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02 April 2012

Madness Monday: Murder trial source of much family tree info

Perry Daily Chief, The | Perry, Iowa | 
Wednesday, January 30, 1895 | Page 1
This family is not part of my tree, but I was amazed at the amount of family relationship detail provided in this account of a trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1895.  The defendant didn't have a chance with all the members of his family deemed 'insane':

"The defense expects to prove that John H Keller, the maternal grand uncle of the defendant, was confined in the Jacksonville asylum at intervals between 1840 and his death at the age of 72, in 1882, and that George K Van meter, a first cousin of the defendant, became violently insane in 1843, was confined in the asylum, escaped and was never heard from again.  ...the defense expects to prove also that Zillah Van Meter Keller, the maternal great grandmother of the defendant was three times insane and had suicidal tendencies; that Moses Van Meter, an uncle of the maternal great grandmother of the defendant, was violently insane all his life."

Wow, three times insane!  What a gold mine for family information, if you still would want to claim them as your family, that is!

Again, thanks to NewspaperArchive.com for the great news article!

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