HISTORY OF THE MURPHY NAME:
The name MURPHY originally
appeared in Gaelic as O Murchadha or Mac Murchadha, meaning sea
warrior. According to Irish lore, the Murphy family are descendants of the
ancient line of Heremon, who along with his brother Heber, is the ancestor of
all the ancient Kings of Ireland.
Variations of the name include O’Murphy, MacMurphy, Murphy, Murfree,
Morphy, Morfey and many more.
The earliest record of the name Murphy was found in several
places in Ireland,
where distinct septs arose. Septs called Murphy were found in the counties of
Tyrone and Sligo, and are now also common in Armagh and other parts of Ulster.
However, the most important Murphy sept held a family seat I the county of Wexford
in Leinster, where the Chief of the Name was
The Murphys have produced many notable ecclesiastics,
scholars, baards, and soliders. Two of the most famous were the Catholic
priests Rev. John Murphy and Rev. Michael Murphy, both of whom were slain in
the 1798 uprising. Thousands of people
left Ireland for North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late
1840s. A number of people bearing the Irish name Murphy or a variant arrived in
between 1840 and 1860.
Recorded as Murphy, Murphie and
the Manx form of Curphy, this surname is perhaps both the most famous and
certainly most popular of all Irish surnames. It is said to derive from the pre
9th century Gaelic name O' Murchadha, meaning the male descendant of the Sea
Warrior. As Ireland, the
Isle of Man and parts of northern England were for several centuries
under Viking control, the association between a name meaning 'sea warrior', and
the Vikings is surely more than coincidence.
Traditionally, Irish family names
are taken from the heads of tribes or from some illustrious warrior, and this
name may have even created the tradition. The great O' Murchadha (Murphy) clan
of Leinster were originally centred on County Wexford
where the clan chief known as "The O' Morchoe", still resides today.
A section of the clan moved west to Counties Cork and Kerry in the early 17th
century, and is particularly associated with the barony of Muskerry. John
Murphy (1700 - 1770), better known as Sean O' Murchadha na Raithineach, was the
last chief of the famous bards of Blarney
Castle. Another section
moved to Ulster, where they
were originally known confusingly as both Mac Murchadha and O' Murchadha A
chief from this section was Flaherty O' Murphy, recorded in the Annals of Tir
Donegal. Two heroic
bearers of the name were the Wexford priests, Rev. John Murphy (1753 - 1798),
and Rev. Michael Murphy (1767 - 1798) who lost their lives in the Rising of
The first recorded spelling of the
family name is shown to be that of Domhnall Dall Ua Murchadha, chief sage of Leinster. This was dated 1127, during the reign of
Turlough Mor O'Conor, High King of Ireland, 1119 - 1156. Over the centuries,
surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading
to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Our Murphy including WINTERE,
BROWN and MITCHELL
Small numbers by a name refer to
personal number in listing eg HENRY 2 MITCHELL – see 2
1. ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM MURPHY was born in 1805 in County Armagh, Ireland
and served in the British Army 3rd Regiment.
He served 22 years 5 months and gained a medal for Arva. His height was 5'10". sandy hair, grey
eyes, fresh complexion, a good character, a labourer. William married JANE MURPHY on 6th June 1844
and had they had four children. The
family came to Otahuhu with two children from Armagh, Ireland
on the Fencible ship "Ann" arriving on 16 May 1848.
Children of WILLIAM MURPHY and JANE MURPHY included:
2 MURPHY, born 1844 in Armagh, Ireland.
born 4 March 1849 in Auckland,
MURPHY, born 31 July 1851 in Auckland, New Zealand.
ROBERT FOSTER MURPHY, born
15 June 1855 in Auckland, New Zealand. Robert died on 16 August 1916 and was buried
at Holy Trinity
Cemetery in Otahuhu, Auckland.
DAVID MURPHY, born around
1860 in Auckland,
NZ. David was a member of the Manchester
Unity Franklin Lodge when he died in 1916. He was buried at Holy
in Otahuhu, Auckland.
ELIZA 5 MURPHY, born 9 May 1863 in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.
William died on 23 September 1872
aged 60 years, and Jane died on 3 November 1911 also in Otahuhu. They were both buried at Holy Trinity
New Zealand Fencibles for
more information on families who came to NZ under this scheme, including the ships
they arrived on and villages they settled.
Pertaining to Early Auckland"
23rd September 1872, WILLIAM MURPHY, of cancer of the neck, aged 68 years. Informant - James Murphy, son, of Otahuhu. Letter
from J McNaulty of Otahuhu, dated 27th September 1872, to the Right Honourable
I beg leave to state to your Honour that
Private William Murphy, 3rd Buffs, at 1/-, died on 23rd September 1872, and was
interred on the above date. Religion, Protestant, Officiating Clergy, Reverend Mr Gold.
