Knowing that we’ve started a family history website, a friend of mine recently sent me the story about “Remus Rudd”. Probably you’ve read it before. It’s the story of a horse thief ancestor often associated with a well known politician, any well known politician, which automatically screams “URBAN LEGEND!!” None-the-less, it’s thought provoking and entertaining so I pass it on:
Judy, an amateur genealogy researcher, was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that [famous politician’s] great-great uncle, Remus Rudd, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in [train town] in 1889. Both Judy and [famous politician] shared the same relative.
The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows of [train town jail].
On the back of the picture is this inscription:
‘Remus Rudd horse thief, sent to Stoney Mountain Jail 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the CP AND CN trains six times. Caught by Police Force, convicted and hanged in 1889.’
So Judy e-mailed [famous politician] for information about their great-great uncle, Remus Rudd.
[Famous Politician] sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:
“Remus Rudd was famous in the west during the mid to late 1800s. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the CP and CN Railways..
Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroads.
In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the Police Force. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”