Lineage of Allie Bell Parsley and Henry Sherman Murry

Martha Ann “Mattie” Boatright  was born 04 Oct 1853 in Gentry County, Missouri, and died 04 Jul 1895 in Poolville, Parker County, Texas. She married (1) Richard Anderson Laffoon 18 Feb 1869 in Carroll County, Arkansas.  She married (2) William Porter Parsley, son of Harvy Parsley and Martha Johnson. He was born 1848 in Tennessee. Harvy Parsley fought on the confederate side of the civil war and died between 1861 and 1864.

Allie’s father, William Porter Parsley (May 30, 1848 – Jan 2, 1922), was an Indian agent in Oklahoma who worked for the department of the Interior. According to Howard Murry, he wanted to marry an Indian girl, but it was against regulations. He proceeded to marry his Indian bride (both of her parents were of Cherokee descent), Martha Anne “Mattie” Luffoon Boatright (Oct 4, 1853 – Jul 4, 1895) in 1870 (she first married Richard Anderson Luffoon in 1869, who shortly thereafter married her younger sister! The story is likely a juicer, as my son Kile would say, but the details are lost in history. There is at least one record in Boatright documents that indicate that Mattie and her parents were in some way alienated after this occurred). 

William and Mattie initially lived in Arkansas right next to the Oklahoma border, where their first two children were born. He was presumably still an Indian agent in Oklahoma at the time. (Once the gig was up) he later moved his family across the Red River into Texas, where they lived for several years. Some time thereafter, he re-applied and once again was designated as an Indian agent in Oklahoma, to which the family relocated.  Mattie and William had 15 children, three of whom were adopted (Lycurgus, Nogelmann and William Lafoon, children of her little sister Mary and Richard Anderson Laffoon.) Both William and Mattie were literate (Mattie’s father was a mason and in earlier years a teacher). 

Mattie married William Parsley in 1870 in Crawford Co, Arkansas.  The 1870 census lists William (22) and Mattie (17) in Cedar Township, Crawford Co, Arkansas. Listed just above them in the census is JS Boatright (40) and wife Eveline (34) with 9 children. Mattie was the eldest daughter. According to the 1880 census when the family resided in Wise Co, Texas, William Parsley was born in Tennessee, Mattie was from Missouri. Henry 7 and William 5 were born in Arkansas, Delpha 2 and Marion 4 months were born in Texas, supporting the story that the young couple crossed the border sometime after they married. They later returned to Oklahoma. In the 1900 census, William P Parsley is a widow. He lived with his son Henry Parsley in both the 1910 and 1920 census (Garrett, Johnston, OK). 

Regarding Mattie’s first husband, in the 1870 census, Richard Anderson Laffoon (1828-1895), 42 is living with Mary E (Boatright), 14 in Searcy, Buffalo, Arkansas. Mary was Mattie’s little sister.  In the 1880 census, Richard and Martha L. Laffoon are living with Licurgus 7, Nogelman 5 and William 3 months in Marion, Buffalo Fork, Arkansas. Martha L was his new wife, presumable Mary died in childbirth. These three children were adopted/raised by Mattie and William Parsley, likely after the death of their mother. Sounds like the boys had a turbulent childhood to say the least. Nogelmann presumable died as a boy as there are no further records.

Letter from Ruby McMaster – To Joe Parsley, The Parsley Family Record to the best of my knowledge. The Parsley family is of “Irish” origin. William Porter Parsley was born in Tennessee in 1848. He married Mattie Ilene Boatwright who was a Cherokee Indian. They were married in Arkansas in 1871. Mattie’s father was an Indian agent for the district of Wagner for a number of years. The District of Wagner was a part of ‘the Indian  Territory’ which became the state of Oklahoma. Mattie was supposedly 13 years when she married, so that would mean she was born in 1858. William and Mattie had 14 children that grew to be adults. We don’t know for sure how many children they had that may have died in infancy, but one of the 14 children, Uncle Frank, said there were 21 children in all. But there’s some question as to the accuracy of that statement. Mattie Ilene died July 4, 1995 and is buried in Poolville, TX in a cemetery known as “The Lone Star Cemetery.” William Porter died in the Spring of 1926. William and Mattie’s first born was Henry Lafayette Parsley – 28 April 1872 in Whitt, TX. Lafayette met and married Mary Elizabeth Johnson. She was born 19 May, 1876 in Arkansas. Their first child was Robert Floyd Parsley, born 20 Nov, 1897. There other children were Tressie, Henry, “Red” and Buck. Mary Elizabeth (Johnson) Parsley died 28 April, 1950. Robert Floyd Parsley married Minnie Mae Kitchens 25 Dec, 1917. Robert Floyd Parsley died of a heart attack in Corona, CA 6, June 1967, at the age of 69. They had four children: (JD born 28 Nov, 1918 and at the age of 14 he was killed in a car accident – the car overturned into a creed 24 Nove, 1932. he received a broken neck), Robert Loyd born 31 May, 1920, William Howard (born 24, Feb, 1922 and died in a fire accident 6 Aug, 1931 aged of 9),  Ruby Louise born 19, Feb, 1926.

To William Porter Parsley and Mattie Boatright were born 12 children (plus three stepchildren):

Stepson Lycurgus Charles Washingon Laffoon (1872-1927) married Daisy Norman and had three children. He died in Ellis, TX.

Henry Lafayette (1872-1950) married Mary E Johnson (1878-1939) in Parker, TX. They had 7 children.

Stepson Nogellman Laffoon (1875-) died young. No further records after 1880.

Judge William Fredrick (Feb 13, 1875-Jun 30, 1945) married Arkie Webb in 1898 in Parker County, TX.  WF Parsley moved to Young County in 1907, and lived at Olney, Elbert and Jean until 1925 when he moved to Graham. He served in the Legislature from Jack and Young Counties from 1919-1921. When the legislature convened on Jan 14, 1919, he was one of 139 democrats in the house; there was one republican. He served on the Agriculture, Game and Fisheries, Labor and Liquor Traffic committees. The issue of prohibition was passed by the committee, only to be defeated on the ballot. William was elected county judge of  Young Co in 1925 and served for eight years up until 1938. He was in the real estate and insurance business since 1938. He attended college up to the 4th year. He married Winifred Eunice Fawks in 1931. William died of a heart attack according to his death certificate. 


WF Parsley, 36th Texas legislature, 1919.

Judge William Fred Parsley, Joe Donald Parsley, Gerald Mac ‘Sebe’ Parsley, Carl Lee Parsley, second row Oliver Carl Keeter, Tommy Wayne Keeter, Lon Dare Kennedy, Dempsey Ray Parsley, third David Carroll Kennedy, Fredie Neal Gossett, Joe Mac Parsley, Joe Donald ‘Sonny’ Miller, James Clay ‘John’ Kennedy, Royce Lincoln Parsley

Delpha (1877-1955) married Daniel Houston Leonard Dec 25, 1895 in Wise, TX. They had five children. She died in Los Angeles.

Marion Frank (1879-1962) married Ethel Costillo. He lived in Tishomingo with his wife in 1918. They lived in Parker, TX at the time of the 1940 census. They had five children. Marion died in Los Angeles.

Stepson William Wallace Laffoon (1880-1952) married Hattie Bell Clark. They had five children. In the 1910 census, he made rail ties for a living. He later married Flora Lee Edwards. He died in Merced, CA.

Ethel Ardel (1880-1969) married William Oather Seaberry in 1900. They had five children. She later married Gus Patolzka  Dec 11, 1924. They had one son. She died in Los Angeles. 

Etta Lee (1883-1950) married John Dennis Long in 1899 in Poolsville, TX.  They had nine children. She died in Cache, Comanche, Oklahoma.

Pearl (1884-1926)  married John William Hollis in 2002. They had three children.

Verna Mae (1886-1929) married John Edward McCord on Feb 16, 1904 in Parker Texas. They had five children. Verna died in Stephens Co, Oklahoma. 

Allie Bell (1890-1972) is Robie’s great-grandmother.

Beulah Boatright (1890-1982) married David R Woods on May 16, 1915. They had three children. Beulah and David died in Bryan, TX.

John Wesley (1894-1979) married Eula May Webb on Aug 2, 1917. They settled in Olney, Young Co, TX and had two boys.

Dollie (1895-1895). 



Frank ‘Francis’ Marion Murry was born in Sumpter, Trinity County, Texas (now a ghost town) on April 5, 1857. His mother and father were Joseph G Murry and Sarah Jenkins. Joseph was born in Tennessee around 1824 and Sarah was born in Georgia around 1828. They were married in Lawrence Co, Alabama on December 23, 1845. The Murry clan was a large one and a happy one.

Joseph Murry served in the 4th regiment, Texas Calvary 4th Mounted Volunteers, Co F during the civil war. He was wounded in the knee at the Battle of Bayou Tesche, Louisiana and captured. He was later released in a prisoner of war exchange. He died in 1878, probably in Parker County. Sarah Jenkins Murry collected a small pension and lived with her daughters in Young County, where she died in 1914.

Frank Murry was a fiddle player of some renown in Parker County, he played at every opportunity; fairs, reunions, rodeos, holidays. He told the local newspaper that he was descended from the “fighting McMurrays of Belfast” and that the Mc had been dropped with they came to America.

Mary Lee “Mollie” Lytle was born to Hester Ann and James Jefferson “Jeff” Lytle (pronounced Little) in Denton, County on April 5, 1863, just about the time Jeff was leaving for service in the Texas Calvary 29th Regiment Co K. He was assigned to patrol the border along the Red River. Jeff and Hester Lytle got a pre-emptive grant of 300 acres in the Red River area. It is unknown how the land was lost, but this commonly occurred due to nonpayment of back taxes in those days. Hester died around 1879 in Parker County, Jeff died in 1898 according to his civil war pension. Their final resting places are unknown.

