Family History

About the Captain- Family history on the Georgia coast past to present

Hi! I’m Capt. Jack McGowan, a Savannah native, eighth generation on the Georgia coast.
Since childhood I have had a passion for the out of doors and in particular for fishing just like my grandfather, Raymond Clancy.

My initiation into hunting was with my dad’s good friend Noble Jones. Noble was an excellent deer hunter. It was with Noble that I got a taste of the hunting. Nonetheless, I always knew I was a fisherman at heart. This is true even more so today!

Hunting is a great sport. Nowadays, most of my time today is spent in pursuit of creatures with scales and fins. My thoughts and feelings regarding guiding are the same as the well known guide from the Keys, Flip Pallot, ” a nice way to spend a life!”

My father, John McGowan, was one of the key players in the founding and development of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Dad achieved the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II and was the Port Director of Eniwetok.

My mother, Mary Clancy, was born and raised in Darien . During my mother’s childhood Darien was a burgeoning shrimping community. Despite the glamor of the shrimping industry Mom desired to get out of Darien as quickly possible. She was reputed to be one of the prettiest and brightest girls in town. As the World War II was winding down in 1945, she and my Dad were married in San Francisco.

My uncle, William McGowan, was Executive Director emeritus Savannah Ports Authority. During World War II Bill commanded an LST ( tank landing ship) in the Pacific Theater and achieved the rank of lieutenant commander.

My grandfather, Raymond Clancy, from Darien, Georgia was involved in the timber business. He was also co-owner of Rock Island, a small ballast island off the coast of Darien. A little cottage on Rock Island served as a fishing getaway for family and friends. Granddad was known an avid sportsman and for his wonderful sense of humor. He worked for a brief time with the Tide Water Commission now known as the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Long before there were guides on the coast, Granddad Clancy would take dignitaries on fishing and hunting excursions.

My great grandfather on my mother’s side, Capt. James T. Clancy, one of the original bar pilots for the port of Darien, Sapelo Sound, Doboy Sound and the bars, inlets and rivers of said port. Darien from approximately 1860 to 1910 was one of the leading ports exporting Georgia pine to ports in America and in Europe. Capt. James Clancy was a bar pilot for twenty years between 1871 and 1891. Before settling in Darien, James Clancy was a major in the Union Army from Dresden, Maine. James Clancy married Mary Blount. The Blounts were one of the oldest families in Georgia. Mary Blount was the great granddaughter of Capt. Mark Carr. Capt. Mark Carr was a British regular and his duties were to patrol the inland passage from South Carolina to St. Augustine. Lt. Noble Jones was Carr’s assistant an ancestor of my father’s friend and contemporary bearing the same name, Nobel Jones.

Today I am one of the most active full time fishing guides on the Georgia coast. Life has a serendipitous way of coming back to where things began.

In essence, I am plying the same water my great grandfather “eight generations” removed worked in 1738.

My desire is to share this enjoyment with you! God Bless!

Capt. Jack McGowan