Mulamphy Family History & Genealogy

Updated Apr 16, 2015

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Donna Hitz This is about my Great Gr. grandma Sarah Eliza McKinnon. Of all my ancestors she is the most interesting to me. Until the fall of 2004 when we obtained her death certificate no one in my family even knew her maiden name. It said her name was Mulamphy although it was very hard to read. As I've since learned there are at least 26 different spellings of that name. It said she was born in 1848 & she died of a heart attack at 69yrs old 3 weeks after falling down stairs in 1917. It was a sad death and one that caused her daughter to miscarry her forth child. The last living family member to have known her died in 1998 and was only 3 at that time of her death so information about her is sketchy.

My mother said she was told the woman had married 3 times. Who were these husbands? Her death certificate also said she was born in Ireland and her fathers name was Michael, & her mothers maiden name was Mary Kane. Now we had the name of my gr gr gr grandma.

The only info we can verify about Sarah Mulamphy is that she married her last husband in Bay City Michigan in 1873 and she is buried in Mt. Elliot Cemetery in Detroit with him and possibly another of her husbands named Duncan Sinclair who died in 1868. There is also a 2yr old named Elizabeth Sinclair who died 1869. I obtained the list of the others buried in the same grave plot. Sarah was the original owner of the plot along with her son James Murry? Where did he come from? There are 3 Murrays are buried there. One died in 1955 at age 81 and the other 2 ages 83 & 61 died in the 1980's. Is Murray the name of one of her three husbands? Only the one that died in 1955 could have been her child and it wasn't James Murry but it was Mary J Murray. When Duncan Sinclair died in 1869 Sarah's age would have been 21 but probably married to him 2 years earlier according to the age of the dead child. She married her last husband MckKinnon 1873 making her 26 at her last marriage with 2 children following by him. He died in 1888.

How did she do all of this by age 26? When did she have time to marry this Murray guy?

I have searched and searched all the data bases on web. The only scenario I can find that fits is that Sarah was lying about her age the whole time. It wouldn't be too far fetched.

I found a Michael and Mary Melamphy in Australia having 2 daughters named Susannah and Sarah born in 1843 & 1841 respectivly. Many of the Irish left Ireland to go to Australia. I have found info that leads me to believe that Michael may have been a sea captain who was lost at sea. Women without husbands did not do well and usually the best thing to do was to get married as quickly as possible. I find Melamphys and Kanes living right next door to each other in Rochester NY in the 1880 census. Sarah's last husband lists his birth place as Canada. Did she and her mother leave Australia and immigrate to the US through NY and then across thru Canada into Michigan? Could that be where she met Duncan Sinclair, in Canada? My Grama remembered having an uncle they called "Uncle Dunk".

Since Duncan was buried in Detroit I would assume that they were here in Michigan when he died although people have moved graves to other places. I have also found a Susannah Melamphy maried to a man named Peter Curtin.

It boils down to this-she buried two husbands and possibly a third by a very young age. She may have wanted to appear younger in order to be more marriagable. We have pictures of her in about 1911 with 2 of her grandchildren at ages 1 & 2 and she looks very old. Older than 61.

We will keep at this until we have answers. I will try to contact the families of the people recently buried in her family plot. We have few photos. If anyone can add to what we know or give us ideas on how to search we would be gratefull. I intend to start a Melamphy DNA project to get a better sketch of the truth. Anyone wishing to participate should contact me.
Apr 01, 2005 · Reply

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