  equipment, communications with outside world, etc.

They all were enthusiastic, (patient!), and obviously a tight-knit family.

Corwith Cramer at Bigelow Dock Woods Hole

 Below decks, the large ship is a catacomb of bunk spaces (up to 31 people on board, during these cross-ocean trips), privacy provided by a single red curtain. Heads, galley, library, lab rooms, laptops and computer stations.  There was a cabinet holding labeled samples in glass vials of different forms of sea life. Science class was never this cool back in high school.

Library with gimbal-ed tables and bunks spaces


I spoke with  David Banks in the wheelhouse, who informed me the ship is occupied 24/7, whether at the dock or at sea.  Like a living breathing thing, it seemed to me.


Wheelhouse

Towards bow from starboard deck


I was especially interested in a foresail that opened and closed like an accordion, or "shower curtain," as one crew member described.  Folding down to either side of the mast, vertically, one crew member informed me that this allows for easier, faster opening with no need for crew members to climb rigging, thus allowing for increased safety.

I asked another tour guide the longest period of time he was continuously at sea and he said "thirty days."  


  Before sailing, all students take a six-week course in ship safety, and all they need to know about the ship, before any voyage.



The long line of folks eager to see the Corwith was now snaking out to the road and I didn't want to linger, though I had a million questions about navigation, social aspects, maintenance tasks, and more.  I felt incredibly lucky to have received the tour.  I was informed as I departed that the Corwith Cramer was rarely at dock in Woods Hole, and this time - only for one week before setting sail for County Cork, Ireland.  Wish I was going to be aboard.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tour of the SSV Corwith Cramer in Woods Hole This Sunday

SEA, the Sea Education Association, of Woods Hole is back in town and hosting a tour of their beautiful SEA Semester ship, the Corwith Cramer.  The Corwith Cramer is used as a teaching vessel for environmental and ocean-related programs,  and travels the world. 

Corwith Cramer at sea Courtesy SEA website

As you drive into Woods Hole via Main Street today, the village is teeming with vacationers. The Woods Hole Library is busy with the Annual Used Book Sale. The ferries go to and fro through the thick fog loaded with passengers. And amidst the general flurry of activity, you can spot Corwith Cramer's two rigged masts rising tall and stately above the Steamship Authority ferry office. 

Corwith Cramer, a steel hulled brigantine constructed in Spain in 1987, lays alongside the MBL's Bigelow dock ready to be boarded and explored by curious folks. The time?   Tomorrow, Sunday, between 2pm-4pm.  I will be there!

Here is the link to their website:
http://www.sea.edu/ships_crew/cramer

Can't get to Woods Hole tomorrow afternoon?   You can take a virtual tour right here:
http://www.sea.edu/ships_crew/ship_tour

Monday, April 20, 2015

Woods Hole Model Boat Show: Small in Size, Large in Historical Significance

I look for excuses to spend any amount of time in Woods Hole which, next to Menemsha on Martha's Vineyard,  is my favorite small fishing village around.  I say "fishing" but there is a lot going on in this tiny place: WHOI and MBL. The ferry to the Islands. An awesome Aquarium and Exhibit Center, Zumba classes, good food, a long history...life.  Just the way I like it!

Model boats in the WH Community Center

I have been fantasizing lately about selling my very nicely appointed home on the far side of Falmouth, and taking up residence in one of the many, small and funky wood-shingled shacks that...oh come on...would anyone really notice someone living in their boat shed?  Or garden shed?  Or better yet - house boat? And then of course, taking a small job at the Marine Biological Labs - you know:  anything at all, but preferably history related.

Okay I digress, but note that "small" is the key word here.

I have some nice photos to show you of this past weekend and a very special small event that brought a lot of interesting people - and boats - together.

Saturday and Sunday was the Woods Hole Model Boat Show hosted by the Woods Hole Historical Museum.   Every two years,  model ship makers exhibit their work throughout the village of Woods Hole in different locations.  Remote controlled model sail boats race in Eel Pond and there are a host of great events too numerous to mention, for all ages.

The Races in Two Days:

Saturday was a picture perfect day for the Men's race:

Starting Line Eel Pond

Light winds

The ship owners stood on the dock, controlling their boats in light winds.  Heading out to the buoys was a lot quicker than heading back in.

