Nantucket – Our Whaling Connections

Whaleboat conducts attach, while whaling vessel in background is "trying out" (rendering) blubber into oil. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Whaleboat conducts attack, while whaling vessel in background is “trying out” (rendering) blubber into oil. (Photo: Library of Congress)


Several family members of Mary Elizabeth Easton (1779-1838) were actively involved in Nantucket’s historic whaling activity.

Her great grandfather, Captain Daniel Paddack (1707-1743), was lost at sea with his crew while whaling in 1743.

Her grandfather, George Hussey (1738-1804) had ownership in at least two whaling vessels:  the Harlequin and the Mary Ann.   When we visited Nantucket in 2009, I found a copy of a bill of sale for a 1/16th interest in the Mary Ann -from George Hussey to his son-in law, Peleg Easton, Mary’s father in 1789, the same year that our US Constitution was ratified.  The handwritten document is interesting to read.   The ship was provisioned and ready for a “Whaling cruize to the Coast of the Cape of Good Hope” (southern horn of Africa).

More Information:

Whaling Museum in Nantucket










Background on Whaling

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket 2009 (3 of 9)

Harbor view – Nantucket

Our interest in Nantucket from a genealogical perspective is related to Ruth’s grandmother’s family.  Susan Hervey Wales‘ great grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Easton (1779-1838), the last person in this family line born on Nantucket.  She married John Gifford in Nantucket on 19 March 1817.

Mary Easton’s ancstors include three of the original purchasers (Tristram Coffin, Christopher Hussey and Thomas Macy) along with other early settlers, Nathaniel Starbuck and John Gardner.     One of her ancestral lines goes back to John Howland, one of the Mayflower passengers.   The Hussey family included whalers.   Many of  these ancestors were a part of the thriving Quaker community on Nantucket, including the dynamic leader, “lady of the island”,  Mary Coffin Starbuck (1645-1717).

More information on Mary Easton and her Nantucket story

Our family’s connections to Nantucket Whaling