Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bootleg Whiskey and Not Nice People

Into each family sometimes come strange people.     Playing with stories and these strange people is a great hobby (time consuming)  for RVers.  As I’ve said before most of my family pioneers were hard working, decent folks.  It’s the stories of those that might not have been so decent that are much more fun to track down.  You just never know what you might find out. 

famil3I monitor DNA accounts of about a dozen relatives and in-laws.  I’ve had some connections insist I call at certain times, hours or specifically after dark.  Dark?  Dark where?  I’ve had others wanting to knock on my door.  Connecting with folks who have indicated other family members do not have contact with them always makes me a little leery.  I want to know why they don’t want contact.  I’ve seen pictures attached to the wrong people and even kids born before the parents.  Then, there are those you meet along the way who are so enthused about their own family and expect you to be just as enthused.  I love sharing but sharing isn’t a one sided conversation.  Sharing is just that … sharing.    In those cases it’s time to walk away.

In this case, sharing was fun.  Check out the following email excerpts from one person.
I was told my great grandmother died 1882 and was an Indian. My uncle has a picture of her but oldpic1they won’t let me see it.  I didn’t know any of her family and only of the family she married into.  She died a few days after birth of her only son.  He was a famous bootlegger in Texas, the Texas Rangers could not catch. His father went to prison for selling bootleg whiskey. Back in those days you had to feed your family by whatever means.

The last name on the tombstone was spelled wrong because my grandparents did not know how to spell.  They were drunk most of their pathetic lives.  Even their own family names were wrong on the death certificates.  They guessed.  They didn’t know.  Very sad family. Oh, did I forget to mention my aunt shot my uncle in the throat and killed him because he picked up a bat to beat her. Did I mention grandma’s father was married over 7 times. One of his wives died in the wagon and he just dumped her body on the side of the trail. Lore has it he killed one of his many father-in-laws. My grandmother told me he was a horse trader. No - he was a horse thief and went to prison for it. He had to pay a $500 fine for bigamy.  My cousin robbed a bank got away with it. He was found dead in a ditch with his initials carved in both cheeks. Lore has it he was dating the sheriffs girlfriend at the time.

My grandparents were not nice people. I had to stay at their house in the summers from a young age. They were the next step up from cave people. Grandfather died a painful death from cancer but I did not cry a tear at his funeral. He had tried to rape me when I was 4 years old and I remember it vividly. My grandmother walked in the room with me screaming loudly and did nothing about it.   Grandma never bathed and smelled like an outhouse her entire life. She also died a painful death. This family had nothing but discord, discontent, and greed in their everyday lives. 
NO … I am not related to any of those people she mentioned except the great grandmother who died after the birth of her baby in the 1880’s.  She was a sibling of one of my ancestors.  I’m not so sure she was Indian but would love it if that were true.  However, the stories came from the other branch of her family …. thank goodness, not mine.  I have my own stories. 

The pictures posted here have nothing to do with the family mentioned.  They are just pictures I borrowed on the internet and decided to return to the internet.

Here’s my travel comment to keep me in the right loop … we’re still hanging on and waiting to get on the road.  Weather is great in the Pacific Northwest and as long as it stays that way, we’ll be happy.

‘Tis life on the road.

In the family sandwich, the older people and the younger ones can recognize one another as the bread. Those in the middle are, for a time, the meat.


  1. Sometimes it's best to let the past stay there. Thank heavens I come from a long line of outstanding, perfect least until I came along and messed up the average. ;c)

  2. Whoa....those emails make me a little nervous. The last one is off the wall.

    I am with Paul. Both sides of my family and Paul's were pretty much perfect. Of course, my mom's parents came from Italy, and my grandpa was in the Mafia, but according to Italian style, that makes him absolutely normal.

  3. Not nice doesn't quite do the job of describing these folks. Very strange. As long as your weather is good, stay put and enjoy it.

  4. Replies
    1. Surprisingly -- not at all. There are a lot of things we'd like to take care of before we head down the road. I really wish we had more time!

  5. So many interesting stories from the past can appear if you research enough, if nothing else it can be entertaining.

  6. A couple of those could write for Jerry Springer :-) Still, we do gravitate toward the black sheep stories more than the proper ones. A little infamy is good spice for a family tree! Not to the extreme of your emails perhaps :-( , I'm sure you're relieved they weren't ancestors!

  7. What a hoot! Fun blog today!!!!

  8. Thankfully, my grandparents were both wonderful - that last email is just plain weird. Interesting though as every family has its skeletons.


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