Monday, August 1, 2016

New Wells/Murphy Family Tree Branch

Sarah Caroline (Wells) Murphy is a newly discovered three times great aunt, who I learned about when I found the probate records for my three times great grandfather, James M. Wells. On that document, she was listed only by the name of Caroline. When her mother's will was probated in 1883, I learned her married name.

Snippet of petition to probate; courtesy of

Sarah was born on 5 November 1939 in Illinois, likely in Madison County, to James M. Wells and Mary Hearelson. She was their second eldest child. On 4 November 1855 John Henderson Murphy, son of Hugh P. and Annie Murphy, and Sarah applied for a marriage license in Madison County. She and her husband owned a farm valued at $8,680 and personal property valued at $300 dollars. Within the first five years of their marriage, they had three children.

When the 1870 census was enumerated their farm was valued at $3,000 and their personal property at $1,500. One more child had been born between 1860 and 1870. Some time between 1875 and 1880 the family moved to Minneha, Kansas, where John farmed and his two oldest sons helped out as farm hands. Three more children were born between 1870 and 1880, with the youngest the only child born in Kansas.

Township map of Sedgwick County Kansas; courtesy of Wikipedia

Sarah's husband, John, died in 1892 in Wichita, Kansas, and was interred at the Seitzer Cemetery in Wichita. In 1900, Sarah continued to live on the family farm in Minneha. Two children still lived with her and her son worked the farm.

By 1906 Sarah had moved to Witchita where she lived until her death on 29 Jun 1924. She was also interred at the Seitzer Cemetery in the of her death.

Headstone of John Henderson and Sarah Caroline (Wells) Murphy; courtesy of
Find A Grave volunteer Mike Maxton

Children of John Henderson Murphy and Sarah Caroline Wells:
  1. James Edward Murphy, born 13 May in Madison County, Illinois; died 11 November 1906 in Witchita, Kansas; married Catherine Rose Gasser, who had been married twice previously
  2. Henry Tyler Murphy, born 30 April 1859 in Madison County; died 11 November 1903 in Wichita
  3. Mary Elizabeth Murphy, born 1 September 1861 in Madison County; died 17 April 1928 in Wichita; married George William Corn
  4. Alice Julia Murphy, born 17 March 1868 in Madison County; died 6 January 1923; married Henry C. Roof
  5. Cora Belle Murphy, born 1 June 1872 in Madison County; died 23 January 1949 in Anthony, Kansas; married Charles Reeves
  6. Lillie Emma Murphy, born 12 February 1875; died 7 October 1950 in Wichita; married William A. Howard
  7. Stephen Walter Murphy, born 30 January 1880 in Sedgwick County, Kansas; died 31 March 1964 in Wichita.

It should be noted that the 1900 indicated Sarah had 8 children and 7 were still living. However, the 1910 census indicated she had 7 children born alive with 4 still living, which does not make sense as only James and Henry had died by 1910. So there may be another child who died young that I do now know about.

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