"Deaths Pertaining to Early Auckland"
November 3, 1905, at Otahuhu, JANE, the relict of the late William Murphy, in
her 83rd year. Came out on the ship "Ann" in 1848. The funeral will
leave her late residence for the Church
of England Cemetery at 4
pm tomorrow (Sunday). Friends please accept this invitation. (N Z Herald Saturday 4.11.1905.)
was a large attendance, especially of the old settlers of Otahuhu and
neighbourhood, at the funeral of the late Mrs Murphy, which took place in the Anglican Cemetery, Otahuhu (writes our
correspondent). Mrs Murphy was the widow of Colour Sergeant William Murphy, one
of the old fencibles, the original pensioners who, under the Administration of
Sir Godfrey, founded the pensioner settlements of Otahuhu, Onehunga, Panmure
and Howick. Mrs Murphy was the last widow
remaining of three old pensioners. She was 83 at the time of her death. She
came out with her husband to Otahuhu in 1848 by the ship "Ann", and
lived there continuously ever since, being highly respected and esteemed by all
who knew her. Mrs Murphy leaves 7 sons, 2 daughters and many grandchildren.
2. ~ ~ ~ JAMES MURPHY
born in 1844 in Armargh, Ireland and was the eldest son of WILLIAM
MURPHY and JANE MURPHY. James arrived in
with his parents on the Fencible Ship “Ann” on 16 May 1848. He died on 30 January 1932 in Otahuhu, aged
88 years and was buried at Holy
From "The Royal NZ Fencibles" :Copy of article from The Otahuhu Record
entitled "Pioneer's Death"
On Sunday evening, after a
lingering illness, Mr James Murphy, a pioneer of this district, as well as a
veteran of the hectic militia days of the North Island
settlement passed peacefully over the "Great Divide". He was in his
eighty-eighth year. The deceased was well known in Otahuhu, which, by reason of
long family association, he elected to make his final home. In recent years he
demonstrated that affect by acts of public benevolence which his success in
life had made possible. His handsome donation of a thousand guineas to Holy
Trinity church some four years ago was a notable gift to the church to which he
gave allegiance, and the issue of the "Recorder" of January 28th, was
able to announce Mr Murphy's last tribute to the town, prior to his demise.
This consisted of the presentation of four acres of land, near the heart of the
borough, for the purposes of a public playground, to be known as "Murphy Park".
It is possible that his estate will reveal other bequests worthy of his living
With his parents from
North of Ireland, he arrived
in New Zealand
by the ship "Ann", and lived at Otahuhu. In the militia, as a youth,
he served at Clevedon, a storm centre about 1863, and also in other parts of
the province. Later, when strife with the natives developed in Taranaki, the
spirited young man was again in the van. There, he took up land and proved a
good farmer, though he had to contend with all the native vicissitudes of that
time and place. Just over twenty years ago, he returned to Otahuhu and took up
a holding at Mangere for a time, before retiring and residing in this town, in
his own shop property, opposite Hall's Building, the site of the Otahuhu
military barracks during the Maori War. He was not married.
The obsequies took place
on Monday afternoon. The service at Holy
conducted by the Rev. B Palmer, was attended by relatives, representatives of
local bodies, old identities of the district, and friends. There were may
beautiful wreaths. The Mayor of Otahuhu, Mr H T Clements, representing the
Borough council, attended the funeral.
3. ~ ~ ~ ELIZABETH MURPHY
was born 4 March 1849 in Auckland,
New Zealand and
was the eldest daughter of WILLIAM MURPHY and JANE MURPHY. Elizabeth
married FRANCIS MARSHALL WINTERE in 1872.
Francis was born around 1836. Elizabeth died on 1 April
1891 and Francis on 17 October 1911.
They were both buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery
in Otahuhu, Auckland.
ELIZABETH MURPHY and FRANCIS WINTERE included:
JOSEPH WINTERE, born 1878; died 1956.
4. ~ ~ ~ JANE MURPHY (WILLIAM)
was born on 31 July 1851 in Auckland,
New Zealand and
was the second daughter of WILLIAM MURPHY and JANE MURPHY. Jane married FREDERICK BROWN in 1876. Frederick
was born around 1848 and died on 3 November 1933. Jane died on 12 April 1913. They were both buried at Holy Trinity
Cemetery in Otahuhu, Auckland.
JANE MURPHY and FREDERICK BROWN included:
JOHN BROWN, born 1877.
JAMES BROWN, born 1879.
5. ~ ~ ~ ELIZA MURPHY (WILLIAM) was born on 09 May 1863 in Otahuhu, Auckland and was the
youngest child of WILLIAM MURPHY and JANE MURPHY. Eliza married HENRY MITCHELL in April 1884 in Auckland.
Henry was the son of HENRY MITCHELL and MARY McMULLEN and was born in Auckland on 22 May
1855. The Mitchell and McMullen families
were also Fencible families arriving on the “Ann” at the same time as Eliza's
Eliza died on 19 January 1927 in
Otahuhu and Henry on 11 February 1922. They were both buried at Holy Trinity
Cemetery in Otahuhu, Auckland.
Refer to the MITCHELL family for
more information about Henry's family and the children of Eliza and Henry.
Please note that in keeping with genealogy
protocol I have not included information about later generations which may
include living persons. If you have a family connection please contact me for
~ ~ ~ > Mitchell
~ ~ ~ > Royal
“ gather ye the fragments that remain that nothing be lost ”