Norway & Germany 2017

Tony and I spent two weeks in Norway in August 2017. We were coming back after a 10 year absence and had plans to visit with Tony’s cousins in Rakkestad and Nesna.

We also visited four towns in Germany from which Tony’s maternal ancestors emigrated: Arnstein, Essleben, Wernshausen, and Niederschmalkalden.

We left Dallas on the heals of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s 2017 Summer Seminar. Lisa Louise Cooke had presented a session on video creation. I was struck by the statistics that in 2016 60% of Internet traffic was video and that this was expected to rise to 80% by 2018.

I figured I needed to get with program or risk being left behind!

On Lisa’s recommendation, I downloaded the Adobe Spark Video app, which I used to create the following short videos of our visit. Amateur productions for sure but a lot more fun to create than writing a travel journal!


Video 1: A Day in Oslo (0:48)

Video 2: Oslo to Rakkestad (1:40)

Video 3: Østfold County (2:24)

Video 4: Herset & Nordland County (1:59)

Video 5: Fishing (3:01)

Video 6: Nesna Cousins (1:33)


Video 1: Wernshausen & Niederschmalkden (2:59)

Video 2: Arnstein (Without the Churches) (2:16)

Video 3: St. Georg in Essleben (1:05)

Video 4: City of Arnstein: St. Nikolaus & Maria Sondheim (3:04)

Video 5: Near Arnstein: St. Margareta and St. Laurentius (2:59)

19th c. Ancestors in Prussia, Belgium, & Baden

John Reuter (Edward John Hubert Reuter) and Pauline Pirotte (Pauline Marie Gaspard Pirotte) are my maternal great-grandparents. John was born about 1822 in Cologne (German: Köln), Prussia. Pauline was born about 18241 in Fiphelens (Dutch) (French: Fexhe-lins), Liége Belgium. They married about 1850 and had three children:

1.  Stephanie, born 1851 in Liége, Belgium

2.  Armand, born 1852 in Antwerp, Belgium

3.  Edmond, born 1857 in Karlsruhe, Baden

They emigrated to Montreal, Canada between 1853 and 1857.

I wrote the following to provide a high level backdrop for their lives vis-à-vis Prussian and Belgium history.

Continue reading “19th c. Ancestors in Prussia, Belgium, & Baden”

Reuter and Pirotte Immigration

John E. Reuter and Pauline Pirotte are my maternal great-grandparents. They emigrated from Europe to Montreal, Canada between 1853 and 1859. They immigrated to the United States of America around 1880. This is an overview of their movements.

Their Lives in Europe

I found the earliest records for my maternal great-grandparents, John Reuter (Eberhard Johann Hubert Reuter) and Pauline Pirotte (Pauline Marie Gaspard Pirotte), at the FelixArchief in Antwerp, Belgium.

– John E. Reuter arrived in Belgium on the 4th of April 1850 and lived in Liége (Walloon: Lidje; Dutch: Luik; German: Lüttich). I don’t know if Pauline Pirotte was already living there. I estimate they were married around 1850 but I do not know the location. Their daughter, Stephanie was born on the 3rd of February 1851 in Liége.

– In February of 1851 John Reuter came to Antwerp, Belgium from Liége.  (It is not clear to me if his wife and daughter came at the same time.)

– On 17 April 1852 the family of three officially changed their residence from Liége to Antwerp and John registered as a foreigner residing in Antwerp. Their second child, Armand (Armandus Joannes Hubertus Reuter), was born the 29th of May 1852 in Antwerp.

Continue reading “Reuter and Pirotte Immigration”

A Farmer in County Down

Hugh Murray

According to the 1888 History of Washington County Missouri [1], my great grandfather, Hugh Murray, “was born in County Down, Ireland, December 18, 1839 [i]. His father, Michael Murray, also a native of Ireland, was a farmer by occupation; he married Catherine Murray, a native of the same place, and they had ten children, five sons and five daughters.”

Hugh Murray (1838-1916)


Where was Michael Murray’s farm in County Down?

Continue reading “A Farmer in County Down”

The Bedfords on Broadway

Mary Jane (Ryan) Hardie – c. 1917

My cousin gave me this photograph of our great grandmother, Mary Jane (Ryan) Hardie. It was enclosed in an envelope postmarked 1917 and addressed from MJ Hardie in East Liverpool, Ohio to Mrs. Edw. L. Murray c/o Mrs. John Bedford at 4824 South Broadway in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mrs. Edw. L. Murray was Frances Diamond (Hardie) Murray, Mary Jane Hardie’s daughter and my grandmother. In 1917 Frances Murray, her husband Edward L. Murray, and their children were living on Virginia Avenue in St. Louis, about a 12 minute walk from 4824 South Broadway.

