Friday, June 11, 2021

Sarah Ann Kay: Stealing

Sarah Ann Kay was born Jan 1857 in Lancaster, England possible Oldham. The prison says she lived in Manchester, Lancaster, England.

Sarah was Received at Milbank Prison 5 July 1880. She had a long record she was only 22 years old. The interesting things about her prison records which I found on Ancestry and these records were found in UK, Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1871, 1883-1887. These records hold pieces of her sad hard life, including some letters from her brother. There is also a record of letters she wrote and received.

 Sarah was married to James Messet and his father was Bernard Messet, and James brother Edward. They were all mentioned in the letter received and written. A Aunt Ellen Cain was also mentioned and a brother Edward Kay who went to Ireland. There are two hand written letters from her brother George Kay in his own hand writing. What a treasure to find for someone doing their genealogy.

Her medical record shows she had a few scars but was very healthy. She was only 4'10" tall and her weight was 123 lbs when she was first examined but she gained while she was there.

Sarah requests to change her religion back to what it was when she was a child. These records are like an investigation checking to see what religion she was when she was born. I am not sure if they didn't believe her or if this was a procedure they had to follow.

Letters from her brother George Kay.

He continually says he wants to come visit her but I didn't find in her records that he ever did. Here he mentions their brother Edward moving to Ireland and braking his leg. He mentions some friends that died. He also mentions her husband.

This letter is from her Sister-in-law Jane Messet. This is a very heartfelt letter and moved me, she practically begs her to be a good girl when she gets out of prison.

Oldham History: (Some from Wikipedia)

Oldham  is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, amid the Pennines and between the rivers Irk and Medlock ... Oldham was hit hard by the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861–​1865, when supplies of raw cotton from the United States were cut off. ... In 1880, parts of the Hollinwood and Crossbank areas of Chadderton and Ashton-under-​Lyne ...

Painting: Oldham from Glodwick by James Howe Carse (1831)

rom its founding in the 9th century until the Industrial Revolution, Oldham is believed to have been little more than a scattering of small and insignificant settlements spread across the moorland and dirt tracks that linked Manchester to York.[11][18] Although not mentioned in the Domesday Book, Oldham does appear in legal documents from the Middle Ages, invariably recorded as territory under the control of minor ruling families and barons.[17] In the 13th century, Oldham was documented as a manor held from the Crown by a family surnamed Oldham, whose seat was at Werneth Hall.[10] Richard de Oldham was recorded as lord of the manor of Werneth/Oldham (1354). His daughter and heiress, Margery (d.1384), married John de Cudworth (d.1384), from whom descended the Cudworths of Werneth Hall who were successive lords of the manor. A Member of this family was James I's Chaplain, Ralph Cudworth (father of the Cambridge Platonist philosopher Ralph Cudworth). The Cudworths remained lords of the manor until their sale of the estate (1683) to Sir Ralph Assheton of Middleton.

Milbank Prison photos from 1820 -1910

Milbank Prison cemetery 1862

Milbank Prison 1820's

The floor plan of the prison

Below is a map from 1867

Below is a map from 1916

This is all that remains of the prison today, the 2 photos below, there are a few bits and pieces of it left behind.

Further reading:

I found a few newspaper articles on Sarah's crime.

I have traced her family history but I am not 100% sure the parents I found for her are her parents so I am not going to post them. I also do not know if her and her husband ever got back together, He was also in prison at the same time. If you read through the list of people writing her and look for her husband and will see it says prison by his name.

I hope her brother George who seemed to be so worried about and cared deeply for her had a great life.

What a sad but wonderfully told story of Sarah's life.

Below I posted a You Tube Video of the prison she was in and it's history.

Here's one more

This gentleman has many interesting videos I have watched several.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

William Damrill: Violation of The Mann Act (White Slavery)

William Damrill was born 25 may 1883 in Missouri.

Inmate: #4107 McNeil Island Federal Prison (Washington)
Rec: 21 Mar 1922
Crime: Mann Act
Term: 3 Yrs
Age: 38

Here's one more newspaper article: (Click the link to read).

 What is the Mann Act (White Slavery), you ask well here is the the answer.

The Mann Act (also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910) is a federal law that criminalizes the transportation of “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.” ... The committees believed that no girl would enter prostitution unless drugged or held captive. Or taken across state lines.

While the Mann Act has never been repealed, it has been amended and altered since its initial passing. The Mann Act continued essentially unchanged until 1978 amendments that expanded coverage to issues around child pornography and exploitation.

Here's a link with more information:,for%20any%20other%20immoral%20purpose.%E2%80%9D&tex=The%20committees%20believed%20that%20no,unless%20drugged%20or%20held%20captive.

I wish the newspaper articles would of given us more details about him taking this young girl from Idaho Falls to Reno.

I think he was married twice first on 30 Mar 1906 to Allie Straight they had a daughter named Fay Pauline Damrill.

Then he married Rosa Bills(1889-1982)  8 Aug 1918 in Salt Lake City, she eventually had 4 husbands including William.

Here's Rose's Obit.

William worked for the railroad.

He worked for The Coppersmith Oregon Short Line Railroad.

Here's his WWI Draft Card

In doing my research I came across 2 William Demrill, I noticed a few trees have mixed these 2 Williams up.

There are 2 William Damrill, this William gets mixed up with William Theodore Damrill they are not the same person.

WWI Draft Card

Name:William Theodore Damrell

[William Theodore Danrell] 


Birth Date:23 Jan 1882

Residence Date:1917-1918

Street Address:3

Residence Place:Shelby County, Missouri, USA

Physical Build:Medium Stout


Hair Color:Light

Eye Color:Blue

Relative:Ella May Damrell

WWII Draft Card

Name William Theodore Damrell

Birth 23 Jan 1882 Shelby County, Missouri, USA

Death 26 Aug 1951 Chillicothe, Livingston County, Missouri, USA

 THIS WILLIAM: (Our William)

WWI Draft Card

Name:William Damrill


Birth Date: 25 May 1883

Residence Date:1917-1918

Street Address:635 So. Grant

Residence Place: Bannock County, Idaho, USA

Physical Build:Medium


Hair Color:Dark

Eye Color:Blue

Relative:Rose Damrill

If you look at his WWI Draft Card he has a bad eye the other William doesn't 


He does not have a WWII Draft Card he most liekly died before it was due to be filled out.

These things are still going on Human trafficking is a huge problem across the world.