About Baylus

Professional Research & Maritime Historian, Author, & Conservator

St. Catherine’s Parish Cathedral Church in Spanish Town—the church that the Thache family worshiped in...

Baylus C. Brooks was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Early in life, he studied family history, owing to his grandfather’s influences as the family historian. He had begun this interest at the age of sixteen and two years later, his family moved to Florida. He went with them and had remained there, on and off, for twenty-six years. There, he attended Lake City Community College (now called “Gateway”), graduated with honors, and then the University of Florida in Gainesville, studying physics.

Baylus worked at many odd jobs, few of them having to do with physics— there was that brief stint as a Van de Graff assistant—including as an artist and stained glass painter, designer, manufacturer, and installer for six years—yes, as they say, a one-man operation!

In 2005, after some health issues, Baylus remarried and moved back to North Carolina. A friend suggested that he return to school and he then found the pirates! Applying at East Carolina University in 2008 to obtain a bachelor’s degree in—yes, this time, American History! He had always loved history and he finally came back to it. He graduated and applied for the Maritime Studies Program as well.

Today, Baylus studies maritime & colonial history, also archaeological and paper conservation, drawing upon a love of both science and history. His focus is North Carolina history and, of course, pirates! Brooks published a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the historical sci-fi novel, Heirloom: Fountain of Hope. His publication on the Hatteras Indians of North Carolina can be found in the April 2014 issue of the North Carolina Historical Review, titled "John Lawson's Indian Town on Hatteras Island, North Carolina." Recently, he began to explore the life of Edward Thache, the legendary pirate "Blackbeard" from newly discovered records that tell of the pirate’s aristocratic life on Jamaica.

He has an article on Blackbeard's genealogy—which has definitely made some waves (punny):

“ ‘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. This article received so much attention that the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources saw fit to republish it as Blackbeard Reconsidered: Mist’s Piracy, Thache’s Genealogy and made it available on Amazon.com as a print book and on Kindle!

His book on the same subject, Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World, has been released as of September 2016.

He previously published Heirloom: Fountain of Hope while still living in Florida and has worked on genealogical publications for many years, designing and publishing his own, including the cover art.

Heirloom has also been made available as a Kindle book on Amazon.com and been included in the huge database at Google Books.

Baylus has studied North Carolina’s Lower Cape Fear in intense detail for his first five years at East Carolina University. In 2010, he completed an Honors Research Thesis on the subject and became quite familiar with the “Family,” a group of varied aristocrats, mostly from South Carolina and often compared to a modern-day “syndicate,” who began the port of Brunswick Town on the Cape Fear River. There were quite a few illegal land grants issued with the surveyor-general’s name attached, a London aristocrat named Edward Moseley. Let’s just say that Baylus and Colonial North Carolina statesman, “Family” member, and redeemers’ favorite Moseley won’t be at any of the same parties in the near future—except perhaps in a literary sense!

The modern port of Wilmington, North Carolina came about as opposition to the “Family’s” illegal enterprise only a few years later under controversial and bellicose Governor George Burrington. As his patron Thomas Pelham Holles, duke of Newcastle might have said, “the right man for the job!”

Baylus is also currently working on researching and writing Edward Moseley’s biography, titled Edward Moseley and His “Family”: Defining North Carolina. So, it can be said that Baylus has spent a lot of his academic career focused on pirates, land and sea!

Owing to the unusual approach to pirate history invigorated by Baylus’ stumbling upon the Thache family records—well, you can see where this is going—Baylus decided to explore the genealogical background of pirates. Supposedly, as David Cordingly inferred, there has traditionally been nothing available on the history of the pirates beyond what Capt. Charles Johnson—I mean, Nathaniel Mist—wrote in 1724. These men did not just walk out from behind a curtain on a stage. Where were they from?

With that question in mind, Baylus probed his genealogical resources and brain to come up with his next book idea, Dictionary of Pyrate Biography, sure to be a must-buy for the home pirate’s bookshelf!

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