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Commercial Sailing Vessels and The Beginning of Many Middlesex Family Names

Commercial Sailing Vessels and The Beginning of Many Middlesex Family Names

While Middlesex County’s location on the Chesapeake Bay, between two major rivers has made it a prime spot for recreational boaters from all over, it also made way for the freighting of commercial goods in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This led many local men to set off on sailing schooners, bugeyes, sloops and pungies. Middlesex County, more specifically Fishing Bay, also became safe haven for many sailors freighting goods to escape a storm. Some of these sailors had to extend their stays due to foul weather resulting in them heading ashore where many found the loves of their lives, and eventually dropped anchor in Middlesex County for good. Several Middlesex family surnames are thanks to these “detours”.

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Facebook User

My grandfather captained a schooner Virginia Carroll. If anyone has information on her I would love to see it.

Facebook User

Dad’s boat was the “Cecelia”. How could I find out what happened to it ?

Facebook User

there used to be a company named marine documentation services. If they are still in existence they may be able to help you.

John Davis

My great-uncle was the captain of the Virginia Carroll in 1940. I would love to get in touch with you to share information.

Facebook User

My great grandfather, Captain Filmore Ruark, grandfather, Captain Thomas Henry (Tom Henry) Ruark, The Maggie, my father, Captain Thomas Edmond Ruark owner of Columbia FC.

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My grandfather Captain Tom Johnston Schooner Maggie.

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Testing

Emma

In attempt to answer the commenters q’s re local nautical history..

You might search Google Books for the names of these boats and the ports they called home, example: “Rebecca Ruark” “Dogwood Harbor” or “skipjack Rebecca” “Tilghman Island”
like that, with multiple words in quotes… You could also search the old newspapers that have been digitized, through online services like Newsbank ( some universities or public libraries subscribe) or try the free alternative, which is the Library of Congress’ online database of digitized newspapers, called, Chronicling America at
chroniclingamerica (dot) loc (dot) gov
but remove the spaces and add actual dots.

You might also contact of the museums dedicated specifically to maritime history, like the Mathews Maritime Museum and ask them about more specific local resources.

It’s wonderful to see so many watermen’s descendants- you all should get together, at least each consider submitting an oral history so that what you know can be passed down, PLEASE. I believe the Mathews group takes those. Please help preserve awareness of this priceless heritage. Thanks for sharing what you have here!
In attempt to answer the commenters q’s re local nautical history..

You might search Google Books for the names of these boats and the ports they called home, example: “Rebecca Roark” “Dogwood Harbor” or “skipjack Rebecca” “Tilghman Island”
like that, with multiple words in quotes… You could also search the old newspapers that have been digitized, through online services like Newsbank ( some universities or public libraries subscribe) or try the free alternative, which is the Library of Congress’ online database of digitized newspapers, called, Chronicling America at
chroniclingamerica (dot) loc (dot) gov
but remove the spaces and add actual dots.

You might also contact of the museums dedicated specifically to maritime history, like the Mathews Maritime Museum and ask them about more specific local nautical resources. Of course the Middlesex Historical Society may also have great answers.

It’s wonderful to see so many watermen’s descendants- you all should get together, at least each consider submitting an oral history so that what you know can be passed down, PLEASE. I believe the Mathews group takes those. Please help preserve awareness of this priceless heritage. Thanks for sharing what you have here!

Last edited 1 year ago by Emma
Maxine Verlander Singley

My grandfather Captain “Eddie” Verlander sailed a schooner. (Richard Edward Verlander Sr.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Maxine Verlander Singley
John Davis

From the June 27, 1913 of the Virginia Citizen: “The schooner Hester A. Waters, which was blown ashore near the mouth of the Rappahannock last February, and Capt. T. F. Wright and family narrowly escaped being lost, has been renamed the Virginia Carroll. The vessel was rebuilt at H. R. Humphreys’ marine railway at Weems, and given the new name after a niece of the owner, Dr. C. D. Merchant, of Harmony Village, Va.” 

In April 1942, the captain of the Virginia Carroll was Henry Lawson Biscoe Davis, born at Biscoe, King and Queen County in 1893.

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