The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Creek War

Precious are the memories…

even if only in the form of a photograph. Lee Murray and Buddy Jackson have shared information and this photo on our shared Murray lines. My third great-grandfather, John M Murray, and his parentage is still a brick wall for all of us researchers. But it seems in the electronic age that more sharing is possible without travel. John M Murray was one of the north Alabamians who joined with Andrew Jackson in the fight with the native Americans in the Creek War (often referred to as the War of 1812). The most famous battle remembered from that conflict is the Battle at Horseshoe Bend.

John M Murray died at Vance’s Station according to his obituary. He was 99 years of age at death. He had survived several wives and had more than one set of children. His last wife was Jane Pierson/Pearson who was much his junior. She drew a widow’s pension from his war experience. One of their sons was named Marshall Winchester Murray. The photo below shows possessions of John M Murray and others that belonged to his son Marshall. The powder gourd, hunting horn, wooden box and shoe repair belonged to John Murray.  The rest belonged to his son Marshall.  The wooden box is cut out of a single piece of wood with leather hinges.  He kept his tax papers in it. This photo of their treasures means as much to me as does the plug of tobacco that was left by my great-grandfather, Levi Murray.

Photo of John M Murray and Marshall W Murray possessions


Bang, bang, bang…

have you heard that incessant banging for the last thirty plus years?

That was me banging my head against the brick wall on my Murray line for longer than my youngest child, now thirty-one, has been alive. I started family research on a serious note back in the early 1970’s. Though to disclose the truth of the matter, I started back in my earliest childhood listening to stories of the family lines from all my elders. I was the only girl in my  family and I always seemed to be around the adults at family gatherings. So, I got to listen and ask some questions. I got to hear the tone and inflections associated with those oft told stories. Some stories were funny and some were tragic. Some relatives were very good salt-of-the-earth kind of people; others were scoundrels. But, I loved and cherished them all because they were family. Those stories of my elders are some of my most cherished memories. I wish I could bottle and sell the memories as I saw, heard, and immersed myself in family history. I have always found family mesmerizing. But, alas, I found that even as early as I was interested in family facts, that even by that time most of the elders had gone and become history. There were a few reliable sources and I made the highest and best use of them as I could. And I wrote it down.

I was able to trace my Murray line back to John M Murray and could document no further. I located information on him back in the 1970’s, before computers were even invented – probably. I knew him to be an ancestor, but could not document his father or even where John M Murray was buried. I located information on his service in the War of 1812, the Creek War, and skirmishes and battles in the Mississippi Territory way back then in the seventies. I even located his obituary in a northern Alabama newspaper. The obituary clearly said that the old soldier of the War of 1812 had lived to be nearly one hundred years of age and was buried at Vance’s Station in Limestone County, Alabama. After decades of searching, I finally just concluded that Vance’s Station must have been one of those ‘lost’ cemeteries. Sad. True. More below the fold.

AlabamAncestors: Four Generations of Murray