Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grandpa was a Whaler

This is the name of a book about Samuel Chadwick & family of Carteret County North Carolina written in 1961 by Amy Muse. It is a small paperback that I found on EBay a couple years ago.

My niece is about to have a baby boy and asked me about unusual family names as ideas for the new great nephew. I gave her a list of all her direct ancestors going back 12 generations. It was over 45 pages long and only listed their names, dates of birth and death!

She was intrigued at the name Chadwick. Our last known ancestor from the Chadwick line was Ephraim Chadwick, who was the brother of Samuel Chadwick.

They both moved to what is now Carteret County North Carolina in the early 1700s from Falmouth, Massachusetts. In 1725 Samuel Chadwick was issued a license to take whales off the coast of North Carolina. Ephraim was also a whaler and owned a whaling boat.

The business of whaling in the 1700s was a lot different than the Greenpeace videos you see today. Men took off from shore on a small boat after they saw whales off the coast and would row or sail the boat close enough to the whale to hit it with a harpoon.

Since the boat was smaller than the whale and their implements powered only by their muscle the whale won most of the encounters.

The men of Massachusetts came to North Carolina probably on the prospect of a larger whale population and less competition for it. They eventually moved on to other occupations, although many were still on the water.

Several Chadwick families moved to Cortez, Florida around 1910 and fished there for a while. They eventually moved back to North Carolina or moved to other parts of Florida. I came across another Carteret County Chadwick descendant several years ago who had settled in St. Petersburg, Florida and successfully developed waterfront property over the last couple decades.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. Funny, my husband met a cousin of his tonight who told him about the book Grandpa was a Whaler. Apparently, his great grandfather by the last name of McCartney is in that book.

Mark Green said...

There is no index so I can't look it up. Many of the pages are just family trees from the 1700s up to the mid 20th century.

jessie said...

This book is actually about my direct family history. However, I have yet to read it. I've been looking for a copy but with little luck.