|Black River Chapel|
Patrick and Elizabeth were from Scotland and arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina around 1774. Patrick Murphy was a Sergeant in the 10th North Carolina Militia Regiment during the Revolutionary War. He received a land grant for his military service and settled in Sampson County. They both died in the late 1700s and were buried in the Black River Chapel Cemetery.
A Sampson County history web page had a reference to the Murphy's unusual grave markers and doing some checking I realized there was a family connection. I'm not sure where the practice came from but as you can see the markers have a lot of information on them, if you know the code.