DANIEL MURDOCK MIGRATIONS

SCOTLAND > MEXICO, NY > LITCHFIELD, MI

Many thanks to Esther Rancier for contributing this information.  For further information please see the Town Historians or Historical Societies Page.
 

 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   “
       idney R. 11        “
           Julia          6   “
            Ella           4   “
 Murdock, Alice 65 b.CT
Savage, Joseph D.  53     b.NY
Murdock, Dan 43 b.NY Farmer net worth $2,000
            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
       Elizabeth 44   “
            Luther 17   “
        **John G. 17 B.MI
              Lisa L.  7   “
        ***Mary E.  2   “
       ****Esther 15   “

Murdock, Josiah 30 b.NY Farmer net worth $600
                 Calista 27   “
                  Sarah   6 b.MI
                     Emily   4   “
      *****Williard 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 Michigan.

 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
                  Hattie A.   38   “
                  Carrie B.   12 b.MI
                         Mabel   4   “
 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.

 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 mentioned above.

 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.


SOURCES:

 Burgess, A. Parke.  The Old Pratham Church.  Syracuse: 1877.  
Churchill, John C. Landmarks of Oswego County, New York.  Syracuse: Mason, 1895.
 Family Group Record.  Available [online] http://familysearch.org [13 May 2003]
 Hillsdale County, Michigan.  Available [online] [12 May 2003]
 Hillsdale County Michigan Marriage Listing.  Available [online] http://www.mifamilyhistory.org/dibeanindex/dibean_county.html [14 May 2003]
 Johnson, Crisfield.  The History of Oswego County, New York.  Philadelphia: Everts, 1877.
Murdock Family Genealogy Forum.  Available [online] http://genforum.genealogy.com/murdock/ [12 May 2003]
 N.Y. Oswego Co.  Surrogate’s Office.  Letters of Administration, book A, p. 31 (LDS microfilm #0872730).
 Portrait & Biographical Album of Hillsdale County, Michigan.  Chapman, 1888.
 Simpson, Elizabeth M.  Mexico; Mother of Towns.  Buffalo: Clement, 1949.
 U.S. Census Litchfield, Hillsdale Co., MI 1840, 1850, 1880 & 1920.
 U.S.  Census Ovid, Clinton Co., MI 1880.
 U.S.  Census Mexico, Oswego Co., NY 1830.
 WorldConnect Project.  Available [online] http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com [12 May 2003]  
 


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