The Last Unposted Post: a rambling pirate from the past

Gathering all this together, all these stories, one by one, unposted posted going back to the early months of 2013, almost at the beginning of this blog, unsaid has been said, and now I ponder the ghosts of my own past and all the crooks and characters that made me, and in that regard, this post is a bit different than the others.

Now, other than the one 2x Great Uncle who got shot by the brother of the girl he got prego’s, whilst attending the funeral of said girl, right here in Ontario in the later decades of the 18th century, this particular ancestor on my dad’s side kinda stands out. 

The American’s always gotta one up ya, don’t ya know, Canadian side got shot trying to show up at the dead girlfriends funeral a hundred and change ago, and dad’s sides go, ya’ll, we got us a pirate and not just A pirate, but THE pirate.

So I got some crooked blood myself. Shocking, eh?

Complicated I believe can be said of most Americans, and I suppose I’m no different, regardless of where I grew up, with my Canadian upbringing has been fed a good dose of all that DNA, whether it was nurtured or just in my nature. Yeah, well, and me now with my pirate smile, I dance around these old myths now and again, and this one myth has always intrigued me, and I’ve often gone out hunting for what truths, to see what facts lie hidden, what treasures left to find? 

From October 16th, 2018

A friend the year after Mom died got me into genealogy, and it became an obsession; probably because it overcame a lot of my grief that year. Although I haven’t done very much the last 5 years, admittedly. Generally, it has lately been all brick walls for most, and the others are murky lines going back into a time of America’s past of fewer remaining documents, into the early-1700’s and back, and I’d have to visit to track down all that. You know, graves lost in the woods, under barns, dug up and gone decades ago, who knows, no rhyme nor reason seemed to come to where they buried their kin.

Now, on my Canadian side, I’ve traced their journey back over ‘the pond’, mostly nice and orderly folk, farmer stock, salt of the earth, church-going, pillars of the community.

Yeah, and on my father’s side, not so much. Which is mostly why they have always intrigued me, from confederate soldiers captured at Gettysburg named Theophaleus who went on to be some big church elder, to those fireballs at the crossroads stories that harken from another place, mixed with gaelic and maybe some soul, oh, one beguiling family stories that I’ve begun to wonder lately if they’re connected.

Anyways, this line, and whenever I’ve run into anyone who shares a something x great-grandparent, any cousins and so forth, all of them have the same stories, and it’s this:  1) that we are descended from Blackbeard the pirate, and 2) that one of our Great Grandmothers was a full-blooded Native American. All of those I’ve met online have those two stories. ALL OF THEM. 

Engraved by Benjamin Cole (1695–1766)
Public Domain

For the pirate connection, there is certainly some bases for it, as this family was not landlocked as the other branches of my American family. This family all lived in and around the area of Pamlico Sound, in Bath, Beaufort area, and were listed in the Census as Fish Box Makers. Also, the surname is Keech/Keach, and Blackbeard’s surname is purported to have been Teach. 

Intriguing to imagine there just may be a connection. And, whether or not there is some Native American woman in our past, I guess is up to a DNA test, which is on my ‘to do’.

In my research, I’ve found that generally these family stories often go back farther than we thought. So, as the legend applies to my Great Grandmother, in truth I have found not one shred of evidence, and so I suspect that it was her Great Grandmother who was the Native woman.

So, that means it was our Great Grandmother’s Great Grandmother, which would put her back around the time of ol’Blackbeard’s traipsing back and forth along the coast of North Carolina, which means that perhaps that family is descended from a woman he met who was Native? Could be.

Blackbeard used Little Washington, where he reportedly had a sister, and up the Pamlico sound area in general as a safe harbour. The Governor of North Carolina at the time was sympathetic, and probably got kickbacks, but who knows, regardless of why he did allow for a time Blackbeard free reign along the shores of North Carolina.

And what does that have to do with anything? Well, just musing, and of course that Warren this week released the results of her DNA test, saying she has a smidge of Native DNA, so {sticks out tongue} to Trump, which is probably about the amount I have. Which is maybe something I wouldn’t have said in quite that fashion, but anywho. 

Did a bit of digging online, and I guess it is actually not common for colonial families to have any Native DNA, and the Keeches from what I can tell go way back into the annals of American history, if not colonial then back into the shadowy beginnings of North Carolina, all along Pamlico Sound for a few hundred years. Running a sawmill, making fish boxes, and the surname of my 2x Great Grandmother, Sawyer, actually appears on the Indian Rolls as residing in North Carolina, and it does all adds up.  Intriguingly, adds up, but not conclusively. Ah, sweet mysteries of life, but I have always liked the notion. 

Ai matey, or just eh, that is the question, and so ends the unposted posts, and this 30-day challenge, whew, and thank you! 

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3 thoughts on “The Last Unposted Post: a rambling pirate from the past

  1. Pingback: Day 30 – NanoPoblano – “Signs Of Shakespeare’s Plays” by David Ellis – A Found Poem Inspired by “Common Cold” by Ogden Nash | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  2. I just watched a series on PBS about Native American history and there was quite a lot of early activity in North Carolina where five different tribes came together to end the wars and form the very first democracy even before ours. Really interesting stuff. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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