Pirates, Privateers, and Rebel Raiders of the Carolina Coast by Lindley S. Butler
Chapter Four - Otway Burns, The Snap Dragon Sweeps the Western Atlantic, page 73-94 A couple of excerpts below:
"Otway Burns was drawn to the water as a youth. In the local ports of Swansboro and nearby Beaufort, in Carteret County, he became a seaman, mastering the skills necessary to become a merchant captain and sailing along the east coast as far north as Maine. He married his cousin Joanna Grant, who required him to sign a prenuptial property agreement, on 6 July 1809 and the following year moved to Swansboro, where Joanna gave birth to a son, Owen, who would prove to be Burns's only child."
Butler goes on to write, "In the summer of 1814 he was nearly forty years old, his health was temporarily impaired, and he had returned from his third cruise to an empty house. His wife Joanna had left him in January and taken his son Owen to live with her relatives in neighboring Jones County. By September she had died, leaving their son in the care of her family, and five years passed before father and son were reunited when Burns gained custody through legal guardianship. In December 1814 Burns married twenty-year-old Jane Hall of Beaufort, and the following April he purchased a lot of Front Street in Beaufort and built a home, which was the Burns residence for the next two decades." Read more. . .
This small quaint seaport has roots back to April 7, 1730 when Isaac and Jonathan Green Sr. purchased from Ebenezer Harker "a certain plantation and track of land containing by estimation 441 acres situate lying and being in ye Carterett in ye county of province of aforsaid being ye west side of ye mouth off White Oak River." By 1771 Theophilus Weeks started a town on his plantation, laying out a plat and selling lots. Formerly known as Bogue, Week's Point, The Wharf and New Town, the town was officially designated by the North Carolina General Assembly on May 6, 1783. Above photo courtesy Jack Dudley . Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute . North Carolina State Archives.