For Lt. J.G. Lloyd Mustin, serving in the United States Navy is a family affair. He is the eighth generation in his family to serve in the Navy – and it all began with Commodore Arthur Sinclair, his fifth-great-grandfather.
Mustin, fire control officer on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Stout in Norfolk, Virginia, shared: “Growing up, I’d always heard stories about him… I always knew that he was in Norfolk, but no one ever knew where he ended up.”
Mustin performed a Web search on the grave of his ancestor, and traced it to a record for the Cedar Grove Cemetery. As luck would have it, the cemetery is a 10-minute walk from his house. It is filled with graves from the early 19th century, and many of the tombstones were barely legible. He shared: “You get this overwhelming sense of history when you’re standing in there.”
Of finding his ancestor’s grave, Mustin shared: “I just felt extremely connected looking down at my great-grandfather’s grave and thinking about how much the Navy has changed throughout the years… The times when I think, ‘This is extremely difficult,’ or deploying and being away from family for so long, thinking about what the sailors in that era underwent makes everything that I complain about seem minuscule.”
Commodore Arthur Sinclair joined the Navy when he was about 12 years old. He served on the frigate Constellation during a famous engagement with the French frigate L’Insurgente, which ended in the first American capture of a foreign vessel, in 1799. He also served in the Great Lakes campaign against the British in the War of 1812.