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The Murray's.......con't 4

One other mention of our Murray family in the article was in the discussion of Mail Service. "We have no record of any regular mail service previous to 1824, when one Augustine Irish of Antigonish was a weekly courier from Pictou town to the latter place. And although this included the entire mail matter for the Eastern Counties and Cape Breton, the pack was carried on horseback, and scarcely exceeded the proportions of any of our local offices. And we know of no post offices of the route east of Merigomish at that time. David Murray subsequently became mail contractor, and a Post office was established at his place, Lower Barneys River, one at A. R. Copelands then residing down the French River at Samuel Simpsons, one at Lower Baillies Brook, and possibly another nearer Antigonish. Mr. Murray continued on this route till the opening of the Marshy Hope road , and the Lindsays stage line was established. There are now eight offices in the district and immediate neighborhood."

Near the end of his stories Mr. Bruce was discussing the Robert McDonald family and relates "I was slightly in error regarding the death of Alex Murray who was killed in 1832, five weeks after his marriage to Mary, daughter of Joseph McDonald, and now the wife of Daniel Ross, Hopewell, eldest son of Rev. Duncan Ross."

Thats the last of Mr. Bruces stories but they do add some insight and knowledge of those early days.

The microfilm of the records of St. James Church indicates on pg. 10 of the Marriages Solemnized in the Parish of St. James, Pictou in the County of Halifax Nova Scotia in the year 1832, "William Murray of Merigomish Bachelor and Margaret McDonald of the same place Spinster were married in this Town by License with the Consent of Parents and Friends this first day of March in the year One Thousand eight hundred and thirty two by me Charles Elliott AB, Pictou." We believe this is William Jr. and his wife Margaret. We had a friend check the microfilm again to see if per chance some of the "Parents and Friends" were listed or served as witnesses but none were recorded. So it goes. Margaret was born about 1815, possibly in Ireland. (The 1871 census says born Nova Scotia of Irish ancestry and the 1881 census says born in Ireland.) There are many McDonalds in the Merigomish area but in the 1871 census, all are of Scots ancestry. So far we have been unable to learn any more of Margarets ancestry.

We also have a copy of a page from a March issue of the Pictou Advocate newspaper: It reads:

MARRIED
On Thursday the 1st inst. by the Rev. Charles Elliott, Mr. WILLIAM MURRAY to Miss MARGARET MCDONALD, both of Merigomish.
On the same day Mr. WILLIAM SIMPSON to Miss JESSIE DUFF, of the same place.

So, it is our best opinion at this time that this is the marriage of our ancestors William Murray and Margaret McDonald.

On the 28th day of May, 1832 William and Sarah Murray sold one half of the property they purchased from Thomas Copeland in 1815 on East River Merigomish (now Barneys River), known as Murrays Mill, to Walter Murray (Major David Murrays Son) for eighty eight pounds. This must be Williams nephew, his brother Davids son and old Walters grandson. It appears it was a small parcel of about three acres and four perches. The deed is lengthy and my copy is so unclear I cant determine all the conditions etc. and it would be interesting to read a good copy. It appears that William Murray, David Murray and Andrew Huggin must have been in the milling business together but possibly he acquired the others interest as the deed is only signed by William Murray and Sarah Murray. "Major" David Murray probably refers to his rank in some type of home guard.

A sad sequel to this sale was that on December 7, 1832 Murrays Mill was totally consumed by an accidental fire. Both the grist mill and the saw mill were destroyed. They had no insurance on the Mills.

Later in 1832 William Sr. purchased a farm in New Annan, Colchester county where wife Sarahs brothers and sisters had settled. Sons Andrew and Aaron and daughter Elizabeth moved with William and Sarah to Colchester County. Glen Matheson, a Colchester County Murray cousin and Murray researcher thinks that possibly Sarah Crowes relatives suggested William Sr. come to Colchester County and do milling work. Were sure son William and wife Margaret eventually moved to Colchester County but havent been able to determine exactly when they moved.

In 1833 John Crowe and wife Nancy deeded some property to William Murray. It was noted as an Earltown Deed which is not far from New Annan. In 1833 son Aaron Murray settled at Tatamagouche Mountain in Colchester County. Aarons obituary says that William and Sarah and Aaron and other members of the family (probably young Elizabeth, Andrew and Aaron.) moved to Colchester County in 1833. Sarah (Crowe) Murrays younger brother George Crowe lived nearby. The families must have been close as on April 19, 1835 George and his wife Sarah (Staples) had a son and named him William Murray Crowe. Later they also had a daughter Sarah.

William Jr. became a small farmer and carpenter and a mill operator like his father. Their first child we know of is our ancestor Elizabeth Murray, born about December 27, 1835. Elizabeths son, Sedly, put Salmon River as her birth place on her death certificate in 1910. Other children we have identified are John (b 1837), William (b1839 to 1841), Hugh (b1843), Catherine (b 1847), and Sarah (b 1854). On his marriage record in 1869 John indicated he was born at Barneys River and was then residing at Merigomish. Young Williams (b ca 1839) family indicated on his death record that he was born at Merigomish. Son Hugh, born 1843, indicated on his marriage record that he was born at New Glasgow. Whether young William and Margaret and their young family were at Salmon River, over by Earl Town near his parents, or still in the Merigomish (Barneys River)- Avondale area, we havent been able to determine. It seems most likely that Elizabeth Murray was born at Barneys River (Avondale-near Merigomish) and the family moved when she was still young and they lived so long at Salmon River that Sedly assumed she was from Salmon River.

On July 15, 1833 Andrew Murray of Merigomish married Mary Ann Wortman, daughter of J. Wortman of Earl Town at Truro. This wasnt too long after the family moved from Avondale to the Earl Town area so Andrew wasted little time in courting his bride. Andrew and Mary had four children: Mary Ann, Sarah, Elizabeth and Jane. (I only recently noted that Andrew said he was from Merigomish while from the several deeds etc Im quite sure they lived at nearby Avondale. Possibly Merigomish was more widely recognized than Barneys River or Avondale.)

In a booklet titled The Rise & Decline of the Earltown Community 1813-1970 by G. R. Sutherland (1980), he mentions local mills.

"Another Petition, dated 1834 and signed by William Murray, of Earltown, District of Colchester, County of Halifax, asked for the same financial assistance given to other mills in the province. This flour oat mill, in full operation at the time of the petition, was built by James Redrick, an experienced workman, and situated to serve Earl Town and Tatamagouche. Murray stated further that he was an "aged" man and in "slender circumstances". From the information at hand, it is assumed that this is the grist mill located on the Waughs River at the Falls and which was later taken over by Alexander MacKay (Lower Sandy)." This is surely our William Murray Sr.

Meanwhile, back at Barneys River, David and Walter Murray erected a simple grist mill to replace the Murray Mill that had been destroyed by fire and to mill grain for themselves and their neighbors. In 1838 they submitted a petition to the General Assembly requesting aid in completing the reconstruction of the grist mill but weve never found where they got any aid. They must have rebuilt the mill on there own, however, as Mr. Bruce related that Walter Murray was the local miller for many years.

On March 11, 1837 George Irving of Earltown, Yeoman, and wife Elizabeth sold 150 acres at Earltown to William Murray of Earltown, Yeoman, for 100 pounds. The land is bounded on the north by Michael Considine, on the east by Edward Studivin, on the west by said Michael Considine and on the south by George Crow. I believe this property is near the Cavanagh Mill property although we cant be certain which William it is or if its even our William. I think its William Sr., however as our William Murray Sr. sold some Barneys River property about this time to George Irving whom Id expect was the same fellow.

In July 1837 William Murray, miller from New Annon, sold 100 acres of the property at Avondale he bought from his father to his nephew, Walter Murray Senr. The property was described as "One Hundred acres of Land being the third Hundred from Walters sidelines, fronting on the River, running thence to the side line of the Eighty Second Grant." The transaction was witnessed by David Murray Senr (Williams brother and Walters father) and Walter Murray Jun., Walters son. Based on the 1832 deed above I believe William was selling more of his property to brother Davids son Walter. Youll recall Mr. Bruce indicated that the 1811 mill was "where the Late Walter Murray served the public in that capacity many years afterwards." Probably Mr. Bruce did not know about the 1832 fire at the old mill. This Walter Murray died in 1872 at the age of 65 and is buried at Murrays Point Cemetery.

