Saturday, October 04, 2008


If your ancestor was a pirate or privateer:

From our friends at Allen County (IN) Public Library:

Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 55, September 30, 2008

Adventurous Ancestors: Buccaneers, Privateers and Pirates
by Cynthia Theusch

Have you ever wondered if one of your seafaring ancestors or collateral family members was a buccaneer, privateer, or even a pirate? Or were they victims of these adventurous groups?

Researchers can consult "Who's Who in Davy Jones' Locker?" [910.4 D758wh] for biographical details on more than 1150 pirates, buccaneers and privateers to see if their ancestors were among them, but that is just a start. Details of wild, 17th century buccaneer life are recounted in "The Buccaneers of America" [929.11 Ex7b] by Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin (also known as John Esquemeling) who was able to draw on his personal knowledge and experience as a pirate under Captain Henry Morgan. His travels and participation in various seagoing adventures, including battles and assaults on various fleets and islands, are all featured, as are highlights of the buccaneer lifestyles of Francis L'Ollonais and Captains Henry Morgan, Coxon, Sawkins, Sharp, and Cook. While some historians feel that Esquemeling's account is more fictional than factual, and Henry Morgan denied any participation in the activities and events ascribed to him, this work is still quoted by scholars of the period.

In "Pirates and Privateers of the Americas" by David F. Marley [910.4 M343pi], more than 350 entries describe the buccaneers, privateers, and pirates, as well as the places, events, weapons, ships, fleets, and ports, that played a part in this period of America's history. Henry Morgan, Thomas Paine (a co-founder of Trinity Church in Newport), and Jeane Rose are just some of the pirates and privateers mentioned.

Edgar S. Maclay's "A History of American Privateers" [973.001 Aa1Ly] describes the close connection between U.S. naval history and privateers in the time period from the War of Independence through the end of the War of 1812.

Another source, "Privateers & Volunteers: The Men and Women of Our Reserve Naval Forces, 1766to 1866" [973.001 St59p] by Reuben E. Stivers, contains information about the naval services and fleets during this time period, along with useful appendices, bibliography and index.

The sources mentioned above are just a few of the many books and articles in the Genealogy Center that highlight the records, trials and adventures of the various buccaneers, pirates, and privateers. To locate other material on these adventurous ancestors, use the "keyword" search in our online catalog at www.ACPL.Info and in the "Periodical Source Index" (PERSI).

Publishing Note:
This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and is intended to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library. We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies. All precautions have been made to avoid errors. However, the publisher does not assume any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, no matter the cause.

To subscribe to "Genealogy Gems," simply use your browser to go to the website: www.GenealogyCenter.Info. Scroll down toward the bottom of the first screen where it says, "Enter Your Email Address to Subscribe to "Genealogy Gems." Enter your email address in the yellow box and click on "Subscribe." You will be notified with a confirmation email.

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors

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