The earliest records about
Daniel Murdock kept in Mexico, Oswego Co., NY always refer to him
as a Scotsman. Family records in the 1880 census by his sons, Daniel,
Jr., Uri, Josiah and Egbert all say he was born in Vermont. Whoever
submitted material to the LDS Ancestral file specify Daniel and his wife,
Alice Southworth, were both born in Dorset, Bennington Co., VT.
However, there is no verification
for any Vermont locale. It is much more likely that Alice was born
in Mansfield, CT like her parents, Josiah, Jr. and Miriam (Hovey) Southworth.
In the 1850 census Alice stated she was born in Connecticut. More research
needs to be done to remove the confusion in the 18th century records.
Many in the family place both Alice
and Daniel in Argyle, Washington Co., NY where they were supposed to have
married ca. 1804, yet no documentation has been cited. Argyle was
a town settled by Scottish immigrants. Original patents made in 1758
do not show a Murdock family. The fact that Daniel and Alice arrived
in Mexico, NY during 1807 from Argyle seems about all that has been established.
The Murdock’s bargained to own lot
63 in Mexico which was located on the southwest corner of Main and Church
Streets. The 1811 tax rolls include reference to this property already
in Daniel’s Murdock’s name.
Daniel joined the local militia group
known as Parkhurst’s Militia with the rank of Ensign in the War of 1812.
The only real fighting came in the spring of 1814 at the Battle of Sackett’s
Harbor. He fought along side of his soon to be son-in-law William
Savage. Eventually Daniel was promoted to Captain. Some records
refer to him a Capt. Murdock.
The second frame house in Mexico
was built by the Murdock’s. The building was used as a tavern.
The huge property was not all needed by Daniel so he began to subdivide
it in 1819. He deeded 14 acres to Rufus Richardson. Two small
building lots went to John Ames.
The Murdock’s joined the only church
in town which began in 1811. One of the founding members of this
congregation was Miriam Southworth, Alice’s mother who was also
living in Mexico. The organization was basically Presbyterian.
Soon the Methodists began to preach at the Ames’ home. Everyone in
town was invited to attend services. The Murdock’s visited the Methodists.
This visit created an event recorded by the locals.
During the sermon which was quite
loud and participatory, Daniel spoke out against this style of preaching.
There was some back and forth. Leonard Ames, in whose home
this sermon was held, took issue with Daniel. The Methodists became
quite angry. They called Daniel “a deep blue Presbyterian,” according
to Historian Elizabeth Simpson. Further the Mexico Methodists also
thought very little of Daniel because he owned a tavern, conveniently forgetting
that Methodist Pliny Jones owned a tavern at nearby Jones Corners.
The whole situation developed against a backdrop of conflict between the
Presbyterians and Methodists over a shared meeting place. The spat
went on long after Daniel’s death.
On 6 October 1823 Letters of Administration
were issued for the estate of Daniel Murdock by the Surrogate Court.
In spite of the family’s hard work Daniel still owed money on the land.
The property was returned to Roswell L. Colt. The house then
went to Nathaniel Butler, who became Mexico’s first jeweler.
In 1864 the house burned down.
When Daniel died, Alice was pregnant.
Four months later Egbert was born. The years brought many
changes for Alice. Secreta, her oldest daughter, married before
1825 William Savage, son of Joel Savage. Uri married
in Granby Elizabeth Allen, daughter of Zadoc and Esther (Blake)
Allen. Alice’s first grandchild, born 6 October 1825 in Mexico,
was Miriam Savage. William Savage aided his mother-in-law as much
as he could. He was a fellow Presbyterian, a trustee of the church.
In the 1830 Mexico census Alice still maintained her own household.
By the 1850 Litchfield census Alice lived with the Savage family.
She was then 65.
Many citizens of Oswego County migrated
west to Michigan, particularly to Hillsdale County in the 1830’s.
