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.
- So there are people other than me working on family history… (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
and a nice surprise came in my email today. Family researchers on collateral lines to my Murray family are now participating in DNA research as well. One of them sent me this photo of a railway ticket that one of our ancestors bought in 1863. A cousin in Birmingham has the original. It is a ticket that James T Murray purchased in 1863. He died that same year. He died while serving as a the War Between the States as did his brother-in-law, John Lawrence, He was but 30 years old. He left a wife and five young children, among them a set of twins.
James T Murray was a son of John M Murray who fought with Andrew Jackson in the Creek War aka the War of 1812. John M Murray was my great-great-grandfather on my paternal side. James Thomas Murray served in the same Company during the War Between the States as did the husband of his sister Sarah Ann Rebecca Murray Lawrence (John Lawrence). John Lawrence died while being held prisoner of war at Rock Island Prison in Illinois. They both died in the year 1863 and both widows applied for and received Confederate Widow’s pensions. Both served as a Private in Co D of the 6th Regiment of Alabama Volunteers, CSA. James Thomas Murray’s wife was Jane Wood Dowdle. His children were: Sarah Elizabeth Murray Lawrence 1854 – 1935, John Robert Murray 1856 – 1938, Mary Jane Murray Wood 1860 – 1928 . William Moore Murray 1860-1904, and David Jefferson Murray 1862-1948. Mary Jane and William Moore Murray were the twins.
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.
- War of 1812 nearly divided U.S. republic, author says (nationalpost.com)
- Between ‘kindred’ enemies: Book provides new interpretation of War of 1812 (canada.com)
- Drums Along the Niagara (online.wsj.com)