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  • ID: I2017
  • Name: Solomon L. Murphree
  • Given Name: Solomon L.
  • Surname: Murphree
  • Prefix: Rev
  • Suffix: Sr
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1757 in , Bertie County, North Carolina 1
  • Death: 15 Sep 1854 in Anniston, Benton County, Alabama 2 3 4
  • Burial: Eulaton United Methodist Church Cemetery, Anniston, Calhoun County, Alabama 5 6 7 8
  • Event: Pvt, North Carolina Militia, Continental Line, released POW Military Service the Revolutionary War 1
  • Event: Alt. Birth 1752 9
  • _UID: 746F0BE72456724FB215B53A752C724720B9
  • Change Date: 7 May 2015 at 17:27
  • Note:
    He purchased 39.93 acres in Huntsville, Calhoun County, Alabama on 1 Aug 1837. The purchase was recorded in Mardisville. He or his son by the same name purchased 39.94 acres in Huntsville, Calhoun County, Alabama, on 1 Mar 1850. The purchase was recorded in Lebanon. He was living in Benton County, Alabama. He owned 14 slaves age 8-66 at the time of the 1850 census. His will was probated in Calhoun County, Alabama, in 1854.

    This summary was posted by B.J. Wilson on the tree he did for his wife Karyn Riley Wilson at Ancestry.com. The work is not credited to anyone else:

    Murphree(c1757 \endash c1854)

    Solomon Murphree's age in the 1850 census was 92, indicating a birth date about 1757. That seems reasonable, as he does not appear on the 1772 militia lists of Chatham County, suggesting he was not yet 16 in 1772.

    Although we know a great deal about Solomon Murphree's later life, there are few records of his youth. Solomon does not appear in any records of Orange or Chatham County, North Carolina other than in his father's will. His father's will of 1769 leaves "to my well beloved son Solomon Murphree a plantation that I made on the Earl Granvils (sic) land with half the land that shall be saved when the office is open…" His father had apparently entered a claim for that land before 1763, and probably utilized the land in the expectation that the grant would be issued. However, Granville died in early 1763 and the land office was closed, never to reopen. Title was never transferred, so Solomon never received this land.

    There is a marriage bond in Orange County for the marriage of a Solomon "Murphy" and Elizabeth Gunn dated 29 October 1781, but this does not appear to have been our Solomon. The family Bible of his son Daniel Murphree indicates that the first nine children all had the same mother, and two of them were born prior to this marriage date. In addition, the "Whitley Manuscript", written about 1900 by Sallie Whitley, claims that Solomon's first two wives were both named "Sarah", though no proof was offered.[1] The first wife was Sarah Ward, according to Mrs. Whitley, although I could find no supporting evidence in North Carolina. There was a Thomas Ward who lived in the mid-1770s quite near Daniel Murphree; in fact, he witnessed Daniel Murphree's will and William Blyth (perhaps Solomon's brother-in-law) in turn witnessed two deeds by Thomas Ward. Other Wards also lived nearby and were perhaps his brothers.

    Descendants have claimed that Solomon served in the Revolution, but it is not completely clear that he did so. A DAR application was based on the North Carolina record of the enlistment of a "Solomon Murphy" on 5 August 1779 in Blount's Company of the 10th Regiment commanded by Col. Abraham Shepard. A Moses Murphy, perhaps his brother, enlisted the same day in the same company. The Murphrees lived in central North Carolina at the time, but the 10th Regiment was comprised almost entirely of men from the easternmost counties of North Carolina and Blount himself lived over 100 miles east of Chatham County. This record therefore may apply to a different Solomon Murphy. I would also note that neither Solomon nor Moses ever applied for land warrants or pensions for their service.[2] The Revolutionary marker on Solomon Murphree's grave, as well as printed references to his service, are all modern conclusions based on the above record.

    A good deal of misinformation on Solomon Murphree has been published by well-meaning descendants, and repeated on the Web. The earliest publication I'm aware of (other than Sallie Whitney's manuscript) was Mrs. Howard's 1958 book, which states: "The Murphree family originally came from Dublin Ireland. One Daniel Murphree, who died in Ireland in 1782, and his wife Sarah Dempsey, had twelve children. Seven of their sons migrated to America before the Revolutionary War. They were Solomon, Nimrod, David, Daniel II, Mills, William and James...Solomon (1752-1848) came in his old age to Blount County…was a veteran of the Revolution. He was married twice but the names of his wives are not known." [3] As we've seen, these statements are largely inaccurate.

    Having failed to gain title to land in Chatham County, Solomon Murphree seems to have acquired land in the part of North Carolina that would later become Tennessee. A Solomon Murphy was granted 150 acres on Sinking Creek of the Holston River in Washington County in 1784, the grant being assigned to him by George Vincent.[4] Sinking Creek spans the present-day border between Washington and Sullivan counties, Tennessee. In 1784, all of Sinking Creek was within Washington County, but a border realignment in 1787 placed much of it within Sullivan County. The land description refers to a corner of John Murphree, apparently his brother. There is no record of his selling this land. John Murphree received a grant in Sullivan County on 9 August 1787 which was described as "including the place where Solomon Murphrey formerly lived".[5] While the precise location cannot be determined, this seems likely to have been in the Sinking Creek area, which was by then part of Sullivan County.

    Solomon had apparently abandoned Tennessee before it achieved statehood and moved into western South Carolina. In 1787, the western tip of South Carolina was opened to settlement, and Solomon and most of this siblings immediately moved there. Although settlement had begun earlier, the area was Cherokee land until 1787, after which it was briefly known as Pendleton County. It became part of Washington District in 1791, then became Pendleton District in 1800 when the Washington District was abolished.[6] Solomon Murphree was granted 115 acres there on the Saluda River on 1 October 1787, the same day as his brother Levi Murphree's grant.[7] Solomon was apparently living on this land when he was enumerated in the 1790 census of Pendleton. The household consisted of Solomon, his wife, five other females, and one male under 16. Levi, Moses, John, William, David, and James Murphree were also enumerated on the same page.

    He bought another 374 acres from Joseph Duncan in 1797, with the deed witnessed by his brothers David Murphree and William Murphree.[8] Solomon Murphree thereafter appears buying or selling land in Pendleton on at least nine occasions.

    The Secona Baptist Church claims to have been organized as early as 1786 in what is now the town of Pickens, however some Baptist authorities believe 1790-91 is a more likely organization date. William Murphree was a delegate from the church in 1790 and served as its pastor from 1791 through 1807.[9] The church minutes are preserved from 1795. Solomon Murphree apparently did not join the church until January 1799, when he was received by letter into the church and, with his brother William, appointed a delegate to the Baptist Association conference.[10] His brother James Murphree is mentioned in the church minutes in 1797.[11]

    He is in the 1800 census of Pendleton with a household consisting of one male 26-45, one male 16-26, four females under 10, four females 10-16, one female 16-26, and one female 26-45. He does not appear in the 1810 census, although he was a resident of the county when he sold land in two transactions that year.[12] In fact, he seems to have sold his remaining land in Pendleton beginning in 1814 with sales to James Bynum[13] , William and James Hunter[14] , Elizabeth Morgan[15] , and Jacob Light Jr.[16] His wife Sarah released dower in only one of these sales, implying she was not married to him at the time the other lands were acquired, thus supporting the idea that his second wife was named Sarah. The records of the Secona Baptist Church are supposed to contain a letter of dismissal to Solomon when he left for Tennessee, but I have not read them.
    At least three of his sons-in-law were on the 1812 tax list of Franklin County, Tennessee. Though Solomon was not on any extant Tennessee tax list, he must have moved to Franklin County later, for there is a record of his sale of 50 acres there excluding the "school and Baptist meeting house" in 1819.[17]

    He then moved into Blount County, Alabama at about the same time as his brother Daniel arrived in the area. Murphree's Valley, in the central part of Blount County, was named for either Solomon or Daniel (one source attributes the name to Daniel Murphree, claiming he arrived in 1817[18] ). Solomon Murphree is not in the 1820 census of Tennessee and the 1820 census for most of Alabama is lost, so it seems likely he was in Blount County by 1820. In fact, the minutes of Mt. Moriah Church show that he organized that church on 18 March 1820.[19] The seven charter members were Solomon, Asa and Rebecca Bynum, Daniel Murphree, Mary Marchbanks, Nancy Murphree, and a black sister named Rachel. I note that his wife Sarah Murphree was not among the members, perhaps because she had died before 1820. This seems likely, since Solomon married again to Mary "Polly" Prator in Blount County on 28 May 1823.

    Solomon remained in Blount County for several years, leaving a huge number of descendants and relatives who are well documented. By 1850 he appears in the Benton County census, age 92, with two children of the last marriage and an 85-year old Mary Murphree (more likely his sister than his wife).

    Solomon Murphree died in Benton County, Alabama sometime between late 1852 and late 1854, but the exact date is uncertain. He was apparently buried in the Eulaton Methodist Church Cemetery, though the original marker does not exist. A modern gravestone, installed in 1972, reads "Solomon Murphree, North Carolina, Pvt. Continental Line, Revolutionary War, 1757-1852." Whether this information is accurate is unknown.

    Solomon wrote his will on 23 November 1852 in Benton County. He directed that his estate be divided equally among his "lawful heirs" (meaning his children or their heirs), after taking into account prior gifts of $500 to Jesse Ellis and $300 to James Murphree. He appointed his son Solomon L. Murphree and grandson Benjamin Easley administrators.[20] Interestingly, the surname is spelled "Murphy" in the will, but "Murphree" among the probate records.

    The executors petitioned for probate on 2 October 1854, producing a list of the heirs which included eight living children and 39 grandchildren.[21] The final accounting, filed on 2 March 1857, distributed $9,000 among a large number of heirs.[22] These estate records identify the children (or their own children or grandchildren).

    In addition, the family Bible of Daniel Murphree, the second child, lists the birth dates of "the children of my parents" for the first nine children below.[23] This suggests that all nine had the same mother. Neither Keziah nor Nancy were included in the Bible, suggesting they may have had a different mother, probably the Sarah who released dower in 1814. The last four children were clearly the issue of Polly Prator.

    All the children are well documented in publications of the Murphree Genealogical Association and by descendants.

    1. Rebecca Murphree (22 December 1779 \endash 22 September 1843) married Asa Bynum, the son of Isaac Bynum, on 16 September 1802 according to family records. Eight of her eleven children were legatees of Solomon's estate. The children of two others were also legatees. See also Bynum pages.

    2. Daniel Murphree (9 October 1781 \endash 3 March 1851) married Pheraby Bynum, daughter of Jesse Bynum, on 16 September 1802. Eight of his children were legatees of Solomon's estate. See also Bynum pages.

    3. Mary Murphree (12 October 1783 \endash 16 July 1857) She married Benjamin Easley. Her son, Benjamin Easley, was an executor of Solomon Murphree's estate. Both Mary and her husband were living next door to Solomon in the 1850 census.

    4. Edith Murphree (8 February 1786 \endash 1859) She married Daniel Stephens, and was a legatee of Solomon's estate as a resident of Jackson County, Alabama. By the time of the settlement in 1857 she had moved to Texas. See Stephens pages.

    5. Rhoda Murphree (17 January 1788 \endash aft 1875) married John Bynum, another son of Isaac Bynum. She was a legatee as a resident of Blount County. After John's death, she moved with her son James to Ellis County Texas where she died sometime after 1875 but before 1880. See also Bynum pages.

    6. Miriam Kessiah Murphree (21 November 1789 \endash 10 March 1831) married Warham Easley. Six of her children were legatees of the estate, as were the children of a sixth child.

    7. Hannah Murphree (25 August 1791 \endash 21 February 1852) married Jesse Ellis. Twelve of her children were legatees of Solomon's estate.

    8. Elizabeth Murphree (7 November 1793 \endash bef 1850) She was deceased before Solomon's will was probated and left no children named as legatees. She could not be found in the 1850 census, and probably died young.

    9. Sarah Murphree (17 May 1796 \endash aft 1857) She married William Faust about 1812, but had remarried to Thomas Mackey sometime n the late 1820s. She was Sarah Mackey, residing in Texas, when she received her legacy.

    10. Keziah Mary Murphree (c1799? \endash bef 1841) She was not among the "children of my parents" listed in the Daniel Murphree Bible, and may have been a child of a second wife. She married Cummins Hallmark on 9 December 1820 in Blount County. Six of her children were legatees of Solomon's estate.

    11. Nancy Murphree (c1799 \endash 26 September 1857) Nancy and her sister Keziah were not among the "children of my parents" listed in the Daniel Murphree Bible, and may have been a child of a second wife. She was probably the Nancy Murphree listed among the charter members of Mt. Moriah Church in 1820. She married Benjamin Ellis by bond dated 27 July 1821 in Blount County. She left the church in 1837, apparently to move to Randolph County, Alabama, where she was living when paid her legacy. Her children are thought to have been Solomon, Jeremiah, Jesse, Phoebe, and Amey.

    12. Solomon L. Murphree (25 February 1825 \endash 19 October 1893) The first child of the marriage to Polly Prator, he was the other executor of his father's will. He married Martha Deavers on 19 January 1854 and later moved to Texas.

    13. Dicy Murphree (c1826 \endash 1838) She died in childhood, unmarried.

    14. Anne Murphree (c1828 - ?) She married W. B. Burden on 18 January 1844 in Calhoun County, and was "Annie Burden" in her father's estate papers.

    15. Emily Murphree (c1830 - ?) She was aged 20 in her father's 1850 household, but married James Heaton on 26 June 1850 and was "Emily Heaton" in the estate records.

