The Descendants of John Murray, Mary Bridges, and Catherine Bateman


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Submitted by J. D. Murray - jaydee@pei.sympatico.ca and Marie Simms

There are additional generations of this family to share. Please direct Queries and requests for source information to the email link above!


The Descendants of John Murray, Mary Bridges, and Catherine Bateman

The earliest-found records place this Murray family in Kings (Offaly) County in the central area of southern Ireland, directly west of Dublin, in the 1700s - a time of British rule. The family's Church of Ireland (Anglican) faith raises the question of their earlier roots. Did they come from Scotland or were they an Irish Catholic family who converted to court favour with the British? Like most historians, I favour the latter.

Had this Murray family came from Scotland, in all likelihood, they would have come to Ulster and been part of the "Ulster Scots." Before 1800, it would have been a long and unlikely migration from Ulster to Kings County. While it is possible that the Warburtons of the Garryhich Estate recruited artisans from Ulster into their employ, this is unlikely in the Murray case because at least two generations were born in the Tullamore area rather than at Garryhinch or Portarlington.

On the other hand, Irish writings report that the old Irish name Ó Muireadhaigh was anglicized to O'Murray and, since the 17th Century, it is almost always Murray. The only Ó Muireadhaigh sept ("sept" is Irish for "clan") of importance after the Anglo-Norman invasion was located in the barony of Athlone in County Roscommon. As the counties of Kings and Roscommon border each other and as it is only 20 miles from Athlone to Tullamore, this appears to be the logical origin of this PEI Murray family. Also, there is anecdotal evidence (from an Irish cemetery keeper), plus a headstone, that indicates that one Murray of Tullamore converted from the Catholic faith to the Church of Ireland. But as yet, no connection has been made between this Murray and the family who came to PEI.

Except for the name, no information has been found concerning the "Generation 1" John Murray. His son John lived in the same area but died in 1800, before the family decided upon emigration. [This John was married twice but, as dates are missing, assistance in determining the mothers of his seven children would be appreciated. See below!]

The reader will no doubt notice the three early intermarriages between the Murrays and Smallmans. This association originated at the Warburton's Garyhinch Estate outside Portarlington, Kings County, Ireland - the last known location of these families prior to their emigration. It is believed that Joshua Smallman was employed there as a weaver, George Murray as a tailor and Thomas Murray as a shoemaker. John Murray was a carpenter who may have worked at Garryhinch on some occasions. Some Smallman and Heaney ancestors are buried in the nearby Lea Cemetery. [Note: Portarlington, with the Barrow River running through it, spans the border of Kings and Queens (now Laois) Counties. Thus, the Lea Church and Cemetery are in Queens County.]

The Smallman history in Ireland is more business orientated than that of the Murrays. They conducted a weaving business in Dublin until factories so cheapened the cloth product that they could not profitably continue their industry. Thus, in 1789, Thomas Smallman (either the son or brother of Richard Smallman, Sr., mentioned below) turned the business over to a silk weaver. The Murray siblings John, Thomas and Mary S. (aka "Margaret") married the Smallman siblings Ann, Mary and Thomas who were the children of Joshua Smallman and Ann Murray. [Assistance in determining Ann Murray's relationship to the remainder of the Murray family would be appreciated.] Research points to Joshua Smallman being the son of Richard Smallman, Sr. and Sophia Curtis. The Smallman ancestry has not been traced further but Sophia was the daughter of Thomas Curtis, son of John Curtis and Deborah Pigot. The Pigot family was certainly part of the "establishment" in British Ireland.

The "Generation 3" John Murray was a professional carpenter having apprenticed for seven years as a youngster. He appears to have worked at his trade in several locations in Ireland. In 1816, he left his wife, Ann Smallman, and their oldest child behind in Ireland and sailed to New York. He worked there until 1818 when he returned to Ireland with the intention of moving his family to New York. There, he found the rest of the Murray family preparing to immigrate to PEI so he decided to join them. Family tradition has it that the entire family, including the widowed Catherine Bateman Murray, came to PEI in the autumn of 1818 aboard the brig Jane. Evidence, such as the birth of John and Ann's second child, John, in Ireland in December 1818 suggests that only the men came on the Jane to "settle in" and the women and children followed in 1819.

