My 3G grandmother Elizabeth McMurtry was the daughter of James McMurtry and Sarah Steele of Belfast, Ireland & Brighton, MA. James & Sarah were both were born in Ireland about 1812-13 and likely came to America with most of their children in 1849-1851. Although I have not yet been able to locate their border record or find them on the 1850 census, their youngest son William's birth is recorded as Sept 30, 1851 in Brighton, MA so we know they had arrived by then.
According to James death record he was the son of Alexander McMurtry (b. a1780?) & Betty, probably near Belfast Ireland. Sarah Steele was most likely the sister of Ann (Steele) Marshall, daughters of Robert Steele & Elizabeth Simpson of Ireland. We know this because Ann is buried with Sarah & James in Evergreen Cemetery, Brighton, MA: Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker: Ann Marshall died June 21 1894 Aged 79 years; Death Record: June 21 1894 in Brighton, MA, Ann (Steal) Marshall (widow of James; mn Steal) pneumonia 24 Shepard St [b. 1815 Ireland] Dau of Robert Steal & Elizabeth Simpson both b. Ireland; Marriage Record: Ann Steele b. 1823 m: Jul 19 1856 in Brighton, MA Parents: Robert Steele & Betty, James Marshall, son of James & Margaret Marshall. In 1860 James & Ann Marshall are in Brighton with no children.
James & Sarah McMurtry are found in the following:
· The 1855 Massachusetts Census in Brighton, MA lists them as “McMurtaugh”: James a43 Laborer b. Ire; Sarah a43 b. Ire; Samuel a13 b. Ire; Sarah J. a12 b. Ire; Margaret a9 b: Ire; William J. a4 b: Ma.
· The 1860 US Census for Brighton, MA lists them as “Mc Merty”: James a48, Butcher, 2000 estate; Sarah a48; Robert a22, tanner; Samuel a18, peddler; Margaret a14; William a8.
· The 1865 Massachusetts Census in Brighton lists James w/ his son Alexander – no Sarah
· The 1870 US Census in Brighton, MA lists Alexander McMurtry a 35; Jane a33; Albert I a5; George H. a3; Fred a1. Nearby is Robert a30; Margaret a30; Sarah J. a7; Robert H. a4 – [notice no father James – not sure where he is, but he shows back up in 1880]
· 1875 Boston Directory - email@example.com: Alexander McMurtrie, laborer, h. Shepard, Brighton
· 1878 Boston Directory: Alexander contractor, Shepard, Brighton; James, Laborer, Shepard, Brighton; Wm J. Plasterer, Shepard, Brighton; Robert Cattledealer N.Beacon Brighton
· 1880 US Census for Shepard St Brighton, MA –taken June 29 under Boston Ward 25; District 785 lists: Alex a42 road contractor Ire Ire Ire; Jane a42; Albert a15; George H. a13; Frederick a11; Marietta a9; James (Alex’s father) a70, widowed.
· 1882 Boston Directory: Alexander contractor, Shepard, Brighton; James, Laborer, Shepard, Brighton; Wm J. Plasterer, Shepard, Brighton
· 1883 Boston Directory: James is no longer listed – so it fits that he died; Alex & Wm J are still in the 1883 directory plus these: David McMurtrie Salesman 477 Washington, bds; Ezekiel M “ 3001 Washington; James A. “Wardmaster City Hosp.; John McMutry clerk, 92 court rms 100 Myrtle
From US Census records 1860-1880, & the Mass State census for 1865, we can determine James & Sarah married about 1830 in Ireland, Sarah died between 1860-65 & James died after 1880. There is a death record found for James McMurtry born about 1810 who died May 21, 1882 age 72 on Shepard St in Brighton, MA. Although on the original, it looks like it could be 42 and therefore has been transcribed on the index as if he was 42, not 72. The record further states he was a "Butler", died of Alcoholism/Dis of the brain, and that he was the son of Alexander & Betty.
Evergreen Cemetery confirms both James & Sarah McMurtry are buried there in lot 150 Weston Path (see below for more). The cemetery's records are not particularly organized, so don’t be shocked if they can’t find it right away, if at all. Other records & unmarked graves for this surname may or may not exist, be prepared with date of death for whoever you are looking for.
James & Sarah's children were:
1. Elizabeth McMurtry b Mar 1833-36 in Ireland – Click here to see McElveen/ McIlvaine
2. Alexander McMurtry b July 15, 1836 Belfast, Ireland married Jane Thompson about 1863. A McMurtry family member, also named Samuel McMurtry shared the following with me in Oct 2011: Alexander McMurtry of Brighton, labourer, born Belfast, Ireland on 15 July 1836, now 21 years of age, arrived at Portland Maine on 9 June 1849 (did not find on ancestry). Alexander McMurtry became a citizen, 25 Sep 1854. [1854-1836 = 18 years of age] Jane died Jan 12 1918 in Boston (FS) Alexander died after 1920 as he is listed at age 83 with his daughter & son in-law Michael Frank Murphy at that time and is a widower.
See above records under his father James for more on his Census & Directory listings, as well as the following: Evergreen Cemetery Records: McMurtry, Alexander, Lot 150 Grave No 11 Western Path Proprietor Alexander McMurtry 84y 0m 0 d Died: Sep 8 1921 in Brighton, MA Buried Sep 10 1921 Undertaker J.F. Sullivan Cement vault; McMurtry, Jane Lot 150 Grave 12 Western Path Proprietor Alex McMurtry a82y0m0d Died: Jan 12 1918 in Brighton, MA Buried Jan 15 1918 Interment No. 1881 Undertaker J.F. Sullivan; Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker: Alexander McMurtry 1837-1921 & Jane Thompson McMurtry 1836-1919 (Front)
· 1884 Boston Directory: Only lists David, Alex and Wm J.
· The 1885 map of Brighton shows a big piece of land on Shepard St. near Washington
St., and it is owned by Alex McMurtry.
· 1885 Boston Directory via firstname.lastname@example.org lists J. Alexander McMurtrie supervisor
at city Hospital; Albert J. teamster bds a A. McMurtry’s Brighton; also lists Alex and
· 1890 – AJ and GH own additional land on Shepard. Now includes corner lot on
Washington previously owned by Ed Foster [via Judith Berger former resident of
· 1899-Map – Jane owns corner of Shepard & Washington; Alex owns adjacent two
lots and also a lot on Winship St closer to Washington end. [via Judith Berger
former resident of McMurtry home]
· 1900 Census – Shepard St.: Alexander Mcmutry July 28, 1835 65yrs. married
38yrs, imm 1850, NA, contractor, can’t read or write speaks Eng Owns house free
of debt; Jane May 18 1836 64y married 38yrs 4ch-4liv 84mo in school can read,
write and speak Eng.; George H Feb 10 or 20 1867, 33yrs single born MA contractor
96mo in school can read, write & speak; Mary E. Jan 8, 1873 27y single 96 mo school
also can read, write & speak English; Julia Barry servant Oct 27, 1875 sing born Ire
imm 1898, 60 mo school can read, write and speak Eng
· April 2 1903, Boston Globe- Burglars get 225. from home of Alex McMurtry, 16
shepard St; money was kept in a large old fashioned safe in the front room of the
McMurtry home. Robbery committed between midnight Sat and breakfast Sunday.
Stable is beside home and McMurtry had been up all night with a sick horse. Capt
Warren declined to discuss with reporter. Boston Public ibrary/Proquest/ Boston
· 1904 11 Henshaw st. Permit to build Oct 19, 1904 Jane McMurtry of 16 shepard St.
G.Albert J. McMurtry ; Eugne clark architect, builder ???, one family dwelling
Approved Oct 21, 1904 – house completed July 20 1905. cost estimate to build
· 1904 Directory: via Boston City Directory/http://bcd.lib.tufts.edu : McMurtry Albert J.
(A J & GH McMurtry) 16 Shepard Br h 23 Henshaw do; McMurtry, Alexander, h 16
Shepard, Br.; McMurtry A. J. & G. H. contraCTORS 16 Shepard, Br, (pg. 2550);
McMurtry Frederick foreman, 16 Shepard Br. Bdsdo; McMurtry George H. (AJ &
GH McMurtry) 16 Shepard Br, h 17 Henshaw do
· 1905 Directory via City Directory-bcd.lib.tufts.edu : McMurtry, Albert J., (AJ &
GH McMurtry) 16 Shepard Br., h 23 Henshaw; McMurtry, Alexander, H, 16
Shepard, Brighthon, AJ & GH McMurtry contractors 16 Shepard St.; McMurtry,
Frederick, foreman 16 Shepard Brighton bdsdo; McMurtry, George H., 16 Shepard
Br, h. 17 Henshaw, do
· 1909 Map -- 12 Brighton Center. Jane McMurtry owns 14 Winship Street,
6 through 16 Shepard, (formerly listed under Alexander in 1899). ; 12 Brighton
Center, Ward 25, From right to left -- Susan Fisk, Alex and Jane McMurtry 2 lots
-5355, 9979, Jane McMurtry-5879, A&J McMurtry-5440. Across Menlo Street
owned by Chas. Five Cents Savings Bank bahistory.org/1909
· 1916 Map -- 12 Brighton Center, Ward 25 and 26, St. Elizabeth's on the map, From
right to left -- Susan Fisk, Fred K. McMurtry, next three lots-A & J McMurtry,
other side of Menlo-Alice Keenan. Brighton Center. Jane McMurtry still holds 14
Winship Street, 6 through 16 Shepard. via bahistory.org/1916
Alexander & Jane’s Children:
i. Albert J. McMurtry b “Male” Dec 31 1864 in Brighton, MA (NEHGS) m Elizabeth
A. Lynch Oct 29 1896 in Boston (NEHGS) AJ & GH McMurtry Contractors.
“Elizbeth A. McMurtry deceased on October 28, 1929. 58 years old , residing 23 Henshaw
Street and died there, housewife, gastric carcinoma, Dennis O'Brien and Hannah Mahoney
parents. Buried Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden” via www.masslandrecords.com ,Death
certificate, City of Boston. “Elizabeth A. McMurtry wife of Albert dies October 28,
1929, carcinoma gastric, age 58” http://masslandrecords.com Evergreen Cemetery
Records: McMurtry, Albert J. (Liner) Lot 150 Grave no 7 Western Path
Proprietor Alexander McMurtry a81y11m Died Dec 3 1946 in Albany, NY
Buried Dec 6 1946 Interment No 6025 Undertaker Muldoon Fun. Ser. Cause:
Carcinoma of Neck, Not deep enough for two; No marker
Children of Albert & Elizabeth:
a. Florence M. McMurtry b. a1902
b. Alexander G. McMurtry b. a1904
c. Albert J. McMurtry b. a1906
d. Elizabeth McMurtry b. a 1908
· 1910 Census-T624, Roll 625, Page 281, Thirteenth Census, Precinct 7, Suffolk,
Supervisor 114, Enumeration District 1657, Ward 25, sheet 2, April 15, 1910, 23
Henshaw Street, Albert J. McMurtry, Head, 42, Married one, 13 years married,
born in Mass. , parents from Ireland, Contractor, Stone Quarry, owns, free of
mortgage, house; Elizabeth A, wife, 38, Married, mother of 4, 4 living, born in
Mass, parents from Ireland, no profession, Florence M. daughter 8, Alexander,
Son, 6, Albert Jr., Son, 4, Elizabeth, daughter, 2, all born in Mass. Norah
Hallisey, Servant, 30 yo, single, immigrated from Ireland 1885, can read &
· Boston Public Library/Proquest/Boston Daily Globe, December 6, 1918:
Albert J. McMurtry, Brighton contractor, testified in the Superior Court before
Judge Keating and a jury in the trial of a suit brought against him by Harris
Gruber for $25,000 damages for alleged alienation of the affections of his former
wife, Frances H. Gruber (formerly Miss Handler). McMurtry testifies he paid
$6,000 Blackmail. "Why was your name in the divorce libel..." "Because he
thought he could get money if my name were there. He's been after it for the
last five years and he's got some of it too", McMurtry said. Mr. Patron, in
opening the defense, characterized the case as a badger game. He charged it
was a conspiracy to extort money from the defendant, who he said, was a
married man with children and has at times one a great many foolish things.
· Boston Public Library/Proquest/Boston Daily Globe, December 10, 1918:
James Handler, brother of Mrs. Gruber testifies. Witness testifies that Gruber
made a remark he had a scheme by which he could get $10,000. Witness said he
never saw McMurtry with his sister except at his father's home in Malden. At
the time of the trial Gruber living with his wife Sophie Gordon whom he
married on July 19, 1917. McMurtry accused of going to a New York Hotel
with Mrs. Gruber and signing in as Mr. and Mrs. Brewer. After that point
$2500 was secured from him. Another time Gruber accuses he entered his house
at 486 Blue Hill avenue and saw his wife partly dressed and McMurtry
hurrying down the street.
· Boston Public Library/Proquest/Boston Daily Globe, December 11, 1918: Suit
given to the jury today. James R. Wood, head of a detective agency, said
Gruber spoke to him about shadowing his wife and they went to New York
to do so. Gruber told Wood he man's name was Miller even though he knew
it was McMurtry. Other testimoney placed Mrs. Gruber at the Hotel Lenox
with McMurtry by the elevators. Witness (Wood) said McMurtry told him
there was nothing wrong between him and Mrs. Gruber, that he had told
Gruber what he thought of his wife and that they had been friends a long time.
· Boston Public Library/Proquest/Boston Daily Globe, December 12, 1918 Jury
deliberated all day and had not reached a verdict.
· Boston Public Library/Proquest/Boston Daily Globe, December 13, 1918 Jury
Disagrees in Gruber alienation Suit. Unable to agree. It is understood that
11 jurors were in favor of McMurtry
· 1920 Census 23 Henshaw Street, Albert J. McMurtry, 53, Contractor, Elizabeth
A., 48, no occupation, Florence M., 18, Alexander G., 16, Albert J. Jr., 14,
ii. George Henry McMurtry b Feb 10 1867 in Brighton, Ma (NEHGS) m: Margaret
Elizabeth Coleman, dau of William Coleman & Julia Drscoll on Oct 22 1902 in
Watertown, MA (FS) He died Apr 24 1916 (FS) “George H. McMurtry, prominent
contractor and member of the firm of A.J. and G. H. McMurtry died at St. Eve's
April 24, 1916 following an operation for appendicitis. Born in Brighton Feb. 10,
1869. Funeral at his home-17 Henshaw St. His wife and 3 children survive. Boston
Public Library/Proquest/Boston Daily Globe, April 25, 1916
Children of George & Margaret:
a. Robert A. McMurtry b. 1904
b. George H. McMurtry b. 1906
c. Alice M. McMurtry b. 1910
· 1910 Census 17 Henshaw Street, George H. McMurtry, 41, married once,
6 years, born in Mass., parents from Ireland, contractor, stone quarry, owns,
free of mortgage, house, Margaret, 32, wife, married 6 years, 3 children,
3 living children, born in Mass., parents from Ireland, Robert A. , 6, George
H. Jr. 4, Alice M., 4 months, Cassie Bellfontaine, Servant, French Canadien,
year of immigration 1909, servant, private family
· 1920 Census 17 Henshaw Street, Margaret McMurtry, 44, widowed, no
occupation, Robert A., 16, teamster, contractor private business,
George H., 14, Alice M., 10
iii. Fred McMurtry b May 20 1869 in Brighton, Ma (NEHGS) married Mary E.
Leavitt Holt Mar 28 1905 (FS). She was b. Newton, dau of William P. Leavitt
b. Chichester, NH & Elizabeth A. Adams born in Boston, MA. She died Jan 4
1910, 38y11m16d of Apoplexy. She is buried in Mt Auburn Crematory (NEHGS).
It doesn’t appear they had any children.He married Olivia 2nd. Evergreen
Cemetery Records: McMurtry, Frederick, Lot No. 150, Grave No. 9 & 10,
Western Path, Proprietor Alexander McMurtry (heir) 59y 0mo 0d Died: Feb 24
1935 of Brighton, MA Buried Feb 26 1935 Interment No 4034 Undertaker J.F.
Sullivan Cement vault ; McMurtry, Olive G. H.P. Liner for one only
Lot 150 Grave No 8 Western Path Proprietor John W. McMurtrry 65y11m
Died: Feb 27 1953 in Boston Buried Mar 2 1953 Undertaker T.F. McCarthy
Cause Heart disease; Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker: Frederick McMurtry
1870-1935 (Back) Olive G. McMurtry 1887-1953 (Back)
Children of Fred & Olivia:
a. John McMurtry b. 1917
· 1910 Census 11 Henshaw Street, Frederick McMurtry, 39, head, not sure if
widowed or never married, born in Mass, both parents from Ireland,
contractor, stone quarry, employee, owned, free of mortgage, house Sarah M.
Leavitt, servant, 56, single (maybe census taker switched infor with
Frederick??), born in Mass, father from New Hampshire, mother from Mass.
· 1920 Census, 11 Henshaw Street, Frederick, Own, Free of Mortgage, 48,
Contractor, private business, Olivia G, Wife, 33yo, father born Ireland,
Mother Ma, no occupation,John, son, 3, born in Mass
iv. Marietta/Mary Etta McMurtry born about 1871 m: Michael Frank Murphy on
Sept 18 1901 in Boston (FS) 1901 Permit to build Mary Etta McMurtry, Eugene
Clark architect, James Muldoon builder, one family dwelling15 Henshaw st.
http://www.cityofboston.gov/isd/building Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker:
Marietta M. Murphy 1871 – 1947 (Back); 1874 Michael F. Murphy 1958 (Back)
Michael & Marietta children:
a. Francis A. Murphy b. a1903 Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker:
1902 Francis A. Murphy 1973 (Murphy Stone) 1908 Dorothy G. Murphy
1985 (Murphy Stone)
b. Jennie T. Murphy b. 1905
c. Frederick Murphy b. 1907
· 1910 Census 15 Henshaw, Frank M. Murphy, 36 yo, married 8 years, born in
Mass, parents from Ireland, retail merchant liquor employee, owned, free of
mortgage, house, Mary E. Murphy, 36 yo, married 8 years, 3 children born,
3 children living, born in Mass, parents from Ireland, Francis A., 7, Jennie T. 5,
Frederick, 3, all born in Mass, parents from Mass., Norah T. Cady, Servant., 23
yo, born in Ireland, parents from Ireland, Immigrated 1896
· 1920 Census 15 Henshaw Street, Frank M. Murphy, Own, Free of Mortgage, 43,
Manager, Mary E., 43, no occupation, Francis A., 17, Jennie T., 15, Frederick, 13,
Alexander McMurtry, fatherin law, 83, widowed, imigrated 1848, Naturalized in
1855, contractor, private business
3. Robert McMurtry b Mar 1839 in Derry, Ireland married Margaret Ross Feb 2 1862 in Brighton, MA, both a22, of Brighton, he was b. Ireland & she was b. Glasgow Scotland, son of James & Sarah (Steele) (NEHGS). Looks like in 1880 they were in Topeka, Kansas. Robert died after 1910, he is not clearly marked in the Evergreen Cemetery but is probably there. There is a Robert marked there: Robert ? McMurtry (Sep Stone Front of Berty’s stone – illegible) but it seems to me because it is so worn that it is not this Robert but maybe another child that passed away young. It seems to me if he was marked there he would be marked on the same stone as Margaret but he is not. Margaret (Ross) McMurtry d. May 13 1912 in Boston (FS), dau of George Ross & Jane Bishop. Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker: Margaret McMurtry 1838-1912 (Sep Stone)
A McMurtry family member, also named Samuel McMurtry shared the following with me in Oct 2011: Tues Oct 1850, Robert McMurtry of Brighton, Middlesex Co, born Co Derry, Ireland 1839, now 21 years of age, arrived at Boston, Sep 1850, age 11 (did not find on ancestry) ever since arrival at Boston he has resided at Brighton. October Term, Nov 1860. We, Alexander McMurtry of Brighton, Middlesex Co, John Lawlers of Brighton, Middlesex Co, labourer, have known Robert McMurtry for 5 years, resided at Brighton, behaved as a man of good moral character. I, Robert McMurtry do solemnly swear that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiances and fidelity for every foreign prince, potentate, state and sovereignty whatever, especially to Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God. Nov 2, 1860. 1865 Massachuestts Census Brighton, MA; 1910 Census Boston, MA
Robert & Margaret's Children:
i. Sarah Jane McMurtry born “McMurtagh” Mar 5 1863 in Brighton, Ma (NEHGS)
ii. Robert Henry McMurtry b Oct 3 1865 in Brighton, Ma (NEHGS) d: Henry Robert
McMurtrie Dec 15 1951 in San Diego, CA via the California Death Index
iii. Herbert Stanley McMurtry b. Aug 6 1872 in Brighton, Ma (NEHGS) Evergreen
Cemetery Grave Marker: Our Darling Berty died Jan 8 1876 Aged 3 yrs 3mos
27 days (Sep Stone Back)
4. Samuel McMurtry b Apr 14, 1842 in Derry, Ireland. A McMurtry family member, also named Samuel McMurtry shared the following with me in Oct 2011: Samuel McMurtry, of Brighton, Middlesex Co, born in Co Derry, Ireland, 14 April 1842, 22 years old, arrived Portland, Maine, Oct 1849. The Index to New England Naturalization Petitions, 1791-1906 on Ancestryy.com shows “M256 McMurtry, Samuel of Brighton, 97 – Vol 3 Yr 1864 Superior Civil Ct Suffolk Boston, MA, country of birth or allegiance is Great Britain, b. Apr 14 1842, Date of Naturalization Nov 3 1864.
5. Sarah “Jane” McMurtry born about Nov 26 1835 in Ireland (calculated from death) – m: Robert Kirkland, a22 Tanner m. “Jane McMurtagh” a21, both b. Ireland, son of John & dau of James on Nov 1 1855, both of Brookline (NEHGS) She died Dec 16 1907 at 24 Shepard St Boston, MA age 72y 20d of Tuberculosis & Exhaustion. Her death record confirms she is the daughter of James McMurtry & Sarah Steele. She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery Brighton, MA (NEHGS).
6. Margaret McMurtry b about 1846 in Ireland, last found on 1855 Massachusetts Census with her parents – no idea what happened to her;
7. William J. McMurtry b. “male” Sept 30, 1851 in Brighton, Ma (NEHGS) married Mary E. or H. Power, dau of Patrick Power & Mary O’Neill (FS-2nd marriage). He died June 12 1887, 35y Suicide by arsenic on Shepard St., Boston (NEHGS). He was a mason/plasterer. She remarried Henry T. Donovan on Dec 6 1892 in Cambridge, MA (FS) Evergreen Cemetery Records: McMurtry, William J. Lot 150 Grave 1 Proprietor Alex & Robert McMurtry a35y died: Jun 13 1887 Undertaker J.F. Sullivan Evergreen Cemetery Grave Marker: Wm J. McMurtry died June 9 1887 aged 34 years (Sep Stone)
Children of William & Mary:
i. Sylvia McMurtry “McMurtrie” b. July 1875 in Boston, MA (NEHGS)
ii. Percival William McMurtry b. Mar 15 1877 in Boston, MA (FS)
iii. Frederick Lewis McMurtry b. Mar 12 1879 in Boston (FS)
iv. Samuel Richard McMurtry b. Mar 29 1881 in Boston (FS) He died Aug
9 1882 1y 4m 11d on Shepard St Brighton (NEHGS) Evergreen Cemetery Records:
McMurtry, Samuel R. Evergreen, Lot 150, Proprietor Alexander McMurtry
Location: Western Path Died Aug 10 1882 a1y4m11d Undertaker J. Billings;
v. Mary Ellen McMurtry “McMurtrie” b. Oct 25 1883 in Boston, MA (NEHGS)
vi. Alice Catherine McMurtry b. Jul 5 1886 in Boston (NEHGS) m. Joseph McDermott
Mar 3 1907 in Boston (FS)
Also see: The MacMurtrie Society at:
Amylynne (Baker) Murphy
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