The mystery of James Joseph Murphy is SOLVED! A million thanks to Ken W. who located the marriage record of Margaret Richards and James Joseph Murphy. This marriage record was found at Family Search and is the glue to all the questionable details that were lingering about. I stopped using the Family Search website about a year ago; it was complicated and I couldn’t figure out where to find actual sources-just other people’s trees.
I can’t wait to continue researching my 2nd great grandfather! Here’s what I know of him so far:
Born 1 January 1881 in England to William Murphy (Irish) and Katherine Aspery (English). James had nine siblings, of those were two older brothers, John and William, and two younger twin sisters, May and Sarah. The remaining 5 siblings are unknown. The oldest child, William Murphy, immigrated to America in 1891. His parents and siblings came one year later and settled in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. According to the 1900 census, all the men of working age in the household had been unemployed for six months.
James Joseph Murphy married Margaret “Maggie” Richards on 17 August 1903 in Mahoning County, Ohio (even though they still lived in Pennsylvania). James and Maggie’s marriage date is one year after the birth of their first child, Pearl. Scandalous! It looks as though there was some fibbing on the 1910 census to make it look like they had been married longer.
James died 30 May 1917 at Youngstown’s Saint Elizabeth Hospital of Typhoid Fever. He was buried on 2 June 1917 in Sharon, Pennsylvania. The informant for the death record was John J. Davis of Sharon, PA (possibly a brother-in-law).
My new wish list for James Joseph Murphy:
1. Burial location and headstone photo (update: buried in Sharon, PA: unsure of which cemetery but his sibling Sarah was buried at St. Mary’s)
3. Death dates & burial locations for his parents and siblings (Catherine, his mother died in 1902 of “liver troubles” and William Murphy, his father, died in 1923 and is buried at St. Mary’s)
4. Immigration records
5. Birth city (probably Escomb or Witton, Durham, England)
Update July 2017: I ended up tracing James Joseph Murphy’s family back to 1810. More up-to-date info can be found: