23 December 2013

Avoiding Criminal Records Will Get You on the Naughty List

[in the spirit of the season]

 Criminal records can mention just about anyone, including Santa Claus. They can also include your ancestors--even those you think would never appear in criminal records or any type of naughty list.

Of course, this is not the Santa. Someone obviously gave an alias (or had an unknown name) in 1881 when they were brought up on charges of providing two gallons of whiskey to Indians in Arkansas. It's hard to imagine the Santa doing this--as it would definitely put him on the naughty list.

This record appears on Ancestry.com
Defendant Jacket Files for U.S. District Court Western Division of Arkansas, Fort Smith Division, 1866 - 1900. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2004, ARC ID: 201532. Record Group Number 21. The National Archives at Fort Worth. Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A; digital image Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), 23 December 2013.
The search results screen for Santa Claus at Ancestry.com is shown below:

If you've been ignoring criminal records for your ancestor, stop.

You'll be on the naughty genealogy list for not conducting exhaustive searches (grin!).