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Census Sunday: Ann Elisy Murrell and Aaron Brown

Ann Elisy Murrell, age 5, with her parents in the 1850 US Federal Census taken in Botetourt County, Virginia. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Ann Elisy Murrell, sometimes called Eliza or Anneliza, was the youngest child of Wiley Anderson Murrell (1806-1885) and Mary Magdalene Honts (1806-1887). Like her older siblings, she was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, with her ‘natal day’ (an old-timey way of saying ‘birthday’) being 21 December 1845.

Birth record of Ann Elisy Murrell, from Murrell Family Bible. (See previous posts on the Bible.) (Click to enlarge.)

Eliza was just five years old on 4 October 1850 when the census taker was to stopped by their home in District 8, Botetourt County, Virginia to count the inhabitants. He listed her father,Wiley A. Murrell, first, as the head of household, then her mother. Next came the children in order of birth with their sex and ages. The ditto marks on the census extract above indicate Virginia was the birthplace for all the family members. Wiley was listed as a farmer, but no value of real estate was given, so he may have been renting their farm. The mark to the far right indicates that Wiley could not read nor write.

In 1853 the family moved to Warren County, Illinois. So we find Eliza with her parents and brothers William and James in the 1860 census there. All three children had been in attendance at school and her father, Wiley, was listed with $718 in personal estate value- still no real estate, so he was likely renting the land there too.

The quest for land they could own possibly drove Wiley and Mary to migrate further west, to Iowa, in 1868. Eliza’s sister Elizabeth Ann Murrell had married John Roberts, and they all migrated together. We don’t know if Eliza went with them or not, but it appears she may have chosen to stay, or else she took the train back to Roseville. She married on 15 September 1869 in Warren County, Illinois. Her husband, Aaron Brown (1846-1894), had been born in Indiana, but his family moved to Fulton County, Illinois, and then Warren County, where the couple probably met.

Eliza was 24, Aaron 23, when the next census taker found them in Greenbush, Warren County, Illinois, on 3 June 1870. Aaron was noted as a farmer, but with no real estate value listed; his ‘personal estate’ was listed as being worth $300. So Aaron may have been renting the land too. Eliza had gone from being a farmer’s daughter to a farmer’s wife. She had also just become a mother the week before- their son James Brown was enumerated as being “7/365” days old.

Interestingly, Eliza was listed as being born in Kentucky on the 1870 census, although most other records note her birth as Virginia, plus she was found in the 1850 census there. We do know there are errors in the census, and they can be caused by a number of situations, such as the enumerator not speaking directly to the person they are listing, errors in copying, ‘misremembering,’ etc.

James was apparently used to migration since his family had moved a number of times, and Eliza may have missed her parents, especially once she became a parent herself. Perhaps the Murrell and Roberts families had sent back glowing reports of the fertility of the soil, and the cheap land to be had in the west? For whatever reason, James and Eliza decided to move to Iowa. Their move came sometime after the birth of their daughter Mary R. Brown in 1872 and son William A. Brown (possibly named William Anderson after his uncle and grandfather?), born about 1875. They were in Iowa by about 1878, when their son George L. Brown was born in Jasper County, Iowa. Their last child, Edith M. Brown, was born in 1885, in Jasper County as well.

Edith was born just before the 1885 Iowa State Census was taken, as there was no age recorded for her but she was listed. Her mother was listed as “Ann Eliza,” and Aaron, Mary R., William A., and George L. Brown were also listed. They were farming property listed as Twp. 79, Range 20, Section 25, NW ¼ NW ¼.

More to come about the Murrell-Brown family.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. We do need to check land records in the various counties to determine if the Murrells actually owned land in Virginia or Illinois.
  2. Census records as described which can be found on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

 

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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. 
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Census Sunday: James Edward Murrell

James Edward Murrell, circa 1860s. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

James Edward Murrell was the fifth of six children born to Wiley Anderson Murrell (1806-1885) and Mary Magdalene (Honts) Murrell (1806-1887). He was the youngest brother of our ancestor Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts.

James was born on 15 November 1842 in Botetourt County, Virginia, like the rest of his siblings.  We can use the US Federal Census to follow his travels through his lifetime, and those censuses provide us some interesting information.

1850 US Federal Census of District 8, Botetourt County, Virginia, listing the Murrell family. (Click to enlarge.)

James was listed in the 1850 US Federal Census, living with his parents and siblings in District 8, Botetourt County, Virginia. In 1853 at age 11, he most likely made the trip with his family to Warren County, Illinois, walking the 175 miles alongside their covered wagon. Wonder what adventures he imagined or lived, and what treasures- rocks, feathers, broken wagon parts, bone, or ?? ended up in his boy’s pockets?

