Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Notorious Brawdy Family, Part 2 (Accused of Larceny)

This is a series of posts about the startling discoveries we made at GRIP  (July 2014) in the Intermediate Genealogy class. Our head instructor, Paula Stuart-Warren, chose a random Pittsburgh will for us to research and see what we could uncover about the family. She had no idea of the amazing stories we would find...
I already posted about how we tracked down the original will on FamilySearch. With quite a bit of effort, we eventually found the census records for 1850 (Baldwin Twp - surname transcribed as "Brandy" on Ancestry), 1860 (Pittsburgh, Ward 5 - father transcribed as "W Brandy" on Ancestry - all family members listed by first initial ) & 1870 (Borough of East Birmingham - mother transcribed as "Barbara Brady" on Ancestry) where Martha was living with her parents, Martin & Barbara, & her siblings. She also has her 8-year-old daughter, Jenny Cornita living with her. Remember, her name was listed as Jennie C Brawdy in the will, but here it is Jenny Cornita.

Photo posted by Liz Freeman on FindAGrave
We never found any other information about Martha's daughter, Jenny. But, we were able to find quite a bit more about the rest of the Brawdy family including:
  • more census records for various family members
  • a will for her brother, Martin
  • two city directory listing for her mother, Barbara, listing her as a widow in 1865 & 1866
  • a marriage record for sister Maria Jane who married Walter E Barnett before marrying Valentine Green (probable first marriage)
  • a marriage record for brother Thomas M who married Catharine R Fitch
  • a death certificate for sister Maria Jane who married Valentine Green (I believe this is a second marriage)
  • tombstones for her mother, Barbara, & her brother, Martin
  • possible death record for her mother, Barbara, at FamilySearch - however it says her parents are born in Ireland where others state Germany & it says she's only lived there 6 months & her previous residence was Chicago
But, the most interesting 'finds' were the newspaper records! Unfortunately, I can't take credit for these finds. But, another group found some incredible articles using a site I wasn't familiar with: Elephind.

Elephind states it's purpose: to make it possible to search all of the world's digital newspapers from one place and at one time. Elephind.com allows you to simultaneously search across thousands of articles using key words and phrases. 

The first article I'll share is from the Pittsburgh Gazette Gazette and Advertiser dated Monday, April 6, 1868. It is titled "Alleged Larceny of $200 - The Accused Committed for Trial."

Catherine Salzmen, the proprietress of  tavern in East Birmingham, made information before Justice Ammon on Saturday, charging John Schafer and Tom Brawdy with larceny. She alleges that the accused, who frequented her house, and were well acquainted with its arrangement, came in to the bar-room Saturday morning, and remained until she was called out, when they entered an adjoining room and took two hundred dollars from a bureau drawer. Brawdy and Schafer were arrested, and after hearing, were committed for trial in default of five hundred dollars each for their appearance at Court. The Brawdy family are becoming quite notorious in criminal affairs. The mother was, a short time since, convicted on a charge of keeping a bawdy house, for which she is serving a term of imprisonment. Subsequently a son was arrested and committed to jail to away trial on a similar charge, and now the third one of the family is committed on a charge of larceny.

Two months later, in a paper dated June 10, 1868, we find the results of the trial:

The Jury in the case of the Commonwealth vs. Thomas Brawdy, Jno Bell, and John Shaffer, indicted for the larceny of $185 from Mrs. Salzman of East Birmingham, reported yesterday, returned a verdict of not guilty and the accused were discharged.  

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