Notes from the past…


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Amanuensis Monday: The Murder of Pat Carroll

San Saba, Texas of the late 1800′s-early 1900′s was a wild and crazy place! So much so that the Texas Rangers were sent in to try to control the situation:

The “Mob Rule” was an unusual development, according to a report carried in the San Saba County Centennial Souvenir Program of 1956. Lawlessness began to get out of hand in the San Saba area in the 1880’s and an anti-mob organization was formed by citizens to combat it. After a while, factions developed in this organization and by 1896, the factions had lost sight of the original purpose of the organization, and were almost at open war with each other. The Texas Rangers were sent into the area to quell the trouble. Later, one of the rangers reported that the “Mob Rule” in San Saba County cost the lives of forty-three men.

My 2GGU Robert Augusta “Pat” Carroll was one of those victims. On 3 Mar 1906 he was shot and killed in a San Saba saloon by a local constable, who was later convicted of second-degree murder. The conviction was appealed all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.

At Google Books, I found the Southwestern Reporter, Volume 97, which contains all the current decisions (published in 1907) of the Supreme and Appellate Courts of Texas. An excerpt:

The theory of the state, which is supported by evidence, is to the effect that appellant had some grudge against deceased, and had made threats against him. On the night of the homicide the parties met at or near a clubhouse in the town of San Saba, and appellant and Yardley, his companion, made an attack on Pat Carroll (deceased), and in the fight which ensued they shot and killed deceased. Appellant’s theory was to the effect that he was constable of that precinct, and that the sheriff on that occasion was absent. There was a show in town that night, and he had been requested to look out, and keep down any trouble or breach of the peace, and that he summoned Yardley to assist him. That after the show he and his companions went to the clubhouse, and after sitting there awhile they left. The clubhouse seems to have been shut up at this time. The owner testified that he shut it up for the purpose of dispersing the crowd, so he and some of his companions could eat a lunch. Appellant and Yardley went off a short distance, and in a short time returned, as appellant testified, to participate in eating the lunch. After arriving there, they heard talking and cursing, and heard deceased say to someone, “God damn you, turn my gun loose.” That he then went out to where the parties were in a vacant lot near the clubhouse. When he got there, Jim Meachum had hold of Pat’s (deceased) gun. Appellant asked what was the matter, and they said, “Nothing.” Appellant said, “I want you to cut out that roaring.” Brown said he was not roaring, and Pat said, “I guess, by God, you are throwing that at me.” Appellant said “no.” Pat walked around at this, and raised his gun (a Winchester) and said, “Jim Meachum, you are the cause of this whole God damn business.” Pat said the officers had dragged him around until he was tired, and he was not going to be dragged around any more. Appellant told him to put his gun down, or he would throw him in jail. At this deceased said, “God damn you, I will kill you,” and raised his gun and fired. About the time deceased fired the second time, appellant got his pistol out and fired. Deceased’s second shot powder-burned appellant. Appellant shot four or five times, and Pat turned and ran off, fell near the sidewalk, where he shortly afterward expired.


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Last week’s research activities

I finally got a little bit of research done last week. I completed the work on my 2 GGA James William Carroll, even found an exciting little extra: his marriage announcement to Mary Katheryn Smythe from the 23 Dec 1892 edition of the San Saba (TX) News.

Chronicling America has numerous old newspapers, including The San Saba News!

As I discussed for Week 15′s 31WBGB task, here are my goals for the upcoming week:

  • Witness the Texas Rangers win 3 more games in the World Series and bring home THE TROPHY!
  • Research and document my findings for
  1. Amanda Carroll
  2. Harriett Ann Carroll
  3. Effie Bennett
  4. Robert Augusta Carroll
  5. Susan Ella Carroll
  • Complete the Week 16 task for 31WBGB, which has yet to be assigned.


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The Ancestors’ Geneameme

This one sounds really fun, as well as a great way to assess your research progress. Thanks, Geniaus and Randy!

The Ancestors’ Geneameme

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?
  1.  Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents- 14 out of 16 documented
  2.  Can name over 50 direct ancestors- Yup!
  3.  Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents- 5 (possibly 7) out of 8
  4.  Have an ancestor who was married more than three times- Oh, yeah! My great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett had 6 (and counting)!
  5.  Have an ancestor who was a bigamist- Not that I know of
  6.  Met all four of my grandparents- Yup
  7.  Met one or more of my great-grandparents- My 2 great-grandmothers, Mary Tennessee Turner and Marie Mistrot Carrico
  8.  Named a child after an ancestor- Not exactly…my oldest daughter is Sarah, because I like the name…later found out that there are several Sarah’s in the family tree, the closest is my 2nd GGM Sarah Sharpe Vance
  9.  Bear an ancestor’s given name/s- I am named after my great aunt Ruth Ann Starr
  10.  Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland- Suspicions….
  11.  Have an ancestor from Asia- Not yet
  12.  Have an ancestor from Continental Europe- More suspicions…
  13.  Have an ancestor from Africa- Not yet
  14.  Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer- Most of my 19th century ancestors where farmers in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Texas
  15.  Have an ancestor who had large land holdings- My Turner ancestors from DeKalb County, TN were prominent land-holders pre-Civil War
  16.  Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi- My 2nd great-granduncle Daniel Brevard Vance was an ordained Baptist minister
  17.  Have an ancestor who was a midwife-?
  18.  Have an ancestor who was an author-Yes, my 3rd GGF Nathan Blunt Kennedy was a published poet!
  19.  Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones- Several Smiths
  20.  Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng- Nope
  21.  Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X-Nope
  22.  Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z- My great-grandaunt Zora Belle Turner!
  23.  Have an ancestor born on 25th December- I actually have 4 ancestors born on Christmas Day!
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day- None…
  25.  Have blue blood in your family lines- A couple of folks who seemed to think they were royalty… :)
  26.  Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth- Nope
  27.  Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth- Nope
  28.  Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century- Yup, my earliest documented is 4th GGF Miles Chappell, born in 1790 in Amelia County, VA
  29.  Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier- Working on that…
  30.  Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents- Yup, from GGF Charles Arthur Rogers and GGM Dovie McBurnett
  31.  Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X- Nope
  32.  Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university- Several physicians in the family, including 3 GGF Nathan Blunt Kennedy (Tulane University School of Medicine, Class of 1860) and 2GGU Thomas Joshua Bennett (Tulane University School of Medicine, Class of 1883)
  33.  Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offense- If they ever caught him! My 2GGU James Bennett, Jr (brother of Thomas Joshua) was a documented murderer, horse thief and bank robber in 1880′s San Saba, TX and Wyoming and Montana.
  34.  Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime- My 2GGU Benjamin Bennett (James’ brother!) was murdered in Hobbs, New Mexico in 1930 and another 2GGU, Pat Carroll, was murdered in March, 1906 in San Saba, TX.
  35.  Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine (Tell us where)- Not yet…
  36.  Have published a family history online or in print (Details please)-Does this blog count?
  37.  Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries- No
  38.  Still have an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family- No
  39.  Have a  family bible from the 19th Century- I wish!
  40.  Have a pre-19th century family bible- I really wish!