Sunday, December 16, 2007

Black Sheep

Bad Girls, Bad Boys - We're Gonna Come For You: "In 1870, the census shows that 37-year-old Julia Eckert's occupation was 'keeping house.' Routinely, these are the words entered by the wife and mother in an average household. Typically, the husband was head of the household, perhaps as a farmer, merchant, carpenter or other standard profession for the time. Sometimes when a woman was head of the household with the occupation 'keeping house,' we assume or the census shows she was a widow.

But analysis of the other residents of the household that Julia headed showed she was not a commonplace housekeeper. In the household were Lizzie Bradshaw, 19; Mary Shackleford, 23; Mattie Vaughn 24; and William Shackleford, 5. Lizzie, Mary and Mattie's occupation was 'sporting woman.' No, they were not athletes. They were prostitutes, and Julia was the madam and therefore a housekeeper in a nontraditional sense in a home on Rose Hill Street in Lexington, Ky.
. . .

Since there obviously are so many colorful ancestors out there, it should be no surprise that someone formed a Black Sheep Society.

Calling himself the flockmaster, Jeff Scism describes the society's purpose as that of learning and sharing. The group's goal is to find alternate routes of research around the "wall of silence" that families put around unsavory members.

You can read about the group at BlackSheep

A Rootsweb mailing list for the International Black Sheep Society

or read its archived mail list and Browse the BlackSheep archives

Topic: A mailing list for the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG) which includes all those who have a dastardly, infamous individual of public knowledge and ill-repute somewhere in their family ... preferably in their direct lines. This individual must have been publically pilloried in disgrace for acts of a significantly anti-social nature. The purpose of the list is to discuss these individuals in order to learn more about them and share information about your "Black Sheep" with others. Additional information can be found at

Black Sheep Ancestors

Black Sheep Ancestors Logo - Directory of Links for Prison & Convict .... Also included is a Captain William Kidd detailed genealogy and family tree. ...


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