| If YOU are "of a vintage like mine own",
you might remember a book called, "The Search for Bridey Murphy", which
was VERY popular in the 1950's. In this book, a woman, under hypnosis,
told all about her "previous life" as "Bridey Murphy", an Irish woman
of the 1800's. Morey Bernstein, the author of the book, documented in great detail his attempt to
prove that "Bridey" really existed.
My OWN version, "The Search for LESTER Murphy", is a bit different. I KNOW Lester existed - we were both photographed at my grand-parent's (Rob POHL and Martha WESSLING) 50th Wedding Anniversary party in 1958. In the pictures, Lester is shown talking to my Momma's Uncle Will WESSLING - I'm seated at a picnic table, looking bored, as only a 19 year-old can look at a family gathering she didn't really want to go to in the first place.Miss Marge Marple, Famous Genealogical Detective outlined the Hard Facts of this "case". Lester F MURPHY was born in December 1889 in Boston MA, the oldest child of Catherine Elizabeth DORR and Melville Eugene MURPHY. Melville MURPHY is described in several Holy Trinity Church records as "a non-Catholic" and "from Medford". The 1900 Federal Census and Massachusetts Vital Records show that Lester had at least two younger brothers - Eugene Joseph and John Joseph.
The 1935 Boston City Directory lists Lester as an "investigator" at 24
School Street, room 509, living with his father at 22 Brookview in
Dorchester, and mentions a wife named "Florence M".
Now if we lived near Boston, the Hub of the Universe, we could search for a marriage record and a death record in the Mass State Archives - ALAS! we live on The Left Coast.
Is this A Hopeless Case? Whatever will Miss Marge Marple do to solve this Mystery?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
It's been fourteen years since I wrote The Search for Lester Murphy,
and, for all these years, Miss Marge Marple, Famous Genealogical
Detective, has been working DILIGENTLY to solve this Mystery.
First of all, the 1930 census was made available in March of 2002,
and Miss Marge quickly found the entry for Lester and Florence
They were living in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, and
enumerated with the couple were their son, Lester J MURPHY, age 9, born
in Massachusetts AND Lester's parents, Melville E MURPHY and his wife
Elizabeth C MURPHY (geb. DORR) ! More and more
Massachusetts vital records are available online, and For Free
(Miss Marge's Favorite Word).
Then there's Google - really a genealogist's BFF (Best Friend Forever),
not to mention FaceBook and other such Social Media!
In February, 2011, on one of her typical Wild Goose Chases, Miss Marge
discovered a new cousin from a different section of my tree - that
cousin lives on Cape Cod, and in an email, just happened to mention one
of HIS distant cousins who lives near him on The Cape - a man named (you guessed it!) LESTER MURPHY.
MORE Exciting Developments are in the future.... I'll keep you up to
date as Miss Marge continues to work on "The Search for Lester Murphy"!
VISIT my GERMAN HERITAGE PAGE for more information about these folks.
This page was updated 22 February 2011.
copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2011 - Margaret V Reid