Profile Accuracy Theme of the Week: Crime and Punishment

+11 votes

This week's theme: Crime and Punishment.

To participate, simply:

  1. Choose a profile that fits this week's theme.
  2. Review and improve the accuracy of the profile.
  3. Reply with an answer below to let us know which profile you chose.

Also see: Photo Sharing Theme of the Week:Mothers

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker

Not a profile that needs improvement but Thomas Rood is interesting.

Thomas Rood was executed October 18, 1672 in Norwich, CT, and has the dubious distinction of being the only person executed in North America for incest. His daughter Sarah was publicly whipped. Their progeny, George Rood, was sent to live with his uncle Lt. Thomas Leffingwell. See Savage's Dictionary of English Settlers before 1692 Vol. 3: Rood, Thomas 

23 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer

The one true black sheep I've found, Cousin Ellsworth Hollis, was convicted of armed robbery of a gas station in 1934.  He was convicted and served approximately 10 years in State Prison in MA.  As far as I can tell, he had no further troubles with the law after completing his sentence and went on to live a quiet life.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 6 (62.3k points)
selected by Katherine Chapman
+13 votes

In Ontario in 1890 at age 24, Pauline Ulrich Scheel, committed the crime of suicide which wasn't decriminalized in Canada until 1972.  My goal this week is to improve Pauline's profile and add a short research section explaining the previous harsh punishments for an action we now regard with sadness and sympathy.

by Pat Miller G2G6 Mach 7 (76.1k points)
I'm finished. I updated Pauline's sources and added a short research article.  But I wanted a photo for her profile and I don't have one.  I decided to look for something spiritual and found one of my images from decades ago that fits the subject matter.  This was a more emotional challenge than I expected.  I did not expect tears.
+6 votes

For those interested in the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the police force in Ireland from the early nineteenth century until 1922. we have started a page of a few of them at RIC members 

Many of the profiles need work or maybe you have someone you would like to add

by Richard Devlin G2G6 Pilot (379k points)
+9 votes

My grandfather was born in1896, earlier in the year his 12 year old brother Bernard Cartwright was accused of 'highway robbery' and sentenced to a reformatory in an old naval hulk moored off Birkenhead, Cheshire, England. He first spent some time in a workhouse. He went on to get an exemplary record in the army so a happy ending eventually! I will fill out the details of his crime and punishment, his marriage and children and details of his army record.

by Gillian Loake G2G6 Mach 5 (51.4k points)
+10 votes

My Great Great Grandfather Edward McCauley Long was shot in the back, crossing the Missouri River bridge. The murder trial started out in Missouri, but it was later changed to Kansas. The Kansas trial went on for several days, and three men had been arrested: E.C. Wells, Vine Hovey and Charles Harris. Wells and Hovey had their charges dismissed after Charles Harris, who had previously denied the the shooting, pleaded self-defense. I will work this week for more accuracy about the trial, as Edward Long was shot in the back and self defense does not seem likely. This is a 19 Mar 1880 page 1 article from the Emporia, Lyon, Kansas newspaper.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
+9 votes
Honestly, I'm not sure if I'll get around to actually doing this this week, but one of the biggest mysteries & brick walls in my family tree is on my maternal grandfather's side of the family, where we believe one of two (we have no clue which one) of our immigrant ancestors was a German man who evaded the draft, & ended up reinventing himself & making his way to the US as a means to avoid being imprisoned. Given our complete inability to locate any records that are certainly of him, we think it may be possibly that he was deported back to Germany with his children & wife staying in St Louis, but it's all very unclear. I need to reorganize my research on that side of the family.
by Thomas Koehnline G2G6 Mach 5 (58.3k points)
+9 votes
I will try to untangle the family of Justus Hunt.
by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
+9 votes

You hooked me this week, Eowyn. devil  My profile for the Crime and Punishment theme is Charles Stetson, my great-grandmother's brother. He was murdered in Massachusetts in 1881 by the man his wife was canoodling with.

Because of this question, I went back and added several sources that I had on file regarding the murder and the conviction, imprisonment, and eventual gubernatorial pardon of the murderer.  And I also beefed up the profile of Charles Stetson with new sources I found.

I was aware of this murder from family lore, but the sources add a good bit of color (as well as detail) to the story. smiley

Ever since I first researched the details of the murder, one thing I have wondered about is the paternity of the daughter born to the wife of Charles Stetson about 4 months after he was murdered. She was his legal daughter and the Stetson family seems to have contributed a good deal toward her upbringing and education, but I suspect that she was the biological child of the murderer. We will never know, as she seems to have no living descendants who could take DNA tests.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Thank you Ellen for the story about your great grandmother’s brother Charles Stetson being murdered. I found the governor’s pardon very interesting.
+10 votes

I am going to work on the profile of my husbands great grandfather John Julian Briggs (Briggs-5589) 1839-1919. One of Jerry's cousins told my that John had left his wife and 7 kids, one was a baby, and know one knew what happened to him. Well, I found out a little of the story from a shaking leaf on Ancestry. It was a record for John. I went to the top of the document and to my surprise it was a Texas Convict Register. John had spent 3 months in a Rusk Texas prison for bigamy. John had moved from Arkansas to Texas and married, without divorcing his 1st wife. 