I don’t know why Mary Jane Hardie sent this picture in care of Mrs. John Bedford on South Broadway rather than directly to her daughter, Frances. My cousin remembered her mother mentioning the “Bedfords on Broadway”. But who was Mrs. John Bedford and what was the connection between the Bedfords and my great-grandmother Mary Jane (Ryan) Hardie?

Continue reading “The Bedfords on Broadway”

Joan Murray (1921-1976)

Joan Virginia Murray – 1939

02 May 1921

1930 Age 8
Address: 4624 Virginia Avenue, St. Louis, MO;
Source:  1930 US Census, enumerated 03 April 1930

1935 Age 13
Address: 3164 Portis Avenue, St. Louis, MO;
Source:  1940 US Census, enumerated 19 April 1940

1939 Age 18
Graduation from Southwest High School, St. Louis, MO;
Source:  1939 Southwest High School Yearbook

16 February 1940 Age 18
Death of Mother, Frances Diamond (Hardie) Murray;
Source:  Missouri Death Certificate for Frances Diamond (Hardie) Murray Continue reading “Joan Murray (1921-1976)”

Marriage of Mary J Taylor & Daniel Hardie


When and where did Mary Jane Ryan and Daniel Hardie get married?


Mary Jane Ryan (1841-1926) married John O’Neil on June 5, 1859 in St. Louis, Missouri.[1] John O’Neil is presumed to have died between 1859 and 1866.[i] Mary Jane and John O’Neil had a son, Eugene John O’Neil, born March 4, 1860[2] in St. Louis. Eugene died on March 30, 1890[3].[ii]

Daniel Hardie (1838-1916) married his second wife, Elisabeth Ferguson on April 8, 1867 in Pollokshaws, Renfrew, Scotland[4]. They had three daughters: Janet, born September 6, 1867 in Pollokshaws[5]; Isabella, born September 4, 1869 in Pollokshaws[6]; and Elizabeth, born July 23, 1872 in Cincinnati, Ohio[7]. Elizabeth Ferguson died on March 17, 1874 in Cincinnati[8].

Mary Jane (Ryan) and Daniel Hardie had their first son, Daniel Eugene Hardie, in Cincinnati on October 17, 1878[9]. I guessed that Mary Jane and Daniel Hardie married between March 1874, when his wife died, and October 1878, when their son was born. Continue reading “Marriage of Mary J Taylor & Daniel Hardie”

Potosi, Missouri

On Saturday-Sunday, July 2 -3, 2011, a reunion of the descendants of Hugh Murray and Mary Maloney was held in St. Louis, Missouri. On Saturday morning attendees journeyed to Potosi, which is about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Most, if not all, of Hugh and Mary’s nine children were born in Potosi and were baptized at St. James Church. The church and the nearby graveyard were still there. Hugh also had a wagon-making and undertaking business in Potosi and we visited the location where it stood.

St. James Catholic Church – Potosi, MO

Bernard and Mary Flynn

Hugh’s sister, Mary (Murray) Flynn (1832-1899), and her husband Bernard Flynn (1828-1892) emigrated from County Down, Ireland before Hugh. Mary and Bernard Flynn lived in Potosi, where Bernard worked as a wagon-maker.

Continue reading “Potosi, Missouri”

St. Louis Locations for the Murray Family

For the 2011 Murray Family Reunion, I created two maps showing locations where the Murrays lived and one map showing places that were significant in their lives. Much of the data came from St. Louis City Directories between 1891 and 1923. Often, the occupations and workplaces of individuals were listed. Some additional data are from US censuses, death certificates, and WWI draft registration forms.

List of Murray Family Addresses

Click on a name at the bottom of a map to see just the locations for that person or place. Click on the colored markers for information related to a person and location, such as the dates they lived there and what their occupation was at the time. Continue reading “St. Louis Locations for the Murray Family”

2011 Murray Reunion

A reunion of the descendants of Hugh Murray (1839-1916) and Mary Moloney (1842-1912) was held in St. Louis, Missouri on July 2-3, 2011. Hugh and Mary were married on Sunday, September 10, 1865 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in St. Charles, Missouri. Their nine children were born between 1866 and 1883 in Potosi, Missouri. Their 44 grandchildren were born roughly between 1926 and 1966. About 33-37 were living in July 2011 and 24 attended the reunion, many with spouses and other family members.

Direct Descendants – 2011 Murray Reunion – St. Louis, MO

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