What’s a good Sunday morning for a Genealogist?

I have a little smile on my face realizing that the basics of genealogical research are critical. I hope to do the happy dance if all of this recent research pans out. Following up on members of a household is critical. You never know who might be related and how they are related. I have a specific goal to locate William Michael Murphy (born in Indian Territory), my great grandfather. I resorted to using a poster board with county maps and details to help sort out where this man might of came from and where he died. Every time we think of a question or something doesn’t add up, we write it down on a piece of paper and that is the beginning of my research plan. I need to be able to research and resolve each question the best I can (following GPS steps).

research plan william michael murphy 2015

In order to research William Michael I also have to research my great grandmother Nellie McCorkle (b. 1866 in Greenville, TN). We assumed she was married to William Michael Murphy. So far my grandfather William Columbus is the only child of this union we can locate, but not likely, meaning there is more research needed. One census said that Nellie had five children, we can account only for three. I am not sure what happened to William Michael Murphy, but time will tell.

Well, Ms. Nellie “Murphy” married a second time to Henry Giles, who came from North Carolina. Getting married as a Murphy is telling me they probably were married. They married in 1897 in Bell County, KY, why? Who knows! Nellie’s sister was near and Sarah/Sallie McCorkle, she married Edward Goddard, they ended up in Harlan KY. The Goddard line is another story.

Nellie and Henry Giles had two children, Johnny H., b. 1896 and Ethel Irene b. 1899, who seems to go by “Irene”. Both of these children were born in Casey County, KY. I will be on the hunt for Johnny as well. The Giles family relocates to Illinois and appears in the 1900 census in Fulton County, near a coal mine. My grandfather is 14 and is listed as a stepson and a coal miner. I suspect William Michael and Henry Giles both are coal miners. In 1905, (per the Iowa state census) the Giles family is in Polk County, Iowa, again near a coal mine, and remains until 1925. Nellie passes away between 1910-1915. Henry is listed as a widower in the 1915 Iowa state census. Later Henry lives with his daughter and her family. Ethel “Irene” is now married to John Albert Sewell, they have two children, Mabel Anna and a son named Milton R. and then they appear in Kansas City, KS census until 1930. Apparently Ethel Irene and John Sewell divorce or he died, she is now married to Clive Doty (Dotie) and they are living in Jackson County, Oklahoma. What is interesting is that the Sewell’s came from Oklahoma. (Now do you see why I am using the poster, these folks are everywhere.)

So following up on the son of Ethel Irene and John Albert Sewell, I located Milton R. Sewell on ancestry.com and family search, and it leads me to Find A Grave. I also see that he served in the military and passed in 2000. This is good news and gives me some more leads. But what I noticed on Find a Grave was a little posting on the bottom right. It was a note saying he, Uncle Milton was missed, etc., and it was from a niece. So first I search others on Find A Grave, sent an email and did a public posting to this person. Next I checked the name on Facebook. Boom! I located the niece and sent a message. Now I will prepare a list of questions to ask this niece since now I also know who her parents are. Her mother does not appear to be a Sewell or Giles. So this will be interesting.

milton r sewell headstone 2000

I don’t want to lose my focus, but I am getting a little excited. I hope she knows some information on Nellie, which might lead to some information on William Michael or at least we can share some information. I know it is a long shot, it isn’t totally exhaustive yet, but working every angle will help. So far, it has been a good day for this genealogist, sticking to the basics of following up on all the family members. Stay tune in more is coming! If you can think of anything else, please share. Thank you.Familytreegirl

About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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