Mevagissey, in Cornwall UK, is home to one of the branches of my family tree - the LEY family, which is on my mother's side. Most of the men were coastguards, and today we would regard them as the 'good guys' - but way back when, they were often regarded more like spoilsports. Smuggling and wrecking were often viewed as a man's right - his right to feed his family.
The farthest back I have gone so far is Ralph LEY, who married Honour TONKYN on 17 August 1729 in Mevagissey (so he has recently celebrated his 281st wedding anniversary!). I do not have a document anywhere which states his occupation, but since his sons, his grandsons, and his great-grandsons were all coastguards, I think it is only a matter of time before my hypothesis becomes fact. The occupation of coastguard continues on through the family, even via the girls! Amanda Malvina LEY, my gg grandmother and daughter of a coastguard, married a man who became one, and had a son who became a coastguard as well...
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