Also on July 31, 1837 William Murray Sr., miller of Earltown sold "Fifty acres of land joining the north west side line of Walter Murrays land fronting on the river running back to the 82nd Grant" to his son William Murray Jr. of Merigomish. I believe this property fronts on Barneys River but Im not certain just where its located but believe its adjacent to the above 100 acres that William Sr. had sold to his nephew, Walter Murray. This Deed helps confirm that William and Margaret did not move to Colchester County with the family in 1832 but had remained in the Barneys River-Avondale area. Also the deed was not recorded until 12 January, 1841. Walter Murray was a witness the signing of the Deed 6th January, 1841.

In the 1838 census of Colchester County,William Murray Sr., miller, is in Earl Town district with 1 male over 14 (probably unmarried son, Aaron ) and 2 females over 14 (wife Sarah and probably daughter Elizabeth that was to marry Jacob Wortman Jr.) and William Senior. His nearby neighbors were George Crow, Al Sherar, John Ryan, Steven Fitzpatrick and Richard Hyslop. Another neighbor, six farms away was Jacob Wortman, Andrews father-in-law and his large family (12 total). Elizabeths future husband, Jacob Wortman Jr. is very likely one of the 3 over 14 yr. old sons still living at home. From the names of neighbors etc. on the 1874 Church map of Colchester County William Sr. and family were living at what became known as Cavanagh Mill where Aaron lived most of his life.

The 1838 census is not a lot of assistance in locating William Jr. and his family. In Merigomish (Maxwelton Township) there is a William Murray, farmer, living next to Angus Murray, tailor and Donald MacLeod. Their family consisted of 1 male under 6, 2 females under 6, 1 female 6-14 and 2 females over 14 plus William for a family of 7. I believe this is another William Murray that emigrated from Scotland as did Angus.

So I cant really tell where William and Margaret were for the 1838 census. With having Johns marriage records etc. indicating he was from Merigomish and young Williams family indicating he was born at Merigomish and even Hugh (b 1843) indicating he was born at New Glasgow, it seems very likely that William and Margaret remained in the Merigomish-Avondale area even though I dont find them as a family in the census.

On the third of July 1839 William Murray and wife Sarah formerly of Barneys River but now of Earl Town sold 100 acres of land on the west side of Barneys River to Roderick and Angus McDonald of the Gussett Gulf Shore for 120 pounds. The land was bounded on the south by land granted and sold by the said William Murray to George Irving. On the West by the lines of the Eighty Second Grant so called. On the North by land in possession of One Walter Murray the son of said William and on the East by the several windings of Barneys River... the piece thus sold is the one on which the dwelling house and frame barn occupied by said Murray until he left Barneys River..." This deed causes a little confusion as I understood that by this time son Walter was living at Port Hawksbury, Cape Breton. Possibly son Walter still had some property on Barneys River even though he had moved to Port Hawksbury or possibly the deed writer was confused and this was really Williams nephew Walter Murray and not his son Walter Murray. We think the latter is very likely the correct situation. The Gussett Gulf Shore is located east of Merigomish, near Ponds, so we dont think these McDonalds are the same McDonalds that William and Margaret Murrays son John was working with 20 years later.

On the seventh of July 1839 John and Nancy Crow of Onslow in Colchester County sold twenty acres and mills and other houses at Earltown to William Murray , miller of Earl Town for forty eight pounds. Witnesses at this transaction were sons Aaron Murray and Andrew Murray. John Crow was Sarahs first cousin. The land was described as "a piece of land part of a Mill lot at Earltown premises..? Eaton..& Silas Clark/ beginning..an birch tree west of the mill on the South? line of land sold by Lance? Eaton & ? Clark to George Irving thence South Eighteen Degrees West to the land granted to Elizabeth Clark thence South Seventy Two degrees East along said line until ?? Twenty acres ?? thence North Eighteen degrees East to said Irving Line thence North Seventy Two Degrees West to the place of beginning containing twenty acres with..? the mills and houses now in possession of said William Murray." I believe this was William purchasing the Cavanaghs Mill.

About 1839 Aaron Murray married Jane Wilson of Chigonois (Belmont), N.S., daughter of Henry Wilson and Esther Holmes Staples. Believe they lived at Beaver Brook (possibly with Aarons parents) for a few years but for the most part they lived at Cavanaghs Mill on Sutherland Brook. They had a large family of ten children; William , Henry Wilson, Alice, Davison, George, Robert, John, David, Alexander and Walter.

