image_pdfimage_print

Wedding Wednesday: Cordelia Talley and William Anderson Murrell

William Anderson Murrell and Cordelia (Talley) Murrell- possibly wedding photo? If so, would have been taken 1 Oct 1867 in Warren Co., IL.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

We last left William Anderson Murrell on his long-awaited Independence Day- 4 July 1865, when he was officially mustered out of the victorious Union Army.

Willie, as he was called, returned to Warren County, Illinois, where he married Cordelia “Delia” or “Adelia” Talley (1850-1941) on 1 October 1867; she was the daughter of Richard and Permelia (Carter) Talley.

The next year Mary Cathryn Murrell was born, followed by Permelia Jane Murrell  in 1870. George Overton Murrell was born 24 March 1872, but then, sadly, little Mary Cathryn passed away on 7 August. Another son, named William Anderson Murrell, after his father and probably paternal grandfather, was born in 1876. In 1900, the census indicated that Delia had borne 6 children, but only 4 were still living. Perhaps another child was born sometime between 1872-1876? We have found no record of another child.

The family lived in Swan Township, Warren County, Illinois, and are found there in the 1870 US Federal Census. The 1877 publication of  “The Past and Present of Warren County Illinois” by H. F. Kett & Co. noted that Willie “Murrill” was a farmer with land in Sec. 15 of the county. It also noted that he was born in Ohio- was that an editor’s error, or did Willie not want it known that he was born in Virginia, a Confederate state? It was less than 15 years since the Civil War, and emotions still ran high in our country concerning how our country had been torn asunder. Veterans struggled with war injuries, and their problems likely increased as they returned to farming or manual labor, or even an office job- and they also would have grown worse as they aged. Willie was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a service organization that cared for veterans and helped pass legislation to benefit them, such as the pension acts. These facts may help support the idea that the family had abolitionist leanings.

Roseville, where they eventually lived but probably sold their grain, cattle, etc., and purchased their goods, had been a stop on the Underground Railroad. We will probably never know if the family aided escaping slaves, but it is a definite possibility knowing that the Murrells had two sons who went off to fight for the Union Army.

In the 1880 US Federal Census, the family was still found in Swan Twp, with Permelia, George, and William all under the age of 10 and living in the household of their farming father.  The birthplaces of Willie and Cordelia were listed as ‘West Virginia’ which was formed during the Civil War of Unionists who refused to secede in 1861, like their parent state of Virginia.

In 1889 Permelia married John Calvin Manuel (1865-1950); they had ten children and lived in Roseville.

In 1898, there were two more marriages in the Murrell family. William Anderson Murrell (Jr. or III?) married Etta “Etty” Viola White (1880-1940) on 28 July 1898; they had five children, but apparently divorced sometime before 1916 when his wife remarried. His brother George Overton Murrell married Nora B. Cunningham (1875-1982) about a month later, on 24 August 1898 in Warren County, Illinois. George and Nora had six children, and also lived in Roseville for the rest of their lives.

Marriage certificate of George O. Murrell and Nora B. Cunningham.

William and his wife, listed as “Fredilia” Murrell, were still in Swan Twp. for the 1900 US Federal Census, and they had a servant living with them. Willie was 61, and Delia 49. They moved to Roseville after that, and Willie was listed as a laborer “working out” in 1910. By 1920 he had retired. He died just two years later, on 1 August 1922, in Roseville at age 81.

Cordelia was head of household and lived with their son, Willie, who, in 1930, was listed on the census as divorced. In 1940, they were in the same household, although Willie as listed as the head, and Cordelia erroneously is listed as his wife, with her age transcribed as 29 instead of 89. She died the next year, on 13 February 1941.

Headstone of William H. Murrell and his wife Cordelia (Talley) Murrell in Roseville Cemetery, (Sec. 3), Roseville, Illinois. Find A Grave, used with kind permission.

