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 […]

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 […]

Using Inferential Genealogy for Catherine Aspery

Earlier this year, I attended the Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring Conference and there were two lectures by Thomas W. Jones that were particularly helpful: “Using ‘Correlation’ to Reveal Facts that No Record States” and “Inferential Genealogy: Deducing Ancestors’ Identities Indirectly.” I learned that I was not doing nearly enough to get past my brick walls. Leaving […]