About 1840, Elizabeth Murray married Jacob Wortman Jr. and they resided at Corktown, Colchester County. They had a large family of 12 children; Sarah Jane, Mary Ann, William, Charles, Eunice, Elspy, Catherine, Rebecca, Andrew, Arrata, Douglas and Matilda. Corktown is a small area near the headwaters of North River, about midway between North River and Earltown.

On January 9, 1841 William Murray Jr., Carpenter of Barneys River and wife Margaret sold their 50 acre parcel on Barneys River to Peter Grant of Merigomish. It was described as "Fifty acres situated on the West side of Barneys River aforsaid and bounded as follows that is to say on the East by Barneys River aforsaid on the South by land in the possession of Allan McPhee on the West by the Eastern line of the Eighty Second Grant so called and on the North by a line parallel with the second boundary .."

Possibly William & Margaret moved to Colchester County at this time but his father still had 50 acres at Barneys River so possibly they lived there until William Sr. sold that property in 1845. This is the first reference weve found where William Jr. is referred to as a carpenter.

In 1841 Aaron Murray (William and Sarahs youngest son) and wife received 100 acres in the Earltown area from William Murray and wife. I believe this is the farm near Cavanaughs Mill but still need to check the actual deed.

In September 1845 William Murray Senior, miller of Earltown sold 50 acres at Barneys River to grandsons George William Murray and James Murray (sons of James Murray , Blacksmith). This property was "lying and being on the West side of Barneys River, bounded on the North side of a certain Lot of Land sold be William Murray Miller to William Murray Junior his son now owned by one Peter Grant, The Lot containing Fifty acres more or less.." Almost certainly William Murray Jr. and family moved to Colchester County by this time.

In January 1847 William Murray Sr. and wife Sarah sold the 70 acres next to Aarons property (including what was later called Cavanaugh Mill) to John Moore for 300 pounds. Thos. Crowe was a witness to this transaction.

Also in 1847, William bought 100 acres on Beaver Brook south of Truro from John Moore for 300 pounds. The property was described as being bounded on the North by land belonging to George Yuill, Sen. and on the South by land owned by James Crowe Senior on the West by land owned by John Ouderkirk, on the East by land owned by James Crowe. The deed further describes the transaction as including "houses, barns, outhouses and buildings ways water courses whatever thereto belonging". I believe both Mrs. George Yuill and Mrs. John Ouderkirk are first cousins once removed of Sarah Crowe and James Crowe is also a Crowe relative. Evidently this was some type of land swap with John Moore and William possibly got out of the milling business for a short period.

In 1847 William Murray Jr. and wife Margaret had a daughter Catherine. Regretably weve never found a document recording where Catherine was born but assume it was in Colchester County..
Sympatico page general3


On the 25th of June 1850, Asa Daniels deeded approximately 20 acres and house and mills on the south side of Salmon River at Salmon River to William Murray for 300 pounds. I cant tell if it was sold to William Sr. or William Jr. In 1856, after William Sr.s death, William Murray and wife Margaret mortgaged this same property for 56 pounds and so far we havent found a deed in that time period where William Sr. sold or gave the property to William Jr. Four days later, 29th June 1850, William Murray, miller and wife Sarah sold the 100 acres on the Beaver Brook south of Truro near Clifton they bought in 1847 to Asa Daniels, miller for 300 pounds. It appears this was some type of land trade between Asa Daniels and the William Murrays.

Some time in late 1850 we believe Sarah Crowe Murray died. She had signed a deed June 29, 1850. Thos. Miller in his book says she was born April 26, 1777 and the stone in the Onslow (burial Island) Cemetery where she is buried next to her parents indicates she was aged 72 years. There appears to be a year discrepancy which isnt all that unusual when considering a 72 year life span.

On December 25, 1854 William and Margaret had their youngest daughter, Sarah. She was no doubt named after her grandmother, Sarah Crowe Murray and was born at the Salmon River property. (From her marriage record)

About 1855 William Murray Sr. passed away. He did not have a will but the family filed some papers with the Probate Court on January 15, 1855 which indicated he recently passed away. William Jr. petitioned to be the executor or the estate. The documents also mention 8 children so since William is the son living closest to old William he is the most logical to handle the small estate. The names in the Probate record are the same as listed in the deed we found where "the heirs of William Murray" sold the mills at Salmon River to William Murray except in this listing William indicates himself as being a son as he calls himself "Your Petitioner". William Sr. was about 71 years old. Daniel Eaton ( a neighbor) and John Archibald were appointed to inventory his estate.

