Robert Wilson MURPHY & Anna RECKERT

Robert W. MURPHY was born 29 November 1889 in Long Island City, Queens, New York to Jeremiah MURPHY and Liza HOLLINGSHEAD

Anna Maria RECKERT was born 2 July 1887, the daughter of Joseph RECKERT and Sabina KOBERLEIN
(There are many pictures of Anna on her parents page linked above)

Our thanks goes to Patricia Mullen for supplying the following narrative about the family:

Robert Wilson MURPHY(born 11/29/1889, died 12/1/1975) married Anna Maria RECKERT(born 7/2/1887, died 10/22/1970) at St. Patrick's Church in Dutch Kills, Long Island, N.Y. on November 9, 1912. The marriage was kept secret for almost a year because Robert's mother was against it. They went into New York City to the Metropolitan Opera House for the Saturday afternoon concert then came home, left each other at the corner of Anna's street and each went home. One day Robert came home to his mother's house and found his suit case packed on the front porch. He went to the Reckert's and lived there until he and Anna moved to Buffalo. Robert and his mother had a strained relationship after that and didn't see much of each other. (View marriage certificate)
Robert had one brother. Anna had two brothers and two sisters, Mae and a baby who died as an infant, I can't rember her name. The brothers were William and Joseph. William married Christina(no last name known) and had three children, Mary, Eleanor and Joe. Aunt Christina was a very sweet chubbie pretty lady who was not equipped to handling life on her own so cousin Mary took charge and more or less brought up the family. Eleanor was a beautiful woman and modeled hats for Sak's 5th Avenue in New York. Joe was a multi-talented guy who used to go to the Salvation Army thrift store and buy good quality clothes, bring them home and remake them to fit. Mary married a man by the name of O'Connor who was a realtor and they lived in Forest Hills. Eleanor married Walter who she had been engaged to for years. Joe married a girl named Margaret and they had children and one of their sons did a commercial for the YMCA sometime in the 1950's and it appeared on TV nationwide. William was a policemena in New York and after leaving the family he moved to Staten Island. I saw him once, he was about 6 feet tall. Joe was kind of a misfit, but Robert liked him very much and lent him money from time to time. He used to run whiskey between Fort Erie, Canada and Buffalo, New York duringthe prohibition days. Joe disappeared. Then and then one day cousin Joe(William's son Joe) talked to a man who asked him if he was related to a Joe Reckert who ran a bar in Glen Bernie, Maryland, becuase of the way the name was spelled. Aunt Mae on one of her vacations with the girls(her bridge club) went through the Baltimore area and called a Joe Reckert in the phonebook in Glen Bernie, but was told by his son that he was ill and couldn't come to the phone. Mae wanted to pursue the issue, but Robert said no, if he wanted to be found he would call.
Did you know that dad (Robert Murphy) had a great voice? I didn't for years and then one time mother(Anna Reckert) was playing the piano and we had company from New York Cityand we were all singing around the piano when I heard this geeat voice and I turned around and it was dad.....what a surprise. He also loved the opera and would listen to the Met on the radio on Saturday afternoons. My mother loved to play the piano and for my 15th birthday they gave me a piano. I took lessons for about 3 months and one day the teacher told mom that she was wasting her money and the teachers time....I would never learn....there went my career.
Dad was also a boxer in his youth. I never knew this either until one day my husband Jack was talking about Dad and he told me....I guess he and Dad used to talk a lot. My father was like Jerry, he was so patient. I remember when he would paint the walls he would ask mom if the color was right because he mixed his own colors and she would keep changing her was too dark, it was too light, until he just said that this is the color and he would start painting.

See Robert's parents page linked above for 1910 census information, which shows he was already a Varish Maker in 1910. 


Robert and Anna had the following children:

William(Bill) MURPHY, born 11 March 1914 in Long Island City, New York

Robert(Bo) MURPHY, born 17 May 1918 in Buffalo, New York

Eugene(Gene) MURPHY, born 7 August 1922 in Buffalo, New York

Gerald Joseph MURPHY, born 8 March 1926 in Buffalo, New York

daughter, still living 

The 1930 census gives us the following information about this family, living in Buffalo, New York at 254 Auburn Avenue:

Robert W. Murphy, age 40, born in New York, his father was born in Maine and his mother was born in Pennsylvania. Robert's occupation was listed as a Varnish maker for Pratt & Lambert. Click here to view the December 24, 1953 newspaper article about Robert's 50 years of service with Pratt & Lambert, Inc.  Click here to view a picture of Robert W. Murphy and his friends at work.

Robert's wife is listed as Anna M., aged 42, born in New York; her father was born in New York; her mother was born in New York.

The children were listed as:

William, age 15 (born about 1914/15)
Robert, age 11 (born about 1918/19)
Eugene, age 7 (born about 1922/23)
Gerald, age 4 (born about 1925/26)
Patricia, age 1 (born about 1928/29)

Also living in the household are:

Joseph Reckert, father-in-law aged 70, born in New York (about 1859/60); father born in Germany and mother born in Germany.
Mae Reckert, sister-in-law aged 31(born about 1898/99). Mae's occupation is listed as a biller at a brass works. (The 1920 census lists her as a stenographer.)

The 1920 census has the same information, EXCEPT for a couple crucial differences, and they are: The father's parents are listed as both being born in New York, and there is a boarder living with the family named Katherine B. Kogler, age 20, born in New York, father born in New York and mother born in Germany. She was a typist.

The main item is the difference in the birthplaces for Robert W. Murphy's parents. What probably happened was Robert was at work whern the census taker arrived and Anna reported what she assumed to be the information for Robert's parents. We are fairly certain that the 1930 census info on the birthplaces for Robert's parents is correct, since we know from the children that Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Robert's mother, we are assuming the 1930 information about Robert's father is also correct and that Jeremiah Murphy was born in Maine. This will turn out to be crucial information.

The Murphy kids with "Smokey" in 1932"

Gerald, Bo and Pat Murphy in 1933

Pat and Gerald, Empire Beach, Canada

Gerald and Pat about 1937

Jerry Murphy, Pat Murphy and Jack Nagge in 1943.

Bo Murphy, Robert Murphy, Sr. & Gene Murphy in 1944

Gene, Pat Gerald, 1946

View image of this family from 1970, probably taken shortly after the passing of Anna Reckert.

Robert Murphy, Sr., May 1972 at  254 Auburn, Buffalo, NY  (Notice Chandelier to the upper right)

The chandelier today

His daughter with the chandelier today

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This page was last updated on December 29, 2014