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George Murray (junior)




  • Born in Rathen, Scotland July 10, 1850

  • Christened August 16, 1850

  • Immigrated to Canada in 1889

  • Married Elizabeth McRobbie February 21, 1874. She died in childbirth in 1875

  • Married Elizabeth Thom June 16, 1877

  • Died in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in May, 1939

George Murray (junior) was baptised in the parish of Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. At that time, his father (also George Murray) was a farmer of 85 acres on the Redhouse farm on the estate of Cortes, in the parish of Rathen, Aberdeenshire. The family of George (senior) and Barbara Murray with their children moved to Redhouse around 1848 to 1850.


As George (junior) grew up he most likely worked on the farm. His father was farming up to 100 acres in the 1871 census when he had 4 employees.

Some time between the censuses of 1841 and 1851 the family of Alexander Dalrymple Fraser moved into Stonehouse which was next door to Redhouse and less than 1/2 mile away. Alexander and Magdalene had a daughter, Anne Greig Fraser, born April 2, 1844. Anne grew up in Stonehouse and gave birth to John Robertson Murray there on April 5, 1872. The father was listed as George Murray, farmer's son, living at home at Redhouse, Rathen. The Fraser family continued to live in Stonehouse until after the 1891 census. For more information about Anne and the Fraser family, please CLICK HERE.


However, by the 1881 census, the Murray family no longer lived at Redhouse. It is thought that George (senior) lost tenure of the farm between 1871 and 1881. In 1881 George (junior), his wife, and children lived at Glendaveny Cottage, in the parish of Peterhead.


George (senior) died in Aberdeen city on June 28, 1886. Eventually, George (junior) could see no future for his family in Scotland and decided to immigrate to Canada in 1889. The ship he most likely took was the Vancouver, of the Dominion Line. This ship departed Liverpool on August 22, 1889, and arrived in Quebec city on August 31, 1889, then on to Montreal the same day. In Canada, George got work on the railway and was able to send for his family in 1890. 


George's family took the ship Pomeranian of the Allen Line Steamship Company. It departed from Glasgow, Scotland on August 9, 1890. On board were Elizabeth (listed as Housewife), and children John, George, Agnes, Jessie, Robertson, and Alex. The ship arrived at Quebec City, Canada on August 20, 1890, where they disembarked. (The ship went on to Montreal the same day.)


They traveled by train to Winnipeg, where John stayed to work, then on to Saltcoats (then in Assiniboia, now in Saskatchewan), arriving there around August 29th, 1890. They appear on the May 23, 1891 census with children Agnus, Jessie, and Robin (Robertson), but not Alex. George (father) is shown as a Farmer. Son, George, is enumerated with the Kumph family, who owned the hotel is Saltcoats. The following June (1891) they moved to the homestead  near  Saltcoats.


The quarter section they were granted as Saskatchewan Homesteaders was:

SE  quarter section of Section 20, Township 24, Range 2, west of the 2nd meridian. They reached their land by traveling about 6 miles north westerly on foot along a prairie trail, now called Highway 16 (the Yellowhead Route) which runs right through their land. To see maps, CLICK HERE.

From the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, you will find homestead documents about this land when you  CLICK HERE.


After many hardships they eventually gave up farming and came to live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  On the 1901 census George is living in Winnipeg, at 294 Ellen Street, with wife Elizabeth and children George, Agnus, Jessie, Robertson, Maggie (Margaret), and Mary U. He is shown as a Dairyman.


The 1906 and 1911 Winnipeg censuses show the family living at 657 or 659 Simcoe Street. In 1911, living with George and Elizabeth were son George a Tinsmith, daughter Margaret a Stenographer, and daughter Mary.


In the 1921 census, George is living on a farm, while his wife Elizabeth, son George (occupation listed as Tinsmith-in a workshop), and daughters Margaret and Mary Ury are living at 701 Banning Street in the west end Winnipeg. The farm land is located at Section 33, Township 12, Range 3 east of the 1st meridian, in the municipality of St. Paul, north of Winnipeg. George is shown as a Farmer, working on a farm. He was 71 years old at the time.  

George rode his bicycle well into his 80's. George would ride his bike over to Norwood to visit his son John who lived at 227 Eugene Street, at that time.  He loved to play the fiddle and was a good tap dancer.  He is remembered as being always cheery.  He wrote poetry which is still in the family today.  He liked to have a little smoke down the basement.  Another family story says he delivered coal oil for a time and that he also worked for Hutchings Harness Company.

One of George's beautiful poems is found in this PDF file.


Elizabeth (McRobbie) married George Murray on February 21, 1874. She died the very next year, in childbirth, in 1875. She was step-mom (for about a year) to:

  • John Robertson Murray who was born April 2, 1872; died January 27, 1948.

          (his birth mother was Anne Fraser)         

               and she was birth-mom to:

  • Elizabeth Georgina Barbara Murray  Born  February 8, 1875 in Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She died 1973.

Going back, the Census records for Rathen in 1851 show that Elizabeth McRobbie's family was living in the Parish of Rathen. Her father George was 36 years old (born 1815 in Aberdeenshire) and her mother Elizabeth (nee Davidson) also 36 (born 1815 in Lonmay).  The children in 1851 were Jane 8 (born 1843); Alexander 5 (born 1846); George 3 (born 1848); William 1 year old (born 1850), and Elizabeth (born Sept 28, 1851), all born in Rathen.  George’s younger brother John McRobbie, who was 23 at the time, was living with the family.  The father George was shown as an agricultural laborer.

          It isn’t until the 1861 Census that we find the rest of the children; Edward 9 (born 1852); John 6 (born 1856); and Ann 3 (born 1858).  Also listed on the 1861 census were the family members mentioned above in the 1851 Census.

          By 1871 the family members shown on the Census are the father George, mother Elizabeth, William, Edward, John, Tom, Alexander, Elizabeth and Ann still living in the family home.  In 1874, Elizabeth McRobbie married George Murray.



We know that Elizabeth Thom was born in Sandhole, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on November 6, 1856. Her mother, Ann Wallace, was a descendant of Adam Wallace, a first cousin of William Wallace (Braveheart). Her father was James Thom. She married George Murray in Lonmay, Scotland, in 1877.

Elizabeth (nee Thom) Murray

   aka Grandma Murray

Not much is known about Grandma Murray except as we glimpse her through the story written by her daughter Jessie called “The Murray’s Come To Canada”. She came to Canada with her five children and stepson, Johnnie (John Robertson Murray), in 1890 when she was 34 years old, the year following the immigration of her husband, George. They left Glasgow, August 9, 1890, in steerage class aboard the Pomeranian of the Allan line, and arrived August 20th.

          When they moved to the homestead near Saltcoats, it was left to the mother, Elizabeth, to take care of the farm and the children with the help of her eldest son, George. The father, George, had to go back to working on the railway to care for the family. Elizabeth endured the loss of a 2 year old child, Alex, soon after their arrival in Canada.  They suffered drought, fire and a frost that eventually wiped out their dreams of farming.

          They eventually moved to Winnipeg where George, the father, got work in a livery barn.  From all accounts Elizabeth and George faced many hardships in trying to make a new life for themselves in Canada.  She took in borders, nursed her children and others through sickness and did her best to keep her family together.

Elizabeth (Grandma Murray) died in Winnipeg September 12, 1938.


These are the children of George Murray (Born 1850)


  1. John Robertson Murray (April 2, 1872  - January 27, 1948). He was my great grandfather so we have a lot more on his family (below). His mother was Anne Fraser.

  2. Elizabeth Georgina Barbara Murray (Lizzie)

  • Born at Red House of Rathen,  Aberdeenshire, Scotland, February 8, 1875

  • Daughter of Elizabeth McRobbie.

  • Immigrated to Canada on board the Sarmatian of the Allan Line Steamship Company; departing Glasgow September 19, 1891 and arriving in Quebec City September 29 or October 1, 1891. She traveled from Quebec by C.P.R. train to Winnipeg.

  • On the 1901 Winnipeg census she is living with Elisha Frederick Hutchings and family. E.F. Hutchings is owner of the harness making company where her (half) brother, John R. Murray worked. Elizabeth (Lizie) is listed as a Domestic on this census. 

  • Married Richard Roden (1870-1952), after 1901, and lived in Souris, Manitoba. Richard was a train engineer.

  • Six children: Florence Lillian (1902-1992), Richard Hendry (1904-1980), Harold ‘Red’ Murray (1906-1967), Jean Elizabeth (1908–2004), Earle Robertson (1909-2009), and Albert Edward (1912-1943, Killed in WWII).

  • Elizabeth died in Winnipeg, April 1, 1973


               Elizabeth was raised by her father (George) and step-mother (Elizabeth

               nee Thom) following the death of her mother, Elizabeth nee McRobbie.

               She remained in Scotland when the rest of the family immigrated in

               August 1890, to take care of her ailing grandmother, Barbara (nee

               Robertson) Murray, who died November 21, 1890.

  3. George Murray (March 13, 1878 - October 10, 1949) Born in Rathen, Scotland.

      Son of Elizabeth Thom. 

      He sailed with his mother, sisters, and little brother Alex, to Canada; then by

      train on to Winnipeg then Saltcoats. George left the farm in Saltcoats when his

      (half) brother John R. Murray found him work in Winnipeg, likely at a company

      of E. F. Hutchings.  George became a tinsmith working for Mr. Wallace, after the

      rest of the family came to Winnipeg. He was a sharpshooter and traveled

      around to shooting competitions. George remained unmarried.