Sunday was the Ladies Regatta.   The wind had kicked up and temperatures were a bit chillier and there were far fewer boats.  I got to town early and had breakfast at my favorite place: The Woods Hole Market.  Off to the right, you can see some practice runs going on.

Back deck of Woods Hole Market- Eel Pond
Ladies Regatta
The Models in Two Days:

Saturday morning, I made the rounds of the exhibit rooms and there were some extremely impressive ship models created by folks from all over New England.

After a really stimulating discussion with one model ship maker, I learned all about the kind of "coaster" my great-grandfather may have sailed from Canada to Pennsylvania during his seafaring life of delivering lumber and coal and fish.

He also knew of the Arethusa, a rum-runner of old, which I happen to know my g-grandfather sailed on in the early 1900's.  I'm sure I took up way too much of this man's time, but I had fun swapping our genealogical info and how it related to maritime life and ships  back in the 1800's.  My only regret was that I did not get his name!

Next, I had a very special surprise.  Ray Crean, a retired teacher from Beverly and renowned model ship maker, was displaying a model of the US Coast Guard Cutter Duane. It rang a bell.  I told him I thought my father (now deceased)  had been on that ship in WWII.

When I got home from Woods Hole Saturday afternoon, I located my father's Coast Guard documents amongst our family memorabilia,  and sure enough - there was Dad's discharge paper listing CGC Duane as one of the ships on which he served.  It was wonderful to see a model of the ship.

Copy of father's CG discharge papers - Pharmacist's Mate

The ships we heard about the most in my family, and of which we have actual photos, were the  Forsyth and the USS Covington.  Dad was stationed on the Covington near Greenland and Iceland.  He rarely talked about the War, but he always talked with awe about the beauty he saw there.

Sunday morning, I dashed back to Woods Hole (ok, for the aforementioned breakfast, but also...) with a copy of the discharge papers in hand to share with Mr. Crean.  Alas, though checking back frequently for an hour or so,  he was away from his table probably taking in the show and races,  and I never got the chance to show him the papers.  Mr. Crean certainly knew his history and ships.  The knowledge I came across in this show was only rivaled by years of meticulous work of the model makers.

There were so many other model ships to talk about, too.  The amazing model of the Charles W. Morgan, the more modern remote controlled boats...too many to include here. I wish I had more time on Sunday to go back and see everything a second time.

Last but not least to mention here, the Historical Society and their friendly volunteers really made wandering around the village to see the show an easy and totally pleasurable experience!

I heard a rumor that this year's Model Boat Show was the last for Woods Hole. I certainly hope that is not true.

All photos property of the author.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Guilty! And Sentenced to Hand Burning

This week marks a somber anniversary - that of the Marathon Bombing.  As we approach the second Boston marathon since the bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev awaits sentencing:  life in prison or - death.

Two choices: prison or death.  It has me wondering what manner of sentences were meted out around the 1600's-1700's.  Researching one of my own previous blog postings about Harvard University's collection of crime broadsides (to find this post, use my search box on right), led me to this wonderful source:

From the website of "The Proceedings of the Old Bailey"


The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 

*A collaboration between the Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield and the Open University, this project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Big Lottery Fund.

This intriguing and valuable online database publishes criminal proceedings between 1674 and 1913, at London's central criminal court.  There is a wealth of historical information on this site, and grateful acknowledgement must be given for the creation of this archive.  (To read more about the project, please visit the website directly.)

The home page features a search box for the investigation of crimes and their sentences.  Insert a few keywords, and you can view the original court document listing the crimes, the peoples involved, witnesses, and ...the punishment.

One of the most heinous crimes in this time period was the theft of a horse.  I typed "Theft of horse" into the search window and received a list of results.  This one held no mercy for one man:


On October 14, 1674:  "One was Indicted, together with a Youth, for Stealing of a Horse, the Man was found Guilty, and received Sentence of Death, the Boy Acquitted.






The stealing of silver ale cups from local taverns appeared to be a common crime, also.  One scurrilous group of no-good-doers received their sentences.  For the stealing of silver cups?  Burnt hands.  For the stealing of the horse?  Death!



October 10, 1677:  In all, seven persons (women included) burnt in the hand for their crimes.  One was ordered to be whipped for stealing, and ultimately five ne-er do-wells sentenced to death:  two "highway-men" (apparently those who robbed travelers), two Horse-stealers, and one thief.


