"The Autobiography of an Unimportant Important Man"
Chapter 1  Section D
by Glenn D. McMurry

To See The Family Tree Click Here


Partially out of curiosity, but mostly from a desire to learn relationships of the members of "The Tennessee Colony" who made up a small community south of Hutchinson, Kansas, a search into the history of their ancestors was started. Many of this group were the descendants of two Montgomery girls, Elizabeth and Mary Permelah, daughters of Hugh Montgomery, Jr. and Elizabeth (?) thought to be Nesbit).

Elizabeth Montgomery married James W. Moore. They were the parents of James Alexander Moore. Mary Permelah Montgomery married Robert McMurray, son of John McMurray, Sr. They were the parents of William Harvey McMurry. James A. Moore and William H. McMurry, along with kindred families, came to Reno County, Kansas, in the early 1870's from Haywood County, Tennessee. They were a sturdy intelligent people, neither prominent in public affairs nor ambitious for public applause, but men and women who performed their duties and lent character and stability to the community. They shared the privations so familiar to the people who developed a new country, and prepared the way for the comfort and enjoyment of their posterity.

You will find errors as to dates of births, marriages and deaths, due both to the efforts of families who have attempted to complete records of their own family, sometimes from memory and again from incomplete records in their possession, and also to typing errors. An endeavor has been made to check on each individual case wherever possible. Some members have sent only names, others have sent birth, death and marriage dates, while others have sent more complete biographies of their families.

Even such success as has been accomplished would have been impossible had it not been for the interest taken in the work by so many. My sincerely appreciation goes to each and every one who have so willingly cooperated in making it possible to preserve at least a part of this family history. Special credit should go to Rev. Carl McMurray of Marion, NC, and the late Landry Huey McMurray of Rock Hill, South Carolina, for the early McMurray history.

These records are presented to you, not with full satisfaction but with the knowledge that an effort has been made over the past few years to obtain some of the facts and data on these families. I hope they may be an inspiration and a working tool for someone to delve deeper into the family histories and publish a more complete genealogy of these kindred families.

PART I--Gives names of the children of Hugh Montgomery, Sr., (wife unknown) also some data and names of children of Hugh Montgomery, Jr. and wife Elizabeth but it is primarily a record of Hugh, Jr., and Elizabeth's eighth child, Elizabeth, who married James W. Moore. James and Elizabeth were the parents of eight children: one son, James Alexander Moore, who is the ancestor of the greater part of this record, and seven daughters. Records of only three of the daughters have been found at this time, Nancy, Mary Permelah and Sarah.

PART II--Gives a bit of history of John McMurray, Sr. and records of the descendants of three of this children, John, Jr., Robert and William. (It seems that when the families moved to Kansas, they dropped the "a" from their name. The McMurrays in the Carolinas still spell their name with the "a.").

NOTE: Only PART II, the McMurray (McMurry) family records, have been entered into this Internet record.)


Each individual is given a number in the order of his birth, 1, 2, 3, etc. The digit assigned to an individual is always the list digit in the number. All digits preceding the last digit are the digits of the ancestors of that individual. Thus, an individual having the number 14, is to read: the 4th child of an ancestor who was the 1st child in his family or the first ancestor whose record has been found. This indicated also that the individual is in the second generation, since the number has two digits. An individual having the number 148 22 is in the 5th generation, and should be read thus: the 2nd child of a parent who was the 2nd child of an ancestor who was an 8th child of an ancestor who was the 4th child of the original ancestor of this genealogy.

Rev. Carl McMurray, Marion, North Carolina, compiled this bit of history of our earliest known ancestors.

John McMurray, Sr., born 6 May 1750 in Antrim County, Ireland (taken from this application for pension-file # 4 296 National Archives, Washington, DC) died 3 June 1842 (tombstone, Shiloh Cemetery) married Martha (Lynn) Linn (oral testimony including that of Lou McBean Nisbet 1819-1905 and that of Sara Adeline McMurray Dunn Faulkner, 1854-1931.) Married second Margaret Adams b. 10 Oct 1815 (taken from her application for pension 1858 and 1855).

Traditional testimony is that John McMurray, Sr. came from Ireland, landed in Pennsylvania, thence to Charleston in 1773 where he purchased the old family Bible now owned by W. M. McMurray, of Swannanoa, North Carolina. That is married Miss (Lynn) Linn and settled near Camp Creek Church in Lancaster County. It is interesting to note (from a compilation of the original lists of Protestant immigrants to South Carolina 1763-1773) that a John McMurray landed in Charleston, South Carolina, on the ship "Lord Dunduce," and received a bounty of 200 acres of land at a meeting of the Council in Charleston, SC., on January 6, 1773.

John McMurray, Sr. was a "cooper" i.e. "barrel maker" (stated in deed, Lancaster, SC.) He was also a "saddle maker" (indicated in John Osborne diary, Monroe, NC.) Basically he was a farmer and owned considerable land in Lancaster County, SC. He was also a soldier of the Revolution. In 1770 he was a private under Capt. Montgomery, of Col. Kershaw's regiment in General Sumpter's Brigade and fought in the battles on Hanging Rock, Rocky Mount, etc. In 1781 he was a 1st Lieutenant under Capt. Coffee and joined the camp of General Francis Marion and fought in nine different battles, (not including skirmishes) including the Eutaw Springs and Edisto. He marched through every part of the state as indicated in his application for pension in 1833. (Pension file Number W 4 290)

John McMurray, Sr. was also a faithful member of the Church and his application for pension carries the endorsement of his Pastor, Rev. Kitchens. He was evidently an Elder in the church by the fact that he owned a Presbyterian Book of the Church Order which was shown to me by his great, great granddaughter, Iva Nesbit Lewis, Statesville, NC, and which carried in the flyleaf the name of John McMurray. He was a member of the Lancaster District Library as indicated by a slip in a book bearing his name, now owned by W. H. McMurray of Swannanoa, NC.

The grave of John's first wife, Martha Lynn, the mother of his children, is unmarked, and the place of her burial is uncertain. She died prior to 1815 as that is the date of John's second marriage. John and Martha were probably married about 1775 as their first child was born 3 Nov 1776. Martha (Lynn) Linn may have been the daughter of John Lynn, an early settler in Lancaster County, but this is speculation.


The following notes were sent by late Landrey Huey McMurray of Rock Hill, South Carolina, great, great, great grandson of John McMurray, Sr. He states in a letter that John McMurray's large gravestone is still in good condition and very clear to read. L. H. McMurray passed away October 1965.

So one can see that although a family spells the name as only Murry, they can be, and are without doubt, of a branch of the original family of Moray, which in Gaelic, was spelled "Murireadac" meaning "belonging to the sea." MacMurray (son of Murray) was spelled in Gaelic "Macmurireadaig." A large body of the McMurray Clan came to Ireland in 1430 and settled in County Antrim, as "Gallowgasses," (hired Scotch Soldiers by the O'Neil Clan.)

Some of the dates of births and deaths in charts are taken from Church Gravestone records and are correct in all details to the best of my knowledge. Shiloh A. R. P. Church, thought to be an offspring of "Old Waxhaw Church", was organized in or about 1800. Our McMurray's are mostly buried at Tirzah, now Presbyterian, former A. R. P. Church. Tirzah is just over the state line in North Carolina.

Signed: L. H. McMurray 2 Nov 1956

Note from Mrs. Rhuy McMurry: It seems that the McMurry's who moved to Tennessee dropped the "a" from Murry. At least all the McMurry's in "The Tennessee Colony," that is those who settled in Kansas south of Hutchinson, spelled their name without the "a".

 To See The Family Tree Click Here