Carolina Pirates

In the early 1700s the coast of Carolina seemed to be infested with pirates.  The most famous of these was Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard.  He sailed in and out the rivers and sounds of eastern North Carolina until finally trapped and killed near Ocracoke Island on November 22, 1718. 

Stede Bonnet was another pirate and a onetime companion of Blackbeard.  In September 1718, Stede was captured while careening his ship along the Cape Fear River, and he was hung the following December. 

Anne Bonny was one of the very few female pirates.  She was born near Dublin and move to the Carolina colonies at an early age.  She married a pirate, took his last name, and soon became involved in the business.  She and another female pirate, Mary Read, were captured when a pirate ship was seized in Jamaica in 1720.  Mary soon died in prison.  The fate of Anne Bonny is unknown.

The first quarter of the 18th century was evidently deadly for pirates in the Caribbean and along America’s east coast. The great period of pirating in those areas came to a bloody close. 

My wife was born in eastern North Carolina.  She had a grandparent with the surname Teachey and a great-grandparent with the surname Boney.  Seems a bit suspicious, doesn’t it?  And in one of the first photographs Ann gave me she was dressed as a pirate.  I used to tease her about her buccaneering ancestors.  Actually, it turns out that those ancestors of hers had names of German-Swiss derivation (Tetsche and Boni).  Perhaps they descended from Swiss and Rhineland Palatinate colonists who established a settlement at the nearby town of New Bern, North Carolina, in 1710. There is no evidence of a piratical connection.

Ann in Pirate Costume

(She is the Beautiful Reclining Blonde)

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