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?

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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?

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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)”

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.

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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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Hugh Murray (1839-1916)

Hugh Murray (1839-1916)

Hugh Murray was born in County Down, Ireland, December 18, 1839. 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, the seventh child, came to the United States in 1857, settled in Washington County, Mo., and commenced working at the trade of wagon-making, which he has since followed. He married Miss Mary Maloney September 10, 1866. She was born in Connecticut, and was a daughter of Michael and Ann Maloney. Mr. and Mrs. Murray have eight children living, viz.: William, Katie, Annie, Nora, Hugh, Edward, Andrew and Paul; one daughter, Emma, was deceased at the age of six years. Mr. Murray has recently added to his business a stock of coffins and undertaker’s supplies, and has done a satisfactory business in this line. He is a man of strict honor and commands the respect of all his acquaintances.”

– History of Washington County Missouri. (1888) Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company.

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Daniel Murray (b. 1854)

County histories can be a wonderful source of information. And in the case of Daniel Murray, born in County Down, Ireland, the following Greene County, Missouri, biography from the 1883 History of Greene County, Missouri by R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian, is rich in details.


Mr. Murray was born in county Down, Ireland, October 12th, 1864, and was educated in the common schools of that country. He emigrated to America, landing at Castle Garden in January, 1870. He soon after came to St. Louis, but remained only a short time, and then went to Potosi, Washington county, Missouri, where he served an apprenticeship at wagon-making. In the fall of 1874, he went to Dade county and set up a shop at the Pemberton mines, which he ran a year and then came to Ash Grove and opened a shop, and does a good business. He is the patentee of the now adjustable vehicle wheel, for wagons and buggies, by which a wheel can be set to any grade or dish desired. It is a most useful invention and likely to come into general use everywhere. Mr. Murray’s parents are yet in Ireland. He has one brother in Manchester, England, and one in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Murray is a member of the Knights of Labor.

— Chapter 20, Boone Township – Biographies

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