Professional Research & Maritime Historian, Author, & Conservator

Jane Teache of Kingston, Jamaica

Pirate Biographies– Jane Teache

While the preceding passage appears in Quest for Blackbeard, the genealogies of various pirates will be explored in similar depth in Brooks’ Dictionary of Pyrate Biography, currently in the planning stages.

Brooks has over 35 years of experience in genealogical research, has worked as a professional genealogist, and lately studied in the Maritime Studies Program at East Carolina University as a professional historian.

His peer-reviewed article, “ ‘Born in Jamaica of Very Creditable Parents’ or ‘A Bristol Man Born’? Excavating the Real Edward Thache, ‘Blackbeard the Pirate’ “ in the July issue of North Carolina Historical Review includes the genealogy of the most famous pirate of them all! It’s expanded upon in Quest.

Webpage designed by Baylus C. Brooks—Copyright 2015-2017 Baylus C. Brooks

All Rights Reserved





Jane was a slave of local planter William Tyndall/Tindale who lived in the lower part of St. Andrew's Parish that became Kingston in July 1692. Kingston, early on, had become a refuge for displaced citizens of Port Royal after the earthquake and tsunami of that summer.

The reason that we know of Jane is because of the child that she bore, and the grandchild by that child, two known mixed-race descendants of Cox Thache, the oldest half-brother of
Edward "Blackbeard" Thache. There may have been many other children that may never have appeared in christening records, for those that did only appeared at much later dates than their births, presumably for another reason rather than to simply record their existence.

Cox Thache was born 8 Jul 1700 in St. Catherine’s Parish, in the old capital of
St. Jago de la Vega or "Spanish Town" as the English called it after they took Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655. He was probably named for local assemblyman Thomas Cox who argued for preserving Port Royal following the attempt to abandon that port town due to a hurricane in 1703. This storm, following just a decade after the devastating earthquake of 1692 almost spelled the port's final doom. Thomas Cox and Dr. William Axtell were not successful in keeping Port Royal as the main port of entry in that part of Jamaica, but they did help it to survive until this very day. Their arguments were at least partly heeded. 

Cox Thache may have been favored by Thomas Cox - perhaps a godfather (his sister Rachel's godfather was Dr. Thomas Stuart, also of Spanish Town who deeded Rachel a slave girl named "Sabina" when she was only a year old). Cox never appeared on documents naming his sister and brother Thomas, nor their niece Elizabeth, who was about the same age as them and raised by their mother Lucretia in the Thache family home. Elizabeth is most likely the daughter of Edward "Blackbeard" Thache!

Cox may have apprenticed at an early age to an artilleryman and later became the captain of artillery in nearby Kingston. Author Charles Leslie had likely met Cox Thache and referred to him in a letter to Charles Leslie in which he also mentioned his mother and brother "Blackbeard," probably not long after his death in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina on 22 Nov 1718 and probably around the time of Cox's entry into his new captaincy.

Here, in Kingston, Cox met Jane at least by 1721. The next year, she gave birth to a baby girl and Cox was named as the father. They, or perhaps he, more accurately, named the child "Lucretia," after his mother in Spanish Town. Young Lucretia was not christened by the Kingston Parish Church that year. This was not because of no recording being done that year. Most records began there the same year, in 1722. Her christening occurred when she was 24 years old, after the death of Jane's master William Tindale in 1734 and Cox Thache's death in 1737 - on 2 Jan 1746. At that time, Jane was still bound to Tindale's estate.








Lucretia may have had a brother, or Blackbeard, who also lived in Kingston, may have had a son, for on 24 Feb 1730, a "John Teach" was buried in Kingston. His race is not mentioned and he is presumed to be white:


















The next year, a "mulatto" Mary "Teatch" was born in St. Catherines Parish and may have been the daughter of either Cox or his brother, mariner Thomas Thache with a slave, possibly one of their own. Another black "Lucretia Theach" of St. Catherines Parish was born ca 1706 and christened in 1753, but she appears to be primarily a Jamaican of African ancestry and most likely was the daughter of one of the Thache family's own slaves, simply named for the matriarch of the Jamaican Thache family whose husband Edward had died that same year.

Cox did not remain in Kingston. He returned to the home place after only ten years service as an artillery captain. Fort Augusta, designed to protect Kingston, was not yet constructed. This fort was on the St. Catherine's coast, on the west side of Kingston Harbor. Although it had at least one unnamed "captain of the train of artillery" stationed there, it could not have been Cox, for he died three years earlier in 1737.

Just one year after her christening, on 18 Jan 1747, Cox's 25-year-old daughter Lucretia "Teach" gave birth to a baby boy named "Jonathan," the son of John Parkinson. He was christened the following 30 Dec 1748. 

At this time, Jane was still bound to Tindale's estate in Kingston. Cox had returned to the family estate by 1737, but apparently he did not take his slave consort Jane, for he did not list her in his will, made no provision for her manumission, nor did he do the same for his daughter Lucretia - the one he named for his mother. He did leave instructions that a "Negro Man Slave Joe" be manumitted after the death of his own mother, Lucretia, which occurred in 1743. But, no mention of his daughter, the possible son, or the woman who bore them.












Jane apparently lived a long life there in Kingston, but the “Jane” found in later records are surprisingly not for the same woman. This Jane was a generation younger than the latter one. We have no other sources to date concerning what happened to the mother Jane, slave of William Tindale. Still, the younger Jane, possibly a sister or slave of Cox (Edward died in 1718, 4 years before her birth), gained her freedom. On 10 Apr 1787, at the age of 65, Jane "Teache" was buried in the "Negro Burying Ground" on the west end of Kingston. She was also listed as a "free Negro woman," interestingly, not as "mulatto." This Jane would be almost exactly the same age as Cox’s daughter Lucretia, maybe the same person, or another. It's hard to tell. It is evident that her location of Kingston probably pairs her to Cox Thache.








































Portion of Hay's map of Kingston (1745) showing the "Negro Burying Ground"


Consequently, whereas the Thache men died young and apparently left no surviving male heirs, the matrilineal blood of Edward "Blackbeard" Thache and his family may still course in the veins of the Jamaicans of African ancestry today.

Read more about the family of Edward "Blackbeard" Thache and the world in which he lived in the book
Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World, to be released around the beginning of January 2016. 

Also, look for the article:
“ ‘Born in Jamaica of Very Creditable Parents’ or ‘A Bristol Man Born’? Excavating the Real Edward Thache, ‘Blackbeard the Pirate’ “ in the July issue of
North Carolina Historical Review!


RSS Feed Widget

Baylus’ Blog: