Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thriller Thursday: William Ackles Murdered 1789

This is as much mystery as thriller as I do NOT know who William Ackles was. Using abstracts to the Kentucky Gazette and the online index to it at the Kentuckiana Digital Library I have searched for everything on the surname Eckles and its spelling variations. I find no news article on this murder, but it made the paper when the court issued an alert that the perpetrator had fled with a directive to apprehend him. The Kentucky frontier of 1789 was an outpost of Virginia and could be quite dangerous in many ways. Without details of William Ackles being stabbed to death by Thomas McMillin we are left to imagine the location and circumstances.
Kentucky Gazette, 2 January 1790, Lexington, Kentucky, p.2
My ancestor, Robert Eckles first has records appearing in Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1788. The surname often is spelled with an "A" or Ackles and many other variation with either initial. While others of the surname were in neighboring counties, all records in Fayette and its seat of Lexington, seem to be of Robert's family. Except for the stabbing death of William. It is an event I need to research, if possible, to see if William is also related. The County Clerk had records in his home when it burned in 1803, but I have to learn whether that included criminal proceedings.

Robert's youngest son, born 1800 or later, was named William. As William is a common name, it is too early to believe this naming supports a connection to the murdered man.

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