Despite what the history books claim, a Raleigh, N.C., author claims that Blackbeard and many of his henchmen weren't rogue Englishmen, but sons of North Carolina landowners.
Historical accounts contend that the notorious pirate known as Edward Teach or Thatch was from Bristol, England. But Kevin P. Duffus said his review of archives and genealogical research indicates that Blackbeard was probably Edward Beard, son of a landowner in Bath in Beaufort County. The writer also claims that several of Blackbeard's crew members were not hanged as earlier accounts said and at least three returned to North Carolina to respectable - and wealthy - lives.
Duffus admits he doesn't have conclusive proof of his assertions, but he thinks they are more plausible than versions that have been around for generations. Most accounts of Blackbeard's early years stem from references by Capt. Charles Johnson in "A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates (sic)," an 18th-century best-seller.
"Edward Teach was a Bristol man born," he wrote. But Duffus says there is no documentation of a Teach or Thatch in Bristol, and no one knows for sure who Johnson was or where he obtained his information.
You can read more at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/bal-te.blackbeard17may17,0,2327308.story.
***The above article is taken from today's EOGN. Many thanks for permission to reprint. - cbh