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 Philadelphia
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 family
including Wintere, Brown & Mitchell
numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg ELIZAZBETH 3 MURPHY ~ see 3
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, Auckland, New Zealand
with two of their children from Armagh,
Ireland on the
Fencible ship Ann arriving on 16 May
Children of WILLIAM MURPHY and JANE MURPHY included:
JAMES 2 MURPHY, born 1844 in Armagh,
ELIZABETH 3 MURPHY, born 4
March 1849 in Auckland, New Zealand.
JANE 4 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, New Zealand.
David was a member of the Manchester Unity Franklin Lodge when he died in 1916.
He was buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery
in Otahuhu, Auckland.
ELIZA 5 MURPHY, born 9 May 1863 in Otahuhu, Auckland,
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
From Deaths Pertaining to
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 Lt-Colonel Haultain:
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.
> Refer to the Royal 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.
2. ~ ~ ~ JAMES MURPHY
(WILLIAM) was born in 1844
in Armargh, Ireland and was the eldest son of
WILLIAM MURPHY and JANE MURPHY. James arrived in New Zealand 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 Trinity
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 Trinity
Church, 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
3. ~ ~ ~ ELIZABETH MURPHY
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.
Children of ELIZABETH
MURPHY and FRANCIS WINTERE included:
WINTERE, born 1878; died 1956.
Elizabeth died on 1 April
1891 and Francis on 17 October 1911. Elizabeth and Francis were both buried at Holy Trinity
Cemetery in Otahuhu, Auckland.
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
was born around 1848
Children of JANE MURPHY and
FREDERICK BROWN included:
BROWN, born 1877.
BROWN, born 1879.
Frederick died on 3
November 1933. Jane died on 12 April 1913. They were both buried at Holy Trinity
Cemetery in Otahuhu, Auckland.
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.
> Refer to the MITCHELL family for more information
about the family of Henry and the children of Eliza and Henry.
The Mitchell and McMullen families were also Fencible families arriving
in New Zealand
on the Fencible Ship Ann on 16 May
Eliza died on 19 January 1927 in Otahuhu and Henry on
11 February 1922. They were both buried at Holy
in Otahuhu, Auckland.
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 further information.
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