Master Surname List,
containing around 100 Murphy names from Duplin and
Sampson Counties, NC
Murphy Emigration from
Ireland, one perspective
Mary (Polly) ..... (probably Murphy)
In around 1835, 28 year old
James E. Balkcom, the earliest identified Balkcom-named ancestor of the Oklahoma
Balkcom families, married a 20 year old girl named Mary who was maybe a family
neighbor. James and Mary were most
likely at the time living near their birth places in Duplin or Sampson
County in eastern North Carolina, with James probably working as a farm
hand. Mary's family name can't be proven, but a good guess is that
she was a daughter of one of the several Murphy families in the counties,
some of whom lived very near to the Balkcom families. The 1978
Balkcom book guesses that Mary's parents
were Daniel and Elizabeth Murphy, who from 1840 through 1860 lived as
neighbors to James and Mary Balkcom when they moved to Georgia and later
to Alabama. Other researchers have accepted Murphy as Mary's family
name, but no proof has been found.
If it is true that Mary's parents were among the Murphy
families who were in Duplin County, North Carolina around 1800 then she may be a second or third generation descendant of
immigrants to North Carolina from Ireland in the early 1700's. The
Murphy emigration excerpt on the left is a perspective on one of these families.
The surname list links to the database of all researched names, including
many Murphys who
lived in the Duplin/Sampson County area between 1780 and 1830.
no more than a year or so after their marriage, James and Mary had moved
400 miles south to Lowndes County in south central Georgia, bordering the
Florida line. The 1840 Lowndes County Census shows that they had five children under age 5 in
the household, two boys and three girls. In around 1845 they made
another big move, this time to Dale County, Alabama where they were to
settle permanently. In 1847 Mary had a son Brantley, the seventh of
her children who survived to adulthood, and the ancestor of the Balkcom's
who moved to Oklahoma in around 1900.
Mary had a large family, and Mary at age 46 had 11
children in her household (although some were of adult age) along with husband James. If census information
is accurate, Mary had her youngest child (Joanna) in 1864, which would
have made Mary age 50. It may be that this child was adopted, but
the federal census clearly labels her as daughter of James.
In 1870 she had seven in her household plus husband James. By 1880
at age 66, she still had two adult daughters and a boy, probably a
grandson, in the household. Mary died in 1886, at the age of 72.