James William Murray was born on 7th January 1845 in Hoxton, London.
He was the third child of John William Murray and Maria Utton who had been married on Christmas Day, 1839 at the parish church of St. Giles without Cripplegate.
(Photograph of the interior of St Giles without Cripplegate © Copyright pam fray and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)
Maria was born in Essex and John William's ancestry can be traced back to Aberdeen in Scotland where his great grandfather was a master mariner.
James William Murray was baptised on 28th July 1847 at St. John the Baptist Church in Hoxton. The family lived however in Adelaide Place in the St. Giles, Cripplegate area and father John was employed as a waiter.
John died leaving Maria to fend for the family and they moved to Half Moon Court, Cripplegate where Maria made an income as a laundress. James William was employed as a Porter possibly at the meat, fish or fruit and vegetable markets which were all nearby; or as his father had been a waiter he might have managed to get him into the hotel trade; or he could have been a station porter at Liverpool Street Station. Who knows? I can only speculate on this but what is indisputable is that he met and married Kezia Penn whose family had a long tradition of umbrella making and by the time of his wedding in 1871 James William had joined the family business. Both his wedding certificate and the 1871 census record his occupation as umbrella maker.
James William and Kezia were married on 24th September 1871 at the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Hoxton, the very same church where he had been baptised twenty four years earlier.
(Photograph of the interior of St. John the Baptist, Hoxton © Copyright John Salmon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)
However by the time of his marriage James William was living at 13, New Street, Aldgate which was to be the family home for the next forty years. He shared the house with another family at first and he and Kezia continued to share their home for many years. However by 1891 they had 13, New Street all to themselves which they would have needed as by then they had nine children.
They didn't waste any time in starting their family, their first son Edward William being born in October 1872. He was followed by: Alice Mary (1874), Esther Rose (1877), Maurice John Arthur (1880), Mary Ann Jannette (1884), Eizabeth Maria (1885), George Henry (1887), Francis and Florence Louise (1890). Amy Ellen was born in 1893 and finally Edith Nelly in 1896.
Most of the children were baptised at the parish church of St. Botolph's, Aldgate where the parish register gives the exact dates of their births. (Photograph of the interior of St. Botolph's, Aldgate © Copyright John Salmon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)
James William was my husband Michael's great grandfather; James William's son Maurice John Arthur was Michael's grandfather. Maurice attended Sir John Cass School in the City of London very close to where the family lived and just along the road from St. Botolph's church. In his turn, Michael went to Sir John Cass School too. Michael's mum, Rose, always said she could remember her grandfather, James William, very well and that he would dance over crossed swords in the Highland manner at family gatherings: maybe after a wee dram over umbrella sticks!!
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