  4. James Murray (May 27, 1879 – December 27, 1881) was a son of Elizabet

      Thom.  He was born at Rathen Cottage, in Rathen, Aberdeenshire. He died at 2

      years old in Glendaveny, Peterhead, Scotland.


  5. Agnes Hendry Murray (July 14, 1881 - 1960) was born in Glendaveny,

      Scotland.  Daughter of Elizabeth Thom. She married John ('Jack') Alvin

       Hudson on August 22, 1906. Agnes was a secretary in Winnipeg.

      Jack (B: August 28, 1882 - D: 1959) was a carpenter, born in Mono Mills (now

      just Mono), in Adjala district of Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. Jack's father, Robert

      was also born in Ontario, Canada; Robert's father Samuel was born in

      Yorkshire, England, where he may have been a carpenter.

      The 1911 Winnipeg census shows the family consisted of: Agnus, John, and

      son Robert (born November, 1909). They were living at 120 Bannerman. John is

      listed as a Merchant at that time. He and a partner sold Indian brand

      motorcycles. The story goes that the partner embezzled company money and

      the business failed.

      From Sylvia Brandt we know that Agnus and John had 4 children. The were

      Thom Murray Hudson (1907-1907), Robert Murray Hudson (1909-1974) who

      became a physician, Elizabeth Ruth Hudson (1914-2003) who became a social  

      worker and legal secretary, and William Bannerman Hudson (1918-1940) who

      was killed by a drunk driver.


  6. Jessie Ann (October 8, 1883 - 1965) was born in Glendaveny, Scotland.

      Daughter of Elizabeth Thom. In 1911 she was a dressmaker. She then studied

      nursing at the Weyburn Hospital in Saskatchewan and became a registered


      She married William Stevenson, a clothing salesman, and eventually moved to

      Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, where they lived most of their lives. Jessie became

      the matron of the Shaunavon Hospital. Jessie and William had twin children:

      Bess and William junior. Bess died in 1935 at age 5 years and her father

      never stopped grieving, until he fell from a high staircase to his death in 1937.


      William junior joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II. He survived

      the war. Jessie passed away in Winnipeg. Jessie was known as "Jit."


  7. Robertson ‘Robin’ (May 7, 1886 - 1941) was born in Glendaveny,

      Scotland. Daughter of Elizabeth Thom.

      Robin married Ernest Pearce, a farmer from Yorkton, Saskatchewan, in 1910.

      She first met Ernest when their two families were living near Saltcoats.   


  8. Alex (1888-September 7,1890) was born in Glendaveny.  Son of Elizabeth

      Thom. Alex contracted an illness when he first arrived in Canada, likely at the

      immigration hall in Winnipeg. He and died in Saltcoats, on September 7, 1890

      (Government of Saskatchewan, Vital statistics, Registration#3115). He was only

      two years old.


  9. Margaret Helenor ‘Nell’ (June 26, 1891 – June 11, 1988), daughter of Elizabeth

      Thom, was born at the homestead farm near Saltcoats which at that time was in

      the District of Assiniboia, North West Territories, but is now part of

      Saskatchewan.  Her birth was never registered. In 1922, she married Hugh

      Campbell Anderson (1892-1973) who was born in Carberry, Manitoba, and

      he became an editor in Winnipeg. Hugh Campbell Anderson flew Tiger Moths

      during World War I. He wanted to fly fighters in World War II but was too old so

      he instructed new pilots while stationed in Ottawa.

      Their son, Hugh John Anderson, edited 'The Murrays Come to Canada.'

      Hugh John Anderson was a chemistry professor and founding member of

      Memorial University in Newfoundland. Nell joined her son Hugh junior, in

      Newfoundland, after her husband Hugh senior, passed away.


  10. Mary Ury (October 7, 1896-1995) daughter of Elizabeth Thom,  was born when

        the family was living on Pacific Avenue, in Winnipeg. She married Charles N.

        Hendry who was a bricklayer and they moved to Chicago.


In 1950, sisters Agnes and Nellie took a trip from Canada to Scotland and found many of the homes and places that were familiar to their parents and grandparents. Click the PDF button to read their story.


From here on we will follow John Robertson Murray:



  • Born at Stonehouse, April 5, 1872 

  • Son of George Murray          

  • Immigrated to Canada in 1887, possibly 1889

  • Married Julia Thornton Simmons November 26, 1895

  • Children Gladys, George, Ruby, and Hazel

  • Died in Winnipeg January 27, 1948 at the age of 75

The parish of Rathen birth records indicate John Robertson Murray was born April 5, 1872, at 5:00AM, in Stonehouse, in the parish of Rathen, Aberdeenshire, with the father being George Murray, a farmer's son of Redhouse, Rathen, and the mother being Anne Fraser, a domestic servant.

