Notes from the past…

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Blacksheep Sunday: Crist Hays Carrico

ChrHCarricoThe story of my second great-grandfather Crist Hayes Carrico is a very sad one indeed. Once a prominant civil engineer employed by the railroads, Crist Carrico died a grisly death on a dark and lonely country road.

His once-respected life had devolved into that of the “town drunk”, a lost soul.

At the time of his death, Crist Carrico was divorced from my second great-grandmother and estranged from his only child, my great-grandmother Marie Stanley. When I began my genealogical research, my aunt tossed this photo onto my notebook and when I asked who this very distinguished-looking gentleman was, she stated, “That’s MaMaw Stanley’s father.” When I asked more about him, she said he died in New Mexico…and that was it. Basically, he was a non-person to our family.

But I was immediately intrigued. What could this man have possibly done that was so bad that, in the eyes of my family, he essentially never existed to begin with?

Well, after a few years of looking and the aid of a wonderful RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) volunteer, I had a few answers:

  1. Crist Hays Carrico was never accepted by his in-laws. Apparently he was never “good enough” for the daughter of a highly-respected local surgeon and Civil War veteran.
  2. He divorced the daughter of said highly-respected local surgeon and Civil War veteran.
  3. He became the “town drunk” and died a horrible death, directly related to alcoholism:

Carrico, Crist H.-1a  8-1-1941HNS

When I received these newspaper clippings, I tried to get Crist Carrico’s death certificate. It was apprently misfiled somewhere, as I have been unable to locate it at either the local or the state archives.

Recently, the FamilySearch Record Search site added the New Mexico Death Records 1889-1945 collection to its site. And here is Crist Carrico’s record:

Name: Crist Hollah Carrico
Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Death date: 01 Aug 1941
Death place: Hobbs, Lea, New Mexico
Gender: Male
Race or color (on document):
Race or color (expanded):
Age in years: 68
Estimated birth year: 1873
Marital status:
Spouse’s name: Hattie Mais
Spouse’s titles:
Spouse’s Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Father’s name:
Father’s titles:
Father’s Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Father’s birthplace:
Mother’s name:
Mother’s titles:
Mother’s Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Mother’s birthplace:
Street address:
Cemetery name:
Burial place:
Burial date:
Funeral home:
Informant’s name:
Additional relatives:
Film number: 1913313
Reference number: 3336
Collection: New Mexico Death Records, 1889 – 1945

Not much detail, and maybe whoever created this index was a drinking buddy of my second great-grandfather (just kidding :) , since the name was misspelled!)

My point is: first the index, later the actual images… maybe someday soon I will have Crist Hays Carrico’s death certificate!

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A letter to the Knights

Last night I stumbled onto the Knights of Pythius website. What’s a “Knights of Pythius”, you say?

The Order of Knights of Pythias is an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, established in 1864 in Washington, DC, by Justus H. Rathbone and was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an Act of Congress.knight_horse-p

The Fraternal Order of Knights of Pythias and its members are dedicated to the cause of universal peace. Pythians are pledged to the promotion of understanding among men of good will as the surest means of attaining Universal Peace. We believe that men, meeting in a spirit of goodwill, in an honest effort of understanding, can live together on this earth in peace and harmony.

My third great-grandfather Dr Nathan Blunt Kennedy was a member in good standing of the Knights of Pythius. Lodge 48 of Hillsboro, TX even conducted his funeral in 1897. knights1

The obvious next logical step was to contact the Knights of Pythius to see if they might have any information on Dr Kennedy. And the Knights are apparently very willing to help with genealogical research:
“Although there is no central registry of deceased members, If you are interested in genealogical information, please use the “Ask Us a Question” link, and we will do our best to direct you to someone who may be able to help.”

So this morning I sent an email to the Knights. I am very fortunate because I have really been able to find a great deal of information on Dr Kennedy, including many original documents and even a photograph of the good doctor and his wife. I have a pretty clear timeline of the events of his life. From those documents I have learned that his association with the Knights of Pythius was very important to him, so any information that they could provide would certainly reveal even more about this man’s life and legacy.