19 May 2015

Black Sheep of the Family

I think I've actually written about my great grand uncle before. I never even knew about Leonard Rollett until a few years ago when I finally broke through who his parents were and subsequently discovered him as the brother of my great grandmother May Rollett.

Leonard Rollett was born 7 Jan 1908 in Missouri to David Rollett and Rosa (Clark) Rollett. He died at the young age of  21 on 31 July 1931. When I discovered this it automatically had my attention. I've come across other family members that died at young ages and I find myself digging for answers. How did they die? Why so young?

The one thing I love about doing research on my Missouri ancestors is the availability of birth and death records at Missouri Digital Heritage. I found Leonard's death certificate while searching through looking for any records of his father, mother or siblings. On his death certificate for cause of death was "homicide, fire arm" and for contributory "shot by officer." Knowing that there had to be a story, I went searching for newspaper articles. In this case I was not disappointed.

 
 
And there you have it. I have a robber in my family tree. This is a story I can tell to my kids to remind them the crime doesn't pay. His partner in crime, Flutty, received 5 years for his involvement in the crime.
 
Leonard's sister May left behind her husband and four children and never looked back (as far as I know). I really would like to know more about this family. Crime and irresponsibility seem to be a part of their lives. 

3 comments:

Paula said...

I have just discovered your blog. I had typed in Opal Francis Hays and was lead here to a blog you wrote in 2009. Falling Walls Friday- A Continuation of Madness Monday. Opal Hays Hale was my grandmother. Mary Jane Vest was known to me as "Little Grandma" when she would come to Texas once a year in my childhood. I have quilts that she made from fabric remnants while she was visiting. Anyway, the picture, I can enlighten you on the people. Seated in "Little Grandma". The women left to right are Opal Hays Hale, Mary Agnes Hale McCarty (her oldest child) and JoAnn Hale Phillips Kyle (her 4th living child). She is holding her oldest son, Joel Phillips and the little girl is Aunt Mary's oldest daughter (still living). I think I have a copy of this picture somewhere as well. I can't tell where it was taken.

Paula

Paula said...

I have just discovered your blog. I had typed in Opal Francis Hays and was lead here to a blog you wrote in 2009. Falling Walls Friday- A Continuation of Madness Monday. Opal Hays Hale was my grandmother. Mary Jane Vest was known to me as "Little Grandma" when she would come to Texas once a year in my childhood. I have quilts that she made from fabric remnants while she was visiting. Anyway, the picture, I can enlighten you on the people. Seated in "Little Grandma". The women left to right are Opal Hays Hale, Mary Agnes Hale McCarty (her oldest child) and JoAnn Hale Phillips Kyle (her 4th living child). She is holding her oldest son, Joel Phillips and the little girl is Aunt Mary's oldest daughter (still living). I think I have a copy of this picture somewhere as well. I can't tell where it was taken.

Paula

Amy Crooks said...

Paula,

Thank you for filling us in on who is in the photo. I found the post you were talking about and added the information! Thanks!

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