    [1] A summary was provided by Mary Taylor, who wrote that Sallie Whitley authored the paper about 1900, apparently from interviews of family members.
    [2] This is not evidence, as North Carolina provided land warrants only to men serving (a) in the regular army, not the militia, and (b) at least two years.
    [3] Genealogy of the Bynum Family, Volume II, Mary Lou Boazman Howard (Southern Democrat, 1958), p230.
    [4] North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791, Goldene Fillers Burger, p25. (NC Grant #657)
    [5] NC Grant #421. Also recorded in Sullivan County Deed Book 1, p476.
    [6] Anderson County inherited the early deed books.
    [7] South Carolina Land Grants, Volume 18, p546.
    [8] Anderson County Deed Book C-D, p432. Abstracted in Pendleton District, SC Deeds 1790-1806, Betty Willie, p181.
    [9] A History of Secona Baptist Church and the Pickens Area, Jean Martin Flynn.
    [10] The Murphree Quarterly, Volume IV, No. 1, p5.
    [11] Secona Baptist Church, Pickens Co. SC, Church minutes 1795-1938 (FHL film 984,337 item 2), p4.
    [12] Anderson County Deed Book K, p91 and p198.
    [13] In Anderson Grantor index as Book M, p231 (recorded 1814) but not at that location in the deed books.
    [14] Anderson County Deed Book M, p603.
    [15] In Anderson Grantor index as Book M, p454 but not found in the deed books
    [16] Anderson County Deed Book O, p244.
    [17] Franklin County Deed Book K, p90.
    [18] History of Alabama and Directory of Alabama Biography, Thomas M. Owen, p1062.
    [19] Synopsis provided by Paul Murphree in 1980.
    [20] Old Records of Estates and Administrations: Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama, Catharine Cleek Mann (Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society, 1976)
    [21] Benton County Will Book K, pp326.
    [22] Benton County Will Book M, pp411.
    [23] Daniel Murphree's Bible was in the possession of the late Paul Murphree of Oneonta, Alabama when Paul provided a transcript to me in 1980.

    Father: Daniel Murphree b: 1717 in Dublin, Ireland
    Mother: Sarah Dempsey b: 1721 in Dublin, Ireland

    Marriage 1 Sarah Ward b: Abt 1760 in , Orange County, North Carolina
    • Married: Abt 1778
    • Change Date: 8 May 2010
    1. Has Children Rebecca Elizabeth Murphree b: 22 Dec 1779 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina
    2. Has Children Daniel Murphree b: 9 Oct 1781 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina
    3. Has Children Mary Murphree b: 12 Oct 1783 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina
    4. Has No Children Eady Murphree b: 8 Feb 1786 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina
    5. Has Children Rhoda "Rody" Murphree b: 17 Jan 1788 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina
    6. Has Children Miriam Murphree b: 21 Nov 1789 in Pickens, Cherokee Indian Lands
    7. Has Children Hannah Murphree b: 25 Aug 1791 in South Carolina
    8. Has No Children Elizabeth Murphree b: 7 Nov 1793 in Pickens, Washington District, South Carolina
    9. Has No Children Sarah Murphree b: 17 May 1796 in Pickens, Washington District, South Carolina
    10. Has No Children Nancy Murphree b: Abt 1799 in Pickens, Pendleton County, South Carolina
    11. Has Children Kesiah Miriam Murphree b: 1801 in Pickens, Pendleton County, South Carolina

    Marriage 2 Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Prater b: Abt 1765 in North Carolina
    • Married: 28 May 1823 in , Blount County, Alabama 10
    • Change Date: 8 May 2010

    1. Abbrev: Tombstone
      Title: Tombstone
    2. Abbrev: Tombstone
      Title: Tombstone
      Page: year only and last digit unclear in photo
    3. Abbrev: FindAGrave.com
      Title: FindAGrave.com
      Page: memorial
    4. Abbrev: Index to Alabama Wills, 1808-1870
      Title: Index to Alabama Wills, 1808-1870
        Name: Ancestry.com
    5. Abbrev: FindAGrave.com
      Title: FindAGrave.com
    6. Abbrev: Families in the Deep South
      Title: Families in the Deep South
      Author: Jan Allison
      Publication: beachmouse@gulftel.com, Rootsweb.com Gedcom Allison1
      5671 Allison Street, Orange Beach, Alabama, 251-981-3482
    7. Abbrev: 1850 U. S. Federal Census--Slave Schedules
      Title: 1850 U. S. Federal Census--Slave Schedules
        Name: Ancestry.com

      Page: Census Place: District 28, Benton, Alabama; Roll: M432_1; Page: 316A; Image: 777
    8. Abbrev: 1850 U. S. Federal Census--Slave Schedules
      Title: 1850 U. S. Federal Census--Slave Schedules
        Name: Ancestry.com

      Page: District 28, Benton, Alabama
    9. Abbrev: U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
      Title: U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
        Name: Ancestry.com
    10. Abbrev: Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969
      Title: Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969
        Name: Ancestry.com
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