WIP Wednesday, and a Little Family History

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As I was coming to a close on my most recent WIP, I saw a snippet of someone’s “Tradewinds” (Teresa Wentzler) WIP. I had forgotten about this piece, but knew immediately that I had to stitch it, and I needed to do so asap. So, I sourced a copy off of eBay for a song, and actually had everything I needed to kit it from my stash (I only had to supplement about 12 skeins of floss).

So here we are. And I am just enjoying it so much!

You know, though, I have always been one to enjoy a good nautical theme. And not just because it’s preppy or popular. When I think of nautical things, it just seems to be a part of my soul. I can’t explain it better than that. It just seems to be a part of who I am! Now that I live completely inland, I feel as if a part of myself is being starved. Is that weird to say? I have always wondered if there is a part of each of our DNA that draws us to food and experiences that reflect our heritage, as if our body needs it to flourish. Hmm…

It makes sense though. Part of my maternal family created the first commercial shipbuilding yard in post Revolutionary Connecticut! They built brigantines and schooners – some for river trading, and some for cross oceanic travel and trade. The industry and trade that sprang up in the area surrounding the shipbuilding community actually rivaled that of the New York and Boston harbors.

On a more interesting note, Privateering (and rum running!) sprang up as a prosperous career path out of this Connecticut industry as well. I read an article in an older DAR magazine that spoke about how, as a result of his father’s shipbuilding company, my ancestor operated as a privateer during the Revolution… At the tender age of 14! He would work in concert with other young men, not much older than he, commandeering British naval ships for use by the Colonialists in the war. Efforts like this are what helped our budding young nation to win the war, since we really had no navy of our own, certainly not to match the British. Anyway, my young ancestor was captured and imprisoned on the HMS Jersey in Walabout Bay (now where the Brooklyn Naval Yard is), where he stayed for quite some time. He was later booted off the side of the boat, covered in louse, and forced to walk home to his family in Connecticut. He is lucky to have survived, as the conditions aboard the Jersey were not conducive. I could give you many examples where my ancestors (thankfully) toughed it out!

Anyway, as in post more WIP pictures, I will try to find more stories of my family’s maritime history.

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