Archiver > LOWER-DELMARVA-ROOTS > 2004-12 > 1102984389

From: "Sharon and Jeff" <>
Subject: Re: [LDR] Sailor/Cap'n/Waterman
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 19:33:16 -0500
References: <200412132100.iBDL0VCX006290@lists5.rootsweb.com> <p05111a3dbde3cedf5122@[]>

Thanks Craig I am aware of the official definition of sailor I just had
never heard anyone in my family who" followed the water "referred to as a
sailor. Your response leads me to think my Great Grandfather James Mathew
Lewis Sr. may have been involved in broader pursuits than as oysterman.
----- Original Message -----
From: "craig o'donnell" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 6:06 PM
Subject: [LDR] Sailor/Cap'n/Waterman

> >While searching censsus records I find in the Hoopers Island area at the
>>same time a Lewis ancestor's occupation as Sailor and another listed as
>>oysterman and another as waterman. In the late 1800's was there any
>>difference? My Grandfather James Mathew Lewis jr. was Captain of the
>>skipjack Martha Lewis. Any input would be appreciated. Jeff Sarvey
> As an aside -- "Captain" is also a courtesy title for any boat
> owner/operator on the Chesapeake and I'm sure elsewhere (like the
> Mississippi). It doesn't really matter how large or small the vessel is.
> I'm just basing this on informed guesswork, but a Sailor was a seagoing
> man
> (US Navy, or in merchant vessels). An Oysterman would be a fella whose
> profession was catching oysters. I'm not sure that implies he owned a
> vessel and had a crew, or was a crew member, or owned his own skiff or
> canoe and went at it single handed.
> A "waterman" can mean many things and I'm at a loss. It may simply be the
> term he used to describe himself in the sense of "fisherman," he went
> after
> whatever was in season at the time.
> Or it could mean he was in the local freight trade, perhaps. The local
> boatmen on the Delaware River were early on referred to as "shallop men".
> Local delivery truck drivers, so to speak. We forget that a lot of local
> passenger and freight traffic went by relative small boats around the Bay.
> I hope someone has a better answer <chuckle>.
> --
> Craig O'Donnell
> Sinepuxent Ancestors & Boats
> <http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fassitt/>;
> The Proa FAQ <http://boat-links.com/proafaq.html>;
> The Cheap Pages <http://www.friend.ly.net/~dadadata/>;
> Sailing Canoes, Polytarp Sails, Bamboo, Chinese Junks,
> American Proas, the Bolger Boat Honor Roll,
> Plywood Boats, Bamboo Rafts, &c.
> _________________________________
> -- Professor of Boatology -- Junkomologist
> -- Macintosh kinda guy
> Friend of Wanda the Wonder Cat, 1991-1997.
> _________________________________
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> The Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society Online:
> http://www.rootsweb.com/~ldgs/

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