Category Archives: Essex Shipbuilding Museum

Ancestors at Sea

whale boat

Did your ancestors work  the sea? What immigrant ship did your ancestors arrive on?  Tell family stories with accuracy to detail, with a visit to a nautical museum or website. Here are some places to begin your voyage of discovery, the family stories from the sea.

The whale boat above, is an image from Mystic Seaport, in Mystic, Connecticut.  A visit to the seaport is always a treat and an educational wonder. If you can’t make the trip, check out their extensive website. The website includes an educational portal that will help you learn about voyages, people, ships logs, passenger lists, and equipment, use this information to bring realism to your story.

Sails in Sun

The Mystic Seaport; Museum of America and the Sea website: ( in the direction bar at the top of the site “Learn” will open the educational portal)


Mystic Seaport is home to the Charles W. Morgan the last wooden whaling ship. The Morgan was recently restored and went to sea on an educational voyage. The home port of the Morgan was New Bedford, Mass. They have a wonderful museum as well, they endeavor to tell the story of the whaling industry, from ship to shore. They also have an archival library for the research enthusiast.


Are you possibly a Mayflower Society member? Does your family tree trace directly back to the passengers on the Mayflower? If so you will want to make a visit to Plimouth Plantation and the Mayflower. A web link will help you plan your adventure;



Here is the Mayflower in dry dock for repairs, the winter of 2015 at Mystic Seaport. She went home for the summer/fall tourist season and will return, for completion of her rebuild, during the 2015-16 winter.  If you believe your family was on the Mayflower here is the link to the passenger list from the voyage to the New World!


Your family stories may be a more current vintage. Be sure to learn as much as you can about the connection to the sea. Ships names, jobs while at sea, voyage dates, storms on the journey. Military action seen during the voyage. Whatever the family relationship was ask these three questions to get your family story started:

1.) What was happening in the world, and at sea during the time my family member was connected to the sea?

2.) What role did my family member play while at sea? ( passenger, military, slave, crew, fishing)

3.) What was the port of entry, or home port of my family story?

Battleship Cove, in Fall River, Mass. can help your military story!



Lobster traps

As a teen my father helped on a Lobster boat, they sailed out of Rye, New Hampshire. He had many memories of the hard work and good friends he had there. Luckily, I can still talk to those who lobster out of Rye. I can discover what the work is like and savor the fresh catch, at the end of the day!

I have other blog posts related to the sea, for more information you might look at these:


Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope you share it or return to find out more about Family Stories!

Where do Fish Stories Come From?

Where do Fish Stories Come From?

         Where do fish stories come from? How do we find the vehicle to tell a story and make it compelling for the listening experience.  I am a performance storyteller for all ages, my current project is for a curriculum guided school based program. Whose voice should the story represent and what message do I need… Continue Reading