Areas of Expertise
Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG
Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG, is a United States and Canada Research Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. His interest in the topic piqued at age eight. Producers of History Detectives (History Channel), How the States Got Their Shapes (PBS), and The Generations Project (BYUtv) have drawn on his knowledge for their TV shows. He answered questions at one of the "Ask the Experts" desks at London's 2009 Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event.
Before coming on board at the genealogy 'Mecca' in 2010, he received a BA in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University, completed an internship in London studying emigration sources through the Immigrant Ancestors Project, and graduated with distinction from the MA programme in English Local History at the University of Leicester. He has completed four years of Ph.D. studies in Colonial American and English history at Leicester and the University of Utah. He worked four years as a researcher and marketing director for Price and Associates Genealogical Services, where he gained 6000 hours of professional research experience.
During his studies, Nathan assisted six professors in their research. His graduate studies have focused on tracing the origins and fates of English men, women, and children who migrated to Colonial America, particularly indentured servants and transported convicts. His project to identify these people Immigrant Servants Database has received international praise.
At this stage in his career, he has been recognized as an Accredited Genealogist for the Mid-South United States, Gulf-South United States, and England and has lectured at several national and international conferences, most recently the 2011 National Genealogical Society Conference (Charleston, S.C.) and the RootsTech 2012 Conference (Salt Lake City, Utah). He has 'edu-tained' audiences on Norwegian Cruise Line in the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera.
Nathan's twenty years of expertise extends to the British Isles, the former British Empire, Central America, North America, South America, and Southwestern Europe. He has regularly worked with clients whose roots reach back into these parts of the world. His foreign language training includes: Early Modern English, French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, and Welsh and he has conducted onsite research in many American and European archives.
Nathan is passionate about tracing immigrant origins and promoting DNA. His own DNA, and hence his Colonial Southern Murphy's DNA, matches Murphys from near County Cork, Ireland. Nathan has also learned, using this technique, that two of his other Colonial Southern ancestors originated in Cornwall and Devon England. He has helped manage two Family Tree DNA surname projects. His DNA lecture, given at RootsTech 2012, is available online:
Nathan served a term as a Commissioner for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen), during which time he solicited speakers for two of their "Becoming an Excellent Genealogist" conferences at Brigham Young University.Nathan has published articles in scholarly genealogical journals in the United States and the United Kingdom. A reproduction of a rare indentured servant contract (1738) his project uncovered will be on display at the Ellis Island Museum in New York City in 2012.
- Donald Mosher Memorial Award for Colonial Virginia Research, Board for Certification of Genealogists, Washington, DC (2010)
- Young Family Historian of the Year, Center for Family History and Genealogy, BYU, Provo, Utah (2007)
- International Student Scholarship, University of Leicester, England (2004)
- Immigrant Ancestors Grant, Center for Family History and Genealogy, BYU, Provo, Utah (2004)
- Office of Research and Creative Activities Scholarship (ORCA), BYU, Provo, Utah (2003)
- "The English Origin of John Josua, Gentleman, 1609 Adventurer to Virginia: An Analysis of the First English Will to Mention American Kin," The American Genealogist, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan. 2011):29-36.
- "The Devon Seafaring Origins of William Byrd's Mother's Family: Grace (Stegge) Byrd of London, Thomas Stegge of Charles City County, Virginia, and Captain Abraham Read of Charles City County, Virginia; Including Additional Details about William Byrd's Father John Byrd's Career as a London Goldsmith," The American Genealogist, Vol. 84, No. 4 (October 2010):241-256.
- “London Foundlings in Colonial America: Overseas Leads to Dead Ends; John Abchurch, William Abchurch, Isaac Jewry, and Henry Woolchurch of Virginia and Maryland,” The American Genealogist, Vol. 83, No. 2 (July 2008): 100-110.
- “‘To be sent to America,’ Indentured Servants Registered at Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, 1683-1689,” Genealogists’ Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 3 (September 2007): 101-102.
- “Cornelius McDermott Roe: Indentured Servant to George Washington,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 95, No. 2 (June 2007): 135-146.
- “Devon’s Supply of North American and Caribbean Indentured Servants, 1655-1660,” Genealogist’s Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 1 (March 2007): 3-12.
- “Origins of Colonial Chesapeake Indentured Servants: American and English Sources,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 93, No. 1 (March 2005): 5-24. Available online.
- “The Rise and Fall of Latin in the Kingdom of Hungary,” Federation of East European Family History Society’s Journal, Vol. 11 (2003): 12-28.
- Early Families of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky: Vincent, Wright, McElwain, Wilkins, and Jarvis. Hanson, Kentucky: David W. Murphy & Associates, 1998.
- Descendants of Azariah Doss and His Wife Lydia (Ayres) Doss. Hanson, Kentucky: David W. Murphy & Associates, 1997.
- Immigrant Servants Database
- Virginia county pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- London pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- Middlesex pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- Surrey pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- Expert Links: English Family History and Genealogy
- WeRelate source pages
- Tennessee county pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- Barbados pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- South Carolina county pages on FamilySearch Wiki
- New York town and county pages on FamilySearch Wiki
FamilySearch Blog Posts
- New Books at the Family History Library - July 2012 Update (10 July 2012)
- Free Guide to Tennessee Ancestors (6 July 2012)
- New Books at the Family History Library (6 July 2012)
- FamilySearch is on Cyndi's List (14 June 2012)
- Free Guides to American Indian Ancestors (13 June 2012)
- Ron Tanner - Live from Salt Lake City! (17 May 2012)
- Keeping Up With the Censuses (1790-1940) (7 May 2012)
- Like Us on Facebook (22 March 2012)
- RootsTech 2012 Videos Now Online (12 March 2012)
- Seven American Brickwalls (17 February 2012)
- Italian Allegati Matrimoniali: Fast Lane to the Past (21 December 2011)
- New Website about English Catholic Nuns (16 November 2011)
- Ojibwa Mama (29 August 2011)
- Samurai Ancestry: Getting Started in Japanese Research (5 July 2011)
- The Ancestry of Princess Kate (2 June 2011)
- Enhance the South Carolina Pages in the FamilySearch Research Wiki (5 April 2011)
- English Research for American Genealogists: Cemeteries (2 November 2010)
- Hidden Virginia Taxation Records in the Family History Library Collection (10 September 2010)
United Kingdom and Ireland
Murphy has researched onsite in archives in each of the shaded English, Irish, and Welsh counties. Map created using GenMap UK software.
He has extensive experience at The National Archives, London Metropolitan Archives, The British Library, Devon Record Office, Somerset Record Office, Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland Record Office, and the Northamptonshire Record Office.
- Barbados Department of Archives, Bridgetown
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky
- Kentucky State Archives, Frankfort
- Library of the Museum of Barbados
- Lima, Peru Centro de Historia Familiar
- Maryland State Archives, Annapolis
- Minnesota State Archives, St. Paul
- South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia
- Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville
- Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana
- Wisconsin State Archives, Madison
- Various county courthouses in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Virginia