Amy Murphy wrote: Samuel Watson Murphy was born 2 Feb 1833 in N.C. One account says born in Chatham County, another says Cumberland County. I do know he lived in Cumberland County before he came to Texas. Sam married Elender Virginia (Jennie) Thompson 5 Jan 1858 in Van Zandt County, TX. He died 3 May 1889 and is buried in Van Zandt County, TX. I also have a notation that his mother's name was Rachel and his father was Mike. For some reason I think "Mike" might be a nickname. I have found a marriage record in Cumberland County, NC for Thomas Murphy and Rachel Watson, 5 Aug 1830. I have always thought this might be his parents, but have not been able to go any further. I also have a notation that Sam's father came to N.C. from Ireland in the early 1800's, however, since they are related to the McPhail's have thought they might be from Scotland.

NOTE: The Samuel W. Murphy letter has been helpfully paraphrased below by Frances Cullom Harper.     Myrtle Bridges.   12/10/99


Cumberland County
August the 4th, 1856
Dear Brother

I received your letter the 24 day of July which give me great satisfaction to hear that you were well and very well satisfied. That is more than I can relate to you about my welfare. At present I am very much dissatisfied. I have labored as hard this summer as my health would permit thinking that by the operation my health would get better, but it has failed to do it any good. Brother and Sister are well. I heard from Sister the first day of August. Mr. JAMES McKAY brought the news to me. He came over that day to finish his singing school.

Brother, I have got one thing to state to you. I am Master of music. I can sing any piece of music that I try. I am master of the Presbyterian Psalmodist and the Carmines Sect. I have went to Mr. McKay three quarters at Bethany, and me and JOHN GARNEY are the only ones that are graduated. Mr. McKay recommends me to go to teaching. I will go to Texas and learn you if you have no objections. I wish you would let me know whether there is any music in Texas or not.

Cousin JOHN McPHAIL's daughter is in very bad health and has been for some time. We had a fine time in Old Salem. There was a meeting there which lasted a week and there was several that professed religion and joined the church. Cousin LIZ and MARIUM MURPHY joined the church and great many more that I knew. I knew you wanted me to write you all the news. MARY C. McKETHEN is married to PATRICK MUNROE. Cousin JOHN McNEILL is married to Miss EFFIE McKAY. GRANT CULBRETH also to the WIDOW PARKER. ALEXANDER McALISTER got killed about the middle of July by lightning. He was in the field with his hands when it happened. JOHN GEDDIE's wife has a daughter nearly one month old. Her name is ALMIRE. I believe none of us is courting. We are afraid to do it because the girls is so plenty til they are getting afraid that they will be left. ALEXANDER AMMONS give SIDNEY CANE a rap but she snorted and heard tell she kicked him.

I have dug in old Great Neck one more year but I don't think I will do it again. The election day is close at hand. I must _____ our candidates we are going to elect the DAN WARREN WINSLOW again. JESSE T. WARDEN, THOMAS MIMS, TAYLOR, GILLIAM BAKER and McCRAY all for Clarks County and Superior Court. The Democratic ticket THOMAS MIMS for Superior Court. Taylor for County Clerk and Winslow. He's for Democracy. You ought to be here to see us poll our votes. All of the people has been nearly starved, but I believe times is getting better now.

Watermelons is getting ripe and peas is blooming. If you will come to Great Neck, we will give you a bait of White Crowders or Tennessee Crowders. Give my best acknowledgments to all them mustangs and ask them if they have any objections to my atmosphere. Peas and potatoes looks like they was going to be plenty in old Goose Neck. Have you any tobacco in Texas? If you have, you had better send us a chew, Sam.

If you had been here they would have bload you up about your debts. Give my love to all of the crowd and tell them to look for me til they see me. Cousin SAMUEL H. McMILLIAM is going to Texas this coming fall if nothing happens more than he knows. I am going to teach school after the election in the No. 12th district. I have had the school engaged the whole summer. Give my love to T. R. McPHAIL and tell him to get going to Cades for I have a claim there and I want to satisfy my clain first as it is the oldest.

Brother T. P. MURPHY sends his love and respects to you. I believe I have nothing of importance to write to you. You must send me all the news. Tell me where you do your trading and tell me what sort of houses you all live in. Some people say that it don't rain but three times a year. I want you to let me know. Write all the news. Write every thing. I must come to a close. I leave you off now until you answer this.

Your humble servant,
Robert A. Murphy
Samuel W. Murphy, Esq.


This was Mary Catherine McKethan and Patrick Daniel Patterson Monroe. Mary Catherine was b 10/22/1837, dau of Alexander McKethan b 1801 and Elizabeth Ann Geddie b 1809. Alexander McKethan was son of John McKethan Jr b 1774 and Nancy McDougald. Elizabeth Ann Geddie was dau of John Geddie b 1781/82 and Ann "Nancy" McKethan b 1787/88. Ann McKethan was dau of James McKethan Jr b bef 1750 and Christian McPhail. James McKethan Jr was son of James McKethan Sr b bef 1722 Scotland and ???. Christian McPhail was dau of Dugald McPhail and ???. John McKethan Jr was son of John McKethan Sr and Grisella McAllister. John McKethan Sr b 1746 and James McKethan Jr b bef 1750 were brothers, both sons of James McKethan Sr and ???.

The McKethans, McPhails, and Geddies were closely intertwined - and the Murphys got into the act too.

John Geddie b 1781/82 m Ann McKethan. John Geddie was son of James Daniel Geddie and Catherine McPhail. Catherine McPhail was dau of Dugald McPhail - and she was sister to Christian McPhail who m James McKethan Jr.

As to the Murphys - there is a book about the Geddies and McPhails. It's helpful in some ways, but contains a lot of errors. ... This book records Thomas Murphy of Scotland as marrying Isabella Porter of Ireland. But the Bluff baptismal records state:

Aprl 29th 1787 Mr Thomas Murphy and his spouse Maragrat Porter had a son Baptizd named Danl.
See Old Bluff Baptismal Records

The Geddie McPhail book records Isabella Murphy, dau of Thomas Murphy and Isabella Porter (possibly should be Margaret Porter unless an earlier wife died) as the parents of Isabella Murphy b 4/27/1771. I don't know where that date came from. Isabella Murphy is probably correct as the later Bluff records for the births/bapt of her children refer to her as Bell Murphy. Isabella Murphy m Dugald McPhail Jr b 5/20/1761 in Scotland, son of Dugald McPhail and ???, therefore brother to Christian and Catherine McPhail above. One of the children of Dugald McPhail Jr and Isabella Murphy was John A McPhail b 6/8/1799 d 7/12/1882 who m Mary Baker. Surely he is the same John McPhail as

"Cousin JOHN McPHAIL's daughter is in very bad health and has been for some time."

I don't have the children of John A McPhail and Mary Baker to check for such a daughter. Mary Baker d 1855.

"JOHN GEDDIE's wife has a daughter nearly one month old. Her name is ALMIRE."

This was John "Jack" Geddie b 1814, son of John Geddie and Ann McKethan above - also grandson of both the sisters Christian McPhail and Catherine McPhail whose brother Dugald McPhail Jr m Isabella?/Margaret? Murphy.

"I have found a marriage record in Cumberland County, NC for Thomas Murphy and Rachel Watson, 5 Aug 1830."

This certainly sounds possible - a Thomas Jr. I'm not familiar with the Watson family.

"I also have a notation that Sam's father came to N.C. from Ireland in the early 1800's."

Perhaps this was because Thomas Murphy's wife supposedly came from Ireland. But at any rate, it is another reference to Ireland.

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