image_pdfimage_print

Mystery Monday: Wiley Anderson Murrell’s Parents and Early Life

Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalene (Hontz) Murrell. Posted with kind permission of the Harlan Family Blog. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Information on the early years of Wiley Anderson Murrell (1806-1885) has long been elusive. (Too scary to put the number of years the family has been searching, but it is more than 49 and less than 51…) Since it is the start of a new year, we thought we might try again to see if anyone with knowledge of the Murrell family or Virginia, especially Botetourt County, might have some suggestions of where to look next. We are trying to find the names of his parents and places they may have lived during his early life- both continue to be unsolved mysteries.

Wiley was born 2 Feb 1805 per the family bible (some say 1809) in Virginia but we do not know exactly where. The first official record we have for him is associated with his marriage to Mary Magdalene Hons/Honce/Honts/Honz/etc. on 9 April 1834 in Botetourt. Wiley would have been 28, Mary 27.
Wiley A. Murrell and Mary Honce Marriage Bond. (Click to enlarge.)

Mary’s mother Catharine (Kauffman) Hons gave surety, and we do have a fair amount of information on Catharine and her husband Henry Hons/etc./Johns, thanks to the fine work of the late George Honts. We have not found all the documentation he used, however, and would be very interested in seeing more to learn if there are some clues for the Murrell side.

Twenty-eight seems a bit old for a first marriage for Wiley, and for Mary at age 27 back in those days. Perhaps Wiley had been married to someone else earlier? Mary had her mother’s surname, and with her mother pledging surety for the marriage, it would seem that it was probably Mary’s first. After marrying in April of 1834, however, they got busy having children to make up for lost time. Mary had her first child in 1835, and then 5 more children in the next 10 years.

Wiley & family are listed in the 1840 US Federal Census in Botetourt, and in District 8, Botetourt, in 1850; he is also on the Ag Census for 1850. Obviously, then, he was a farmer, but there was no real estate value listed- maybe he was just renting, rather than owned the property? (We should check land records.)  Wiley had made his mark on the marriage bond, but still could neither read nor write per the census.

1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 2. Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)
The family migrated in 1853 to Roseville, Warren Co., Illinois, and Wiley had $718 in personal estate value per the 1860 census there. In 1868 the family migrated to Jasper Co., Iowa, but they have not been found on an 1870 census in Iowa, Illinois, or Virginia. They are found in the 1880 census in Jasper Co., Iowa, indexed as “Murren.”
The six children of Wiley and Mary are: Elizabeth Ann Murrell, John Henry Murrell, Mary Catharine Murrell, William Anderson Murrell, James Edward Murrell, and Ann Elisy Murrell. We will have more about each of these children in upcoming posts.
Wiley died on 27 March 1885 in Prairie City, Jasper County, Iowa. We have been unable to find an obituary for him. Mary died 2 years later.
W. A. Murrell and Mary M. Honts- Headstone in Mound Prairie Cemetery, Jasper Co., Iowa. Posted with kind permission of photographer.
Wiley and Mary had a son named “William Anderson Murrell” so that may have been the father’s full name as well.
It appears that the family was associated with the Daniel (may have been McDaniel) and Roberts families possibly in Virginia, most likely in Illinois, and definitely in Iowa.
DNA testing has given us some lines to explore but no real answers yet. We have 9 known descendants who have taken DNA tests, with 9 autosomal plus one Y-DNA. Many of the matches link to Thomas Murrell and Elizabeth Oliver, but there are other names that repeatedly show up, such as Gilliam. Our paper trail does not have good connections to these lines, unfortunately. So we just cannot connect the dots…
Any suggestions are much appreciated!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Image sources per captions.
  2. Thank you SO much to the Harlan Family who posted such great pictures on their website! We have searched unsuccessfully over the years for images of Wiley and Mary, and were thrilled last year to have a cousin send us their website that she had found. (Thanks, Patti!) It was great to contact these cousins, and they also have posted some wonderful pictures of the Murrell-Roberts family. You can find their website at https://harlanfamily.wordpress.com/
  3. It appears that the picture of Wiley and Mary is a composite picture- two different images laid side-by-side and printed. Note the different sizes of the two of them, as well as how Mary’s dress fades into Wiley’s suit. This seems to have been done with other pictures owned by the Harlan Family.
  4. Census data is from Ancestry.com, but FamilySearch has also been consulted for the 1870 census search. We have even gone page by page through Jasper County, Iowa, where we expect the Murrells to be, and even Warren County, Illinois, but cannot find the family.

 

Click to enlarge any image. Please contact us if you would like an image in higher resolution.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Tombstone Tuesday- WA Murrell and The Murrell Family Bible, Part 4

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Murrell Family Bible

 

W. A. Murrell and Mary M. Honts- Headstone in Mound Prairie Cemetery, Jasper Co., Iowa. Posted with permission of photographer.
W. A. Murrell and Mary M. Honts- Headstone in Mound Prairie Cemetery, Jasper Co., Iowa. Posted with permission of photographer.
Mound Prairie Cemetery Marker in Jasper Co., Iowa
Mound Prairie Cemetery Marker in Jasper Co., Iowa

The final page of entries in the Murrell Family Bible documents the deaths of Wiley Anderson Murrell and his wife, Mary M. Honts Murrell, who are both buried in Mound Prairie Township, on a hill that gets the most wonderful breezes and has a view of the farms all around. What a delightful place to be ‘quietly resting,’ especially for a couple who were farmers their whole life.

MURRELL Family Bible- Deaths [click to enlarge]
MURRELL Family Bible- Deaths     [click to enlarge]
 Transcription:

Deaths

Mary Catharine

Daughter of Wile

And Mary H. [or Mag]

Murrell Departed

this Life in the

Year of our Lord and

Savior November

the 6 1846

Age 7 yrs 1

Month And 12

Days

 

Anne E Murrell

Brown

Died May 2nd 92

Aaron Brown

Died Mar 19th 94

 

[next column]

 

W A Murrell

Departed this

Life in the year

of our Lord & Savior

March 28th 85.

 

[? M. M.] Murrell

Departed this Life

in the year of our

Lord & Savior

July 13th 87.

 

 

John Murrell

Died March 23

1880 

 

The entries are in a number of hands, which would be necessary, of course, if the bible records were maintained by Mary Honts Murrell as she could not document her own death. Mary may have written all the birth and marriage records, as well as the record for the death of their young daughter Mary Catharine, since they are all with the same ink and hand. The 1850 US Federal Census notes that Wiley could neither read nor write, but there is no mark for Mary- was that because she could read and/or write, or because they didn’t even consider that as being important for a woman?

Mary could have written the entry for her husband W. A. since she survived him, but the writing does not have the same characteristics of her earlier script- the capital “A”s and “W”s are very different, and that style does not usually change with age, even if the size of the writing and its smoothness do change. She probably did not write the entry for their son, John Murrell, since he is listed after her death entry, even though he died in 1880, before she did. The entry for their daughter Ann E and her husband Aaron Brown in 1892 and 1894, respectively, must have been made by someone else after Mary’s death in 1887.

I do wonder who made those additional entries, so now there must be a quest to gather samples of handwriting of the Roberts and Murrell family, in hopes of clues. I am leaning toward Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts as being one of the persons who wrote in the later deaths, because she was the oldest child of Wiley and Mary, and the bible has been passed down in her Roberts family. I’ll let you know if there is any success on that front.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Murrell Family Bible, possibly c1845.

2) Daughter Mary Catharine probably died in Botetourt, Virginia, since the family is listed there in the 1850 census, and did not migrate to Illinois until 1853. The bible may have been purchased in Virginia and travelled by covered wagon to Illinois.

3) 1850 US Federal Census for District 8, Botetourt, Virginia, “Wiley A Marrill” as head of household. Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: District 8, Botetourt, Virginia; Roll: M432_936; Page: 156B; Image: 551. Accessed 2-8-14 on Ancestry.com.

4) Anne E. Murrell Brown is sometimes called Ann Elisy, Elisy,  Eliza, and Anneliza. She married Aaron Brown 15 Sep 1869 and they had five children. Her parents migrated to Jasper Co., Iowa in 1868, and Ann and Aaron followed sometime between 1870-1880. Her headstone in Greenlief Cemetery/Mound Prairie, lists her as “Annelliza.”

Please contact us if you would like a higher resolution image.

Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Sentimental Sunday: Murrell Family Bible, Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Murrell Family Bible

MURRELL Family Bible-Births
MURRELL Family Bible-Births        [click to enlarge]
Edith Roberts (see Murrell Family Bible, Part 1would not have known her great-grandparents Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalen Hons Murrell as they died about 15 years before she was born. I do not remember hearing any stories about them, but she told- and thankfully wrote- much about the family she did know. She did lovingly keep the Murrell family bible though, and now it is time for another generation to share for other related family to see. (Grandma would be so astounded at how we can share today!) It is now up to us to find the actual stories of the Murrells, and pass them on to our children.

[I did procrastinate and have gotten so involved with the live streaming of RootsTech that I did not get the Murrell Bible posts up, but will publish all in the next few days- really.]

The Murrell Family Bible does not have a title page or publication date- the first pages are missing. Many, but not all, of the entries were written in the same hand. The births look as if they were all written at the same time- maybe after all the children were born, after 1845? The marriage record and the first recorded death appear as if the same pen and ink were used as is on the births page. This makes me wonder if the bible was purchased around November 1846, when their daughter Mary Catharine died at the young age of 7 years. We start to see the possible stories of this family as we analyze just these three pages of Bible records. One can almost feel the grief of a mother, setting the family’s history into their Holy Book, to pass to subsequent generations.

The ephemera within the bible, which I will also post this week, gave clues that it was owned by the Roberts family in the 1930s, and we know it was passed to Edith Roberts Luck in later years. The bible was transcribed in 1966 with a purple Flair pen (the newest and coolest thing then), with Grandma Edie by my side to explain who each person was and how they were related. I have added notes of more information found in subsequent years, and corrected some of the things I did not know about transcribing when I was a new to genealogical research.

Transcription of the above Bible page:

Births

Wiley A. Murrell

was Born in the

year of our Lord

Feb the 3 day 1805

 

 

Mary Honts was

Born in the year

of our Lord Sep 9th

1806

 

 

Elizabeth Ann Murrell

Daughter of Wilee Murrell

was Born in the year of our Lord Feb the [1? Or 4?]

1835

 

 

John Henry Murrell

was Born in the

year of our Lord

July the 2 Day 1837

 

 

Mary Catherine

Murrell was Born

in the year of our

Lord Sep the 18

1839

 

 

William Anderson

Murrell was Born

In the year of our

Lord May the 25

1841

 

 

[next column]

 

 

James Edward

Murrell was Born

in the year of our

Lord Nove the 15

1842

 

 

Ann Elisy Murrell

was Born in the

year of our Lord

December the 21

1845

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) RootsTech.org is streaming video of wonderful speakers from the 2014 RootsTech conference, and they will be available on the website for a short time after. The theme of many of the speakers is, “Tell your stories!” which is exactly why we started this blog. If  opportunity presents, watch the Keynote from Saturday, 2/7/14 with Stephanie Nielson- it is a powerful story and was very moving. For some reason the videos are not available yet as I write this (and it’s a genealogy and tech conference??? Oh, the irony…) but it is all free online so am very grateful for that.

2) Wiley A. Murrell- born in Virginia; parents John (?) Murrell and ?; mother or grandparent possibly ___ Anderson since Anderson is used as his and son’s middle name?

3) Mary Honts- Parents were Henry Honts and Catherine Coffman; name Mary Magdalene Huntz/Hunts/Honce/Hance.

4) Elizabeth Murrell- Note: Feb 1 is date in other documents; middle name was Ann. Elizabeth Ann m. John Roberts in Roseville, Illinois, 08 Mar 1857 and d. 02 Feb 1917 in Prairie City, Jasper, Iowa.

5) John Henry Murrell- b. Botetourt Co., VA; m. Lydia Raburn by 21 Dec 1862 and d. 23 or 25 Mar 1880.

6) Mary Catherine Murrell- died young- see deaths

7) William Anderson Murrell- “of Roseville, IL” per obit of his sister Eliz. in 1917. Married Cordelia Talley 1 Oct 1867 in Warren Co., IL, and d. 1 Aug 1922 in Roseville, Warren, IL.

8) James Edward Murrell-  m. Mary E. Robinson 17 Nov 1867; “of Leavenworth, KS” per sister Eliz’s obit in 1917.

9) Ann Elisy Murrell- m. Aaron Brown; she d. 02 May 1892.

10) Murrell Family Bible, possibly c1845.

 

Please contact us if you would like a higher resolution image.

Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.