I don't have any ancestors who were distillers, to the best of my knowledge, but here is an interesting tidbit about my ancestor, William Cowdery, who was one of the founders of what is now Wakefield, Massachusetts. William served as Town Clerk there for several decades. In 1654, the following order was issued by the General Court.

William Cowdery is empowered and ordered by the Court to sell wine of any sort, and strong liquors, to the Indians, as to his judgment shall seem most meet and necessary for their relief in just and urgent occasions, and not otherwise provided he shall not sell or deliver more than one pint to any one Indian at any one time upon any pretence whatever.

For better or worse -- mostly worse -- my ancestor apparently was one of the first European settlers to provide liquor to the native inhabitants, an enterprise that produced some pretty sad results, all things considered.

But there it is. Confession is good for the soul.