Heather and Kerry Young
Kerry and I are respectively, 7th generation descendants of Bounty Mutineers Edward Young and Fletcher Christian.
Midshipman Edward Young (also known as Ned) was born circa 1762 at St. Kitts. He died of natural causes on 25 December 1800 on Pitcairn. According to information in the Manx Museum, 'Ned' Young was possibly born in Peel, on the Isle of Man, but the more common belief is that he was born at St. Kitts in the West Indies of an English father and a West Indian mother. He is said to have been a nephew of Sir George Young, but the official records of the Young family do not support this. Because of his involvement in the mutiny, however, he could have been disowned by the family, and 'purged' from the family records. It seems more than likely though that Ned was Young’s illegitimate offspring.
Edward Young - HMAV Bounty
Young is said to have been Christian's ‘best friend’ on the Bounty, and his first co-conspirator. More recent historians infer that Young played a far more active role in the Mutiny than he has been previously credited with. Described by Bligh as 'well-educated, well-recommended, the look of an able, stout seaman’ he was also said to have ‘fallen short of what his appearances promise’. Intelligent and gracious in manner with ‘a dark complexion with rather a bad look', Young is said to have been extraordinarily popular with the Bounty women (not unlike Kerry I might add). He was only 5 feet tall (the smallest Bounty crewman), but very strong and was tattooed with a heart with a 'dart through it, and 'E:Y' and date 1788 or 1789.Young had relationships with several of the Polynesian women who settled on Pitcairn with the mutineers, these include Teraura, Toofaiti and Mauatua - Christian’s true love - and eventual widow. Whatever the nature of Young and Christian’s friendship it broke down after the mutiny. On Pitcairn, Young formed a close friendship with mutineer, John Adams (aka Alexander Smith), with whom he lived as neighbour, sharing possessions and women as they saw fit. These two are said to have had the most even-handed attitude toward the Polynesian and there is continued suspicion that Young knew of, and perhaps encouraged, the Polynesian men and women to kill the remaining mutineers. The fact that he took up with Mauatua after Christian’s death may well add credence to this argument.
Mauatua, also known as Mainmast, Maimiti and Isabella was born before 1764 in Tahiti and died on 14 September 1841. Mauatua and Fletcher Christian formed a close bond whilst the Bounty was anchored in Tahiti. From June 16th 1789, Christian became her ‘married’ name and the couple had 3 children:
• Thursday October Christian 1790 - 1831
• Charles Christian 1792 - 2nd Jan 1842
• Mary Anne Christian 1793 - 1866
I am a direct descendant of Christian’s second son Charles who married Sully (Sarah)
a Tahitian who journeyed to Pitcairn with the mutineers. Several generations later, my great grandfather,
Henry Mingus, an American of German ancestry, married Nancy Jane Christian on Norfolk Island.
Fletcher Christian - HMAV Bounty
• Edward Young b. c 1796, d. 6th Nov 1831
• Dorothy Young b. 179, d. 24th Apr 1863
• James Young b. 1799, d. 1806
Kerry is a direct descendant of Young’s first son, Edward. Kerry’s father Clarence Young was born on Pitcairn in 1925 and lived here for many years before travelling to NZ, where he met and married Patricia Wynn.
By 1855, Pitcairn’s population had grown to nearly 200, and the island, with only 88 acres of flat land,
could no longer sustain its people. As a result Queen Victoria bequeathed them Norfolk Island,
a former penal colony more than 3,700 miles to the west.
On May 3, 1856, the entire population of 194 people reluctantly abandoned Pitcairn. Within 18 months, however, seventeen of the immigrants returned to Pitcairn, followed by another four families in 1864. Kerry’s forebears returned to Pitcairn at this time, whilst mine opted to stay on Norfolk.
So, there you have it – Kerry and I have been linked to this incredible island through 7 generations. Pitcairn is our ‘home in the world’ and we plan for Big Flower to be here for another 7 generations.