They inventoried--
Real Estate. L 300| 0| 0
1 Horse L15.0.0 1 wagon L2.10.0 1 pr. old cart wheels 20/ 18| 10| 0
1 old gun & sword 12/6 1 Table 12/6 1 small pot 3/6 1| 8| 6
5 chairs 10/ 1 clock 10/ 1 Bed & Bedstead 5.00 1 Chest 1/3 6| 1| 3
1 Candlestick 1/3 1 pr scales 2/6 Shovel & tongs 1/. "| 5| 3
1 Table stand 5/ 1 corr(?) 100/. 1 Razor strop 1/. 5| 6| 1 1 old Lamp 10/ Sow 5/ 1 Pig10/ 1 Adze 2/ 1| 9| 0 L 332| 18| 0

In September 1998 while attending the celebration of 225 years since the arrival of the ship "Hector" we fould that William Murray and Sarah, aged 72 yrs. are buried in the Onslow (Cemetery Island) burial grounds next to Sarahs parents Aron Crow and Abigail. The stone would appear to indicate Sarah died about 1850, sometime after she signed the June 29, 1850 deed we mentioned. No one had the stone recut to indicate Williams age when he died in early1855 or late 1854.

In the Murray Point Cemetery in Pictou County on Lower Barneys River where old Walter is buried there is a grave of a William Murray that died in 1858. One list says William was at age 74 but others say he was age 37. Some researchers believed this was our William Murray Sr. but with finding the above probate record and the following deed and the stone in Onslow we dont believe it is since our William died before 15 January, 1855. We now believe this William is David Murrays (b 1779) son William that was born in 1821 and died in 1858. The other William Murray buried in Murray Point Cemetery had two young wives I Elizabeth Madge Johnson d 1910 22y and II Adella McKinnon d 1914 21y. He is probably a grandson or great grandson of David Murray.

We have a copy of a March 20,1856 Deed where the Heirs of William Murray sold a Salmon River property (house, mills and 20 acres on the North side of the Salmon River) to William Murray for 98 pounds. I expect there was other real estate in William Srs. estate that I havent found yet or possibly the Salmon River property was being transferred to William Jr. at the time of William Seniors death and the 98 pounds was
an agreed settlement amount by the family members. Each brother and sister received 14
pounds. On the Deed the children are listed as follows: Walter Murray of River Inhabitant in the County of Richmond and Island of Cape Breton Yeoman and Susannah Murray his wife, John Murray of the same place yeoman and Catherine Murray his wife, David Murray of Mc Nawar Cove in the County of Sidney (I believe this should be McNairs Cove in Guys County as thats where David lived) and ____ Murray his wife, James Murray of Merigomish in the County of Pictou yeoman and Margaret Murray his wife, Aaron Murray of Earltown in the County of Colchester and Janet Murray his wife, Jacob Wortman of Earltown aforesaid and Elizabeth Wortman his wife, Andrew Murray of Halifax in the County of Halifax yeoman. It is my assumption that William and son William were working the mills etc. at Salmon River and when William Senior died, William Junior bought out the interests of his brothers and sister and continued running the Salmon River mills. It was of interest to me that 20 years ago I ran across this deed and tried to figure if Elizabeth Wortman could have been Elizabeth Murray in a first marriage before she married Robert Rath in 1859. I found the Wortmans in later censuss so I made a note that this Elizabeth was not our Elizabeth Murray Rath. I was closer than I realized however. She was Elizabeth Murray, aunt of our Elizabeth Murray.

As mentioned earlier, in July of that same year William & Margaret obtained a 56 pound mortgage on other property they owned. (20 acres and mills on the South side of the Salmon River near the second bridge and north of the main road to Wilson Mountain.)

On May 10, 1858, William McDonald of Merigomish wrote his will. He soon died as it was proved and registered on the 15th of June, 1858. In his will William gave 3 rods (about 50 feet) off the east side of his farm to his brother Angus McDonald. The rest of the farm he gave to his wife Margaret (Turner) McDonald. He also "bequethed to my Nephew John Murray all the land bequethed to my wife Margaret Turner during her natural life in consideration and providing he will remain with my wife during her natural life and work the farm under her supervision and direction for which work he is to have
his bed, board and clothing and at her death to possess the farm."
I believe this John Murray is William and Margarets eldest son John Murray. Therefore, William McDonald and brother Angus would be brothers of Margaret McDonald of Merigomish that married William Murray. The only mystery is why William Murrays wife Margaret in the 1871 and 1881 census of Colchester County said she was of Irish ancestry while Angus McDonald in the 1871 census of Pictou County said he was of Scots ancestry. In the 1871 census of Merigomish, 60 year old Angus McDonald lived next door to our John Murray and wife Catherine and their new son William H.E. so it sure appears this is the same John Murray and Angus McDonald. One thought comes to mind that possibly Margaret, William and Anguss father was of Scots ancestry and their Mother was Irish so Margaret felt equally "Irish". Well have to do more research on this problem.

On February 7, 1859, daughter Elizabeth Murray married Robert Rath in Truro. We have never found a copy of the marriage record but Elizabeth refers to this date a number of times while registering their childrens births. William Murrays probate records indicate that ____Rath, Robert Raths wife is a daughter of William Murray and that plus the Sedly Rath story in the 1881 census is our best evidence that we have the correct link between William Murray and Margaret and daughter Elizabeth (Murray) Rath.

The next spring, on April 16, 1860, Robert and Elizabeth Rath bought a 20 acre farm in Onslow, at the mouth of the old road to Fort Belcher, south of the Debert Interchange. They obtained a 100 pound Mortgage from Joseph Crowe to help pay for the farm. There are a number of Joseph Crowes in the Onslow - Debert area so we dont know from whom they obtained the mortgage but hes probably Elizabeths second cousin, one generation removed. We often wondered why Robert and Elizabeth settled by Onslow when the other Raths are over by Harmony but there were Crowe and possibly Murray relatives of Elizabeths in the Onslow area so possibly that attracted them to Onslow. That same year Robert and Elizabeth had a son William, no doubt named for his maternal grandfather.

We recently made an internet search to see if we could learn more about William Murrays grandsons that sank with their ship at Devils Island outside of Halifax Harbor. From a History of Devils Island written in 1901 by H.W. Hewitt we obtained the following description:

"..About the year 1860 four vessels left Prince Edwards Island with produce, etc. Having left about the same time they kept rather close together, so that a calm day about the last of October found all four off Jeddore, so near one another that the skippers spoke to one another asking opinions of the others as to the advisability of making the port of Jeddore before night. They decided to keep on for Halifax. A light breeze sprung up towards evening which increased till at 8 oclock in the evening it had attained the velocity of a great gale. The wind was accompanied by a blinding snowstorm.

Meanwhile the vessels had reached the mouth of Halifax Harbour where, in the snow storm they lost sight of one another. One vessel coming about too sone, ran ashore on the south west of Devils Island. She was loaded with hides, tallow, etc. All hands were lost. Three brothers drifted over to the shore on s.e. Passage (South East Passage) where their bodies were recovered.
The next morning a brother of the three washed ashore at s.e. Passage, one who had been on the vessel wrecked at Herring Cove went down to the beach at that place.

There he found a name board from the vessel wrecked at Devils Island and knew then that she must have been also wrecked. He went over to McNabs Island and was put across to Eastern Passage where the bodies of his sthree brothers were found. The clergyman of the parish being absent, the burial service was read over the bodies of the brothers by Mr. Nelson Negus. They were buried in one grave in the church yard of St. Peters Episcopal Church. The surviving brother gave their names and ages for recordance. The surname was Murray."

A very tragic tale and a sad loss to the family. Weve looked at old Cape Breton Newspapers and only recently received an e-mail from a shipwreck researcher who found the boys names and ages, David (29), Charles (24) and Frances (18). They lived at Canso, N.S. The names are from the Archives of Christ Church (Dartmouth) page 66/Volume 3.

From another source we found that a wreck occurred Wednesday night, December 14, 1859. The schooner SARAH ELIZABETH sailing from PEI to Halifax was wrecked on Devils Island and sank with all hands. Its cargo was produce. The Captain was Charles Horton and the owner Wm O. Hefferman. The same night the ship "RIVAL" wrecked on McNabs Island at the entrance to Halifax Harbour. Bodies of Captain Michale Meagher, James ONeill and Donald McDonald were found and brought back to Halifax for internment.