Concerning this emigration, the story really begins with Colonel Hunt Walsh of nearby County Carlow, Ireland, being awarded proprietorship of Lot 11, PEI, in the lottery of 1767. Virtually no settlement took place until 1817/18 when the Walsh's heirs appointed John Large (probably of Queens County) as their land agent in Lot 11. As Large sailed to PEI in 1817, it is obvious that he "pre-recruited" settlers prior to his departure. These were the majority of the emigrants aboard the Jane in 1818. Thus, the Murray and Smallman families were part of this small early Irish Protestant emigration to Canada. Britain's policy of limiting colonial settlement to Protestants was lifted a bit later.

While there is no record of the dealings that the Murrays and Smallmans had with John Large, they certainly came into favour when James Warburton of Garryhich replaced Large in 1834. As James was the eighth son of the then owner of the Irish estate, Richard Warburton, he certainly was not going to inherit it! However, he was sufficiently rich to build "a fine Irish-style farm residence at Woodbrook in Lot 11 and lined the lane with linden trees from Ireland." James completely "betrayed" his autocratic background. In 1853, he arranged for the Walshes to sell Lot 11 to the Government and, in turn, for 13,865 acres to be sold to the tenant farmers at reasonable prices. The Smallmans and Murrays were among those to benefit. In honour of the action taken by Walsh and Warburton, Frederick Cove was renamed Freeland in 1856. Over the years, the Murrays paid their respects by naming three male children "Warburton."

Most of the men took up farming in Prince County and settled over a wide area there. However, John, being a carpenter, moved about as his trade dictated, building churches and homes. He finally settled in the Fredericton/Pleasant Valley area where he also ran an inn. Thus, he is the ancestor of the Murrays of northwestern Queens County.

At the turn of the present century, descendants of the family are scattered from coast-to-coast in Canada and the United States.

Generation No. 1

1. JOHN1 MURRAY

Child of JOHN MURRAY is:

2. i. JOHN2 MURRAY, b. 1746, Tullamore, Ireland; d. 1800, Ireland.

Generation No. 2

2. JOHN2 MURRAY (JOHN1) was born 1746 in Tullamore, Ireland, and died 1800 in Ireland. He married (1) MARY BRIDGES. She was born in Ireland, and died in Ireland. He married (2) CATHERINE BATEMAN. She was born 1749 in Ireland, and died 09 Apr 1835 in Lot 16, PEI.

Researchers differ as to whether MARY BRIDGES or CATHERINE BATEMAN was the mother of JOHN MURRAY’s two oldest children. As there is a gap of nine years between the births of John and Thomas, it appears logical that Mary died and John remarried during this period. These two children are:

i. WILLIAM3 MURRAY, d. Bef. 1813, Napoleonic Wars.

ii. JOHN MURRAY, b. 28 Dec 1784, Killeigh, Kings (Offaly) County, Ireland; d. 25 Jan 1868, Fredericton, PEI; m. ANN SMALLMAN, 27 Sep 1813, Tullamore, Offaly Co., Ireland; b. 1793, Queens (Laois) County, Ireland; d. 18 Dec 1858, Fredericton, PEI.

See separate Island Register entry, "Descendants of JOHN MURRAY & ANN SMALLMAN"

Children of JOHN MURRAY and CATHERINE BATEMAN are:

iii. THOMAS MURRAY, b. 1793, Ireland; d. 20 May 1875; m. (1) MARY SMALLMAN, 1812; b. 1793; d. 1853; m. (2) ELEANOR (Aka "Ellen") BOYLE, Aft. 1835; b. 1798; d. 16 Oct 1875.

iv. CATHERINE MURRAY, b. 1794; m. G. SUTHERLAND. Lived to Baltimore, MD. US 1850 Census lists JOHN. SUTHERLAND, b. Abt 1824 in Baltimore, MD, who may have been their son.

v. GEORGE MURRAY, b. 1796, Kings (now Offaly) County, Ireland; d. 10 Mar 1873, Alberton, PEI; m. LETITIA JANE HEANEY; b. 1806, Ireland; d. 11 May 1866, Alberton, PEI.

See separate Island Register entry, "Descendants of GEORGE MURRAY"

vi. MARY S. MURRAY, b. 1798; d. 08 Sep 1861; m. (1) FRANK KELLY; m. (2) THOMAS SMALLMAN; b. 1798, Kings (Offaly) County, Ireland; d. 1865.

See separate Island Register entry, "Descendants of MARY S. MURRAY"

vii. JANE MURRAY, b. Abt. 1800, Ireland; d. 1866, St Eleanors, PEI; m. GEORGE JELLEY; b. 1794, Ireland; d. 1875, St Eleanors, PEI.

See separate Island Register entry, "Descendants of JANE MURRAY"


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