1860 US Federal Census for Wiley A. and Mary M. (Honts) Murrell in Warren County, Illinois, page 43, including son William Anderson Murrell. (Click to enlarge.)
1860 US Federal Census for Wiley A. and Mary M. (Honts) Murrell in Warren County, Illinois, continued on page 44 with James Murrell and Ann Elisy/Eliza Murrell. (Click to enlarge.)

At the US Federal Census taken on 19 June 1860, James was in Swan Twp., Warren Co., Illinois, as expected, and attending school. He would have been 14 or 17 (depending on birth year which varies), so he may have been in high school- unusual for farm boys in those days.

1860 US Federal Census for William and James Murrell in Wright County, Missouri. (Click to enlarge.)

The 1860 census for Wright County, Missouri, however, also lists a William Murrell, age 16, and a James Murrell, age 14, working for the Starling Casey family as farm laborers. This census was taken on 7 September, later than the Warren County census. These laborers were probably our Murrell uncles, as young men often traveled to find work, and it was harvest time so work would have been plentiful. Adding to the evidence that these two are indeed our uncles is that the two names are the brothers of Elizabeth (although they are common names), the age difference is approximately correct, the person responding to the census taker did not know the birthplace of either young man, and also the fact that James later settled in Missouri.

Here is where a bit of history helps us understand their life choices. The country continued to divide in the early 1860s over the issues of slavery and states’ rights. Missouri was a hotbed for both sides at that time. Wright County is in the southern part of Missouri, which was admitted to the Union as a slave state with the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The “Compromise” was that Maine was admitted as a free state to maintain balance, and a boundary line was drawn across the Louisiana Purchase to divide slave and non-slave areas for the future. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 negated the Compromise, allowing new states to decide whether or not to allow slavery. This Act further increased the tensions, to the extent of raids, murder, lynchings, coercion, gangs, etc. in the midwest, and especially Kansas and Missouri. Then the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, which was handed down at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri (where the last slave auction on the courthouse steps took place in 1861) redefined the status of slaves. The decision stated that Africans had no right to citizenship in the United States, and that allowing Dred Scott to have his freedom (and his wife and children theirs) was a legislative overreach of Congress by denying personal property rights to slave owners. (Dred Scott remained a slave until his owners gave him his freedom later that year, but he died the following year, in 1858. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, where some of our Helbling ancestors are also buried.)

So had William and James gone to Missouri sometime between June and September, when the two censuses were taken, and then been enumerated in both? The census was supposed to include “every person whose usual place of abode on the 1st day of June, 1860, was in this family.” So were they already gone to Missouri and the Murrells listed them at home in Illinois, or did the Casey family or enumerator in Missouri not understand and asked who was living in the home on the day in September that the census was counted? No one should have been counted twice, but people who moved often were, as is likely in this instance.

It would be interesting to know how long these two young men were in southern Missouri, which was very pro-slavery in those years. How did they feel coming from a northern community, where the majority was primarily anti-slavery? What did they see or experience themselves in the fields? We have already discussed that the Murrell family may have migrated to Illinois from Virginia to escape the looming Civil War- was it for a belief that abolition was necessary, as well as the safety the family, their land, and possessions? Whatever the case, we have already shown that William Anderson Murrell was motivated to join the Union cause in 1862, and his little brother James Edward Murrell followed in his footsteps and did the same in 1865. It is possible that this time in Missouri led to those choices.

 

More to come about the Civil War service of James Edward Murrell, and where he was in the following census years.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Image kindly shared by cousin Diane.
  2. 1860 census instructions– https://www.census.gov/history/pdf/1860instructions.pdf
  3. “What’s in a Name?- Underground Railroad”–http://kwqc.com/2017/02/09/whats-in-a-name-underground-railroad/
  4. US Federal Census records as described found on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

 

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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. 
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Military Monday: William Anderson Murrell

Civil War pension papers of William Anderson Murrell, 20 Feb 1899. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

William Anderson Murrell was a younger brother to our ancestor, Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts. She was the first, and he the fourth, of the children of Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalene (Honts) Murrell.

William Anderson Murrell was born 25 May 1841 in Botetourt County, Virginia. We find him with his parents and siblings in the 1850 US Federal Census for District 8, Botetourt County, Virginia; he was just 9 years old. Three years later, William migrated with his family to Warren County, Illinois.

A previous post has mentioned how some of this family’s descendants believe the Murrells may have moved to Illinois as they did not like the pro-slavery stance of most Virginians, and they most likely realized that war would be coming to their own soil if the divisive forces of the slavery and states’ rights issues persisted. We cannot know if states’ rights or slavery was the uppermost issue on their minds, or if just protecting family and assets were of primary importance.  Roseville, in Warren County, Illinois, was a stop on the Underground Railroad for many runaway slaves on their way to freedom in the north or Canada, so the area they chose to settle was anti-slavery. We do know that William took a stand on the issues, as he enlisted in the Union Army on 1 August 1862.

