Footsteps of early Alapaha Catholic settlers

What originated as a chronicle tracing the Catholic ancestry of Alapaha, Georgia, flourished into a colossal manuscript consisting of innumerable interviews conducted with citizens of all faiths and 80 vintage photos illustrating many previously unknown aspects of the little town with a big heart’s colorful, often checkered history as co-written by Becky Davis. In the accompanying still a scenic portrait depicts the Alapaha River near flood level in modern times, taken from the Highway U.S. 82 bridge at Sheboggy on March 3, 2013. Photography by Jeremy Roberts

Some of the first settlers in the Alapaha, Georgia area were Irish immigrants and among those were James (1809–11/23/1891) and Jane Murray (née McDonald; 1823–9/18/1896). They courageously sailed to the United States from Ireland around 1840, arriving in the Charleston, South Carolina area. They lived for two years on one of the surrounding islands until James decided to venture south. His brother, Edward (Ed)…