Caswell County Family Tree

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  • ID: I3489
  • Name: Archibald Murphey 1
  • Sex: M
  • Reference Number: 3489
  • Title: Colonel
  • Birth: 18 DEC 1742 in Pennsylvania 2
  • Death: 15 OCT 1817 in Caswell County, North Carolina 2
  • Note:
    Archibald Murphey (1742-1817)

    The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 391-392 (Article #502, "Archibald Murphey" by Mary McAden Satterfield):

    Archibald Murphey was a native of York County, Pennsylvania, a son of one Alexander Murphey, who probably came from the north of Ireland during the great Scotch-Irish emigration of this period. Archibald Murphey was born in 1742 in Pennsylvania. With several of his brothers and sisters he followed the tide of emigration southward from Pennsylvania at the time of the French and Indian War and settled in what is now Caswell County. Caswell was formed from Orange County in 1777. He married Jane DeBow in 1769.

    He was a member of the Committee of Safety of Orange County in 1776. In the summer of 1780, he was commissioned as Major of a Regiment of Volunteers of Caswell County under Colonel William Moore. He marched at once to South Carolina and was probably at Gates' defeat at Camden on August 15th. He remained in active service in or near South Carolina until Cornwallis crossed the Catawba at Cowan's Ford, February 1, 1781, where he fought in the action in which General William L. Davidson was killed. He was with Greene's army during its famous retreat to Virginia and until after the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15th.

    Not long afterward he returned home to superintend the recruiting of militia and to take charge of the County Clerk's office to which he was appointed in 1780. About 1782, he was elected Colonel of Caswell County, the highest rank in the county's militia.

    He held the County Clerk's office until 1816. This office and his plantation yielded him a fortune of about forty thousand dollars.

    For many years he was a breeder of fine horses. Although he had little education, he was a man of much influence in his community. He was a founder and president of the Board of Trustees of Caswell Academy, the first classical school in the county, opened in 1803. His bookplate indicated that he had a respectable collection of books.

    He was one of five men chosen by the Legislature to serve as first commissioners of the town of Milton.

    His children were: Alexander, Mary, Elizabeth, Archibald DeBow, John Greene, Nancy, and Lucy.

    Colonel Murphey lived on a plantation of five hundred acres on Hico "Hyco" Creek about a mile from Semora. The Murphey Castle was a small wooden structure with a brick foundation about six feet high and a stoop of the same height. it had only two rooms and an attic and a cellar, but is said to have been an object of much interest to the people of that region, being the first frame building in Caswell County.

    For more information go to: Archibald Debow Murphey.

    Gravestone Inscription (Hillsborough Old Town Cemetery, Hillsborough, North Carolina):

    Murphey, Archibald DeBow B 1777 D 1832 Graduate Professor, and Trustee of the State University. Early and enlightened advocate of public schools and internal improvements. Diligent explorer of North Carolina history. State Senator, reporter and Judge of the Superior and Supreme Courts.

    Archibald Murphey provided for his grandchildren is his 1817 will: ?And as to the share to which the children of my daughter Nancy Debow are entitled, I direct my Executors to hold the same in trust for their use.?

    This was an unusual paragraph in that Archibald provided that the fathers of all other grandchildren shall act as trustee. In Nancy and Solomon?s case, Archibald left the duty of their children?s estates to the executors of Archibald?s will. This was presumably done to protect their children?s inheritance from collection of the debts of Solomon Debow. Just two years later, Archibald?s widow, Nancy?s mother, gifted a slave for the benefit of Nancy and her son, Solomon Debow.

    ?Jane Murphey [widow of Archibald] of Caswell to Alexander Murphey [son] of same, for $5, negro girl slave Abby age about 5 yrs. In trust; daughter Nancy Debow to have use of Abby for her life then in trust for her son Solomon Debow, said girl not subject to any debts of Solomon Debow husband to Nancy. 08 February 1819. Witnesses: A. D. Murphey, Nathaniel Pass.?

    Following Archibald Murphey?s death, a sale was held on 18 December 1817 of his personal property. Although no purchases were made by Solomon or Nancy Debow, Nancy?s brother, Alexander, made a purchase of ?400 pounds of pork for Solomon Debow?s family? for $40.00.

    Deed Book X, pp. 335-336: ARCHIBALD D. MURPHEY of Orange County, surviving executor of ARCHIBALD MURPHEY, dec'd., of Caswell County, to David Pointner of Person County, for $1500., 676 acres in Caswell and Person Counties, being tract where ARCHIBALD MURPHEY resided adjacent William McGehee, James Rainey, Thomas Jeffreys, William Childs, George Taylor, Hamlet's old tract, excepting 1/2 acre laid off in square around the graveyard where ARCHIBALD MURPHEY IS BURIED; also release for 4 3/7 acres to Hico Academy which is part of said tract and is excepted. 09 June 1828. Wts: James Rainey, Thos. D. Johnston, David G. Brandon.

    The foregoing should be of some assistance to those seeking the burial site of Archiband Murphey (1742-1817).

    15 April 1843 Herndon Haralson Letter

    Father: Alexander Murphey
    Mother: Mary McKenney

    Marriage 1 Jane DeBow b: 1749 in New Jersey
    • Married: 1769 1
    1. Has Children John Greene Murphey b: ABT 1780 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    2. Has Children Nancy Murphey b: ABT 1783 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    3. Has Children Lucy Murphey b: 1785
    4. Has Children Archibald DeBow Murphey b: 1777 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    5. Has Children Alexander Murphey b: 1770 in Orange County, North Carolina
    6. Has Children Mary Murphey b: 13 FEB 1771 in North Carolina
    7. Has Children Elizabeth Murphey b: 15 APR 1778 in Randolph County, North Carolina

    1. Details: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 391-392 (Article #502, "Archibald Murphey" by Mary McAden Satterfield)
    2. Title: Ancestry.Com OneWorldTree (not totally reliable)

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