Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nautical State of Mind

I don't know why, but lately I have been in a nautical state of mind.  This past week I have started 3 genealogy projects over at Geni.

  1. Salty Dogs, Captains, and Mariners.
  2. Lighthouse Keepers.
  3. Ferry Keepers.
So if you are on Geni and have any ancestors that fit those descriptions,  go spice up their profiles and add them. Please?

As for my own seafaring ancestors, there is one that I have talked about before. About three years ago I posted about Captain George Cannon, my Manx mariner, being a slave trader. But before that, he was a merchant mariner who dabbled in privateering and smuggling. 

Captain Cannon's house had as many rooms below ground as above, as did many of the houses in Peel. In fact, the town was a storehouse for foreign skippers to leave their vast quantities of goods that were then carried away by the smaller Manx vessels into Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland. 

Captain Cannon's house still stands today. It sits on Michael Street in Peel and has been turned into 3 flats and 2 shop fronts. Over the top it has the name CAPTAIN CANNON.  I even found a 2005 listing for it:

One of my distant cousins was lucky enough to go to the Isle of Man and has a picture of the house on his blog.

George's father Hugh Cannon was a Peel fisherman. Peel's herring were reputed to be the choicest,its fishermen the boldest and most skillful in the whole kingdom. was honored with the position of Admiral or Vice-Admiral of the Peel fishing fleet.  In addition to being superintendent of the taking of the sea harvest of fish, Hugh operated his fishing smack in carrying the catch to the English markets, notably at Liverpool.
During the lull of the herring season, he more than likely did a little smuggling himself. He owned his own vessel, which, though small, was seaworthy enough for quick trips to the coasts of France and Holland. Whatever adventures he found, his end was peaceful. He died in bed at his home in Peel in 1801.

Source: Cannon Family Historical Treasury, published 1967 by George Cannon Family Association.

Leslie Ann

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