by Stacie Briggs G2G6 Mach 2 (28.6k points)
+8 votes

In July 2019 I asked myself if the "Siblings Scholl", as Sophie and Hans Scholl are often called in Germany, are connected to the Big Tree. No, they aren't. So I started to build out their tree, always trying to find a way to connect them. This was an on/off-project of mine, more than once I was desperate because the whole "tribe" seemed to live only on just a few km². Last week, when I went through my watchlist, I finally found a connection to the USA. One distant relative settled in Kentucky. On Sunday my mum told me that Sophie's 100th birthday will be on 9 May. Knowing about the Kentucky-connection I really tried hard to finally connect the whole cluster to the Tree. And this morning I found an ancestor of the "granddaughter-in-law" of the guy who emigrated to Kentucky, who not only already had a profile, but also was connected to the Big Tree. So the improvement for the Scholl-cluster is to be connected to the Tree.

The "crime" of Sophie and Hans Scholl was to write leaflets with texts like "Down with Hitler!". They were beheaded in February 1943 because of that.

by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (931k points)
+8 votes

I added one of my family's black sheep 

In 1879, Gerald Mainwaring, my first cousin four times removed, just 24 years old, was tried and found guilty of murder. The case, widely reported, caused a sensation.

From the mid-1870s Mainwaring had lived in Canada, farming in Manitoba. In April 1879 he returned to England to attend the wedding of his sister Julia.  A few months later, due to return to Canada, he went on a spree in Derby.  He got drunk, and driving a trap with a ‘female companion’ too fast through the town, was pulled over by the police. When they began a search of his lady friend, Mainwaring fired several shots from a revolver, wounding two policemen, one fatally.

Found guilty of murder, he was sentenced to hang. It transpired, however, that the jury, unable to agree, had drawn a ballot to decide Mainwaring’s fate. There was an appeal to the Home Secretary and his sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life.

Gerald was released from prison in 1894. I don't know what became of him after that. 

He would have been 40 years old when he was released. I hope he married, had a family and we get a DNA match with a descendant - but no DNA match yet.

by Anne Young G2G6 Mach 4 (41.7k points)
+8 votes
I will improve the profile of Bradbury-299 as he fits this challenge when he choose to marry without divorcing his 1st wife.
by Donna Fournier G2G6 (8.7k points)
+9 votes
I have just given a spruce up to

Catherine Groocock's case is particularly sad and she was possibly suffering from post partum depression when she poisoned herself and her child. The child died but Catherine was administered an emetic and survived. She was found not guilty of murder because of her mental health and spent her remaining days in Broadmoor Hospital.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (255k points)
+9 votes

There were no orphan profiles with the names Crime or Punishment, so I improved the profile for Felon Booker.

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (450k points)
What a great name, Kay... and it seems to fit the topic to me.
Outstanding choice of name!
+6 votes
I couldn't think of any criminals in my tree, so I sought out Jesse James, who, while not closely related apparently shares my haplotype, or was it my mitochondrial dna.  I initiated a merge, as there is very good profile at James-761 by the Notables Project, and then another put up by a purported descendant on an illegitimate line.  No sources but family lore.  Considering everything else Jesse did with his life, I find that credible.
by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 7 (79.1k points)
+5 votes
It's hard to do this week on the first 30 since people were squeaky clean. So, we're gonna go back to the Salem Witch Trails: I am connected to Ann Foster and Thomas Putnam, an accused and accuser. It makes for an interesting tree, right?
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (520k points)
+6 votes
I have to add her profile, but my gr aunt was murdered by her husband. I still have not found if he was convicted.
by Alice Thomsen G2G6 Mach 5 (54.4k points)
+6 votes
Murder in the family is tough. I was 7 when my uncle, Harry William Smith, Sr (Smith-220751) was murdered by his wife, Estherina Silivo (Silivo-1) in 1956.

I did get and post a copy of the newspaper article regarding the crime.

In my hazy memory I remember that she was sentenced to maybe 4 years in a mental hospital. I would love to find the trial documents...
by Susan Ellen Smith G2G6 Mach 4 (41.4k points)
+6 votes

John King Fisher; Rancher, Outlaw and Lawman.  I will work on my sources on this notable profile and bring it up to Biobuilder standards and try to complete his family profiles as well for this week's challenge.

by Scott Lee G2G6 Mach 5 (57.5k points)
Great profile Scott!
+3 votes

I found a Lawless family that was orphaned and adopted Rufus D Lawless and his wife and 2 children listed.  Turns out Rufus who was born in Alabama has a lot more children than were listed.  What really started me down a rabbit hole earlier this week is that there is another Rufus Lawless born in Alabama (about 10 years previous, as it turns out) with multiple wives and a bunch of Lawless children.  My crime, was getting the two Rufuses initially confused.  My punishment is that I'm going to be spending part of this coming week finishing up the Lawless family that I adopted as the project has taken on a life of it's own, adding children, getting them all biographies and a bunch of sources so maybe the next person won't confuse the two.  As a side note, the gravestone for my Rufus Lawless has the surname spelled Lawles even though all birth and marriage documents that I've found have a double s at the end.

by Kathy Zipperer G2G6 Pilot (376k points)
Great name. Great story

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