ATM-earpMy copy of Stuart Lake’s Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal is signed by L. Ross Earp and given to me by his sister, Bess Earp. Were they descended from any of the famed Earp brothers?

Paul Hoylen
Deming, New Mexico

Nicholas Earp’s wife, Abigail, gave birth to one son, Newton, before she died. Of the “Fighting Earps”—Nicholas’s sons with his second wife, Virginia Ann Cooksey—Virgil raised a daughter and James a stepdaughter; Wyatt, Morgan and Warren were childless.

Wyatt Earp, a descendant of Newton Earp who looks enough like his namesake to be his twin, says Bess and L. Ross may have been descended from the famous Earps, but more likely they came from one of Nicholas’s six brothers.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015.

If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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