"According to the official Disney website and the game based on the film series, Jack Sparrow, the son of Captain Grant Sparrow, was born in Colonial India and was once employed by the East India Trading Company. He helmed the Wicked Wench, an EITC merchant vessel, performing odd jobs for Cutler Beckett. When Jack refused to transport slaves and instead freed them in Africa, Beckett sanctioned the torching (and sinking) of the Wicked Wench, and literally branded Jack Sparrow a pirate. Jack came to embrace his outlaw status, becoming a successful pirate with no desire to return to life under the command of others. Later, Jack petitioned Davy Jones to raise his ship from the ocean floor. He rechristened her the Black Pearl."
See, now that clears a bunch O' things up for me.