William enlisted with other young men from Warren County at Monmouth, Illinois as the 83rd Infantry Illinois Volunteers was being organized. He became a part of Company H (all from Warren Co.) and was enlisted for three years of service.

The 83rd moved out of Monmouth on 25 August 1862, going to Cairo, Illinois via Burlington, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. Cairo (pronounced “CARE-o” by the locals) is across the border from Kentucky and at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, so it was important for the unit to protect Union assets. Guard duty of communications lines was one of their primary missions.

Embarkation of General McClernand’s Brigade at Cairo — the Advance of the Great Mississippi Expedition — January 10, 1862, a wood engraving from a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in Harper’s Weekly, February 1, 1862, via Wikipedia, public domain. (William may have been transported on a similar steamboat.) (Click to enlarge.)
The above scene was from before William arrived in Cairo, and after Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant had taken the southernmost city of Illinois from the Confederates. Grant also took Fort Donelson, along the Cumberland River in Tennessee, in February 1862. As it was just over ten miles from Kentucky, this was a huge strategic win for the Union, and the South was stunned. The Cumberland was a route for men and supplies into Tennessee and the heart of the Confederacy. This battle essentially divided the rebellious states into two sections, making it easier for the Union to attack and control. And that the Union did- Nashville, Tennessee, fell to Grant shortly thereafter. Nashville was an industrial center as well as the capital of Tennessee, and its occupation by the Union also gave them control over much of the Tennessee River. The Union held Nashville throughout the war.

William and his fellow soldiers were moved to Fort Donelson, near Dover, Tennessee, about the 5th of September, 1862.

Part of the lower river battery, overlooking the Cumberland River. Photographed by Hal Jespersen at Fort Donelson, February 2006, via Wikipedia; public domain.

On 20 September 1863, the right wing of the regiment moved on to Clarksville, Tennessee, but we have not been able to determine if William was a part of this group.

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. 83rd Illinois Infantry Regiment–
    https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/databases/reghist.pdf https://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/reg_html/083_reg.html
  2. 83rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/83rd_Illinois_Volunteer_Infantry_Regiment
  3. Interestingly, there was a young man named Ransom Roberts in Co. H with William- could he have been a cousin through William’s sister Elizabeth’s marriage to John Roberts? There was a Joseph H. Saylor, also from Roseville- John Roberts’ mother’s maiden name was Saylor/Salyers, so he too may have been a cousin through marriage (or a marriage to be.) More research needed here as neither of these names are known to the author.
  4. Civil War Archive- 83rd regiment Infantry– http://www.civilwararchive.com/Unreghst/unilinf7.htm#83rd
  5. Fort Donelson Battlefield- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Donelson_National_Battlefield
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Donelson
    https://www.nps.gov/fodo/index.htm

 

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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. 
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Those Places Thursday: Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell Family Migration to Jasper County, Iowa, in 1868

Typical farm in Iowa, 1875. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa by Alfred Andreas. Via Wikipedia, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family, Daniel Family (Click for Family Tree)

The trip from Warren County, Illinois, to Jasper County, Iowa, was approximately 175 miles for the Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families via covered wagon. Although Google maps states it would take 54 hours to walk that far today (and less than 3 hours to drive it in a car), traveling with a heavy covered wagon that holds 1,250-2,500 pounds plus having cattle, swine, elderly folks and children, etc. would have made the trip longer.

A covered wagon, pulled by up to eight horses or a dozen oxen, could travel 10-20 miles per day, depending on the terrain. Since the midwest is mostly rolling hills in that area of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa and there are no mountains to cross, we can hope that it only took the families about 9 days to make the trip, if they could make 20 miles per day. If they could only make 10 miles per day, however, it would take 18 days to get to Jasper County.

But that was just the travel time.

Many wagon trains did not travel on the Sabbath, and accidents with required repairs could slow down the trip as well. The families would have needed to cross the Mississippi River too, which could have delayed them in waiting for a ferry, especially if the weather was bad or the river was flooded, too icy, etc. Since the population of Iowa increased by about 70% between 1860 and 1880, there might have been quite a lot of other families making the trek west, further delaying their access to a ferry. (They could probably not have taken the wagons across without a ferry, even though they would have used tar to waterproof the wooden sides and bottom of the wagon- the Mississippi was/is just too large and powerful a river. If it was iced up, however, they could have traveled across in the wagons, hoping the ice was thick enough to hold the weight.)

Illness, lame horses or oxen, a need to procure food, tools, or even a new wagon wheel, could slow down the travelers. If a lot of things went wrong, their trip could have taken three weeks to a month- a long time to be living out of a 18′ long, 11′ high, 4′ wide covered wagon!

