Get Ready to Vote……..

My last blog “Get out the Vote” put forth the idea that there should be a government financed incentive program that I now call the “National Defense Voter Incentive Program”. Since I received neither support nor opposition to my idea I’ll go with the idea that possibly I’m onto something. And the beauty of blogs is that we all can and should put forth ideas that should or could be for the betterment of all of us in the good ol’ U.S.of A .

Well here is another voter idea that I can’t take credit for but I fully endorse and I can’t see why why it isn’t fully adopted in all of the fifty states. This idea is the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) that streamlines the way we all register to vote. AVR provides instant voter registration for all citizens who do any business with government agencies. For example, AVR makes voter registration an “opt out” instead of “opt in” requirement. Eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote or have their existing registration information updated- unless they affirmatively decline! You do business with a government agency you are a voter unless you say no.

Couple this AVR idea with the National Voter Incentive idea and “wow” -voter rates should double. Now who would be against these ideas? Well, as it is only 13 states and DC have approved the AVR and no state has adopted the Idea of a voter incentive program.

The AVR idea is advancing in many state legislatures and those who follow voter reforms think significant gains will be made this year.

So let’s give eligible citizens the ease of registration and,as well, provide a real incentive to carrying out their civic duty with the “National Defense Incentive”. Let’s face if folks, voting is probably our only equalizer in this great democracy of ours. GET OUT THE VOTE!


Get out the Vote……..

Whatever anybody’s politics might be, I have to think the everybody wants to see a higher eligible voter turnout for all elections. Oh yes, there are campaign strategists who might see a benefit for their candidate(s) if voters stay home and not vote-either absentee or on site at the polling stations. Also, we have heard about TV ads that spread propaganda that tell voters that that with no differences between the candidates then they might as well stay home and not vote.

Checking the available stats for recent presidential elections you’ll see the following numbers: 2004–60.4%; 2008–62.3%; 2012–57.5%. These figures indicate that about 40% of eligible voters chose to forfeit their right to vote for the leader of the USA who most likely will be for all citizens the president who supposedly was “duly” elected. Come on! Woe is us! Let’s face it, this so call “duly” elected politician could have been elected by only about 32% of those eligible voters. And as president he/she will administer policies and influence the passage of laws that affect all citizens of the US and  as well the rest of the world.

Of course these numbers don’t show how the eligible voter turnout affected each state in regards to their respective state vote for electoral vote for president. (This inane election method has to looked at as well.)

But I’ll take it that the missing 40% turnout was seen across each of the states and thus electoral college differences for states was not a factor in electoral college results for these presidential election years. Further analysis could show that in the last election where Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral college outcome. And this outcome was perhaps affected by the 40% missing eligible voters. Particularly if the false propaganda spread of “no difference between the candidate did keep people from voting in states with close electoral college outcomes. Again Woe is us!

Thus, I think time has come for the great USA to change the voter outcome situation. My research of the future shows that nothing is in the works that will change the voter turnout for the 2020 presidential election. Thus, why not right now, have the US Congress begin to seek and to develop a vote incentive plan that should move us off the 40% “no vote” to a goal of 90-95% voter turnout. This figure would truly begin to represent the one person one vote–the underpinning of our great”democracy”.

So here’s my idea: everybody’s vote in the 2020 presidential final election will qualify the voter for a tax write off of $2020 for educational costs purposes for themselves or for their children.

Where the voter uses the short tax form or have no “education costs” to apply the rebate they could apply for a $2020 federal rebate that could be used for a variety of purposes, medical, housing and education bills either for themselves or for their children or grandchildren. This idea would be a mixture of voter incentive plan with a sensible way of helping people who live with debt.

Of course, there are details to be worked out with my voter incentive plan. But besides working out details, let’s see if someone else has a voting incentive idea. I don’t see any others now other than some thinking that “mandating” voting at the cost of a fine for not voting. Good luck with trying to enforce a ” mandate” on voters. An incentive that offers a financial benefit that in the long run assists with debts and helps all voters economically I think we all win

As for the cost of this proposal, I’m leaving the figuring out to others. My $2020 amount has a symbolic value as well as being high enough to make people think about the value of their vote. I’m sure that cost cutters will suggest a lower figure that could be shown as more affordable. But as they do, let’s hope they consider the incredible expense of having 40% percent of eligible voters refusing to vote.

Give this idea some thought please and Get out the vote!

Thanks for reading my blog piece.

Blog by Bill

Equal Protection Clause for All

Judge Kavanaugh was right when he answered a question from Senator Kamala Harris that no law exists in the United States that tells males what men can and cannot do with their bodies. But over the years for a mixture of political and ideological reasons male legislators had considered controlling women’s right to decide whether to have a baby or not to have a baby is a legislator’s given right and obligation. That is for the most part male legislators, state and federal, have passed laws that literally control women’s right to do with their bodies AS THEY CHOOSE.

Along came the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade that halted the male legislator’s need to control women’s right to decide how their should be used. Of course, I know historically not all males, legislators or otherwise , have thought it best to control women’s choice of how their bodies would or should be used.If anyone doubts the effects of what could happen if males obtain full control of women then they should watch the TV series “The Handmaiden’s Tale”. A story with alarming results for women.

Until Roe vs. Wade, no amount of true stories of terrible outcomes of unsafe and “illegal” abortions seemed to affect the believers that males know best when it comes to women’s right to decide. No top notched lawyer could even find a way to use the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to argue the terrible injustice women lived with. The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness just wasn’t going to be made available to women. The power to say so was the male’s choice.

Now, if the males who want to return to the “good ol days” have their way female citizens of the US could lose any rights they had to deciding how their bodies would be used. This is how it will work for these males who want a return of the”good ol days”. They will tell their legislators, male or female, “that to stay in your elected office you MUST vote for “Judge” Kavanaugh”.And upon his nomination and affirmative Senate vote, there will soon be put before the Supreme Court a case that represents a challenge to the Roe vs. Wade decision. A decision that represented women’s right to decide in what way they want to use their bodies. Brett Kavanaugh will sit as a white male “Justice” with the POWER to throw out the earlier decision that honored women’s right to decide. Mr. Kavanaugh is too risky for the right of equal protection for all to decide how and why their body will be used. Tell your Senator to honor women’s equal protection rights to decide. Tell males to honor women with real equality!

From Bill Murphy

A Movie Star…..

Richard Semier Barthelmess was a movie star during the silent era. His last name obviously brings to mind the importance of the Bartelmess name in our family tree. But there appears to be no linkage between Richard and the rest of the Bartelmess clan. Amazingly, research of the name shows quite a few Bartelmess families through the southern states with many in Georgia.

Our connection to the Bartelmess is because of Anna Justina Bartelmess who was born August 28 ,1853 in Fremont,New York. My research has yet to find out why this Bartelmess family went to Fremont New York. Hopefully, I’ll find something that clarifies why Anna Justina’s family came to upper New York State. Hints of origin do show that Bavaria, Germany was given as place of origin. And I think the family very much saw the parallel in the landscape of the two places. With many rolling hills with lots of farm land, the Fremont area had to remind them of Bavaria.

As for Richard the movie star, he was born May 9, 1895 in New York City, to Caroline W. Harris, a stage actress, and Alfred W. Barthelmess. With Alfred dying a year after Richard was born, Richard was very much influenced by his mother’s stage work. Richard got early “walk on” spots in plays. He eventually found his way to Hollywood to star in many silent movies. He had a major role opposite Lillian Gish in BrokenBlossoms”(1919). His acting life continued to 1942. And he did play roles in sound era movies. But his stardom of the silent era lessened leading him to leave acting. He moved back to New York and lived off of his investments. He died in Southampton, New York. He was interned in Ferncliff cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.Barthelmess’s legacy found in Wikipedia shows how he influenced the world of movies including being a founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also received a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Relative or not, Richard Barthelmess was an important character and still to this day one aspect of his legacy -AcademyAwards- is something we all seem to have an interest in. So as you see my interest in tracing the lives of our ancestors can lead me to find some interesting history. The lives of everyone in our family tree provides for a study of life decisions made and being made. Future posts will include descriptions of life’s lived by many-whether in the movies or in the field of nursing or being a motherly father. Again if you have suggestions for these future posts please let me know.

Characters Galore………

Maintaining a family tree gives you a real good chance to imagine what each person could have been like. Each individual chapter playing a role in a long plot of a family history. Well written books include great plot lines with exciting scenes the good authors write using an imagination loaded with visual images that find a way to be written onto the page. But for me what makes a book great, or a movie also, is the character description along with the dialog use to move the story along.

For example, Keeping our family tree gives me a chance to imagine what the character of John Henry Murphy was and how I could describe him in different imagined settings alone or with family members. Perhaps a scene from 1914 where our grandfather John Henry was looking into buying the family a motor car and perhaps being the first in the neighborhood to contemplate buyinga car. A scene where he has to seek his wife’s Rose’s approval to put their limited savings toward the purchase price of the car. We all can relate to a scene where negotiation is used to buy something-even the young begin negotiating with parents for various wants.

Of course, with the lives of our ancestors living through terrible times of diseases and troubles it’s easy to think of a character from our tree having to discuss with the family the prevailing dangers and threats to his or her’s children.

I imagine a scene from around 1855 where , one of the earliest ancestors in our Tree , the couple, Anton(Michael) and Ursula Bartelmess have to try to help their children understand the awful results of ongoing diphtheria epidemic that had gripped areas throughout the eastern US. They had emigrated to the US and had settled in upper New York State probably sometime in 1850. Except for Anna Justina, the three other sons were old enough to observe the dying all around them. I imagine Anton with Ursula trying to explain what is happening with the spread of the disease from family to family. In the opening pages of Dorothea’s book “The Murphy Family Tree” she describes the situation in Obenberg, New York where the diphtheria plague occurred.

Dorothea begins the part of our story by saying that she doesn’t “know what happened to Anton and Ursula” but she seems to reach the conclusion that these two ancestors perish as a result of the diphtheria outbreak.

But back to my main point of this post: the numerous stories to be told and even written, with characteristics of the people and the times to be included. We are all students, whether formal or not, and we all can study the history of our families and tell or write stories that describe the fascinating individuals.

I’m sure this idea wii lead to a future post. Have a great day.

“Victor or Victrola?”

There is a good chance that during the 1910s families in our family tree listened to their 78s on either a Victor or a Victrola. Yes they were different but both were products of the Victor Talking Machine Company. The Victor had the horn mounted externally while the Victor Talking machine had an internal horn. ( As always Wikipedia provides real good background information on the subject of early phonographs and related subjects.

These were both more popular than other “talking” machines and there were other “knockoffs” even then. Working class families used their limited pay checks to acquire the necessities for the home then and a phonograph soon became one of them. A home radio was still more than a decade away. The history of the development of “radio” is very interesting with individuals from all nationalities contributing to the eventual home radio. One major event in this history was the first radio audio broadcast from Brant Rock, Massachusetts in 1906. Ships at sea could hear the engineer who was sending the signal played Holy Night on his violin. Present day folks in our Tree live near Brant Rock and some of us used to vacation there with neighbors (Ryan’s) who had a cottage there.

Well back to the Victrola. I’m not sure what machine the Murphy’s had in their Dorchester home in 1910s or so but I’ll bet you they had one or the other. For at that time there were four or five teenagers and listening to popular tunes was important then as it is now.

Again with Wikipedia ‘s assistance it as easy to locate information on those popular songs of the time. I’ve attached below a photo of a record buff’s 100 most poplar tunes for 1910- 18 of the songs listed. And to listen to these tunes it is easy enough to find a site that plays the tunes. Try listening. You’ll quickly be humming a good o’tune.

Middle Names……..

With about 400 members in the Murphy Family Tree with a variety of names and with lots of these names coming from someone’s ancestor- I think.

I remember recent family debates about whose middle name is attached to just whom. This debate is easy to settle with present day members of our tree, but for those in the past we can just surmise the origin of the middle name.which. What follows is a list of a few of deceased members of our family with their middle name attached to someone I guess is where the middle name comes from. Be assured I welcome your own ideas about this element of the past.

Here goes with a few to get this process started….

George Bartholomew Murphy-son of John Henry and Ellen Cavanaugh. Her father’s name was Bartholomew.

Helen Agnes Graziani-daughter of JH and Ellen. She took the middle name of Agnes from her Aunt Agnes- Ellen’s sister.

William Paul Murphy, George and Helen’s brother and an uncle of the Murphys. He got his middle name from another sibling of Ellen- William Cavanaugh.

Grandpa Bill Francis McGarty I assume was named after a cousin born earlier than Grandpa to his Uncle John Barthelmess and aunt Amelia Somer. My guess here could be questioned because Grandpa’s father John McGarty could have had a brother Francis.

I’m stopping here with this name linkage idea. Future posts will return to this guessing game. Present day relatives have lot to offer here given that they might know the origin of their middle name. If not they can ask a parent and submit their information. At the least it will be added to the family tree and certainly a future post will have more to report on middle names.

And future posts will link surnames with ancestor names where possible. Feel free to submit your thoughts on this matter. Nick names are also relevant information to be included in a post.

About blog posts-everyone is welcomed and encouraged to tell me an idea for a post or even write one themselves and send it to me for publication on my blog. This WordPress blog can be subscribed to by going to WordPress site. Or send your idea to me:

I’ve been writing family tree ideas that Have been discovered. And please feel free to correct or add any “fact” that you think needs correction.

One place to start!

I guess the goal of all genealogists is to research the family lineages in order to get to the “first” one of us all. Certainly that can have religious thrust or as it is nowadays it can have the scientific angle. I think that I’m using both goals as I build the”tree” but given that the tree I’m working on is only going back to the first half of the eighteen hundreds. With so many years missing if anyone has any clues to earlier connections- be them religious or DNA – then please let me know.

Right now, the data I have shows that one part of the tree has a link to the Bartelmess family from Bayelern, Bavaria, Germany. The first fellow we got a record of is an Anthony who was born about 1840. And somehow he comes to Boston and meets his bride to be Fredericka Carolina Rolleg. They marry on October 31, 1863 in Boston. By the way, Fredericka came to Boston in 1838 from Germany (Stadt Lungefeld, S.W.E. ,Germany).

Thanks to Harold and Dorothea for the above information on the Bartelmess side of the family. The “Bartelmess” name has throughout out history been found to be spelled differently. Somewhere along the way the family tree-researchers have set upon a spelling that seems acceptable by all official parties. Of course, the “correct name problem”has plagued all genealogists from the beginning of time. Record keepers from the beginning often put down what they thought they heard. Keep in mind that the first folks who got married or who travelled or who “signed-up” for military service had to tell the record keeper what they thought their name was. Lucky for us someone in the family learned writing and eventually could write their grand mother’s name down. Certainly this went along way in getting”it” write-I mean right.

Before I forget it, Anton and his lovely Bride Fredericka settled in and around Malden, MA. and began their family which eventually grew to five children. These five children had lots of children who for the most part stayed in the Malden area and guess what- you got it- these children went on to have children. As they say- “Ontogeny proceeds phylogeny”! And you know what? It was a German who first said the preceding. Yes, Herr Ernst Haeckel is given credit by Wikipedia as the person who captured the whole thing about family tree research with his catchy phrase.

Oh yes, one of Anton and Fredericka’s children was Anna Justina ( born in Fremont, NY in 1853). She went on to marry a John McGarty and lo and behold their third child born was our William (Joe or Fran) McGarty. And William, or “Willie” as he was known, married Elizabeth Ginty in -you guessed it – Malden,Ma. I’ll stop here with lots more to follow you can be sure. But given that most of the info included in this post comes from Harold and Dorothea Shine’s excellent genealogy research let’s all give them a big thanks!


As all family trees would show, individuals literally did everything. By reading the Federal Census for the decades you can get an idea of what people did primarily to make a buck or to help raise a family. Interestingly the descriptors used to identify the roles family members. Most kids were labeled “son” or “daughter” with “at school” used to show what the kids were doing during the day. Census reports for the late 1800 decades and up to about 1950 showed “at school” for the most part for kids up to ages 12 or 14.  Beginning with 1960 kids were shown to be “at school” for most kids to age 16.

Fathers were designated as”head” whether they were or not with mothers labeled as “wife” who was “keeping house”. Not much variation to this Census categorization appears until the 1970 decade. Fathers had “real” occupations usually designated as “laborer”. Specific trades appear for many of those males in the Murphy Family Tree.  We had a variety, e.g. “ brakeman”’boilermaker,” “bartender”,and  policeman”  .Females were occupied as “clerks” in stores or banks and as well with the obvious ones such as “teacher”, “nurse”, “waitress”.

John Henry Murphy, father of George B. Murphy and others, and husband of Ellen (Helena) C(k)avanaugh for most of his “working” life was shown having the occupation of “gas pipe fitter”. I assume he was quite busy in this trade  in the late 1800s into the 1900s. Lots of homes and businesses were being”fitted” with light and stove fixtures in the New London and Boston neighborhoods. Researching this trade has shown me that at the turn of the century this trade had been union controlled with what appeared to “decent wage” occupation.

J. Henry’s salary and trade most likely played a role in deciding whether getting married in 1893 (Feb 14) was the correct decision for him and Ellen Cavanaugh. Perhaps their fathers, Edward Murphy and Bartholomew Cavanaugh were involved with their decision. But marriage it was.And soon after the Murphy family began. (More to say about that later).

I’m including a photo of the Boston marriage register for 1893. Scroll down to the third from the bottom entry to locate our JH and Ellen’ marriage entry. It is easy to make a mistake if you don’t have related information. For example on this page there are several marriages for John Murphys. This photo is a cut version of the original so it fits on page. I’ll figure a way to get whole photos on the page. Carry on good folks!