Burning of the hands was a common punishment for first time or lesser crimes.  Kind of a gateway punishment for execution, however.  It seems many repeat offenders are recorded to have previously been "burnt or branded" in the hand, thus propelling them quickly to their final punishment: death.



May 16 1678:   Ten people sentenced to Death.

"There were in all Ten persons that received Sentence of Death, viz. Seven men, one for Murder, three notorious High-way men for several Robberies, two upon five several Indictments for Horse-stealing, a young man for a Felony, having been before burnt in the hand since Christmas last; and Three women, one for robbing her Master of goods to a great value, the other two ( whereof one was an old notorious offender) for several Felonies committed under presence of taking Lodgings, thereby having ruined divers honest poor people."

One longs for the punishment of being burnt in the hand or whipped, when execution was carried out by "being burned to ashes" or "hanging in chains".

On October 24, 1679 a grand total of 13 people were sentenced to death for crimes ranging from robbery and horse-stealing to treason.  A Mr. Ordinary met with each and every prisoner, to examine their souls before being transported to the here-after.  He lamented their flaws of consciene in the following way:

"He found them generally lamentably ignorant of the Principles of Religion, as if they had been born in Africk, and bred up amongst the Savages of America, rather than in England, that Goshen of Gospel-Light. But he endeavoured with his utmost pains, both to inform their Understandings of the mysteries of Salvation, and perswade their stubborn Wills to submit to the Yoak of Christ, and accept of him upon his own Evangelical Terms.
 

Apparently being born in Africa, or brought up with savages in America was as far a fall from grace as humanly possible!  The roots of religious bias and intolerance run very deep, and in many different directions.

105 Catholics Executed at Tyburn Gallows







Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Archaeology of American Cemeteries and Gravemarkers

This book was brought to my attention through my B.U. Genealogical Forum for alumna of the research program. Though published in August of last year, (University of Florida Press) it is about the archaeology of cemeteries, and is worth bringing to your attention now.  This is not a guidebook for the cemetery-roving genealogist, however.
 
 It is about, to my best understanding,  the history of burial traditions and practices,  and an exploration of the human need for remembrance, in America.  From information in the introduction (full disclosure: I have not yet read the book so relied upon Amazon's content and the BU Forum for enlightenment), it addresses the sacred and profane in burial practices. 
 An example:  the practice of White settlers, to bury, with not regard, their own dead on top and within sacred Indian burial grounds, and the many years that passed before these sacred burial grounds became nationally preserved and protected.  
 It is remarkable, I think, that with all the thousands of years of changes: wars, grappling for territories, technological advances, religious observances, class struggles, and our ever-determined, forward-slanting stride into the future - we still bury our dead.  Maybe locations and graves are new, but the need to in some degree immortalize ourselves, seems as strong as ever.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Don't Miss New Records at Ancestry.com

Here is a quick look at today's newly listed records at Ancestry.com. 

Ancestry's home page continually updates the list of newly added records collections.  Easy to ignore, as you jump into your research using your tried and true collections, but it is always worthwhile to pause and check the latest additions. 

For instance, Arizona Naturalization Records 1912-1991 and also, the vital records of Bexley, Kent, England spanning as a whole from 1754-1985, continents and content apart - but completely new and vitally interesting.

And let us not pass by the  Poland, Łódź Ghetto Inhabitant Lists, 1939-1944 (USHMM) (in German).
When you have reached the search window for this collection, look in the right hand menu and you will find:  Holocaust: Łódż Ghetto Hospital Illness Records, 1940 .
Fascinating!




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Time Away and A Few Changes - Taking Your Genealogy on the Road

A long hiatus since my June 2014 post.  Genealogical research is ongoing here, amidst other life pursuits.

We have a new, fun TV show to watch hosted by PBS:  Genealogy Roadshow.  I love it.  It is much like Antiques Roadshow but with family research.  One of the main presenters was a consultant for my teaching team at Boston University.  


My favorite part is how quickly they pull together the family records and history of these "on-the-spot" families.  They make genealogy look easy!  It is what we call in the current vernacular "Pop-up Genealogy" and I find myself holding my breath as they very quickly reveal their results to a waiting family. 

Actually, I suspect there are many helping hands behind the "curtain" in order to pull together these shows and come up with their results.   Some of the stories so far have been fascinating. This season they've been in New Orleans which has a vibrant history.  I highly recommend watching it.



