The Murrell individuals in the line described here are primarily from the following states, in the approximate order of their movement: Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana.
Murrell Names in Database
Murrell Family History
The earliest Murrell ancestor that I have documented is my 3rd. great-grandfather, Edmund Murrell (1810-1866), born in Virginia. Several researchers have stated that John Murrell and wife Elizabeth Dietrich Murrell of Virginia were the parents of Edmund and another son, George Michael, but I have no proof of this. Records show that John Murrell was a prosperous merchant and owner of cotton and tobacco plantations in Virginia, and later a sugar plantation in Bayou Goula, Louisiana. George Michael Murrell was a successful merchant in Tennessee, later moving to the Indian Territory. Read this interesting story about George Michael and his historic home, now open to the public as part of the Oklahoma State Park system.
Edmund Murrell moved to Tennessee as a young man, and apparently became a prosperous farmer. There he married Sarah Martin, and they had three sons - Robert, born about 1830, William E., born in 1832 (see picture of William), and Edmund, Jr., born in 1840. This younger Edmund was my great-great-grandfather.
The exact facts about the family grow hazy between 1840 and 1850. According to the will of Sarah's father George Martin, dated 1846, Sarah was deceased by that time. The will also indicates that Sarah's heirs, her three Murrell sons, are residents of Upshur County, Texas on that date. It is unclear whether Sarah died in Tennessee or Texas, but the family apparently moved between 1840 and 1846.
At the time of the 1850 Census, Edmund was residing in Harrison County, Texas and was remarried to a Catherine, who was said to have had a daughter by a previous marriage named Mary Amanda. It is likely that this marriage took place before the move to Texas, since the Census gave Tennessee as Catherine's birthplace. The 1850 Slave Schedule for Harrison County, TX shows that Edmund owned 25 slaves, indicating that he was a large plantation owner. This East Texas area was the largest producer of cotton in the state, and also had the greatest number of slaves.
Edmund and Catherine had two children by 1860, Rebecca and Samuel. The 1860 Census of Harrison County, Texas indicated that Edmund, occupation farmer, had real estate property valued at $11,876 and personal property valued at $34,029, and that he owned 28 slaves. This provides evidence that he was quite a prosperous plantation owner for those times. He is believed to have owned between three and four thousand acres of land. Edmund Sr. died in 1866, leaving a sizable estate to his heirs.
Edmund Murrell, Jr. married Eveline Stovall in 1858. Not much is known of their life, other than they had five children and he farmed in Harrison County, near Hallsville. There is no record that Edmund served in the Confederate Army, although he was of the prime age to do so. It is possible that his father paid another man to serve for him, as was the practice by many wealthy men of the time. His older brothers Robert and William did serve in the Army.
One of Edmund and Eveline's children was Laura L. Murrell, my great-grandmother. Edmund, Jr. died in 1867, and Eveline was later remarried to W. M. Melton.
Laura Murrell married Joseph W. Ferguson, a railroader, around 1887. They moved to Shreveport, Louisiana in the late 1890's, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. The couple had five children, one being my grandfather, Leonard William Ferguson.
Leonard William Ferguson (1892-1964) married Kathleen Anna Augusta Jones (1899-1991) in 1916. Kathleen was born in Indiana, but moved to Shreveport as a child, around 1905. They had four children, making their home in Shreveport where Leonard worked for Kansas City Southern Railroad as a clerk and later Yardmaster. One of Leonard and Kathleen's two daughters was Ruth Evelyn Ferguson, my mother, born in 1919.
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