Thursday, April 27, 2017

Find My Past: Suggestions for Finding Your Fallen Acorns and Other Assorted Nuts

I just downloaded a guide from FindMyPast,

It's entitled, "Get the Best From Find My Past".

There's a page called "Ancestors in Crime Records"

Here's what their tips include:


CRIME, PRISONS & PUNISHMENT: Only available online at Findmypast, the National Archives’ Crime, Prisons and Punishment Collection contains over 5 million crime records from England and Wales, 1770-1935. From prison calendars to convict hulk ships, the level of detail you’ll uncover about your ancestors in these records is amazing

MUGSHOTS: Some of our crime records contain original mugshots from the time of your ancestor’s arrest – an exciting find for any family historian. When searching the Crime, Prisons and Punishment Collection, focus on the MEPO 6, PCOM 2 and PCOM 4 series which all include photographs.

ALIASES: If there is a name in your family tree that doesn’t seem to fit, perhaps it’s a black sheep with a double identity? Habitual criminals often had several aliases so watch out for forename and surname swaps as well as the use of their mother’s maiden name.

WAYWARD WOMEN: A number of our Crime, Prison and Punishment records relate to women who found themselves on the wrong side of the law. In Victorian England, for example, almost 20% of prisoners were female. This collection may be a surprising place to discover more about female ancestors.

NEWSPAPERS: Our collection of historic newspapers makes for a great research companion to our crime records. If you discover an ancestor in our crime records, be sure to search the newspapers for additional details. Arrests, court appearances and sentences would have all been covered in the local press.

LAWBREAKERS ABROAD: Findmypast’s international records include some fascinating collections for tracing your criminal ancestors. There are over 20 million Irish court and prison records to explore, as well as extensive crime, convict and transportation resources from Australia.

Thank you to FindMyPast for these helpful hints.  I have not had problems finding my Fallen Acorns.  Now that you have these tips, you will have more luck in finding your black sheep.  Prepare yourself.  You might uncover some stories that you wish you hadn't.  Take it with a grain of salt.  Our ancestors were not perfect.  Neither are we.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The In-Laws Become Out-Laws: the case of Mike Dugmanics

In the middle of Missouri, there's a town called Rolla.  You might know it as the home base of the Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Years ago, it was an area of farms and fields and large acreage along with small hamlets tucked in between.  The 1930s was a particularly hard time for those in the middle of the nation.  So much depended on their ability to hold down jobs, pay bills and keep up with the necessities.  Thankfully, the nation pulled through.  But as the nation started to gain strength, there were still those who languished behind.

The Dugmanics family settled in and around Rolla, having immigrated from Hungary in the early 1900s.  Everything seemed fine.  Joe and Mary were living with their family in a modest home.  Mary suffered from a rhuematic illness., free images, memorial day

It was Memorial Day, 1938. The Dugmanics family had prepared a nice meal. Mary and Joe were playing host to Joe's brother, Mike, for the holiday.  The family set the table at 1:30 in the afternoon, and then called everyone into the dining room. Mary, 58, had been playing the accordion in the front room.  Mike passed a corner of a room on his way to the dining room where he picked up a rifle.

Upon entering the dining room he saw Mary, his sister-in-law.  He raised the rifle and shot her through the head, just below the temple.  The bullet exited the other side of her head at the same spot.  Mary's optic nerves were damaged, and she had become totally blind.  She was tended to by her family and medical persons, and taken to the Rolla Hospital.

bloodhounds, free

Mike exited the house and left on foot.  The police came to look for him and brought bloodhounds.  But they were unable to find him.  Two days later, his brother Frank alerted family that Mike was at his home, just 4 miles away from Joe's house.  The sheriff and state troopers arrested Mike there.

Friends of the family were interviewed to find out what might have caused Mike to assault his sister-in-law.  It was reported that at one time, Mike was heard to have said that if Mary were his wife, he would shoot her to put her out of her misery from her rheumatic affliction.

Mike was charged with felonious assault with intent to kill.  But family said that Mike was really never quite right.  He, in fact, was a bit odd.  The States Attorney said that an examination of Mike would take place to determine if he could be considered mentally ill.  If that was  the case, he would be committed to a State Institution.  Mike waived a preliminary hearing and could not post the $5000 bail.

Missouri State Hospital for the Insane, Fulton, Missouri,

Mary did survive her injuries. Mike was committed to the Missouri State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri, diagnosed with psychosis.   Joe recovered from the shock of it all, but passed away just two years later at age 64, in 1940, from cancer of the throat..  Mary survived him, until September 1952, passing of senility and having severe arthritic deformity and gangrene in both legs.  Mike lived out his years at the State Hospital  doing laundry work until July 1952, where he passed from pneumonia.

Frank, the remaining brother, lived until age 80, when he committed suicide in a tool shed next to his home by shooting himself in the head with a 12 gauge shotgun, in November of 1959.

There's a lot of pain in this family.  Let's hope that they all rest in peace.