She is buried with her husband in Roseville Cemetery, Section 3 near the mausoleum. Twelve other Murrells, including their children and grandchildren, are buried in the same cemetery.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. William and Cordelia had 20 or more grandchildren upon their death (obituaries vary), and seven great-great grandchildren at Willie’s death, so many more by the time Cordelia died 19 years later in 1941.
  2. William’s Find A Grave Memorial is #75836198; you can link to the rest of the family memorials from his. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Murrell&GSiman=1&GScid=353347&GRid=75836198&
  3. Interestingly, the wife of William Anderson Murrell (b. 1876) remarried after their divorce, to John Helm Blount (1866-1949). A Blount family also married into the Roberts family- William’s aunt Elizabeth Ann Murrell married John Roberts. Wonder if there is any connection?
  4. Family photos and records- thanks to all the cousins who shared, esp. Cousin Diane who is a fantastic Murrell researcher!
  5. Please contact us if you are descended from any of these Murrells, and have done or would like to do a DNA test. We are still trying to determine the parents of Willie’s father, Wiley Anderson Murrell, and have conflicting/confusing data. Also, we would love to hear from other cousins and share family treasures!

 

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.

Tuesday’s Tip: Multiple Sources Tell the Story of William Anderson Murrell

Civil War pension papers of William Anderson Murrell, 11 July 1910.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip: Use multiple sources when telling the story of an ancestor. Each one may provide only a small bit of unique information, but together those tidbits can tell a compelling story. You can find more sources by researching the references cited on a website or in a book.

 

We learned more about William Anderson Murrell’s military service by following this tip.

 

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

 

Guerilla warfare was a significant part of the Civil War, and William A. Murrell and his regiment, the Illinois 83rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry, provided heavy guard to the fort and surrounding areas. “The Past and Present of Warren County…” published in 1877 tells more of the story of the 83rd:

 

“…the whole country, especially the banks of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, were infested with guerrillas, [and the company] had daily skirmishes with the enemy, some of them quite severe as at Waverly (Tennessee) and at Garretsburg (Kentucky).”

 

Skirmishes were not all that soldiers on guard duty had to deal with. Battles occurred as well.

 

The 3rd day of February in 1863 likely dawned cold, and possibly there was snow on the ground. By the time the sun was high in the sky, Fort Donelson and its Union forces were attacked by the rebels of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Joseph Wheeler, two of the Confederacy’s best commanders. The Confederates had 8,000 men, and William most likely was one of nine companies from the 83rd, plus 1 company from the Illinois 2nd, who were able to hold off the enemy for seven hours of fighting. By 8:30pm that night, the enemy withdrew; they had 800 men killed or wounded. Of the small garrison at the fort, of the 83rd, only 13 paid the ultimate price, and 51 were wounded. The fort was still under control of the Union that evening, despite the “Battle of Dover,” due to the bravery of soldiers like William A. Murrell.

 

After the surprising Confederate loss, it was reported that Forrest told his rival Wheeler, “Tell [General Bragg] that I will be in my coffin before I will fight again under your command.”

 

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. He most likely did end up in Clarksville at some point, however, per regimental histories.

 

Despite their hatred for each other, the Confederate officers Forrest and Wheeler were involved together in other battles with Union forces. One of their missions was to disrupt the communications of General Sherman as he marched through the south. The Illinois 83rd out of Clarksville pursued the rebel forces, and were involved in many skirmishes and fights.

 

During 1864, the 83rd Illinois was guarding over 200 miles of Union communications (telegraph, railroad, waterways, roads, etc.), and much heavy patrol duty was required to keep those lines in Union hands. An Adjutant General’s report on the Illinois 83rd told the story of one of the forays after the rebels:

 

“On the morning of the 20th of August, 1864, Captain William M. Turnbull, of Company B, with eleven of his company, left Fort Donelson in pursuit of a party of five guerrillas, who were making their way to the Tennessee River with a lot of horses, but failing to overtake them he was overpowered while returning to his command by a party of guerrillas secreted in the timber, and he and seven of  his men were killed, while one had both his legs broken, but he was afterward cowardly murdered by guerrillas, who found him lying helpless in a barn where some humane citizen had taken him for safety.  But three of the party escaped to tell the sad fate of their companions.”

