Freaky Friday’s ~ I Feel Kind of “Left In The Dark”

freakyfridayHave you ever discovered something while doing Genealogy that made you think, “How could I have not known about this?” Well, about a month ago I had one of those moments.

I have lived in Arizona for most of my life, all except about 8 years. I 170px-James_Addison_Reavis_in_prison_clothesattended school here and learned all about the history of the state, even the history before it became a state in 1912. While I was doing a search on the maternal side of my family, I came across an entry that surprised me. I found a reference to my 3rd cousin 3x removed, James Addison Reavis. Apparently, he was a terrible person. He was a swindler, a forger, and a possible murderer. Now, I will be the first to exclaim that people who cause controversy add “flavor” to a tree. However, this person went way beyond the norm.

So, what does this have to do with where I live? He was known as the Baron of Arizona! I had never, in all my years heard about this guy, let alone know that we were related! He pulled off the largest land deed forgery in the history of the state. He “owned” all of the areas that I have lived in for 27 years. It was quite a shock. Some of the things he did were so despicable I couldn’t write about it however, I did write about him and some of what he did for this week’s “52 Ancestors 52 Weeks” challenge from Amy Johnson Crow.

If you would like to read it, here is the link:

I just find it to be Freaky that I can live here so long and not hear about this part of Arizona history and then to top it off find he is related to me!

Has this ever happened to you?


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter

2 thoughts on “Freaky Friday’s ~ I Feel Kind of “Left In The Dark”

  1. Genealogy is a wonderful thing – we learn so many different things. But wow, what a story – that’s pretty crazy that you’re related to someone so notorious and that you learned about him during the course of your research.

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