The passenger list of the Pomeranian shows John was on board with the rest of the family in 1890. However, various Winnipeg censuses show immigration dates of 1887 or 1889. It is possible he might have traveled back and forth between Canada and Scotland in this period.


John was a harness maker by trade. In Winnipeg, Canada, he initially worked for the company belonging to E.F. Hutchings, called Great West Saddlery. In or about 1900 John went on his own as owner of J. Murray & Co.


The 1901 Winnipeg census shows John, Julia, daughter Gladys, son George, and Julia's brother Owen living on Syndicate (likely 148 Syndicate). It lists John's occupation as Harness Maker.


The 1906 Winnipeg census shows John, Julia, and their 4 children living at 148 Syndicate Street. His parents-in-law, Thornton and Louisa (nee Richards) Simmons, and family were living at 164 Syndicate Street. Julia's brother, Thornton Simmons and his wife Maud were living at 160 Syndicate Street.

In the 1911 census, John and family are still living at 148 Syndicate. The family consisted of John, Julia, daughter Gladys, son George, daughter Ruby, and daughter Hazel. John's occupation is listed as Storekeeper.

By the 1916 Winnipeg census John, Julia, George, Ruby, and Hazel are now living at 128 Syndicate. Gladys (Mom Campbell) was not there as she had married David Magee in 1913. This was "the big house on the corner" as Mom Campbell called it. In this census John is listed as a Harness Maker.

The 1921 Winnipeg census seems to have missed John and his family. As Gladys returned to Winnipeg with her 3 daughters in 1920, they were likely all living over the harness shop at 180 Princess Street, in 1921. Living at 128 Syndicate in 1921 is a family from Austria whose last name is "Cap."

J. Murray & Co manufactured harnesses for horses in the early days. During the height of his business he would go to all the fairs.  He made decorative saddlery for all the parades


When the automobile came he switched to auto tops and rad covers, along with tents and awnings until 1931 when he was forced to close because of the Great Depression.  He had tried to keep all his employees during the depression but eventually had to let go of his business.  Both his daughter Ruby and son George worked with him in the family business.

J. Murray & Co eventually became Murray Tent and Awning, which is still in operation in Winnipeg.

          John loved sports and took his daughter Gladys with him to all kinds of sporting events.  He liked to go to the bonspiel and was always joking with the policemen on the beat that passed his store oat 180 Princess Street.  He loved to play jokes on his pal Mr. Sam Cassissa, who also had a store on Princess Street, and the two men were always trying to catch the other one in a joke.  For example, John would take something that sounded like a cat meowing into Sam’s store and the poor guy would be looking all around to see where the cat was when it was only John playing a joke on him.


As mentioned, in 1920 John arranged for his daughter Gladys and her 3 daughters to come 'back home' and live with him and his wife, Julia. Gladys had married David Magee and moved to Cardinal, Ontario, but the marriage did not work out. They all lived in an apartment above the shop at 180 Princess Street, in Winnipeg. The 3 granddaughters were somewhat raised by their grandparents, John and Julia, while Gladys went to work to support the family.

         During those days, John had a car and he would always take the kids (his 3 granddaughters) for rides.  Sometimes they would go away out to the north end to the circus and that was a great treat. He played the fiddle and was popular at parties.  His daughter Gladys would chord for him on the piano. 

          He loved geography and his granddaughter Vivian, who did not like geography, remembers him telling her more about geography than she really wanted to know.

          Later, John often went down to see Gladys at work and she would take him out for lunch and give him a little money as the family was on rations following the loss of his business during the Great Depression.

1927 Postcard with little girl on back of wagon. Who do you think it is?

Business card from 1925 

Auto Top Picnic at Winnipeg Beach 1925 - with Isabelle Verna and Vivian in front

For continuation of these stories, click the Green Button

My Story

My maternal grandmother’s (maiden) name was Gladys Murray. You might remember her as Mom Campbell. She grew up on Syndicate Street in Winnipeg, Canada, with siblings George, Ruby, and Hazel. I recall hearing how my Mom (Helena Isabelle Magee, known as Isabelle) and my Dad (Charles Norrie Cruickshank, known as Charlie, Chuck, Chas.) met in Winnipeg at the Murray family home. They got together for a musical evening of playing music. My Granny (Georgina) Cruickshank (nee Norrie) played violin and piano. My Dad played violin. Apparently the Murrays and the Cruickshanks “hit it off” and found they were from the same area of Scotland, which was Aberdeenshire and specifically the Buchan area. They possibly had common relatives or acquaintances.

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