Many of Our Ancestors Were Mariners

It endlessly amazes — and amuses — me as to how little we know about our colonial ancestors.

Were any of your ancestors merchant adventurers? mariners? seamen? ship masters? crewmen? dock or warehouse workers?

These were very knowledgeable and worldly people. Foreign shores and trade goods were not foreign to them — nor their friends and families back home in England, Scotland or Ireland — nor had they been for centuries.

1 map Atl coast of Eur and N Afr 1331

Map of the Atlantic Coast of Europe and North Africa c1331.

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3 Responses to Many of Our Ancestors Were Mariners

  1. Many sea voyagers…”Maine Rivers” good source…Hawkins, Vaughan, Walker(Lovely Nelly)
    Most ancestors from a Me N/S etc Carol Higgins


  2. Pamela Athearn Filbert says:

    Absolutely! One of my 6x-great-grandfathers, Samuel Cary of Charlestown, was captain of his own merchant ship, which sailed between Boston and London. More than one newspaper of the time related details of his encounter with Black Bart Roberts (the real-life “Dread Pirate Roberts”) in 1720. Another 6x-great-grandfather, James Athearn, was agent for John Hancock out of Martha’s Vineyard (the two men were also related by marriage). And any number of other ancestors, cousins, and uncles were whaling captains, merchants, and whale ship owners out of Nantucket.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My colonial ancestors were farmers–but farmers who knew how to make money.


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