Digging Deeper (Roots, cont’d)

Blog Post

In another installment of “Roots”, I found that the Quidley family, to whom I am directly related and who settled on Hatteras Island in North Carolina’s outer banks first came to the New World in the 1680’s, on the Brigantine, Gull, out of Portsmouth, England. The ship’s master, Patrick Quidley, established a base for himself by transplanting family members as colonists. Though the mists of time hang heavy over precisely what the ‘colonists’ intended to do, their subsequent actions speak for themselves.
Patrick Quidley’s brush with the law is recorded in the book, The Admiralty Sessions, 1536-1834: Maritime Crime and the
Silver Oar”.

“Dr. Fisher Littleton presided over the Admiralty court and
took the view that those who adhered to James II were “not enemies, but rogues”.
The prosecution proceeded at the Admiralty Sessions held at the Marshalsea in
February 1694, even though the nine accused men asserted that they fought under
a lawful commission issued by James II. At these hearings, Captain John Golden
and Thomas Jones were convicted for treason and Patrick Quidley and Darby
Collins for piracy. On March 5,  1694,
they were hanged.”

As the book points out, there was some dispute as to whether they (pirates) sailed under a letter of marque or as pirates. The distinction between the two was a fine one…
The body of Captain William Kidd hanging in a gibbet over the Thames, the result of confusion over
whether Captain Kidd took prizes legally under a letter of marque, or illegally as a pirate. (Wikipedia)

16 thoughts on “Digging Deeper (Roots, cont’d)

  1. One man's pirate is another man's hero. My maternal grandfather was a bootlegger in the 1920's and spent quite a bit of time in the Big House – he wasn't as adept at avoiding the revenooers as some of his peers. His route was smuggling Canadian liquor from the outskirts of Toronto to Hot Springs, AR, where my mom was subsequently born.

  2. Family history is always interesting. There is speculation of a pirate type in hubby's family line. But they do know a male predecessor fought in the American Revolution, and recently discovered that one had come to America at the time of the First Thanksgiving.

    But nothing as interesting as your family line. You would have fit in well then, I think.

    Good reading!

  3. There are a lot of resources to find for sure whether or not they served in the War of Northern Aggression (Civil War) or the War of Independence. Making the precise connection to the relative/ancestor on paper takes a bit more time. I had NO IDEA that I was related to pirates. I set out to prove or disprove Native American ancestry. I disproved that but found all of the pirate stuff instead…which is a WHOLE LOT more cool.

  4. I guess it was which flag you were flying when captured. I think much of the law was at the judge's discretion or personal beliefs rather than the letter of the law.

  5. I enjoy the odd pint or three at the Captain Kidd pub in London, overlooking the Thames and opposite the site of Kidd's hanging.

  6. Facts are hard to sort from legend, especially when you come from a family that never lets facts get in the way of a good story.

  7. Yep, history gets 'interesting' at times… We've got a lot of family done research that I need to go dig through.

  8. Nothing exciting like this in either side of my family. They were all laborers, mechanics, farmers, teachers, and shop keepers…..

  9. Next time you're there, hoist one for Patrick Quidley, captain and sailing master (occasional pirate), who was hung at that very spot, 7 years before Kidd. I'm afraid that a little grog was dumped into my gene pool.

  10. The manufactured story was that when my great grandfather Charles Berry Quidley came to America from Ireland, he met an Indian maiden (naturally a princess) and he changed his name to Quigley. The truth is that he met a girl (born in Norfolk, VA), married her and got into trouble with the law…perhaps manslaughter…and fled to Northern Virginia, changing his name to Quigley. The Quidleys were pirate stock and if you'd have met my great grandfather, you wouldn't have discounted that. Once I dug through the smoke screen (always demanding official records before believing), I got to the truth.

  11. Demand official records. US Census records are all on line from as far back as 1870. The same is true of church christenings, which go back much farther, marriage documents, ship's manifests, etc.

  12. The guy my sister married had a very interesting life growing up in Chicago. His father was friends with Studs Terkel, and Studs and his buddies would come by the house a lot.

    He definitely has some "interesting" stories….

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top