The Story of William Murphy

You never know when you’ll get what you’re looking for, especially when researching a name like Murphy. I got lucky this time though with a death certificate for William Murphy at the Pennsylvania State Archives. William Murphy, my 3rd great grandfather, lived at 307 McClure Ave in the 1920 census with his daughter Sarah and […]

Cursive Handwriting Mysteries

I’m terrible with cursive writing.  We only spent a couple weeks on it in elementary school, then moved on. My 8 year old self thought it was a complete waste of time. My least favorite part of genealogy is deciphering handwriting.  For goodness sakes, why weren’t most vital records printed, neatly? Here are my current hang-ups. Slave, […]

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson was born 24 April 1858 in Oakland Township, Pennsylvania to Ann Marie Jamison and William T Hutchison. “Cam” was the middle child of nine and and as a small boy they lived next door to his grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and nine cousins.  I imagine many large family gatherings during his […]

Harman Updegraff & Margaret Miller

Two things I can tell you about my ancestors: there are a lot of Margarets and a lot of accidental deaths. Harman Alexander Updegraff was born 28 August 1821* in Somerset County, Pennsylvania to Harmon Updegraff and Rachel Howard.  He was a farmer in his early years and later became a conductor of a freight […]

Genealogy in Politics

Facts and evidence are a fundamental part of genealogy. Without these, genealogy would be nothing more than folklore (and Ancestry member tree hints). Unfortunately, facts and evidence are not always as important in politics. What happens when politics and genealogy collide? A couple months ago there was some attention on Senator Marco Rubio’s family history. The […]

The Original Catherine

I was named after my Grandma Kate, born Katherine Irene Murphy. She passed away before I was born, but I’ve always felt a special connection with her. Grandma Kate was named after her aunt, Katherine Murphy-Arnaut, who died unexpectedly at 29 years old. I was pretty excited to find that Katherine Murphy-Arnaut’s grandmother was also named Catherine! (spelled with […]

Catherine Aspery – Solved!

I think I may have actually figured out who her parents were and where she came from. Here’s my method: Thomas Aspery I started researching Thomas Aspery a couple weeks ago, from the list I made of possible relatives (see previous post).  He had the same uncommon last name, was born in England, same generation […]