Home » Blog » DNA tests could bring Devon pirate home
DNA tests could bring Devon pirate home
Blackbeard, Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook are well known pirates, but another name should be added to this list: Black Sam Bellamy. Called the most successful pirate of all time, experts believe his remains have been found in a shipwreck in the Cape Cod peninsula in Massachusetts, USA. DNA tests are now being performed on his last descendant to prove if the bones really belong to the buccaneer.
Black Sam Bellamy, also known as Captain Samuel Bellamy, was an English pirate who operated in the early 18th century. Although his career as a pirate lasted little more than 1 year, he captured at least 53 ships, making him the wealthiest pirate in recorded history. The name of Black Sam derived from the way he tied back his long black hair instead of following the fashion at that time of wearing a powdered wig. Pirates are often known for their ruthlessness but Black Sam has been likened to the Robin Hood of the pirate world. He seemed to avoid violence and became known for his mercy and generosity towards those he captured on his raids. He was only 28 years old when he died.
US author Casey Sherman knew that Black Sam originated from Hittisleigh in Devon and started calling everyone he could find with links to the area with the same last name as the pirate. He eventually found 33-year-old Simon Bellamy from Wellington in Somerset. As the last in the bloodline of Black Sam, Mr Bellamy has volunteered his DNA for comparison against the remains found in the shipwreck. Before being contacted by Mr Sherman, he’d had no idea about his ancestral links to Black Sam. He has since researched his famous ancestor.
“I’ve been speaking to Casey for the past few months and the story of Black Sam is fascinating. He seemed like he was quite the character”, said Mr Bellamy. “It’s more than 300 years since his death and this is meant to be one of the archaeological discoveries of the decade so it is exciting to potentially play a small role in it.”
A mouth swab containing the DNA will now be analysed. Results should be announced in a month as to whether the bones belong to Black Sam.
“Once we determine if it is the captain we want to bring the bones back to the UK so he can be buried with his family. He spent 300 years in the shipwreck, in the sea, it’s time to bring him home”, said Mr Sherman.
Share this page
Your test is in safe hands
Established in August 2004, AlphaBiolabs is an award winning DNA Paternity, Drug and Alcohol Testing Laboratory.
We provide testing to the legal profession, corporations and members of the public.
It looks like you are in the United States. Click here to view our US website.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.
Set by Google to distinguish users.
Provided by Google Tag Manager to experiment advertisement efficiency of websites using their services.
Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.
This cookies are used to collect analytical information about how visitors use the website. This information is used to compile report and improve site.
This is a unique anonymous session identifier cookie set by Microsoft Application Insights software to gather statistical usage and telemetry data for apps built on the Azure cloud platform.
A unique user identifier cookie, set by Microsoft Application Insights software, that enables counting of the number of users accessing the application over time.
Vimeo installs this cookie to collect tracking information by setting a unique ID to embed videos to the website.