Meriam Marjory Murphy (1831 - 1867)

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Nicknames: "Mary", "Meriam Marjory"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Union Co., SC
Death: Died in Yuba Co., CA
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
Last Updated:

About Meriam Marjory Murphy

Daughter of Jeremiah Burns Murphy and Levinah W. Jackson Age: 14 Survived

b. 15 Nov 1831 Union Co., SC m1. 24 Jun 1847 Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento Co., CA to William Johnson; divorced m2. 25 Dec 1848 Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento Co., CA to Charles Julian Covillaud (b. 21 Nov 1816 in Cognac, France; d. 05 Feb 1867 Marysville, Yuba Co., CA)

    Ch: Mary Ellen, Charles Julian, William Pierre, Francis Theodore, Naomi Sabine

d. 27 Sep 1867 Marysville, Yuba Co., CA

      Although she is usually known as Mary, church and family records give her name as Meriam, a form that occurs several times in the Jackson and Murphy families. The middle name Marjory is from a transcription of a family Bible.
      Mary was rescued from the Donner Lake camp by the First Relief in February 1847. She was haunted by the tragedy. In May 1847 she wrote, "i hope i shall not live long for i am tired of this troublesome world and i want to go to my mother." A brief and troubled marriage to William Johnson, the proprietor of Johnson’s Ranch, was followed by a much happier union with Charles Covillaud. Yet in 1849, despite her greatly improved circumstances, Mary was still sad: "I shall always wish that it had been gods will for me to die with my Mother."
      During the gold rush a thriving town sprang up on the Yuba river at what had been known as Nye’s Ranch. The town was named Marysville after the wife of a prominent citizen, Mrs. Charles Covillaud--the former Mary Murphy.
      As a surviving photograph shows, Mary was a lovely young woman; Heinrich Lienhard remembered the first time that he saw "the beautiful Mary." Bostonian Franklin A. Buck met Mary Covillaud and her sister Sarah Foster in 1850. He acknowledged her looks but was otherwise unimpressed:

   Mrs. C. and Mrs. F. are two of the party who came over the mountains in 1846 and came so near starving. You recollect the horrid sufferings they endured, even to eating each other. They are the elite of the place, of course. Mrs. Covilland is quite young and pretty but there is not the least refinement or taste about them. The fact is that there is no woman who can come to this country at present and have any refinement. Their finer feelings, if they have any, will soon get blunted with the life they must live here.

Although she did not meet Buck’s standard of refinement, Mary was remembered as a kind and generous woman who enjoyed flowers. She seems to have lived happily in the town that bore her name. Charles Covillaud died in February 1867 and his widow followed him only seven months later, dying at the age of 35. She is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Marysville.

b. 15 Nov 1831 Union Co., SC m1. 24 Jun 1847 Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento Co., CA to William Johnson; divorced m2. 25 Dec 1848 Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento Co., CA to Charles Julian Covillaud (b. 21 Nov 1816 in Cognac, France; d. 05 Feb 1867 Marysville, Yuba Co., CA)

    Ch: Mary Ellen, Charles Julian, William Pierre, Francis Theodore, Naomi Sabine

d. 27 Sep 1867 Marysville, Yuba Co., CA

http://user.xmission.com/~octa/DonnerParty/Murphy.htm#Meriam%20M.%20Murphy

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Mary Murphy, Donner Party's Timeline

1831
1831
Union Co., SC
1847
1847
Age 16
Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento Co., CA
1848
1848
Age 17
Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento Co., CA
1855
1855
Age 24
1867
1867
Age 36
Yuba Co., CA
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Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery Marysville Yuba County California