Samuel Black Leggett is my 4x great-grandfather, who I descend from through my grandfather William Llewellyn Bean, a branch of my tree well-connected to the ocean. He was born in Gorleston, Suffolk, England in April 1818 a parish separated from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk by the River Yare. He moved to Liverpool, Lancashire sometime between 1837 – 1840 where he married Alice Price Barker (1819 – 1898), his ventures took him to New York on many occasions and he continued as a Mariner well into his 70’s.
Not only was Samuel a Master Mariner, but he may also have been named after “Black Sam” Bellamy (1689 – 1717) or Captain Samuel Bellamy, “Prince of Pirates”, “Robin Hood of the Sea”.
Was Samuel Black Leggett related to a Pirate or was his father Henry Leggett (1778 – 1831) who was also a Mariner, just fascinated with the life of this man and so named his youngest son in honour of him.
I have a few reasons to believe that a family connection exists.
(i) The Leggett family used middle names associated with family members.
(ii) Samuel Black Leggett’s grandmother (wife of Charles Leggett) Sarah Hough Hewitt (1750 – 1794) was resident of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk at her time of marriage, her middle name Hough, pronounced the same as Howe is a surname connected to Black Sam Bellamy. Black Sam married a Mary Hallett (1701 – 1751) of Yarmouth, Massachusetts, who was a daughter of John Hallett (1650 – 1726) and Mary Howes (1657 – 1733). Mary Howes father Joseph Howes (1634 – 1695) was native of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk before he moved to help settle the new town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts which off cause is named after the original Norfolk seaside town.
(iii) Sarah Hough Hewitt’s surname is also very similar to Hallett or Heylett as it is also spelt. Mary Hallet’s (wife of Black Sam) grandfather Andrew Hallet (1607 – 1684) believed to be born in Symondsbury, Dorset, England, maybe also be related to Andrew HEYLET (b. 1618) of Palling, Norfolk, which is a parish next door to Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
The problem I have is no Baptism, I have searched everywhere ‘Family Search’, ‘Find My Past’, ‘Ancestry uk’, ‘Original Records’. The only clue I have is the use of names, and a witness of Charles Leggett’s marriage to Sarah Hough Hewitt on 26th October 1767 in Saint Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. His name is recorded as Thomas Hewitt, so he is either her brother or father.
Hewitt is a rare surname in Great Yarmouth, and only two other people are recorded Thomas Hewitt who married a Rose Basingthwait in 1742 and a William Hewitt. It is possible that Thomas is the father of Sarah Hough Hewitt and it also possible that Thomas was the son of a Samuel Haylett of Palling, Norfolk as a baptism exists for 1699.
My issue is the name ‘Rose Basingthwait’, as Rose is not a name that appears in the Leggett family tree.
Maybe Sarah Hough Hewitt was born in America and connected with those branches already mentioned, most of all Norfolk, England parish records are now online and if her baptism existed in that county it should be there. If not then it is either lost, not recorded or back to my original theory that she was an American settler and perhaps returned to England onboard a ship, mastered by Charles Leggett of Great Yarmouth. It would make sense to return to the parish her family originated from, that is, if Hough is meant to be Howe.
What ever the truth behind Samuel Black Leggett’s name, I’m sure it will be uncovered soon, if any of my American readers have access to American parish records, I would certainly appreciate a look up.