Your link on Owen Fitzpen, an English merchant taken captive by Barbary pirates in the 1500s, was very fascinating.
MitchellC- I thought the NC Ping list might appreciate this tie to NC history.
While looking for Owen Fitzpen's grandson who was mentioned in the above link, James Thigpen, who "would be the first of his direct descendants to settle in America, this time to North Carolina." I found a geneology link for James Thigpen IV, born 1710 in Perquimans Co, NC, who married Mary Penelope 'Penny' Hill.
That led to his father, James III, born 15 Dec 1687 in Perquimans Co.
James Jr., born 9 Oct 1664 in Albemarle, Stanly, NC.
James Thigpen, born Abt 1627, Ireland
Penny Hill is a real town in current day Pitt County, NC..
Interesting stuff which, I suppose, also makes me a distant relative of the Kennedy's matriarch Rose Fitzgerald.