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Which of These is the Mother of Billy the Kid?

Photo courtesy Brett L. Hall (

The Only Authentic Photo of Catherine McCarty Antrim

Catherine McCarty is a mystery woman. Nothing at all is known of her origins. According to legend, she was born in Ireland. Which of her two sons, Henry and Joseph, was born first or where they were born in unknown. The father is also unknown. Brushy Bill Roberts said this woman was Billy the Kid's aunt (as do two family Bibles in the Roberts family) and only Joseph was her real some. Brushy also said Henry McCarty was a name Catherine thought up for him. Catherine met William Antrim in Indianapolis, Indiana. The McCartys and Antrim went to Wichita, Kansas togther, where Catherine operated a hand laundry service. When she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, the McCartys and Antrim moved to New Mexico. Catherine and Antrim were married in Santa Fe on March 1, 1873. The family then moved onto Silver City. Catherine died here because of her tuberculosis on September 16, 1874. For other possibilities of her origins, scroll down.

False photo of Catherine McCarty Antrim

This photo has been said to be Catherine McCarty Antrim, but it most certainly is not.

Mary Adeline Dunn Roberts

Mary Adeline Dunn was born in Lexington, Kentucky to William Dunn and an unknown wife. Mary had a sister, Caroline, and a half-sister, Catherine Bonney McCarty Antrim. Mary married James Henry Roberts and the two moved to Texas, specifically Buffalo Gap. The married couple had one child, a son, born William Henry Roberts on December 31, 1859. When the Civil War started, James left the family to fight. Mary was left to raise William alone. However, in 1862, Mary died suddenly and young William was sent to live with is half-aunt, Catherine McCarty, and cousin, Joe.