Thursday, August 28, 2014





MARGARET MURPHY was born in October 1878 to PATRICK AND HONORA (QUINLAN) MURPHY.  She is the sister of my husband’s Grandfather, THOMAS JOSEPH MURPHY who born in 1877.  Her other siblings were Mary born in 1873, Patrick born in 1875, Michael born in 1881.  Margaret was born in Brooklyn and lived her whole life in that borough of New York City.


I know it is hard to find information on female ancestors because when they married you loose track of them unless you know the married name.  My husband did not know anything about his grandfather’s family when I started this research.  I thought it would be very hard with the name Murphy being so common but we did know the address where his grandparents lived so I was able to see them in the latest census record at the time, 1930.  We did know his father’s siblings names so could look for the family when the children were small.  I also found out THOMAS JOSEPH MURPHY’S parents names from his marriage certificate.


The first census I found the MURPHY family in was the 1880 census and I found that THOMAS had 2 sisters and 2 brothers.  I found MARGARET MURPHY in the 1900 census living with her mother NORA MURPHY, her brother THOMAS, and her husband, JAMES W. COYNE, and son, JOHN COYNE age 1.  That was a nice surprise. I tried finding the other sister and had no luck because she was out of the house of her mother and probably married.


I have not gotten MARGARET and JAMES COYNE’S marriage certificate, but on the 1900 census she indicates that they are married 4 years, making the marriage year 1896.  I have gotten all but John and Edward’s birth certificates.  I found MARGARET MURPHY COYNE’S family in the 1910 census.  There was father James, mother Margaret, children John, Edward, James, Thomas and Lauretta.  I did find 2 birth and death records for 2 babies Margaret had who both died before 1910 named Helen and Paul.


 I couldn’t find MARGARET after 1910 so I looked for and found her death record of August 7, 1911.



MARGARET died of Pulmonary Phthisis (Tuberculosis).  The hospital was located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, on Henry Street between Warren and Congress Streets.

St. Peter's Hospital where MARGARET died, opened in late 1889, had 300 beds, 250 for charity patients.  Most of the admissions were for tuberculosis, followed by rheumatism, alcoholism and bronchitis.


When using a death certificate in research you have to remember all the information is not from a reliable source.  The doctor’s information is correct but any personal information on the person who died in questionable.  The person giving the information is very emotional at the time and might give wrong information.  As an example on this death certificate the person giving the information indicates that Margaret’s father’s name is Thomas when it is John.  Also the age is probably unreliable because during this time frame they weren’t concerned with birth dates, they were not needed for any kind of town, county or state documents like they are today.



I continued to find the family after MARGARET died but it was difficult because the children were given to relatives and friends to take care of them.  I didn’t have much luck with her daughter Loretta/Lauretta until I was contacted through with the family of Loretta, it was wonderful to connect with that family.  They even had a picture of her posted with their family tree.  When I look at the picture I wonder how much she might have looked like her mother MARGARET MURPHY COYNE.




Loretta Coyne French

Youngest child of Margaret Murphy Coyne

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