 

(Wonder if there was any retribution by the guerrillas to the person who had helped the Union soldier to the barn? Sadly, it was highly likely…)

 

We know that William was probably not a part of this event, since he was in Co. H, not Co. B. Some of the young men of Co. B were from Roseville, however, and William may have known them. Even if he did not, hearing this story as the three survivors returned must have been frightening to 23-year old William and his fellow soldiers.

 

The winter of 1864-5 found the regiment in Nashville, Tennessee, on provost duty. This was essentially a ‘military police’ job, requiring them to keep order and discipline within the Union troops of the city.

 

The war was coming to a close, and that meant that William Anderson Murrell and his regiment were about to be mustered out of the Union Army. Colonel Arthur A. Smith, the commanding general of the Illinois 83rd, received the following letter commending his troops:

 

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Nashville, Tenn., May 31, 1865

Colonel A. A. Smith, Commanding Fifth Sub. District Middle Tennessee.

 

Dear Colonel – By an order just received the troops of 1862 will be mustered out of services.  Your Regiment will go out under that order.  I am unwilling to part with you and your officers and men without expressing my highest commendation of the soldierly bearing and gentlemanly conduct of all during the time they have been under my command.  At the time when I most needed brave men and steady soldiers to drive Wheeler and Forrest out of the district I was but too happy to avail myself of the services of as many of your Regiment as could be spared for that duty.  And relying greatly upon them I was not disappointed in their deportment.

 

I have not been troubled with complaints against them for disorderly conduct and marauding, but their deportment in the army and community has been brave and soldierly, proving that the brave man and true soldier is always honest and just.  I can truly say I do not know a regiment in the service whose brave and soldierly bearing more fully entitles it to the respect and gratitude of the country than the Eighty-third Infantry, and you and they will take with you, individually and collectively, my sincere thanks for your efficient services and my kindest wishes for your future welfare in all things.

I am, Colonel, very truly, etc.
Lovel H. Rosseau.
Major General Commanding

 

William and his brothers in arms were officially mustered out on 26 June 1865 at Nashville. The were moved to Chicago, Illinois, and received their discharge and final pay on 4 July 1865. What a true day of independence that was for all the soldiers discharged!

 

 ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

 

 One fun and interesting tidbit that we did learn about William’s unit, following today’s tip about exploring a variety of sources:

 

Many of the young men enlisted in Co. C of the 83rd Illinois were from Roseville, Illinois.  So William may have had some dealings with the men in this unit, whether because he knew them personally or because they went out on patrol together, and lived together in the small garrison. One of the soldiers in Co. C, from Pella, Iowa, was Virgil Walter Earp. You might now be thinking of Wyatt Earp, the famous marshall who was involved in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral years later in Tombstone, Arizona. They were actually brothers, but Virgil was the more experienced with guns and had served longer as a lawman. Virgil was officially the City Marshal for Tombstone and a Deputy U.S. Marshal; he made his brother Wyatt an Assistant Deputy before the shootout in 1881, as well as their brother Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday. It may have been Virgil that fired the first shot in the shootout. His brother Wyatt, who spent most of his life as a gambler, got all the glory instead after a fictionalized biography called Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal by Stuart N. Lake was published in 1931.

 

It would be interesting to know William A. Murrell’s reaction when he heard the O.K. Corral shootout story and the name of a member of the Illinois 83rd…

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. 83rd Illinois Infantry Regiment– 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. Civil War Archive- 83rd regiment Infantry– http://www.civilwararchive.com/Unreghst/unilinf7.htm#83rd
  4. 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

  5. Virgil Earp–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgil_Earp

 

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.

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

 

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 2013-2016 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.

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.

 

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.

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 1806 (some say 1809) in Virginia but we do not know exactly where. The first 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.