My paternal grandfather Major Charles Dana Miller – this is the man my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Murdock married in 1882. He fought in the Civil War – Mary Elizabeth Murdock was born in 1863. So the man who was to be my grandfather was a soldier fighting in the Civil War when my grandmother was born.
Mary married a man many years her senior. How did this come about? Family rumor has it that she went West in 1880 from Crown Point New York to Mt. Vernon Ohio to look after Charles’s young children after their mother died.
Mary Elizabeth Murdock, 1882 (?)
Charles was born in 1836. So he was 27 years older than Mary. He was a widower with 2 children. They married in Chicago in November 1882.
Questions – how did this sequence of events happen?
Well, Mary went West shortly after her own mother died and also her younger sister. A time of sorrow and upset. Mary had recently graduated from Albany Normal School (State Teachers College) – so she was a qualified teacher.
But my research in ancestry.com reveals that when Charles’ wife died the children were young teens, age 14 and 13, not infants needing a carer. So if she went West to be a carer she would have been more of a housekeeper than a nanny, and possibly a tutor for the children.
And furthermore, there were Murdocks who had previously migrated from Crown Point New York to Mt Vernon Ohio.