Sunday, February 16, 2014
Tracking the Family of Catherine Murphy to Ireland
http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/. I've known about the page for a little while but I didn't realize that they actually have some of the church records available on the web site. Had I realized this, I would have been digging into this information a long time ago.
Here is the evidence and where it led:
Michael's date of birth is before the marriage of Hugh Kelly and Catherine Murphy. This could mean that either he was born out of wedlock or, since it was so far before their marriage, that he was born to one of them in a previous marriage.
Looking at irishgenealogy.ie, we find a baptismal record for Michael Dee, born to James Dee and Catherine Murphy, of Lixnaw Parish, county Kerry, Ireland. Given that it is in the birth year we already know is Michael's, and due to his mother being listed as Catherine Murphy, I'd say we've found a match.
The record can be found here: http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/0f86780386348 but the web site does not yet have the record digitized. It shows his birth date as 26 July 1851. His headstone says he died on March 28, 1887 at the age of 36, which would put his birth year as 1850 or 1851.
Let's continue our search as if we know for a fact we have the correct Michael Dee and Catherine Murphy and see what we find.
We find the marriage record of Catherine Murphy and James Dee at http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/79a2d10575016. There is no image of this record.
If we do a search for the baptismal record of Catherine Murphy, we will find many girls of this name being baptized since it is a common name. Our Catherine Murphy's birth date is listed on her funeral card as June 1, 1823. We find a Catherine Murphy being baptized on June 1, 1830 in this record: http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/c4c4220295888 . Here is an image of that record:
Is this a match? Not exact but it is on the correct month and day, seven years later. She was married on January 16, 1847 and gave birth to Michael Dee on July 26, 1851. This means she would have been married when she was 17 years old. Definitely not unheard of. Our biggest problem is that her marriage record doesn't list her parents. We have to make note of this as a possibility but not a definite connection.
If this is the correct Catherine Murphy, her parents were Patrick Murphy and Mary McGurk. We find their marriage record here: http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/5df5300035146 . Here is an image of that record:
They were married on 26 January 1832. Their marriage record doesn't list their parents' names.
Doing a search for the baptismal record for Patrick Murphy, there are just too many boys being baptized with this name to be able to discover who his parents were. Some other bit of information will have to appear for us to narrow down which one is his record. Doing a search for Mary McGurk, on the other hand, only gives us two possibilities.
First is Mary MaGurk, baptized on December 22, 1811, which would make her about 21 years old at the time of her marriage. Her parents were William and Mary MaGurk. This record can be found here: http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/01bf8c0152566. Here is an image of this record:
The other is Mariam McGuirk, baptized in 1809, which would make her about 23 years old at the time of her marriage. The record can be found here: http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/0990110158497. There is no image available for this record. Her parents were Johannis and Maria McGuirk.
Much of what I detailed here is still circumstantial evidence. I believe that our Catherine Murphy was the wife of James Dee and the mother of Michael Dee, whose parents later changed his name to Michael Dee Kelly. I don't know for certain but it is my belief that her parents were Patrick Murphy and Mary McGurk. It is even less certain who Mary McGurk's parents were. They could be William and Mary MaGurk or they could be Johannis and Maria McGuirk.
The search goes on.
I'm interested in what you know about the family and any documents or photos you have. Let me know!