Murchison Kerr Is Back From The Dead!

Murchison Kerr Is Back From The Dead --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Okay, well he's not exactly back from the dead. He's still dead. He just died later than I initially thought. I had an "oops my bad moment" and now I would like to set the record straight.

I am still digging into my Kerr family line from Sampson County, NC. I am telling you this branch of the family tree is turning out to be quite interesting. One thing I have learned from all of this is that when you can't find your ancestor in the census or city directories, don't forget to check land records. This can be especially helpful for finding people born between 1880 and 1900. (Darn that 1890 census fire! Argghhh!)

Murchison Kerr was my great grand uncle. He was born most likely some time in January 1880 to my 2nd great grandparents, Henry and Tina Murphy Kerr  and was a brother to my great grandmother Ella Kerr Smith Dixon, all of whom I have written about before on this blog. 

Now up until the other day the only record I was able to find on Murchison Kerr was on the 1880 Federal Census.

Source Information and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Franklin, Sampson, North Carolina; Roll: 981; Family History Film: 1254981; Page: 67B; Enumeration District: 192; Image: 0596

I checked the 1900 census on forward and there was no sign of Murchison anywhere. I thought he more than likely died sometime before 1900.


If you recall in my post  I Had An "I'm A Dummy Moment", I realized that there were quite a few more index pages showing deeds for my Kerr ancestors on the Sampson County Register Of Deeds website. I've been slowly reviewing through each deed and What do you know?

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds 

It appears that Murchison was alive and well at least through July 1919.

Here's a deed that can be found by going to the Sampson County Register of Deeds Online Access Site. 

From Book 332 Pages 12-14

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

    Murchison Kerr and wife to W. H. Carter and others 
          North Carolina, Sampson County.
          This Deed, Made and executed this 3rd day of July 1919 by and between Murchison Kerr and Everlenear Kerr, his wife, parties of the first part and W. H. Carter and J. C. Carter trading as Carter & Carter, parties of the second part, all of the state and county aforesaid.
          Witnesseth:  That the parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of One Hundred Fifty Six and 75/100 Dollars, ($156.25) to there in hand paid, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, have bargained and sold, and by these presents do bargain, sell, and convey unto the parties of the second part their 

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

heirs and assigns all of their right title interest and estate, the same being a 1/4 undivided interest in and to the following lands and premises to art:
          All of that certain tract or parcel of land situate in the State and County aforesaid in Lisbon Township and lying partly within the corporate limits of the town of Garland adjoining the lands of Henry Carter, E. C. Herring, J. D. Johnson, William Sloan and others lying on the East side of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, formerly the C. F. & Y. V. Railroad right of way and bounded and described as follows:

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

          Beginning at a stump the extreme northerly corner of lot #7 in the division of the lands of Jacob Kerr deceased which lot was apportioned to Daniel Kerr and running thence N. 42 W. 30 poles to a dead pine thence N. 50 E. 28 poles to a pine, thence N. 15 W. 40 poles to a pine thence N. 69 W. 61 poles to a corner in the line of Lot #9, of the Jacob Kerr division, thence with the line of said

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

Lot #9, S. 54 W. 90 poles to a stake, thence  S. 61 E. 107 poles to a stake thence S. 28 W. 27 poles to a stake thence S. 62 E, 48 poles to a stake, a corner of Lot #7, above refferred to, thence N. 22 E. 55 poles to the beginning containing 67 acres more or less: and being lot #8 in the division of the lands of Jacob Kerr deceased as surveyed and plotted by J. D. Johnson, Esq, on August 31st, 1898, which tract of land was allotted to Henry Kerr, the father of

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

Murchison Kerr, party of the first part, 
     To Have and to Hold the above described tract of land, together with all of the rights, privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging unto thence the said parties of the second part their heirs and assigns in fee-simple forever.
     And the parties of the first part do covenant and agree to and with the parties of the second part their heirs and assigns that they are lawfully seized of a 1/4 undivided

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

interest in and to the lands above described and that they have a good right to make this deed, that there are no liens or encumbrances upon said lands and that they and each of them will forever warrant and defend the title to the same against the lawful claims and demands of any and all persons whomsoever.
     In Testimony whereof the parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first above written.
                                                    Murchison Kerr {Seal}
                                                  Everlenear x Kerr{Seal}

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

North Carolina, Sampson County
     The due execution of the foregoing deed was this day acknowledged before me by Murchison Kerr and Everleaner Kerr, his wife, and for the uses and purposes therein expressed and the said Everleaner Kerr, being by us privately examined, seperate and apart from her said husband touching her voluntary execution of the same, date state that she signed the said deed freely and voluntarily and without any fear or compulsion on the part of her said husband or any other persons, and that she doth still voluntarily assent thereto.
     Witness my hand and notarial seal, this July 3rd 1919.
{N.P. Seal}                               J. L. Carter, Notary Public

Image courtesy of Sampson County Register of Deeds.

North Carolina, Sampson County
     The foregoing certificate of J. L. Carter, a Notary Public of Sampson County, duly authenticated by his notarial seal, is adjudged correct sufficient and in due form or prescribed by law, Let said instrument, together with the certificates, be recorded, 
This July 5th 1919.
                                                                           W. F. Sessoms,
                                                        Clerk Superior Court.
Filed July 5th 1919 at 5: P.M.
Recorded July 9th 1919.
                                                        J. B. Williams,
                                                            Register of Deeds.

I don't know exactly when Murchison Kerr died yet but when I find out I will provide an update.


  1. Great find! He must have been in fairly good health to buy land, it seems. That's a committment of at least 20 to 30 years. Don't you think?

  2. that $156.25 spent in 1919 is actually $2,114.58 by 2014 inflation standards. The land is worth much more now. I used to loathe going through land records but I do see the value in it! Glad to see that Murchison was still around in the 1900s. He might be buried on that land.


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