Blackbeard’s Men

by | Nov 16, 2010 | 0 comments

Are you the descendant of one of North Carolina’s notorious pirates?

Maybe one of Blackbeard’s crewmembers is in your family tree! If you have roots that go back to Bath, it’s more likely than you might think.


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Surnames Known to be Associated with Blackbeard’s Crew




The following information was extracted from Beaufort County Deed Book I, 1696-1729 (including Blackbeard papers) by Allen Heart Norris. You can purchase this book for only $25 from the Beaufort County Genealogical Society.



The following Pirates were named by Capt Johnson

Pirates killed at Ocracoke

Edward Teach, Commander
Phillip Morton, Gunner
Garrat Gibbens, Boatswain
John Husk
John Curtice
Joseph Brooks (1)
Owen Roberts, Carpenter
Thomas Miller, Quartermaster
Nathan Jackson

Pirates wounded and hanged in Virginia (except two)

John Carnes
Joseph Brooks (2 different men)
x James Blake [executed]
John Gills
x Thomas Gates [executed]
x James White [executed]
x Richard Stiles [executed]
Caesar [slave]
Joseph Phillips
* James Robins
* John Martin
* Edward Salter
Stephen Daniel
Richard Greensail
Israel Hand, pardoned
Samuel Odell, acquitted

* Names of residents found before AND after the trial on the West Side of Bath Town Creek.
x At his trial, Tobias Knight said these four were Negro slaves executed in Virginia. They took Christian names and gave evidence at the trial. Two men named Joseph Brooks are listed.


Original records located in the British Public Records Office give a variance of the names of the pirates killed in battle, and those who were tried and convicted:

Payable to Capt. George Gordon & Capt. Ellis Brand for themselves, Officers & Mariners in reward for ye taking & convicting ye Pyrates hereunder named, Vizt

Names of ye Pyrates Their Qualitys Rewards £
[blank] Hands Master 40
John Carnes Comon Sailor 20
Joseph Brooks Jun Do 20
James Blake Do 20
John Giles Do 20
Thomas Gates Do 20
James White Do 20
Richard Stiles Do 20
John Martin Do 20
Edwd Salter Do 20
Stephen Daniel Do 20
Richard Greensail Do 20
Cesar Do 20

Payable to the Same in reward for the Pyrates hereunder named killed
In the Engagement, vizt

Edward Thatch Captain 100
Philip Morton Gunner 40
Owen Roberts Carpenter 40
Garrot Gibbons Boatswain 40
John Philips Sailmaker 30

{rewards list continues…}

[823B] …


Sixteen names are on the Virginia list of Black Beard’s pirates captured at Ocracoke and 14 are listed as hanged in Williamsburg in March 1719.. Israel Hand was pardoned and Samuel Odell was acquitted. Five of the 16 were slaves, four of whom were named as evidence and executed. Caesar did not give evidence and was not specifically mentioned as executed; coincidentally, Caesar was the name of a slave of Tobias Knight. The names of three of the remaining nine men match the names of 3 landowners, who were alive and well after that date on the West Side of Bath Town Creek: James Robbins, Edward Salter and John Martin. This area has a very small number of inhabitants (including slaves) to be able to match 4 out of 14 names (3 of 9 men and 1 of 5 slaves). For the last names of the landowners to match is strange enough, but the match of the first names also, is a little too much. The Phillips, Daniel, Brooks, Miller, Curtice and Jackson families also lived in Bath County, but the full names of the men on Johnson’s list are not in the Bath County records. Whether these were younger sons cannot be determined.


Edward Salter’s will, probated in Bath County on February 5th 1734, suggests he was a wealthy man, leading to the speculation that he may have acquired part of the pirate treasure. From 1721 to 1730, Salter’s occupation was given as a cooper. From 1727 until his death, he was called merchant and gentleman. …


The third land owner named on Johnson’s Virginia “hanged” list was John Martin, who lived on the West side of Bath Town Creek, the second plantation above Glebe Creek. His name was not involved on the “tunnel land.” He was the son of Joel Martin, a prominent resident of Bath County, whose will was dated 24 Oct 1715 and proved in Bath County 8 July 1716. John Martin inherited 220 acres from his father, which he sold 11 July 1720 to John Royal, a mariner of Boston in New England. Thomas Boyd, executor of the 1725 will of James Robins, who was another “hanged man” and the owner of the “tunnel land”, witnessed the deed. This proves that John Martin of Bath was not hanged at Williamsburg.

Click here to purchase Beaufort County Deed Book I, 1696-1729 (including Blackbeard papers) by Allen Hart Norris. You can purchase this book for only $25 from the Beaufort County Genealogical Society.


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