Friday, January 1, 2010

A Genealogist's Tale In A Murder Mystery

Murder Runs In The Family by Anne George is an easy to read mystery with genealogy and research in Birmingham, Alabama, as the centerpiece.

The statue of Vulcan is referenced quite often, cited as a source of pride for the City of Birmingham and as a landmark for the neighborhood where one of the two main characters (Mary Alice AKA Sister) lives.

Some of the quotes from the novel: "I tell you, Mrs. Hollowell, the world of genealogy is a dog-eat-dog world." "...but you enjoy it?" "I'm a big dog." (From a character, Meg, who was from Fairhope, Alabama, which is a great place to visit!). "She told me she went to school at Samford and earned a professional certificate. It's a complicated business."..."A degree in looking up ancestors?." "Everbody in Alabama came from Georgia or South Carolina. Or Virginia." "I'm in the Birmingham jail. I understand this is not the same jail where Martin Luther King wrote his famous letter, but a newer edifice."

I experienced one of my breakthroughs at the Birmingham Public Library (where the characters in the novel are found researching along with Samford University and the Government offices) by finding the first name of "A.O. Turner," husband of Kezzie (More) Turner. He was listed as "Turner, Alonzo" with wife Kezzie in the Birmingham City Directory. From there I found them in the census and from there found Kezzie's death record in Mineral Springs, Texas.

Birmingham, Alabama, as viewed from a spot near Vulcan [photos by Jim]

Never thought when I started reading "Murder Runs In The Family," that it would provide material for a blog.

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