Vital records don't tell us is who was a cheapskate, who ran off with the milkman, or who left home and never came back. Every once in a while there are stories that fill in the gaps and gives one pause.
I came across a 5th great grandfather who was a Revolutionary War soldier. He was born in Virginia about 1760, and married in 1780. He had 6 children with his wife.
He left his family prior to 1810, to live with another woman. He seems to have beat his mistress "mercilessly" on more than one occasion. Later court testimony claims she finally warned him if he did it again, she would kill him. Unfortunately, she made the mistake of warning him in front of witnesses. He "drowned" not long afterwards, in 1821.
Or maybe not. Upon examination of the body, the authorities discovered a wound "on the left breast about 3/4 of an inch in a circular form. Whatever it was which the deceased had been wounded with supposed had caused his death, passing between the ribs, none of which were fractured."
The mistress was indicted for his murder. Later she was convicted of second degree murder, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
His wife lived until 1840, but I found no information about her. I hope she had a good life after the old man left.
I have no further information about his mistress, either. I feel sorry for her. A woman of her time living outside of marriage with a brutal man didn't likely have many options. And, of course, she warned him.
Women's lives are nearly invisible. It is kind of sad when only the bad guys leave a trail.
|This is just an old photo I found online. It is labelled "The Absolom Davis family". I am not related to this family. I love it though. You don't often find casual old photos like this. It says a lot about these people's lives.|