James Joseph Murphy-Part 1

Update February 2017: James Joseph Murphy is no longer the biggest mystery in my tree 🙂  In fact, I ended up tracing his ancestry back to 1810.  Original post is below, but more up-to-date info can be found: 


Original Post July 2011:

I cannot imagine a family tree that is truly complete.  I will probably be researching my family history well into old age, thanks to an ever growing list of unsolved mysteries.  As one mystery is solved, two more present themselves (reminds me of LOST). The person that I’ve spent the most time researching and have found the least amount of information is my 2nd great grandfather James Joseph Murphy.  (Because this is a long post, it will be broken up into two parts.  Please check part 2 for a list of possible leads)

Here’s what I know from the 1910 census and his wife Margaret’s obituary:

1878 – Birth: England, both parents also born in England (source: 1910 census)
1885 – Immigration to America (source: 1910 census)
1901 – Marriage to Margaret Richards: Mercer County, Pennsylvania (source: Margaret’s obituary)
1906 – Moved to Youngstown, Ohio (source: Margaret’s obituary, also the children born after 1906 are in Ohio)
1910 – Residence: Youngstown, Ward 2, South Champion Street
Living with wife Margaret and children  Pearl, Katherine, Elizabeth and James.
Occupation: Laborer, Odd Jobs (source: 1910 census)
1916 – Death (source: Margaret’s obituary)

Other details:  According to a note written on the back of an old photograph, James Joseph Murphy had a twin brother named John.  Also, James and Margaret had six total children: Pearl, Katherine, Elizabeth, James, Edward and Margaret.

Wish list for James Joseph Murphy:
1.  Exact birth date
2. Parents names, including mother’s maiden name
3.  1900 census
4. Death Certificate, or the exact death date
5. Obituary
6. Cemetery name

Is that so much to ask for?  These are the usual items I search for, but for James Joseph Murphy, they are particularly difficult to find.  I invite anyone to give it a try, you’d be surprised how many “other” James Joseph Murphys there were.  I’m still hoping for that distant cousin to suddenly come out with information they forgot they had…

Proceed to part 2 for details of my investigation.

1 Response

  1. Aunt Betty

    I remeber being told that our great grandfather died in his late 30’s and grandma raised the kids on her own. I believe he was 39 when he passed. I also heard that he was a heavy drinker.

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