Friday, February 22, 2019

William Murphy (1830-1909): 52 Ancestors #74

William Murphy, my second great-grandfather (#24 in my Ahnentafel), was born 15 May 1830,1 probably in or near Georgetown, Kings County, Prince Edward Island. If that date of birth is reasonably accurate, he was probably the second child of Michael and Magdelen (Morison) Murphy.

About 1853 William married Flora Ann McDonald, possibly in or near Vernon River.2 They had ten children:
  1. Dominic (1854-1914), married Rose Ann McIntyre in Bloomfield, PEI (my great-grandparents)
  2. Lot (ca 1856-1917), married Nora Kelleher in Newburyport, MA
  3. Flora Ann (1856-1923), married John Sanphy in PEI
  4. Mary (1858-1933), married John Cummings in Newburyport
  5. James (1860-?), possibly died young
  6. Martha (1863-1949), married Edward Perkins in Newburyport
  7. Daniel (1865-aft 1920), emigrated to Newburyport
  8. Catherine "Kate" (1868-1922), married Patrick Hart in Newburyport
  9. Elizabeth "Lizzie" (1871-1918), married George Blackwell in Lawrence, MA
  10. William (1873-bef 1881)

1881 Canada census, Georgetown, Kings County, PEI, William Murphy household

Lot 51 in 1880 Atlas; red outlines the area of the detail below

The earliest I can definitely identify William in the census is 1881, when he and his family were enumerated in Georgetown.3 Oddly, the Lot 51 map in Meacham's 1880 Atlas shows a 100-acre lot on Baldwin Road (about 10 miles from Georgetown) labelled "Wm Murphy",4 yet they don't appear in Lot 51 in the census until 18915 – located right among the neighbors expected from the 1880 lot map.

Another map (undated), showing the route of planned railway construction through Lot 51, also shows William Murphy as the landholder. The dates on similar railway maps of other Kings County lots indicate that it is probably from the early 1870s.6

William's daughter Flora had, about 1875, married John Sanphy who farmed a few properties down Baldwin Road from William's lot, so I can speculate that he may have acquired the land by the time the atlas was compiled, intending to move near to the Sanphys, but the farm may have been occupied by a tenant at the time of the census.

William Murphy is also listed in Baldwin's Road in the Fredericks 1889-90 Directory.7 I haven't been able to find a William Murphy who is likely to be "my" William anywhere in earlier available directories ranging from 1864 through 1880.

Detail of Lot 51 map showing Wm Murphy property (red outline added) in Baldwin Road, 1880

1891 Canada census, Lot 51, Kings County, PEI, William Murphy and "Domnic" Murphy households

Sometime around 1905-06, William and Flora emigrated to the United States, settling in Newburyport, Massachusetts,8 where four of William's siblings and at least five of his children had already gone over the years.

On 10 February 1909, William Murphy died of apoplexy and old age in Newburyport.9 His age of 71 on his death certificate is undoubtedly much too young; given that he appears consistently in three censuses as born 1830-31, he must have been 78 or 79.10 The informant was Daniel Murphy, probably his son, who was less likely to know his father's exact age than Flora would have been. He was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Newburyport.11
William Murphy death cettificate, 10 Feb 1909, Newburyport, Mass.
My descent from William Murphy:

  1. 1901 Canada Census, Kings County, Prince Edward Island, Township 51, p. 5, dwelling 37, family 38, William Murphy household; database and digital images, Library and Archives Canada, ( : accessed 20 Feb 2012).
  2. The year is an estimate based on the Dec 1854 birth of their first child, Dominic. While baptismal records for Dominic and Lot have not been located, their third through seventh children were baptized at St. Joachim's Church in Vernon River, making it a likely location for their marriage as well.
  3. 1881 Canada Census, Kings County, Prince Edward Island, Georgetown Common & Royalty, pp. 3-4, dwelling 11, family 11, William Murphy household; digital images, ( : accessed 19 Feb 2012).
  4. "Plan of Lots 51, 52 & 66, Kings Co., P.E.I.," Illustrated Historical Atlas Of The Province Of Prince Edward Island (Philadelphia: J.H. Meacham & Co., 1880), pp. 107-108; digital image, David Rumsey Map Collection ( : accessed 28 Apr 2014), item 4475060. 
  5. 1891 Canada Census, Kings County, Prince Edward Island, Township 51, p. 10, families 34-35, William Murphy and "Domnic" Murphy households ; digital images, ( : accessed 19 Feb 2012).  
  6. Prince Edward Island Railway, map of the land appropriated by the Railway Commissioners in Lots 38 and 51, undated; digital image, University of Prince Edward Island Robertson Library, Island Imagined ( : accessed 16 Feb 2019). 
  7. Frederick's Prince Edward Island Directory, and Book of Useful Information, for 1889-90 (Charlottetown, P.E. Island: Frederick's Publishing Co., 1889), p. 524, entry for Murphy William, far[mer].
  8. No immigration records have been found, but city directories show a William Murphy arriving in Newburyport around this time. In addition to his children noted in the list above as moving to/marrying in Newburyport, William's brother Daniel and sisters Mary, Catherine, and Elizabeth were also living in Newburyport (or nearby Amesbury) at the time he and Flora emigrated.
  9. "Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915," database and digital images, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2014), William Murphy death certificate #319, registered no. 25, Newburyport, Massachusetts, 10 Feb 1909.  
  10. 1881 Canada Census (note 3), age 50, and 1891 Canada Census (note 5), age 60, both imply birth in 1830-31. 1901 Canada Census (note 1) gives full date of birth as 15 May 1830.
  11.  William Murphy death certificate (note 9).

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