The Murphys (Morphews) by Mrs. Albert V. Specht (Amesta Agatha Murphy) (1937)

(From a copy belonging to her son, Theodore R. Specht. The original is in the possession of Dr. Walter A. Specht, Jr.)

Among the Quaker settlers of Pennsylvania about 1720 was an Irishman named Silas Morphew. His family or descendants, including son James Morphew and family, moved to North Carolina. At Tracy, N.C. and Riverside, N.C. we still find descendants including names like "Silas" & "Levi" but more usually "James" Morphew. When the emigration moved westward with Daniel Boone to Kentucky about 1760, we find a grandson, James Morphew & family living in N.C., also his son, Joseph Morphew, living in Kentucky. (Other Morphews moved to Ohio & Illinois.) He was of medium build and uncouth appearance, an individualist, perhaps a "hillbilly". He married Rebecca Hogan, a healthy Irish girl. Three sturdy sons (James) William (about 1830), J. Riley, J. Humphrey, and 4 daughters: Nancy, Rebecca, Margaret, & Ruth resulted. This family of farmers were industrious, intelligent & reverent. They spent much time and talent in discussing the doctrines of the Old School Baptist Church. Their home was always open to visiting brethern. Young William became an ordained minister. His talents had been developed solely from reading and discussion.

In this religious community were English & German estate owners known as "Esquires". William became acquainted with "Squire" Garrett Allumbaugh's family. He admired the stern dignity of this tall, large, stiff-necked German with dark eagle eyes that seemed to pierce under deep eyebrows. His deep respect for intellectuality attracted him to young William Morphew. The tall, bold, gypsy-like sons, Squire, Preston, John & Henry did not appeal to William as much as the only daughter, Sarah, named after her grandmother. This dark-eyed, dark-haired German girl was the idol of her brothers and only help and companion of her mother. She was not only beautiful, slender, medium-height, but alert, quick to act and comprehend. Her eyes were full of life and merriment. Quite opposite was the gypsy-like girl of 14 to the quiet thoughtful, high browed young William who wooed her.

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