Part 11 gave the pedigree of my great-great grandfather, Erastus Bartlett Shaw. He married Emma Anna Murphy, who remains a mystery to us. I shared that mystery in 2009 and followed up with a timeline for Emma.
Since then, I have only learned 2 more things of interest.
The first is that I initially overlooked a column in the 1930 census that asked how old people were at the time of their first marriage. It was reported that Emma was 16 at the time of her first marriage, giving it an approximate year of 1877.
My search has focused a bit wider, between 1875 and 1885. I believe her first marriage occurred in Nova Scotia, however the marriage records for those years are severely lacking. Either a record does not exist at the province level, or the marriage occurred in Maine, as I do not find a marriage for Emma in Massachusetts.
The second item found was an 1871 census entry. Since Emma does not appear in any U.S. censuses until 1900, I think it likely that the entry - found and graciously shared with me by Barbara Poole - is the correct one for "my" Emma.
Emma is shown in Manchester, Guysborough, Nova Scotia, in the household of Nicholes (Nicholas) and Johannah Flavin.
I do not know if her parents, John and Mary (Frasher/Fraser) Murphy were living at the time or not, as those are such common names. I can only speculate as to why 10-year-old Emma was living with another family.
However vague these references are, they have allowed me to focus my research a bit more. Sadly, Emma remains my toughest brick wall to date. The answers are probably going to require a trip to Nova Scotia at some point in my life; hopefully once we are back in the U.S. and settled a few years from now.
Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan