Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fearless Females: Johanna Yates MURCH

I am participating in the Fearless Females theme for National Women's History Month.

The female ancestor who got me the most interested in my family tree was my great great grandmother, Johanna Yates MURCH (4 February 1844-17 December 1875).  Before I knew much about her, I imagined her as having lived to a 'ripe old age' (as they say).  Imagine my shock when I found out that she actually died when she was only 31.  She had just given birth to her third baby, and died when he was nine days old.  The cause of death on her death certificate was: "Confined 8 days, gastritis 3 days, diarrhoea, exhaustion."  Now, I am single and have never had a child, but even I winced when I heard of her last few days of life.

She has given me more reason to participate in 'Scanfest' at the end of the month; I have her death certificate and need to scan it to put it here!

She was also the last MURCH in my family (unless you count my father's middle name).  All the MURCHes were Protestant Dissenters of some sort, and Johanna got married in the local Congregationalist meeting house.  This also makes me love her specially, as her family was obviously looking for something, and although the HAYWOODs she married into do not seem a particularly religious lot, I feel as though she and I have something in common: a searching for the truth.  And I maintain that I have found it.


  1. Hello,
    I'm a Murch by birth and my family came from Devon, England.

    John Murch my great great great grandfather born 2/5/1890. His wife was Mary Bonamy Murch and I'm thinking his parents were Thomas and Jane Murch, but I haven't proven that yet.

    John's son Thomas was born in 1832, Thomas was widowed when he married Susanna Winsor Murch, and they had four son's. William was born in 1864.

    I always wondered if Thomas's first wife had any children and what her name was. I know Thomas was a cobbler by trade and his father was a tailor. Thomas died in January 1872 probably from the small pox.

    I didn't know much about my father's side of the family and so recently started looking into it on my own. I live in Colorado, it is always interesting to find other Murch's. I found you doing a general Murch search online.

    Stacy Murch Arnold

  2. Hello Stacy
    I am always interested in other MURCHes, as it is such an unusual name. If you email me with some specific locations at ros77uk@yahoo.co.uk, I think I can probably provide you with quite a lot about the MURCHes. You gave me some fabulous dates, but I need the places to narrow things down. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Hello,
    I've been struggling to find more information on a Clement Murch 1695-1770. Clement would be my sixth great grandfather. Clement married Mary Moore May 30, 1720 had had a son named Joseph Murch 1739-1789, Clement also married Elizabeth Suthwood Oct 17, 1749.

    I would love to find out who Clements parents were, as well as if he had any other children with either wife.

    I know that he lived in Bradninch Devon England and possibly Exeter, or Cullompton.

    Thanks for any help, I've spent months trying to locate more information on him.

    Merry Christmas,
    Stacy Murch Arnold

  4. Hello Stacy
    Unfortunately I cannot help you with Clement. My MURCHes come from the Ottery St Mary area of Devon.
    The only suggestion I can make is that you broaden your horizons to Broadclyst, since that is where Joseph was baptised...
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - and best wishes for your future research



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