Frank and Mollie Murry had twelve children: Hester (1882-1892), Eddy Mae (1883-1973), Josie (1885-1963), Henry Sherman, Lulu Bell (1888-1958), Laura (1891-1892), Abner Marion (1893-1962), Carlee (1895-1960), Clara E (1898-1998), James Franklin (1900-1987), Maggie (1902-1979), Zada (1905-1995).

Josie Ann Murry married Josiah Newell Russell (1885 – 1971) June 7, 1907 in Parker County, TX.  Josiah was the son of Simpson ‘Dock’ Pierce Russell, Jr and Sarah ‘Sallie’ Reynolds. Sallie and Dock moved alot, first to Navarro County then to Baylor County, out west and strangely enough to Collingsworth County,. They ended up back in Navarro County.  Josiah was an early settler of Jamestown in Smith County, where he worked as a blacksmith, along with farming. Josiah was born in North Carolina in 1824 and died in 1899. He also served in the Civil War in a Texas regiment. Sallie, the daughter of Josiah and and Sarah Ann Reynolds (died when Sallie was young), was born in Rusk County. 

Josie and Josiah moved alot, times were tough were farmers and ranchers at that time. Josiah worked on big ranches, breaking horses and other things. They moved to Wheeler County just prior to the depression and the Dust Bowl. Things were so bad during those times that where a few years before folks were getting a two dollar bounty on all rabbits, during the depression rabbits were placed on the endangered list and it was illegal to kill one (and get caught!). They had a dug-out to move into when the dust storms blew up. In case you didn’t know, it gets very cold on the panhandle in the winter. Sometimes blizzards could blow up as quickly as the dust storms. Her mother used to bake potatoes for her lunch, and she carried them in her coat pockets to keep her hands warm. 

Murry family in 1903: Frank, Molly (holding) Maggie, Will Thornbury wife Josie Murry Thornbury (holding) Walter Thornbury, Sherman Murry on horseback, Eddie Mae, Lula, Abner, front James, Calara, Carlee, (Hester and Laura deceased, Zada not born).

Francis Murry

Allie Bell Parsley  was of Cherokee Indian descent according to Howard Murry.  It is certain that both of her parents claimed descent from the Eastern Cherokee tribe. Because they were off reservation, they were denied admission to the tribal rolls. 

Allie Bell Parsley (Feb 13, 1890 – Mar 8, 1972) married Henry ‘Sherman’ Murry (Oct 4, 1886 – Mar 6, 1964) on Christmas day, 1905. He was born in the Indian Territory, Tishamingo, Oklahoma (his older and younger siblings were born in Whitt, Parker, Texas). One can only conclude that Sherman was adopted, Tishamingo was the home of the Chickasaw Indian nation. In the 1900 census, the Murry family lived in Parker, Texas. He apparently was a troubled lad, and ran away from home to escape punishment for unknown sins. On his WWI draft card, he had a crippled hand which kept him from enlisting, he lived on the farm near Weatherford, TX with Allie and six children. His eyes were grey, his hair brown, his build medium.

In the 1930 census, Both Allie and Sherman are listed as caucasian rather than Native, and both Sherman and Allie’s state of birth is incorrectly listed as Texas. On daughter Mollie Odell Murry’s birth certificate of Apr 24, 1914, Sherman is listed as native, further evidence that he was likely adopted by the Murry family. One should remember that it was only in 1934 that the US government reversed its assimilation policy by passing the Indian Reorganization Act, restoring native rights and promoting Indian self-determination. Tremendous discrimination towards the Indians was the rule rather than the exception.

According to grandson Howard Murry, he was a carpenter, but not a good one. He was a saloon fiddler, but not a good one. He was a harsh father, and the boys all left home at an early age to get away from him. While visiting his grandparents as a boy, Howard Murry asked his grandfather for his fiddle after he died. This caused quite a stir at the time! When Sherman Murry passed in 1964, Howard attended the funeral, and grandmother Allie asked him to drive her by the house. He entered the house, and she asked him to wait while she went back into the bedroom. She came out with an old fiddle box and handed it to Howard. She told him, that when Sherman went to hospital, he told Allie he was going to die, and asked her to give his old fiddle to Howard. When they got ready to go to the wake, at a relative’s home, she asked Howard to put the fiddle in the trunk and not say anything. She didn’t want anyone to get upset over it. The fiddle was in pieces, and Howard, after doing a great amount of research at the Houston library, and talking to restorers in the trade, was able to put the fiddle back together after refinishing the instrument. Howard spent time in his retirement volunteering and restoring old instruments.

Allie Bell was one of the gentlest people that ‘Mimi’ Lois Cherry ever knew. She never said a bad word about anyone, and like many Indians, was incapable of telling a lie. The closest she ever came to saying anything bad about particularly nasty folks, was to turn her head away and say, “Uhhhh.”


Henry ‘Sherman’ Murry with pregnant Allie, Loye Murry and Lois Cherry Murry about 1927, probably right after Loye and Lois got married. This photo would have been taken near Weatherford, TX.

Sherman and Allie visiting daughter Audry in Amarillo.