Looking for original records that might exist for a crime in the 1830s involving my family.
According to a letter written by his great-grandson in 1972, in the 1830s Charles Cartwright (husband of Elizabeth Paxton), a native of Virginia who had lived for many years in Miami County, Ohio, was carrying a timber shipment to Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his sons, when he was robbed of $800 and murdered near Dayton. Based on census data and known locations of family members before and after, there's good evidence that Charles may have had family, possibly a brother or half-brother named James, who lived in Montgomery County. Also evidence that another brother, Alexander?, died young around the same time leaving a widow and children. He may have run afoul of the same crime. An apparent widow shows up in the household of James in the 1840 census of Montgomery County, though I don't think that's Charles' family. According to the 1972 letter, Charles' sons completed the timber shipment and settled in Fort Wayne. This seems to be supported by a Charles Cartwright in the Wayne County, IN, census for 1840, which I think is really Mrs. Charles Cartwright and her sons and daughters. Charles' son Charles Clemens Cartwright Sr., born in 1825, was younger than his other siblings and wouldn't have been listed as head of household. According to family tradition he ultimately did not stay with his brothers in Indiana. That's why in the 1850 census, we find him back in Montgomery County where he's gotten married to Mary Sinks (of Montgomery County). And in 1860, we find this younger Charles and Mary back in Miami County. Later, they did move to Fort Wayne.
My theory is that there's a lot more to what happened with this murder than we know from the 1972 letter. We've always had the impression that Charles and Elizabeth moved up from Virginia in the 1810s on their own. But I think the evidence shows that brothers of Charles' also made the move and some of them were in Montgomery County. And some of them likely died there.
So I'm very interested in locating a contemporary record of the murder. Any suggestions about how to do this appreciated. -- FD Taylor, Concord, N.C.