Notes from the past…


Mr Stanley Goes To Washington!

Well, not the flesh and blood Mr Stanley, but the testimony of my second great-grandfather Miles Francis Stanley did make it all the way to the United States Supreme Court!

As long as I have been doing genealogy, I still get so tickled when I make a new discovery! Such a rush!

I have begun to review my 2GGF Stanley’s file. As I always do when I research a person, I plug that name into Google to see what’s out there. You never know. So this afternoon, I did just that, but didn’t find anything new.

Then I went to Google Books, to see what I could find. My 2GGF was a County Commissioner in Hill County, Texas in the late 1890′s, so as a public person, perhaps I might find mention of him or his political activities in some old book.

Well, guess what I found: Miles F Stanley testified on behalf of a women whose husband, a local physician, was killed in a gunfight in 1905 Texas, for Heaven’s sake!

From Cases and points of the Supreme Court of the United States, printed in 1908:

The good doctor had a $20,000 life insurance policy, which the insurance company refused to honor upon due notification of his death. Apparently this case went all the way from the local Hill County jurisdiction to the Dallas, Texas District Appeals Court and then onto the United States Supreme Court!

Wow, this is great! (Sorry, you gotta hear how my daughter pronounces “great”. More like “gg-rr-aa-tt-e”, spoken in a low, flat, sarcastic voice.)

This article came from the 27 Jun 1905 edition of the Dallas Morning News (via GenealogyBank). I’m trying to read through all of the legalese of the court case, but apparently Dr F B Maner and E E Griffin got into an extended argument, possibly over Dr Maner’s alleged abuse of a woman. The argument escalated to violence and a shoot-out ensued, with Dr Maner being killed by E E Griffin. This occurred in downtown Itasca, Texas in front of numerous witnesses!

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia refused to pay the $20,000, since the death was the result of Dr Maner’s participation in a criminal act (the gunfight).

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905b

Mrs. Maner then took Penn Mutual to court and lost the initial court decisions, as the case was appealed and eventually reached the Supreme Court:

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905d

My 2GGF Stanley testified as to a conversation that he had with Dr Maner over the original incident with the woman in question, apparently as a witness to the doctor’s good character. (Click on each page to read his testimony)

page1 page2

page3 page4

So, what happened with the trial of E E Griffin, accused of murder in the gunfighting death of Dr F B Maner?

The 13 August 2005 edition of the Dallas Morning News:

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905x

And the law suit? The Supreme Court ruled that the insurance company must pay $5000 plus attorney fees:


From the 7 May 1908 edition of the Dallas Morning News.

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It's always a good idea…

… to periodically review your files! Why?

Well, you might find something new. Example: The Tarrant County, Texas official website has a link to search for marriage records. I have been aware of this site for some time and have gotten a lot of data for my research from it. Online records go back into the 1940′s, so a lot of my ancestors have appeared there, including my own parents. Many of the records even have the scanned original marriage licenses, but not my own parents.


When I reviewed my aunt’s file yesterday, I went to the Tarrant County site, just in case. I already had her marriage data from that site (file #, dates, etc), but no image was available at that time.

And guess what? The scanned image of my aunt’s marriage license is now on the site! So I started putting a few more names in the search box and, there it was, the scanned image of my parents’ marriage license!

Not the best image, not the best quality, but there it is and quite readable!

I also found a possible 6th husband for my great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett. The name and date are plausible, but I definitely gotta do more research to make sure.


I only wish she had actually signed this document. There is an excellent example of her “Ruby Priddy” signature on my great-uncle’s delayed birth certificate, and she had a rather distinctive writing style. I think it would be pretty simple to match the 2 signatures.

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Happy Dance Time: Carrico-Kennedy Marriage Announcement!

The Library of Congress website has a section called Chronicling America:

Welcome to Chronicling America, enhancing access to America’s historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Newspapers available here come from the following states: California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

Texas… Hummmm, which papers are available? Any from the Dallas- Fort Worth area?

I’m in luck, because editions of the Fort Worth Gazette, 1891-1898 are available. The only connection I have to Fort Worth in that time period is the marriage of my second great-grandparents, Sallie Hattie Lee Kennedy and Crist Hayes Carrico on 19 Nov 1893. That date came from Tarrant County, Texas Marriage Records, Volume III (Fort Worth Genealogical Society), Marriage Book 7, p 289.

I sure would like a little more detail about this marriage, so I navigate the Chronicling America site until I arrive at the 19 Nov 1893 edition of the Fort Worth Gazette. 16 pages later and no mention of this marriage.

Ok, I’ll move onto the 20 Nov 1893 edition, this time totaling 8 pages. On page 8:

Wow, there it is, in black and white! This is amazing and so exciting! A few misspellings, but names, dates and locations. Of special interest is the last sentence: “The happy couple left last night for a visit to friends in Kentucky.” A couple of years ago, I met a “cousin” online who had info about some Carricos in Kentucky, but I have not been able to connect my Carrico to those Carricos. Maybe this is the link I need!