So, were quite sure these three Murray boys were on the SARAH ELIZABETH. Possibly some of the details related by Mr. H.H. Bruce in his History of Barneys River arent entirely accurate but its very close to Mr. Hewitts story. Its been very interesting to find confirmation of the old stories. We looked through the old Halifax newspapers last trip to see if we could find a news article along the lines of Mr. Hewitts version and then wed be fairly certain there were only three Murray boys lost and one survivor was on another ship that wrecked at Herring Cove, but only found the brief articles mentioned.

In the 1861 census we found that William Murray sawed 16,000 board feet of lumber and 10,000 board feet of spruce and hemlock lumber to allow him to carry on his carpenter work. This must be all or some of the production of his Salmon River mill. They had 10 acres under cultivation and grew hay, wheat, oats, potatoes, etc. They had 2 milk cows, 2 horses, 8 sheep and 3 pigs. The family did 40 yards of weaving, no small task, and made 100 pounds of butter. All in all, they were a busy bunch. That census indicated one female 5-10 (Probably Sarah), 2 females 15-20 (Probably Catherine and another daughter? as Elizabeth was married by now), and 3 males 20-30 ( John ?, William and Hugh, although one would expect John should be in Merigomish working for Margaret McDonald?). William and his wife were 40-50 which supports the 1811 birth date from the 1871 census.

In the 1861 census of Merigomish in Pictou County there is a widow Margaret McDonald and living with her are a male 20-30 and a female 20-30. We believe this is William McDonalds widow Margaret and the male is nephew John Murray. Who the women (20-30) is we dont know, but possibly an unmarried daughter of William and Margaret. This would confirm that John was working the farm for his aunt Margaret like William suggested in his will.

Probably about 1867 William and Margarets son William Murray married Jane H. Murray, his first cousin. Jane was old William Murrays eldest son Walter Murrays (the Sea Captain) daughter. Aunt Jean Sutherland recalled in a 1934 letter to our family that their Mother had an aunt, Mrs. Jane Murray, that was 96 years old. This is William Jrs.(the III) wife. A researcher in Colchester County, Jane Wile, recently found an article in the March 26, 1936 issue of the Truro Daily News that confirms that she was "our" Jane Murray.

In 1867 David Ian Murray passed away. He was 88 years old and is buried at the Murray Point Cemetery near his father. He was old Walter and Christians son and William Murrays (b ca 1780) brother. Davids wife, Margaret Huggin (died 1858 age 74) is buried next to David and named on the same tombstone.

On the 1867 Ambrose Church map of Pictou County there is a Mrs. McDonald farm shown at West Merigomish. We expect this is William McDonalds widow, Margaret (Turner) McDonald and the farm that nephew John Murray was working. Angus McDonalds farm is next door just as shown in the 1897 Illustrated Historical Atlas.

On 4 March 1869, son John Murray, aged 32, married Harriet C. (Catherine) Margaret Murray, aged 23, at the Presbyterian Church at Barneys River. (another source says the wedding was at the home of the brides Uncle, James Murray of Barneys River.) Catherine is the daughter of Williams brother John Murray and wife Catherine of the Straits of Canso. Therefore, they were first cousins. The newly weds lived at West Merigomish on a farm on the shore of Merigomish Harbour, part of which John inherited from his uncle William. John evidently also bought some property from neighbor William Sutherland. As we mentioned earlier their neighbors were Angus McDonald and his family who is a brother of Johns Mother, Margaret (MacDonald) Murray.

Strangely, it wasnt until 1874 that John recorded the agreement between Margaret (Turner) McDonald, his aunt, and him, documenting that he was to get the farm. In the 1874 agreement John got the portion of the farm on the "sea" side of the post road (about 40 acres ) and was to pay Margaret $18 payable half yearly, first of May and November, $9, during the Natural life of said Margaret Murray. In the agreement it is also mentioned that John had purchased land on the west side of the farm from William Sutherland. One wonders if Margaret was living on the portion of the farm south of the post road but I couldnt find her in the 1871 census of the area.

In 1876 Margaret deeded the entire 70 acre farm over to John Murray for $120. He soon sold the 25 acres on the south side of the main road but kept the seaward property.
















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