Most of those traveling would have walked the whole way, if they physically could. Children and the elderly would have ridden in the wagon for safety and because they would not be able to keep up at times. The wooden and metal wheels used on the wagons over the jarring roads was so uncomfortable and bone-shaking, however, that most of the adults would have preferred the long walk instead of riding.

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The three families made it to Jasper County, Iowa, sometime in 1868, despite all the potential for problems.

The land and community in Jasper County, Iowa, must have suited the Murrell, Daniel, and Roberts families, as they stayed, bought land, and put down roots. Margaret Ann Hemphill and Robert Woodson Daniel were blessed with another child, Lily G. Daniel, in 1872, who survived childhood, and who eventually married George W. Walker (1872-1961).

The satisfaction  felt by the new Iowa immigrants about their new life may have influenced Ann Elisy Murrell (daughter of Wiley and Mary) and her husband, Aaron Brown (1846-1894), to move west. Ann and Aaron stayed in Warren County, Illinois, until sometime between the birth of their son William Brown in 1875 and son George Brown in 1878; they then headed to Jasper County, Iowa. It must have been a wonderful reunion!

Most of the persons mentioned in this series of articles lived out the rest of their lives in Jasper County, and are buried there, in the rich black soils of the prairie.

Jasper County, Iowa, is definitely full of “homeplaces” for the Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Conestoga Wagon” entry on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conestoga_wagon
  2. Google Maps
  3. Family stories of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, and obituaries.

 

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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. 
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Mappy Monday: The Murrell, Roberts, and Daniel Families

Map of Illinois showing Roseville, the county seat of Warren County, Illinois, via Wikipedia, public domain.

 

Murrell Family, Roberts Family, Daniel Family (Click for Family Tree)

After about 15 years in Illinois, the fertile lands of Iowa (and possibly adventure?) called to our Roberts, Murrell, and Daniel ancestors who had migrated from Virginia originally and were living in Warren County, Illinois in the late 1860s. A possible migration would have been a discussion around a fire or the supper table for many nights. Each of the families had done such a migration once or even twice before, so it may not have been quite as daunting to plan as their first trips. By 1868, the railroad was well established in Iowa and Iowa had been a state for over 20 years, so it was not as if they were moving to a new frontier.

In 1868, John Roberts & Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts sold off what they could or gave away items, and packed up the rest of their household into a covered wagon. John was 36 years old, Elizabeth 33, and their three sons and one daughter ranged from 5-10 years old; the father of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, George Anthony Roberts, was just 7 years old- what an adventure that must have been for a young boy!

Covered wagon pulled by oxen. Wikimedia Commons.
Covered wagon pulled by oxen. Wikimedia Commons.

Elizabeth Ann’s parents, Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalene (Honts) Murrell were both 62 in 1868, and all their children were grown. Two of their sons (John Henry Murrell and James Murrell) had moved to Missouri; one, William Anderson Murrell, was married and living in Roseville. Their daughter Ann Elisy Murrell chose to stay in Roseville, and married the next year, in 1869. So Wiley and Mary packed up their household as well, and made the trip of about 175 miles to Iowa with their daughter Elizabeth Ann, her husband John Roberts, and the four grandchildren.

Map showing Jasper County, Iowa, via Wikipedia, public domain.

Edith often told the story (and wrote it down!) that the Daniel family also packed up their worldly goods and family and headed to Iowa that same year, in 1868. She did not know which family arrived in Iowa first, but it is highly likely that they came together in their covered wagons, or one soon after the other. (A big Conestoga wagon could hold the goods of 4-5 families.) Charles M. Daniel was 50 years old, & his wife Elizabeth (Thomas) Daniel was 52. Although they had only been in Illinois for 4-8 years, they too decided to head west. They brought their four youngest children with them, ranging in age from 19-12: John T. Daniel, Mary Daniel, George Wesley Daniel, and Susan Syrena Daniel.  Their oldest son, James W. Daniel, (abt 1842-aft 1910), had stayed in Missouri when they migrated to Illinois in the early 1860s. Another son, Charles M. Daniel (Jr.) (1844-1915) stayed in Warren Co., Illinois and married, then moved to Story County, Iowa (needs to be confirmed) and thence to Madison County, Iowa by 1870. Daughter Nancy J. Daniel (1846-1922) had already married, in 1867, but she and her husband moved to Jasper County, Iowa by 1870, so both Charles and Nancy and their spouses may have travelled with the family group. (Nancy and her husband migrated further west by 1880, to Nebraska.)

Roseman Covered bridge, Madison County, Iowa.
Roseman Covered Bridge, Madison County, Iowa. Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family stories, Murrell Family Bible, and vital records as found on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

 

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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. 
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