ONE of the most notorious pirates in the history of seafaring came from Stonehouse, according to new research.

The father of Edward Thache, better known as Blackbeard, was born in Stonehouse and had family in the area, claims Baylus Brooks, an American maritime historian and genealogist in his new book Quest for Blackbeard.

Parish records appear to show that Edward Thache senior was born in Stonehouse on June 14, 1659, and was baptized two weeks later at St Cyr’s Church.

Blackbeard’s grandfather, the Rev Thomas Thache, was the rector at the church and had a wife called Rachel.

Edward Thatche senior is believed to have moved to Bristol where he married Elizabeth.

They had two children, Blackbeard and Elizabeth, claims Mr Brooks.

The research has been put together with help from members of Stonehouse History Group.

Darrell Webb, from the history group, said: "Stonehouse History Group were pleased to help supply Baylus a small amount of information about the Thatch family who lived in Stonehouse.

"We are very intrigued and pleased that his investigations seem to point to a link between the famous pirate Blackbeard and a Reverend of St Cyr's."

Blackbeard, who is said to have operated around the West Indies and Britain’s North American colonies, is remembered as one of the most notorious pirates, known for his long black beard which made him appear even more frightening.

After a lawless career, he is believed to have been killed in a final battle near Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, by the Royal Navy in November, 1718.