In 1836 Alice joined them taking Daniel, age 30; Uri, age 29; Lucinda,
age 20; Josiah, age 17; and Egbert, age 13. She joined her brother
Royal Southworth at Litchfield, MI.
William Savage and his wife Secreta
also relocated to Litchfield. Uri’s wife, Elizabeth, born 24 May
1805, was included in the family group.
Soon after their arrival at Litchfield
Lucinda wed her cousin Rascius H. Southworth, born 17 August 1815
in Thompson, CT. Lucinda gave birth on 13 May 1838 to John Gordon
Southworth, but on 26 June 1838 she died. Lucinda was buried
at Allen Township Cemetery, Allen, MI. This baby was given to Uri
and Elizabeth (Allen) Murdock who brought up the child as their
own changing his name to John G. Murdock. This act of kindness
meant no small task for Elizabeth as she also had a new son Luther, born
before they left New York State.
In the 1850 Litchfield census
there are records for the entire surviving family of Daniel and Alice Murdock.
Savage, William 56 b.NY Farmer
net worth $4,000
Secreta 46 “
Mary 24 “
Sally 17 “
Ambia H. 15 “
William A.13 “
R. 11 “
Murdock, Alice 65 b.CT
Savage, Joseph D. 53
Murdock, Dan 43 b.NY Farmer net
Lucetta 42 “
Mary 18 “
Edwin 16 “ Farmer
*Ira 14 b.MI
Henry 12 “
Lovina 9 “
Murdock, Uri 37 b.NY Farmer net worth $6,000
Luther 17 “
**John G. 17 B.MI
Lisa L. 7 “
***Mary E. 2 “
Murdock, Josiah 30 b.NY Farmer net worth
Calista 27 “
Sarah 6 b.MI
Emily 4 “
H. 2 “
Murdock, Egbert 20 b.NY Hotel Keeper
net worth $1,000
*****Harriet 14 “
Other hotel guests? listed.
Notes on the census listings.
* Ira joined the 4th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War, but due to a disability
he was discharged at age 24 on 29 July 1861.
**John G. was the adopted son.
His parents were Rascius H. and Lucinda (Murdock) Southworth.
*** Mary Elizabeth Murdock
married 2 December 1868 Peter Pangborn Bell.
****Esther Murdock, age 15,
was not listed with the rest of the family. Instead she lived next
door working as a domestic servant for the Sylvester family.
*****Williard H. was given
as William H. in 1880 Ovid, MI census where he was married to Huldah.
******Harriet Eggleston married
ca. 1845 Egbert Murdoch. She died before 1880. Egbert’s second
wife was Sarah. The 1880 Litchfield census showed Egbert with three
children: George B., age 27; Ida, age 23; and Alice, age 17, all born in
At Litchfield in 1847 Alice’s first
granddaughter, Miriam L. Savage born in Mexico had married George
Thompson Robards. They too were included in the 1850 census.
Robards, George T. 33 b.NY
Farmer net worth $1,000
Miriam 24 “
George W. 2 b.MI
scar J. 4 mos. “
Added in 1880 census:
Edward J. 21 “
Also in the 1880 census at
Litchfield Miriam’s brother, William A. was enumerated:
Savage, William A.
44 b.NY Farmer
Miriam and William A.’s father had died
before 1880. Their mother Secreta lived with her two unmarried children,
Sidney and Ellen. On 25 April 1882 Secetra died in Litchfield.
Hattie A. 38 “
Carrie B. 12 b.MI
Mabel 4 “
Josiah and Calista Murdock had
removed to Ovid, MI. Uri and Elizabeth Murdock resided at
Odessa, MI in 1880. Elizabeth died there in 1884.
Still in residence in Litchfield
in 1880 were Dan’s sons Edwin married to Eliza Warner and Ira married
to Josephine D. These names are in addition to Egbert’s children
By the1920 census only one Murdock
was enumerated at Litchfield. She was apparently Egbert’s daughter,
Ida Murdock, age 62. She lived alone on East St. Joe Street.