Of all the stories of all of my ancestors, the one that gets to me and really makes me want to know more is the story of my great grandfather John Murphy.
John and Lilly Floyd and family in Meade County Kentucky.
My grandfather, the son of John Murphy and Lilly Fenix, and his brothers told stories of their father. There is also a bible that sheds a little light on where John was before coming to Kentucky.
He was born in 1859 in Russell County Alabama. His parents were William S. and Sarah L. (Dickson) Murphy. Sometime after early 1897 and before 1902 John got in to some trouble, was arrested, escaped jail and fled to Kentucky.
What did he do, you ask? Well, his sons told family members that he had told them that he was arrested for assault. What type of assault and against who we may never know.
Not only did he leave Alabama, but he also changed his name from John Murphy to John Floyd. This changed generations of descendants and will continue to affect them for years to come. My maiden name was Floyd (should have been Murphy).
My John married Maggie Askew in Lee County Alabama and they had a son in 1897. We believe his name to have been Shephard (Shep, Sheppie, Sheppard, etc) Murphy.
After arriving in Kentucky John married Lilly Fenix (I am descended through this couple) 10 APR 1902.
Where was he from 1897 to 1902? That’s where I would love to go…just before he arrived in Kentucky. I want to ask him where he was, why did he run, was he arrested? Was he guilty? Why did he leave his Alabama family behind? (As far as we know, his Kentucky wife Lilly never knew of his wife or son in Alabama…his Kentucky children never knew about them and his youngest son was in his late 80′s when I found the information.)
See the Murphy child? What is his first name?
I would love to find the family of Johns first son. I’m not 100% certain of his first name. Take a look at this census and tell me what you think…it doesn’t really look like a name I’ve ever seen. Ciffy? Ceffy? We believe his name may be Shepherd because that was his grandfathers middle name, and we found a Shepherd Murphy at about twenty years old and he fits to be the same person.
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