Criminals in the Family?

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Hogue Connection! I’ve been kicking this subject around for quite a while and thought I would finally get around to addressing it. What happens, when in the course of genealogical research, you dig up some criminals in the family? I’m not talking about traffic tickets, or civil lawsuits or getting in a loud beef with your neighbor in this example. I’m talking about caught and convicted felonious behavior. Criminals in your family tree that were perhaps hidden, intentionally, for decades. Never talked about, ashamed to be mentioned at all, nefariously real criminals in the family!

I talked about (go here, Chapter XIIII) Charley Hogue’s domestic dispute that resulted in a divorce from his first wife in 1901. He was arrested, paid a fine and released; he probably didn’t even spend a night in the Ardmore, Indian Territory jail.This event is pretty well documented, although it took some digging to discover all the details. There may be similar incidents in other branches of the tree, but this one stands out as an important example of familial criminal behavior.

Sometimes Old References Are Handy!

In my August post about a parallel universe (go here), I did some new research about a branch of our family that I hadn’t looked into much. The info I gathered on The Davis family, mainly Ida Davis Larner, my great grandmother, resulted in making our connection to 17th-century Wales. It also caused me to dig out some old reference material I bought during my early years in genealogy. It was a hardcover collection called “The Larner Book”, compiled and published in 1987.

The book came about through the research done by Ray A. Larner, Sr., and his daughter, Marilyn Larner Hicks. Ray was my Grandma Faye’s oldest sibling and had done quite a bit of research on the Larners and related families. After his passing in 1978, Marilyn took up the task of getting all of Ray’s collections together and getting it bound as a nice family keepsake. I referred to it to find about more about the Davises, but there wasn’t much in there. It’s a Larner book, after all. It did help me firm up a bunch of stuff about Grandma’s family, though, which led to my big criminal discovery.

Pay Attention When Surfing For Info!

So, I went back through all the Larner information I had on Ancestry and in my home database, RootsMagic and cleaned up a few things. I added some dates, corrected some others, and included some of the spouses and children of some of families that I had neglected previously. They are my cousins, too, after all! It was really pretty standard work, and didn’t take much to get it done. I was confirming some places and dates on one of my grandma’s siblings on FindAGrave, when I noticed something unusual. Another contributor had added a copy of a newspaper article on this particular page. It didn’t really dawn on me what it was, in fact, I ignored it and left the site.

On second thought, what was that? I decided go back and look again.

The newspaper article was quite astounding to me. Nobody in the family, as far as I could remember, ever talked about it. This event changed the lives of many people, and not in a good way, forever. I felt like it had been swept under a rug somewhere. It wasn’t in The Larner Book. Did Grandma ever talk about it? Surely, someone along the way would have mentioned it. Once I started digging into it, it was quite the sensation back when it happened. This relative turned about to be quite the conniving criminal, indeed!

Well, Get On With It Then!

Not so fast, now. This crime is ghastly enough that it could still have an impact on the living descendants. I should probably be careful when blogging about this kind of thing. Personally, I think it’s important to share the whole story. I still want to do it properly, though, and not offend anyone, if that’s even possible. Also, am I legally and/or morally obligated here? Could I be held liable by someone who wants this to remain a family secret? I felt further research was needed.

So, I read some articles, sent some emails, and visited some other blogs out there.

Eventually, I decided to go ahead and publish my thoughts about this family criminal within these pages. (This is called “building suspense”.) I’ve read many old newspaper articles about the crimes, some accurate, some not. In fact, some not accurate at all. It involves many different crimes and indiscretions.

Murder. Insurance fraud. Adultery. Bigamy. Forgery. Embezzlement.

It involves sorting through the romanticized reporting of the day and putting it all together in a readable form. I’ll present the story over the next few blog posts. I’m not sure how many posts it will take; three or four, probably.

Thanks for visiting The Hogue Connection! I’m excited about sharing this story of Criminals in the Family with you! Please stay safe out there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *