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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. Before coming on board at the '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 in England. 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. He is currently pursuing a PhD.

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.

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. He has 'edu-tained' audiences on Norwegian Cruise Lines 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 manages two Family Tree DNA surname projects.

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. BYU's The Generations Project has drawn on his colonial knowledge for their show. He answered questions at one of the "Ask the Experts" desks at London's 2009 Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event and has published articles in scholarly genealogical journals in the United States and the United Kingdom.


  • 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 Devon Seafaring Origins of William Byrd's Mother's Family: Grace (Stegge) Byrd of London, Thomas Stegge of Charles City County, Viginia, 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 (forthcoming).
  • “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.

Special Projects

  1. Convict biographies in London Lives 1690 to 1800 ~ Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis User Wiki
  2. Immigrant Servants Database
  3. Expert Links: English Family History and Genealogy
  4. Virginia county pages on FamilySearch Wiki
  5. Tennessee county pages on FamilySearch Wiki
  6. South Carolina county pages on FamilySearch Wiki