Notes from the past…


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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!

 


3 Comments

Happy Dance Time, or… maybe James Bennett, Jr was a killer!

James Bennett, Sr was my 3rd great-grandfather. The Bennetts were well-to-do cattle ranchers in late 19th century San Saba County, Texas. Well, most of the Bennetts were cattle ranchers. James’s 2nd son Thomas became a prominent physician and eventual president of the Texas Medical Association. Another son, Benjamin, tragically gained fame in another way, becoming a murder victim in 1930 New Mexico. And then there was James Bennett, Jr….

When I first began to study the Bennett Boys a few years ago, I met another Bennett researcher online who told me an interesting, but unverified story about James Bennett, Jr. The family lore states that James Bennett, Jr, known as Jim Bennett, had killed a man in San Saba in the late 1880′s and escaped to Wyoming and Montana where he was involved in several bank robberies before finally being killed in a bank robbery in Glendive, Montana in the early 1900′s. A regular Butch-Cassidy-and-The-Sundance-Kid sorta guy!

All very interesting and exciting, but was this just another family legend? Where was the proof?

Well, I’ve been looking for “the proof” for some time now, but really didn’t expect to find it. 130 years tends to blur the facts, that is, if this entire story was even true….

Tonight I was researching another line from the San Saba area, the Carrolls and ran across a reference to a Carroll who had been “shot” in 1906. A Google search revealed a couple of books that outlined Texas Supreme Court rulings, and one of those rulings dealt with my Carroll murder. Pretty cool! That more detailed information allowed me to check GenealogyBank… and wow, 3 articles about my Carroll murder popped up! This is great…!

Wait a minute…I haven’t researched the Bennetts in a while…a long while, actually…let me run a quickee search on GenealogyBank, using the keywords “Bennett”, “San Saba” and “killed”….

This from the Dallas Morning News, dated 5 July 1889:

How exciting! After I finally got finished jumping up and down, screaming and, yes, dancing, I went to the Library of Congress’ site Chronically America. This site has the San Saba newspapers 1876-1891, browsable only.

Guess what I’ll be doing for the next few evening?