The Star-News


Murphy where are you?

Sat, Apr 28 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Susan Walter

The end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 was crowded with opportunities for my personal character growth.

Let's see...I "enjoyed" a week-long emergency stay in the hospital for a twisted intestine. This was preceded by a vacation to Missouri where our families had lost their homes and farms to flooding and now are battling the resulting mildew, property and crop loss, and FEMA – during which we were exposed to Lyme disease.  Next, my mom got cancer, and my husband’s cousin and then also my dad died, and my daughter got hurt, and one of our rentals caught fire.

Grumpily I was musing upon all this during the never-ending campaigns on TV, with the stupid pencil I had just sharpened scraping holes into the paper (because my miracle of an electric pencil sharpener sharpens crooked and I hadn’t picked off the wood covering the lead point), while researching a project from a photocopy of a newspaper article (that I’d forgotten to get the second page of) when at the archives (which is closed for several more days). 
But hold! Murphy’s Law! It’s all Murphy’s fault! I need a Murphy anywhere in the South Bay to blame. And I want the earliest one I can locate, preferably online or somewhere in our eight file cabinets of background material or in our billions of semi-arranged references here in our own freezing office (because the heater quit working).

Just as expected, my first problem is some damned thing with my computer which won’t get what I want from ancestry.com. It can’t be my fault of course, it’s Murphy’s. Or maybe it’s ancestry.com that’s being recalcitrant.
Equally irritating, now that I’m finally here with ancestry.com – my Murphy is not showing up. Murphys are all over the place in San Diego but what do I care about that place? Some of them sport great first names like Cornelius, one is a horse shoer, and one had “scar on hand, lame leg,” but none of these turkeys lived in South Bay. I’m gonna have to spend more than five minutes just finding this guy/gal. In fact, I’m even gonna have to get out of my chair (carefully so the back doesn’t fall off).

Now, with “Family Friends and Homes” edited by Rojas securely propped on a teetering pile of papers, here are five Murphy entries! I find Maisie Campbell Murphy, no good for my purposes; she was born in 1903. Sharon Colleen Murphy Robertson is even worse, marriage year was 1959. I give her a guesstimated marriage age of 20 so she was probably born circa 1939. Then there’s Mary Edith Murphy, too much also a newbie. She moved to South Bay in 1914. To my dismay, two of the five entries are for people already cited.

Poop.

“Chula Vista” by Roseman and Watry Jr? A grand little book but it’s not indexed and I’m now at least eight minutes into this.  “Bonita” by Schoenherr and Oswell? Nope, same problem, no index. “National City, Kimball’s Dream” by Trook? No Murphys in the index. I’ve used up more than 500 words with this Murphy problem. All right, Schoenherr, now it’s your centennial book, but that 1911-2011 focus date is not auspicious. Well, no matter there’s not even one Murphy entry (but thanks for the index).

I am now really worried about this. Wikipedia says Murphy is the 58th most common surname in the U.S. of A. I know he or she was here well before 1900. I’m going to eat lunch and consider my options.

How about the La Vista Cemetery records? They’re more or less handy … somewhere here … ah! But – no Murphys.
Maybe one is buried in Nestor’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery?  No such luck. How about Glen Abbey?  
Well, well, well; this is more like it! A quick call and Fernanda told me there were a bunch of them. But I’ll have to go there.  Some day I will and I’ll know who to blame for all this. See you all next month with I hope much better history.


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