Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Great Grandpa Was a Convict

If you get involved in genealogy or the study of your family history, you can learn a lot of interesting things. I think I'm interested because I want to know where I come from, why I am like I am. I don't have time to do a lot of research now, but a few years ago I did a bit, and put up a family history Website. Through that site I came in contact with a number of relatives who now supply me with research.

My cousin Ann, who is devoting her winter to researching the Terry line has come up with some interesting info. First she found the court records showing that in July of 1889 my Great Grandpa, Duncan Lafayette Terry, or "Fate" for short, was convicted on 4 counts of "Introducing and Selling Liquor in the Indian Country," and was sentenced to serve 2 years in the Ohio Penintentiary. Bummer.

Penitentiary records describe him physically as a man of 5'10 3/4" height, greenish blue eyes, light brown hair and fair skin. They also cataloged his scars and marks, and gave a more detailed description, but I'll save that for the Website. Another page describes his habits as "intemperate." So he was a drinker. Who cares, you say? Well, it's interesting to me, and if that's wrong, I don't want to be right.

Next up, Uncle Louis "Luke" Terry: Arkansas Deputy Sheriff convicted of manslaughter and tried for murder (after he got out of jail for the first crime). I have the transcript for the preliminary hearing of the latter trial. Interesting stuff.