Friday, January 8, 2016

Who's Your Daddy?: James Walter Musgrove

We blogged last about a family rumor; our surname should be McMurry.

Coat of Arms
Several Musgrove kin, including my father, have yDNA tested. We were hoping to connect our family to the Musgrove line in Baker County, Georgia through James Walter Musgrove,

Two of the four yDNA test results are in and for David Musgrove's family it's conclusive; we match the test for a McMurry. We are not related through a male ancestor to the other Musgrove tester.

Who was James Walter Musgrove?

James Walter Musgrove allegedly fathered three boys with Elizabeth Bryan,  in Baker County, Georgia:
  • John 'David' Musgrove born 1847
  • Charles H Musgrove born 1849
  • James Walter Musgrove, Jr. born 1852 
One story a descendant of Charles Musgrove heard is Jame Walter Musgrove, Sr. was kicked and killed by a horse in the Okefenokee Swamp.
Gravemarker - Mt Plesant (sic) Cemetery
Ware County, Georgia

His wife and sons moved thereafter to Clinch County, Georgia.

What evidence of James Walter Musgrove Sr do we have?

We have no primary source records of James Walter Musgrove Sr.

After his death his family first appears n the 1860 federal census  in Clinch County, Georgia. His mother was living in common law with John F Collins.

1860 United States Federal Census
Clinch County, Georgia, Southern District
page 65
For evidence of him from secondary sources, we turn to his sons. What evidence of him is in their birth, marriage, death or burial records?

The records for David Musgrove
  • No birth, marriage or death records 
  • Only burial record is a simple grave marker (right)
  • Some land records 
The records for Charles Musgrove

With Charles Musgrove we have some records. 
It says Charles Musgrove "was born in either Baker or Ware County, Georgia" and he is "...thought to be the son of James W Musgrove and Elizabeth Bryan."

The records for James Walter Musgrove, Jr.

With James Walter Jr. we hit the jackpot; a modern death certificate naming his parents. We were in for  surprise. Rather than listing James Walter as father, his parents were William and Lizzie Musgrove.

Our next post will be on the DNA evidence for James Walter Musgrove's line.

*Thanks to our relative and fellow family researcher, Jackie Dial Foster, for the death certificate.

Family Tree DNA - DNA Testing For Genealogy

Notice the information given on Charles Musgrove's death certificate compared with his headstone, obituary  and biography?

Comment on it below or at our Facebook page .

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