My husband is Michael Murray and his grandfather was Maurice John Arthur Murray.
Maurice had a sister, Mary Ann Jannette Murray who was born on this day, 23rd February 1884.
Click here to read Mary Ann Jannette's story..
Mary Ann Jannette Murray and Maurice John Arthur Murray were baptised in St Botolph's Church in Aldgate, London.
Mary Ann Jannette and Maurice John Arthur were the children of James William Murray and Kezia Penn. All their children were baptised at St Botolph's and the records of the baptisms are in the parish registers.
Edward William Murray 1872
Alice Mary Murray 1874
Esther Rose Murray 1877
Maurice John Arthur Murray 1880
Mary Ann Jannette Murray 1884
Elizabeth Maria Murray 1885
George Henry Murray 1887
Francis Murray 1890
Florence Louise Murray 1890
Amy Ellen Murray 1893
Edith Nelly Murray 1896
There has been a church on the St Botolph's site since Saxon times and the Saxon foundations were excavated when the present church was built. The church was re-built in the early thirteenth century and survived the Great Fire of London (1666). However, by the early eighteenth century St. Botolph's had fallen into disrepair and the decision was made to build a new church. The old church was demolished in 1725 and the present church was completed in 1729. The building was designed by James Gould in the classical style. Unusually, the tower is at the East End with the chancel underneath. The font, pulpit and organ all date from the eighteenth century.
So, Michael's grandfather and all his grandfather's siblings were baptised in the eighteenth century font at St Botolph's.
The great actor Edward Alleyn, contemporary of William Shakespeare, was baptised at St Botolph's in 1566 and the poet John Keats was actually baptised in the present font in 1795.
Sir John Cass 1661 - 1718
Inside St Botolph's church there is a memorial to Sir John Cass who was a was a merchant, politician and philanthropist. He served as both Alderman and Sheriff of the City of London; he was also MP for the City and knighted in 1712.
In 1709, Cass founded a school for fifty boys and forty girls in buildings in the churchyard of St Botolph's, Aldgate. He planned to leave all his property to the school but when he died of a brain haemorrhage in 1718 he'd only initialled three pages of his Will. His heirs contested the Will and it took thirty years before the Court of Chancery found in favour of the school and the endowment re-commenced.
Fast forward to about 1890 to find that Maurice John Arthur Murray was a pupil at Sir John Cass School.
This is according to Michael's mum, Rose Murray. She told us that her father was a pupil at the school for which his parents paid a small amount of money each week.
The Sir John Cass Foundation exists to this day and provides education for young people in London through grants and its support for a number of institutions bearing Sir John Cass’s name. The school building attended by Maurice John Arthur Murray remains but is now used for the Sir John Cass primary school.
In his turn, Michael Murray (my husband) attended Sir John Cass School for his secondary education. This cheeky chap in his Sir John Cass school uniform is Michael in about 1959. And outside the school, on a walk down Memory Lane a couple of years ago.
Founder’s Day takes place at Sir John Cass School every year as near as possible to Sir John Cass’s birthday on 20th February. When Michael attended the school, the pupils were told that when Sir John Cass died suddenly in the middle of signing his Will his quill pen was stained red with his blood. So, each year on Founder's Day the pupils wore a red feather to honour Sir John Cass and the tradition continues to this day.
Maurice John Arthur Murray was my husband's grandfather.
Maurice's older brother was Edward William Murray who was born in 1872.
Despite my best endeavours I can't find any information about him after the 1911 census.
Edward was married to Amy Foskett in 1894. They had three children:
Percival Edward Murray born in 1897
Amy Gladys Murray born in 1898
Doris Marjorie Murray born in 1902.
In 1901, Edward was employed as the Manager for a Tea Merchant.
He lived with his family in Avenue Road in Poplar.
In 1911, Edward was employed as a commercial clerk working for a meat salesman. Edward lived with his family at South Esk Road in Forest Gate, London.
I have been unable to find out anything further about Edward and Amy. Their son, Percival, was killed in the First World War.
Amy Gladys Murray
Amy Gladys Murray was married to William Harmar in 1921. They had two children:
Marjorie A Harmar born in 1921
Daphne A Harmar born in 1923.
I've hit a brick wall with this branch of the family tree so any suggestions will be gratefully received.
I'm slowly trying to build a page of my website for a Family Tree.
I'm planning to re-visit all the individuals and all the records and fill in any gaps (if I can) and check if I've overlooked anything.
I'm starting with the Murrays. I'm a Murray by marriage to Michael who is the son of Rose. She didn't marry so she hung on to her Murray surname.
Maurice John Arthur Murray
Rose's father was Maurice John Arthur Murray and on checking Rose's birth certificate I've noticed that he was employed as a meat market porter in 1908. I don't think that fact has registered before although I've looked at Rose's birth certificate countless times.
Maurice and his wife Sarah were living in her parents' home in 1908. This was just off Houndsditch in the City of London, I think it's a safe bet he was working at Smithfield Market which is only a mile distant.
The market building was opened in the 1860s. It probably didn't look that much different in 1908 as shown in this modern photograph. A few years later Maurice had become a lorry driver and left his meat and butchery career behind.
The 1939 Register is now freely searchable to subscribers of Find My Past. This is more like it! Now it's great fun and already I've added some information to my family records. Previously the Register was only searchable on an expensive pay-per-view basis with attendant risk of wasting a lot of money if you weren't certain you'd located the correct record for your own family history. The inclusion of the 1939 Register in the annual Find My Past subscription eliminates the risk and is much, much better.
The Barratts of Wakefield
The first 1939 Register record I've unlocked today is for my great grandparents, Thomas Barratt (1881 - 1949) and Harriet Barratt (1882 - 1947). I already have plenty of information about them so I was unwilling to pay-to-view the record as I didn't expect it to tell me much.
However I've now got the exact date of birth for Harriet and for three of her daughters which I didn't have before.
The record told me that Thomas was employed as a labourer in a brickyard which I already knew from the marriage certificate of one of his daughters. But I didn't know that:
Edith Barratt (1909 - 1966) was employed as a nurse in a mental hospital.
Mary Barratt (1915 - 1987) was employed as a bottler in a brewery. I knew she worked in a brewery but didn't know exactly what she did there.
Dorothy Barratt (1923 - 1941) was employed as a spinner in a worsted mill.
Mary's surname in the 1939 Register has been amended in green ink to Garthwaite. This was a CR283 amendment which is the reference number of the form used for a change of surname. The entry was amended in 1984.
I knew that Mary had married a Norman Garthwaite later in life but had no information about this so I went on the trail.
Norman and Mary were married in 1970 when she was fifty five years old and he was sixty two.
Norman was a widower and his first wife, Phyllis, had died in 1963. Norman was a brewer and his first wife's parents owned the brewery. Presumably this was the brewery where Mary worked as a bottler and presumably that's where they met.
Norman died in 1980 and Mary died seven years later. I found these photos on the Geograph website of the beautiful Georgian house where they'd had a flat.
Horace Ashworth (1905 - 1984)
I didn't unlock my grandparents record when the 1939 Register was pay-per-view as I didn't think it would contain much new information. This turns out to be true except I now know my grandfather, Horace Ashworth (1905 - 1984), although employed as a railway fireman had passed to become an engine driver. Also the record states that he worked for the London Midland Scottish Railway which I've always presumed but never had any proof of before today.
Rose Joseph (1888 - 1969)
I started checking some of my husband's ancestors and had a really good hit for his great aunt, Rose Joseph (1888 - 1969). In 1939 Rose was employed as a waitress in Blackpool and she lived at Lancaster Avenue. Visiting her in Blackpool in 1939 was her sister, Leah Bernstein (1879 - 1971). By 1939, Leah was widowed and living on her "own means".
Sarah Starling (1857 - 1946)
I also found Michael's (my husband) great grandmother living in her son's household at 35, Chapman Street in Stepney, East London. Sarah Starling (1857 - 1946) was "incapacitated" although she lived for a further seven years and survived the Blitz. The record gives a more precise birth date for Sarah which was 25th February 1857.
