After I found my great-great grandfather Crist H Carrico in the Online New Mexico Death Index, I then sent an email through the organization Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) to a researcher in Lea County, New Mexico. This very nice gentleman, David, immediately wrote me back with the name of the cemetery where my gggrandfather rests, as well as the exact location of the grave and the fact that it is unmarked. He then asked me if my gggrandfather was a veteran. It seems that David does a lot of research on Spanish-American War vets in New Mexico. He told me that if we could prove that my gggrandfather was a Vet, then the Veterans Administration would provide a headstone free of charge!
I don’t have a lot of info on Crist Carrico, but his 1930 US Federal Census enumeration does list him as a veteran of the Spanish-American War! How exciting! I have sent off for a copy of his death certificate: possibly with that I can contact the National Archives and maybe get his war record.
No one should be buried in an unmarked grave, to be forgotten about for all time! Perhaps we can rectify that situation with my gggrandfather.
Well, David has already broken down this long-standing brickwall for me. However, the next day I received another email from David, this one containing 3 NEWSPAPER ARTICLES dealing with the tragic death of Crist Hays Carrico!!!
As a read these articles, I was absolutely dumbfounded! My gggrandfather died a horrible, grisly death that was quite well documented and no one in my family seems to know anything about it! My great-grandmother is even mentioned in one of the articles (“… awaiting the arrival of a daughter Mrs. John Stanley…”).
I am on vacation this week, so one thing I plan to do is visit my grandmother and show her these articles. She has always denied knowing much of anything about Crist Carrico. I don’t think she’s been fibbing to me all this time. I think probably my great-grandmother never told anyone, more of that “black sheep” stigma again.
I just wonder what could have happened in the life of my great-great grandfather that changed him from that handsome and distiguished-looking gentleman, once a railroad engineer, in the photo to a drunk man wandering down the road in the middle of the night in search of the next bar, only to be run over and killed…
Many, many thanks to David from RAOGK for all his kind assistance. I am also a RAOGK volunteer, and people like David make me very proud to be one!