Meghan Markle’s Ancestor Helped Found Nantucket?

Hi, can anyone with the Nantucket Historical Association confirm the information in this article in Boston Magazine?

Dear Researcher,

The first Christopher Hussey (1598–1685) was indeed one of the purchasers (in 1659) of Nantucket Island. The purchase could be considered a “venture capital” enterprise undertaken by a group of English settlers living in the Merrimack Valley.  He never lived here, and ceded his land to his sons John and Stephen, who arrived ca. 1671 and settled here.

However, the “Christopher” Hussey credited with taking the first sperm whale (in 1711 or 1712) should be identified only as “a whaling captain named Hussey.” The only Christopher Hussey living on Nantucket at that time was born in 1706. The unidentified whaler was almost certainly a descendant of the first Christopher, but the exact lineage has not been detected, and we have been unable to discover the source of the original misidentification.

Also, that line at the end of the first paragraph mentions the “original male settlers,” but one of the names on the monument, John Swain Jr., was born five years after settlement. It was his grandfather, Richard Swain, who was a founding father. We don’t know how that happened in 1881.


Libby Oldham

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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