In a roundabout way, this leads me to changes here at AncestryInk.  Genealogical research is in fact, VERY time-consuming, as most of you who will be reading this will understand.

I have made some changes in my client practices.  For now, please review my Client Contract Page. In short, I am very much here to assist you!  Particularly in regards to sea-going ancestors from the Cape Cod and Islands area, southern Maine, and Essex County, MA.  Please feel free to contact me.

The prompt for the change comes in the necessity, and difficulty, in sharing a large body of research via email without being able to sit down in person to discuss your research project, in real time.  It is a cumbersome and at times confusing process to attempt this over email, for both you and me.  The result is that I have become more selective about taking on research projects.  Again, please contact me if you have a question about this.

Additionally,  I have experienced what many bloggers and social networkers encounter - really unpleasant, randomly negative Comments on this blog (yes, they are deleted).  Perhaps people feel they can speak their mind in some uncensored, abruptly rude fashion in the online world and it doesn't matter.  I do not feel that way.  I love genealogical research.  It's fun and exciting. I am wagging my tail in delight most of the time and I think the key to it all, is the ability to freely share what we learn, in order to help each other. It should never be about who knows more, or "who is right or wrong."

To solve this disheartening issue, I have removed the ability of the reader to post Comments to the blog. If you would like to get in touch to discuss anything written here  - feel free to email. Politely of course! (Happy Face emoticon inserted.)

Now back to the real purpose of it all: exploring history... See you again here soon.   Jane









Why Nantucket Friends and Whalers Settled in North Carolina


 What follows is a summary - a rather wildly loose one - think of an old and much-used fisherman's seine, or a rain-soaked spiderweb in the wind, or...the endless bouts of snow that have been falling between the much much fewer days of sun here on Cape Cod.

In other words, this is just a very quickly put-together introduction to jump-start your research in exploring Nantucket Quakers and Whalers (and at times the twain did meet) in North Carolina.


Around 1771, a large number of Nantucket Quakers and whalers left their island home of Nantucket, and moved to North Carolina.  It seems likely that the first leaders of this migration were the whalers who were able to lease whaling rights off the coast of North Carolina at a time when whaling in New England was starting to decline. Certainly, they were already far flung in their whaling travels, but North Carolina proved a lucrative and friendly destination.

The sandy, hardly-fertile soil of Nantucket was not conducive to much farming and families were left struggling for a means of support.  Thus a movement came about. The island Quakers, some whalers and some farmers, eventually settled in New Garden, Guildford County, North Carolina. New Garden had been populated by Pennsylvania Quakers since 1750.  Between 1771-1775, the Nantucket Friends arrived to New Garden. Eventually some sought out Meetings in various surrounding towns.  Many Nantucket family surnames are still to be found prominently in this area of North Carolina. 

Below are just a few sources explaining the migration of the Quakers and whaling families, of Nantucket.  There are many more, particularly in regards to the changes of the whaling industry and how it affected Cape Cod and Island families.  But these will get you on your way.


Author: Mary Warshaw:  “Beaufort, North Carolina: Histories and Images from the Past.”


The following article relates to the presence of Nantucket Quakers and whalers in North Carolina:

Authors:  Reeves and Mitchell : Publisher: U.S. Department of Commerce: NOAA Technical Report, March 1988 

“History of Whaling in and Near North Carolina”: pp. 6-8 (PDF)



And in this article relating the history of the Starbuck surname in New England: 

The story of Edward Starbuck and his friend Tristram Coffin who sailed from Cape Cod to Nantucket and settled there, forming a prosperous whaling community.  To further cement these whaling families, Coffin’s daughter Mary, married Nathaniel Starbuck, Edward’s son.  This Mary was thought to have introduced Quakerism to the Island.

Author of surnames website:  Colin Shelley


In this book found on the Google Books database:


The story of the expansion of the Quakers to North Carolina includes the name of Libni Coffin, who in this book, is referred to as the first Nantucket man to move to North Carolina, specifically, New Garden, in 1771.  In 1780, two/thirds of Nantucket’s population was Quaker.

This account indicates the poor arability of the land on Nantucket.  The island Quakers moved to New Garden, and later Guildford, NC as farmers, not whalers.  This migration halted in 1775 at the onset of the Revolutionary War.