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John James Murphy1822

John James Murphy 1822

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Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in South America

John James Murphy was born in the parish of Kilrane, County Wexford in 1822. His parents were Nicholas Murphy and Katherine Sinnott. 

On the 13th of April, 1844, John was one of 12 young men who left Kilrane for Argentina. Their journey to a new life in a new country has been immortalised in the song, 'The Ballad of the Kilrane Boys'. A number of the men that travelled with Murphy were either known or related to him, as they were all from the one parish. The cost of passage was £16, which at that time would have been a considerable sum. In total the journey took them until the 25th of June 1844. This included the walk from Kilrane to Rosslare and a stop off in Liverpool before making the crossing. 

John did very well for himself in Argentina. Though he arrived with only £1 in his pocket, his natural talent for industry saw him make important connections with both the British merchants and the Irish Catholic priests of the area. He worked hard, digging ditches for little pay, or sometimes just a place to lay his head. He worked in this manner, and as a tennant farmer for a number of years. 

On the 27th of May 1867, John married Ellen Roche. The two would have been familiar with one another as Ellen's sister was married to John's brother. 

By 1869 John was a prominent land owner. He was a dedicated sheep farmer who sacrificed all of his time, and even his health for his animals. Later in life, when he returned home to Kilrane to visit his mother, she was horrified to see him so changed by time, hardship, and a battle with small pox that had left him disfigured. 

John's return to Ireland in 1878 was intended to be a permanent move as he hoped to take over the family farm. However tragedy struck when two of his children died in Ireland. He made the decision to leave once more with his family for Argentina, and this time they would not be coming back. 

The Murphy family sailed for Argentina in January 1882. John bought more land and continued to farm until old age caught up with him. At this point he leased his land to other settlers, many of whom were Italian. 

John James Murphy died on the 13th of July 1909 after a short battle with pneumonia. He was 87 years old. Long after his death, his legacy lives on, as in 1966, the area of land which he had owned became a settlement which is today called Murphy. 

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1822 (circa)
Date of Death 13th Jul 1909

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