I've also hit on about forty records in the 1939 Register that are not connected to my family history in any way but I needed to check to make sure. That was 100% cost prohibitive on a pay-per-view basis so, as you can imagine, I'm delighted the Find My Past people have decided to include the 1939 Register in the price of the annual subscription.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
When you've a few minutes to spare please visit my other website http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for details of all the ebooks I've published including the best selling detective novel
A Single To Filey by Michael Murray.
In 1908, my grandparents were married at this parish church in Royston, near Barnsley, Yorkshire.
My grandmother was Elsie Smith, a self-employed confectioner and my grandfather was Sidney Henry Buckle, a coal miner.
Elsie was twenty three years old and Sid was twenty seven when they married.
They rented a house together in Church Street, Royston and settled down to family life.
Except there was no family and the years passed by and they had no children.
Then in 1921, when Sid was forty and Elsie was thirty six they had a baby.
The baby was named Vernon and he was baptised in the same parish church where they were married.
Unfortunately, Vernon soon developed a fatal illness and Sid and Elsie were back at the church only one month later on 7th February for the baby's funeral.
This must have been a traumatic episode for the new parents. After waiting for so long, only to have their baby snatched away at such a young age.
They probably gave up all hope of having a child. Even these days, forty and thirty six is mature for a first child.
In my family history box I've a copy of the Church Magazine for 1921 which includes the record of the happy day of Vernon's baptism.
I don't have a copy of the next issue of the magazine but it presumably recorded poor little Vernon's sad demise.
Then, in March 1924, what must have seemed like a miracle happened.
Elsie was delivered of another baby: a healthy boy who (eventually) became my dad. He was named Norman and he too was christened in the parish church.
This lovely photo is Sid and Elsie and Norman. They continued to live in Royston although they moved to a larger house in Church Hill.
Elsie stopped selling sweets but Sid continued to work in the coal industry alongside his brothers, his father and his grandfather. Sid had a skilled job as a rope splicer which meant he had to maintain the cables that were used in the machinery for hauling the coal.
A family story tells that one day at the pit Sidney noticed there was a serious flaw in the cable he was working on. This was reported to the company and a terrible disaster was averted. As a reward for his vigilance the grateful management awarded him a bottle of wine every year at Christmas.
Sid liked a drink but wine was not on the list of his preferred beverages. Beer and stout were more to his taste.
In 1935, Norman passed his eleven plus and attended the local grammar school at Normanton.
He was studious, worked hard and passed his School Certificate. At the age of sixteen he was offered employment as a clerk in the Public Health Department of the West Riding County Council thus breaking three generations of the family's tradition of going down the pit.
If you would like to read more about Norman you might like to take a look at my I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety blog.
Elsie and Sid lived at Church Hill in Royston for the remainder of their lives together. Elsie died from cancer in 1952. Sid moved into a smaller property and lived on his own for the rest of his life. He died in 1969 aged eighty eight years.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
When you've a few minutes to spare please visit my website http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for details of all the ebooks I've published including the best-selling detective novel A Single To Filey by Michael Murray.
My childhood memories are from the 1950s and I recalled them for my ebook "Cabbage and Semolina".
Lots of readers told me they'd enjoyed "Cabbage and Semolina" so I'm pleased to offer some more reminiscences and anecdotes from both the 1950s and the 1960s in my new ebook "Jam for Tea".
"Jam for Tea" includes:
Pounds, Shillings and Pence.
"Jam for Tea" is available at Amazon Kindle and is in Kindle Unlimited.
The UK link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jam-Tea-Cathy-Murray-ebook/dp/B01BCQD8HW
I hope you enjoy reading my recollections and that my book prompts some of your own memories too.
"Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" has sixty five 4 and 5 star customer reviews at Amazon. Many thanks to readers of this blog who've downloaded the book and posted a review.
The link for "Cabbage and Semolina" is
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK