COLUMNS

Outtakes: Edward Teach and his like just may be kin

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent
Frank Weaver Jr.

Part one of two

When doing genealogical research, there's an old saying that may be applicable to some but perhaps not all. “Be careful what you uncover. You may not like what you find!”

I was deep into genealogy research on my family's side and I had wanted to finish it before starting on my wife, Peggy's, family history. After 29 years of research, one line of my family goes way back to 1450; 42 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue and landed in the West Indies.    

Peggy was born in Houston, Texas, and is a first generation born here in America from Scotland. Her father, James, from Washington County, Pa, died when she was four so she doesn't have much memory of his side of the family.

Her maternal genealogical research however, was something else. But since they all came over together on the same boat in the early 1920s, it should have been a piece of cake; or so I thought. Although they did recall many of their ancestors' names going back, there was nothing that noticeable that could grab your attention and start any long or short winded chit chat during any social gathering.    

They sailed from Scotland, hailing from a small town; actually a suburb of the city of Glasgow called Bellshill. Research was going well; that is until the wife sent mild shock waves through my system when she dropped a wee tidbit of news about her family. Simply put, she placed her speculation smack dab on my lap. “I just might be a descendant of a 17th century Scottish pirate,” she proudly announced.

“A 17th century Scottish PIRATE!?!” I said to whomever may have been listening. I shook my head vigorously, raised my wide open eyes skyward and then as swiftly as I could, softly muttered to myself, "Now what?"

Had I known just what it was that I was getting myself into, I may have stopped right then and there and returned to continue on my own family name side, hoping I could go all the way back to when Patrick picked three-leaf clovers in Ireland. The last thing I wanted to uncover was that my children and grandchildren were descendants of captains Kidd or Morgan or even Edward Teach who was also known as the infamous Blackbeard; that goofy nut who would curl his long black beard, and with ribbons he'd  tie candles in the curls. Then, usually at night, he'd light the candles. What a sight!

But with Wendy reaching out to soon sign up for a Buckeye Golden discount card and to begin accepting a monthly copy of the AARP magazine, and Peggy and I having six grandchildren of our own, I felt I owed them the best of my veteran genealogical efforts before they could add my name to that growing list of family members whose spirits have already crossed over that Great Divide and way into the 'Beyond,' waiting at those famous Pearly Gates for scrutiny of their past and hoping for their grand entry.    

So, with a renewed surge of enthusiasm and deep down excitement, off to Google I went, painfully punching my laptop into any combination of clues just to discover my wife's pirate ancestry and almost hoping I'd find none. From past experiences, however, I knew if I discovered any more clues that might strengthen her claim to be a descendant from a Scottish pirate, more Jolly Roger flags would be sticking from the car bumpers and side windows as well as swaying in the breeze from the stern of the boat, the side of the house or adorning half-way up a flag pole 'neath my Cleveland Indians, Browns and Cavs flags, my Notre Dame Fighting Irish flag, our Ohio State pennant flag and Old Glory herself.   

Next Week: What Genealogical Research Uncovered:

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