Trove Tuesday: Shooting with Intent

Being on uni break and suffering from brain fog inducing sinusitis, I’ve spent the past couple of days meandering through my family tree research and following whatever tangents caught my interest. A pleasant morning was had searching for and reading about early German immigration to the Hunter Valley and it is that subject that lead me to this little drama.

“Maitland Quarter Sessions.” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931) 11 Jun 1884: 4. Web. 18 Jun 2013 <>

John Phillip Gail (shooting with intent)

John Phillip Gail was the second husband of my 3x Great Grandmother Christiana Sophia Boss (nee Rusch) – one of the aforementioned German immigrants – and the couple is already a little bit scandalous having had at least one child out of wedlock 2 years after Christiana was widowed, and unconfirmed family gossip indicating that John may have been married at the time, so ‘shooting with intent’ was something just a little too juicy to pass up. Searching through Trove I found a report of the original commital hearing. It did not disappoint. Threats, attempted murder, implied prostitution, the accused of course was minding his own business reading his Bible when the kerfuffle started.

Gail was found not guilty at trial, but Trove has shown him as no stranger to the courts, but that perhaps is the subject of a different Trove Tuesday.

You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter

One Comment
  1. Sometimes it's so exciting to find a – well, a BAD ancestor! At least they left lots of records, eh? Best of luck on your PhD! You need to love your topic enough to do the work, and get tired of it enough to finally finish it!! Cheers.

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