Monday, October 29, 2012

Mystery Monday: Just in - update on William Jollett


Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks us to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in our family history research which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

What I know about the William Jollett – William Boyd mystery is complete, with the exception of one interesting addition.

It’s a newspaper clipping that arrived in my email just the other day thanks to Jan Hensley, an online friend with whom I have swapped genealogical information for several years.  (In fact, her work to find the grave of her patriot ancestor and organize a ceremony to dedicate a new tombstone inspired me to pursue DAR membership.)  Jan found this brief mention of William Jollett’s run-in with the law:


News clipping courtesy of Jan Hensley

A man giving his name as Wm. Jollett, was arrested on the 26th  ult., by Wm. Campbell, constable of Page county, suspected of having stolen a bay mare, which he had in his possession.  He was committed to jail by Justice T. M. Almond.  He has light hair, fair complexion, about 22 or 23 years of age, and has a conspicuous scar upon his neck.  The mare, which is now in possession of Mr. Campbell, is a dark bay, with hind feet white, a narrow blaze in the forehead, about ten years old, and in good condition.

Harrisonburg Rockingham Register
September 3, 1868

I'm glad to know that William's crime made the news, but now I wonder what caused that conspicuous scar.  There's just no end to this mystery.

19 comments:

  1. Perhaps he is a loveable rogue.

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    1. Obviously somebody loved him!

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    2. My mother knew him and I guess there was nothing lovable about him.

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  2. It is great to have an interesting character in the family! Makes research more spicy!

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  3. The plot thickens! (I love saying that. ;) )

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    1. We always like to say Dah-dah-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (can you hear that?) imitating that little musical thing they do to signal something mysterious is about to happen.

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  4. This is cool, Wendy ... I wonder how long he was in jail before recreating himself on the straight and narrow?

    I'll stay tuned! And you, please stay safe.

    Kathy M.

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    1. I am a bit confused about the jail sentence. This article is dated 1868, but the sentence in Richmond, VA began in 1870, I thought. Maybe the first jail time was just holding him in place until the trial. We know he was paroled from the Richmond jail in 1874.

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  5. Conspicuous scar on his neck? Just what does that mean? What did it look like? And why was it so noticeable? Was it a large scar or just very distinct in nature? Or both? So many questions.

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  6. Oh, and Wendy, please stay safe over there!

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  7. Poor William, he's had a rough time of it and with the exception of the conspicuous scar, there's little chance anyone would recognize him from the description. Now the horse...that's a different story. I bet every man with a blazed bay horse was out checking their barns and pastures. Sounds like the constable of Page County came out ahead on this deal. It's a wonder William didn't get a rope around his conspicuous neck.

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    1. I love how the article provides similar types of info for both William AND the horse!

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  8. It's interesting that we are able to find out so much about the individuals that got into trouble! Sometimes it almost doesn't seem fair. But like my family, the more you find, the more questions you have. Sounds like a good mystery!

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    1. It is a good one, if you have time to go back and read it. I've exhausted what I know. So now I'll enjoy reading YOUR mystery.

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  9. So the DNA-testing still has to take place? No volunteers yet? Maybe you should call the prospects, they may be too scared to participate. Brushing your teeth is more trouble...

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    1. You're half-right. We finally found a volunteer. We have a Boyd researcher who is coordinating the purchase of the test. I think she had not yet decided which company to go with. But the people are in place.

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  10. I had thought possibly the scar was an injury from the war?

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