Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DID MY ANCESTOR DO TIME IN SING SING PRISON?


BACKGROUND: I was recently going through some of my BOGGS ancestor’s info in my Legacy database.  I have 102 individuals who were either born with the surname Boggs or married a Boggs.

One of my 2nd great grandaunts, Lucinda Estelle Boggs has always been of particular interest, as I cannot find much information about her.  What I do have comes from my grandmother’s journal of names, dates and marriages.  Please see my posts where I have transcribed all the names and dates in that journal by clicking here.

In addition to her journal my grandmother left other miscellaneous pages of notes for her genealogy research.  NOTE:  my grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne was born in 1888 and died in 1986, so all her notes are handwritten.  No online research was available to her.  I have verified and found evidence that most of her research is incredibly correct.

Below is the page about the Boggs line.  You can see I have outlined in red the portion about  Stella Boggs.

The entry reads “Stella Boggs m. Norris Nov. 4, 1867 Cin. O. buried in Dublin.”

(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)

Boggs page in her notebook_enh_annotated

Here is the excerpt from my grandmother’s complete handwritten tree.

BOGGS area from Florence Milnes handwritten tree_annotated

It’s difficult to see the lines drawn between the generations, but they are there.
 
Transcription of that area is:

“Estelle Boggs (daughter of Nancy Delilah Lunsford and Allen Boggs) born 4 Nov 1847 married 4 Nov 1867 Lord Norris of Liverpool?  There children Lady Beatrice Norris, Lord Harold Norris and Lady Lillian Norris.”

Here is my Family View from Legacy, based on the information I have.  Note:  I have no idea where I got the “Abt 1840” birth year for Berry Norris.  This is a result of my own failure to document every entry, back when I began my research in 2003.  In fact the last note I have for Lucinda Estelle Boggs is from June 2006. So, it’s been some time since I’ve researched this family.

Norris family screen shot

HERE IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING
I decide to do some research on the NORRIS-BOGGS family on Ancestry.  I see a couple of hints come up for Berry Norris.
 
There are only two hints for Berry Norris.  One is for 3 public member trees, which I look at and see that two are my trees and one is my brother’s.  I only look at the Ancestry Member Trees for hints and clues.  I never site them or copy from them to my tree without proof (valid sources) of the information.

The other hint is New York, Sing Sing Prison Admission Registers, 1865-1939.”  Now this could be interesting!!

Here is what I found.

Berry Norris

Norris ancestryscreen shot

Let’s take a look at the image and see what it says.

NORRIS_Berry_sentenced to time in SingSingPrison_annotated

Page 242 – second entry on the page
May 4-75  Berry Norris
    “Recd from NYork born Ireland age 32 married wife Stella B Norris lives at 3 Kent Terrace Dalkey Ireland lived at time of arrest at 45 State in Brooklyn N York Statue 5-7 W 141 1/2 (Thank you to reader, Mary, for helping me figure out the wording about his height and weight).  
Complex sallow eyes blue hair d brown no mark, can read & write Protestant church (cannot clearly read the two words before Clerk)  Conf attempt Grand Larceny Sentenced May 3rd 1875 for two years by Sutherland”

Further research today revealed a newspaper article which I located on the Fulton Postcard website.  This is the first place I look when I’m trying to find newspaper articles for New York.
In the New York Herald 3 May 1875, page 9, I located an article about the Court of General Sessions held by Judge Sutherland.

NORRIS_Berry_New York NY Herald 3 May 1875_pg 9_grand jury_cropped_annotated

I still have a lot of research to conduct for Barry & his wife and family.  Here is the evidence that, so far, leads me to conclude this may be my ancestor. 
  • My grandmother’s references to Norris as being the husband of Lucinda Estelle Boggs.
  • That she refers to Lucinda Estelle as “Stella” on one of her written records.
  • That the wife listed in the prisoner record for Berry Norris is “Stella B. Norris.” We know many women use their maiden name as a middle name or initial.
  • That my grandmother stated “buried in Dublin” on both written records. Yes, there are places named Dublin in the U.S. and that option must be considered.
  • That she listed the date of marriage as 4 Nov 1867 and the record of marriage I located was 3 Nov 1868.  We all know how dates can vary.
  • That the prisoner record for Berry Norris states he was born in Ireland and that his wife was living in Ireland at the time of his arrest.
  • That the age of the Berry Norris arrested is within a couple of years of my record of him being born in about 1840 (even though I don’t yet know where I came up with that date).
I’ve inquired, as I so often do, on the New York Genealogy Facebook group to which I belong.  Other members of these type of groups often have historical information, links to places to find information, or live in the area and can offer assistance.  When I posted my inquiry, I got several responses.

Is this my Berry Norris?
What conclusion would you come to?

I know my research is far from finished.  I am not completely comfortable, just yet, in saying this is my ancestor.

Do you have any hints or insites to offer?  If so, please post them in comments.  I’d love to hear from you.

If you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please contact me.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

6 comments:

  1. Your missing pieces refer to height (stature), weight (Wt) and habits (moderate drinker). I have a guy in Sing Sing as well. Luckily his record gave his uncle as next of kin and confirmed this was my guy. The crime was written up in Variety of all places. He attempted to rob a theater box office.

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    1. Mary - Thank you so much! I see that now. His height and weight. Will adjust my post. I sure wish they had provided mug shots :)
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Intriguing!! What about court records Diane? It would be interesting to see what actually happened and what testimony might be given about him. For one of my ancestors I found a court record where individuals testified to a man's integrity and told how they knew him. They were wonderful records.

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    1. Michelle - I haven't looked for court records yet. Thanks for the reminder. I've found court records on other items before and they are always very interesting and sometimes revealing.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Hey...I also had a great grandfather in Sing Sing. It is clearly him since upon his release he moved to an address right next to my great grandmother. They weren't married yet, so they met afterwards. It looks like manslaughter--killed a guy in a fight (or anyway unpremeditated). They are gone now and so are my grandparents. Of course my great grandmother must have known, but the family now wonders if my grandparents ever knew (we don't think so). This was my grandmother's father ... my grandfather (her husband) described his father in law as a tough customer and no one to mess with ... but we are now wondering if he even knew how true that was!

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    1. Now that is an interesting story. Sure makes you wonder what your family knew and what they didn't.

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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.