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Allen Lacy
06 March 2007, 11:03 AM
This is my first post. I'm not a dedicated genealogist, but on both sides of my family there were folks who did much basic research and passed it down to others. Much of my interest in family origins was spurred by a talk with my grandfather, David A. Lacy Sr. (I am DAL III) in August, 1962, when I was home visiting in Dallas. He remarked that when he was a boy in Houston he sometimes visited an aunt in Talladega, AL, traveling by train. "When I got on the train I was David Lacy," he said, "but when I got off I was David West." He explained that his father, who was Frederick Henry West for 25 years, murdered a woman in Mississippi sometime in the 1880s and fled to Texas, changing his name en route. I was about to return to my teaching job at a college in Virginia. My grandfather promised to tell me all the details at Christmas, but he died in September. Subsequently, my grandmother and oher relatives denied the story. They were not about to admit an unsavory deed to the family tree. But on my father's death in 1978 I found obituaries and pages from a family Bible that confirmed the basic facts as my grandfather told them. There are competing versions of the murder story. The main thing is tha with the name West I am able to reconstruct something of the lineage of my great-grandfather. (I imagine that a good many folks who fled to Texas after the Civil War "had their reasons!")

BTW, in 1980 I wrote a man named Embry in Houston, to inquire if he was related to my great-grandmother Lacy (West), whose maiden name was Embry and if he could confirm the story of the murder. He telephoned me immediately and said the story was correct. How did I locate him? I looked in the Houston phone book in a public library in NJ and wrote one Embry selected at random! Praise be to the Internet!