SASKATCHEWAN HOMESTEAD

On August 22, 1889, George Murray boarded the ship “Vancouver” which departed Liverpool, England, then arrived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on August 31, 1889. He was 39 years old. He came alone, leaving the family in Glendaveny, Scotland.

 

George found work on the railroad in Canada. He worked on building the rail line which had not yet reached Yorkton. Once established George sent for his family to join him. While George’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth Georgina Barbara Murray (born February 8, 1875) remained in Aberdeen with her widowed grandmother Barbara Murray (nee Robertson), the rest of the family boarded the ship “Pomeranian” which departed Glasgow on August 9, 1890 and arrived in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, on August 20, 1890. The ship’s passenger list shows Saltcoats as the destination for the Murray family. Saltcoats is a town in present-day Saskatchewan. The family members listed as passengers were:

  • Elizabeth, wife, age 33 years. This is Elizabeth (nee Thom), actually 35 years old.

  • John, age 18 years. This is John Robertson Murray

  • George, age 11 years. This is George who later became the tinsmith

  • Agnes, age 9 years

  • Jessie, age 6 years. Jessie later wrote “The Murrays Come to Canada”

  • Robertson, age 4. She was a daughter, often called ‘Robin’

  • Alex (age unclear on the passenger list). He was born November 1, 1888.

 

(Daughters Margaret and Mary were born later, in Canada.)

The trip from Quebec to Saltcoats was by train. The train stopped in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for passengers to clear immigration. Son, John stayed in Winnipeg (no address available) to work for Elisha Frederick (E.F.) Hutchings, a manufacturer of harnesses, etc. The mother, Elizabeth, and the remainder of the family continued by train to Saltcoats in early September, 1890. The father, George, met his family when the train arrived in Saltcoats. Life in Saltcoats and at the farm homestead are covered in “The Murrays Come to Canada”, by their daughter Jessie (nee Murray) Stevenson.

The first Winter in Canada (1890-1891) was spent in Saltcoats.

In June 1891, the family moved to the homestead farm which was about 6 miles along a prairie trail, going northwest from Saltcoats. Their farm property consisted of ¼ section (160 acres) of land, located between the towns of Saltcoats and Rokeby on what was then a prairie trail and is now Provincial Highway #16 (Yellowhead Route). The legal description is South East quarter of Section 20 Township 24 Range 2 West of the 2nd meridian. The rail line, that father George was working on constructing, runs through the homestead. It is now a main line for the Canadian Pacific Railway. As mentioned, this area was called East Assiniboia, before Saskatchewan was a province. This piece of land is very accessible and I visited it in the Summer of 2020. It is still farmland.

The children attended the school at Saltcoats, on the edge of Lake Anderson.

 

Their next door farm-neighbour was James Mathers, 2 miles away.

 

The homestead documents for the land of George Murray and of James Mathers are seen by clicking the PDF icons below.

The pioneer story of The Murrays Come to Canada by Jessie Stevenson is found when you:

                                       CLICK HERE      

 

Homestead File for

George Murray's Land

Homestead File for

James Mather's Land