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  1. #1
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    Default Murray family of Derry, Northern Ireland

    Any help or suggestions you can provide with this family would be much appreciated.

    I am trying to work backwards in time from a tragic incident of World War Two when 6 members of a family were killed when a parachute bomb exploded on or near their home in the Messines Park area of Derry, Northern Ireland on the night of 15/16 April 1941. It also killed members of neighbouring families. My ultimate aim is to find out the maiden name of the mother and a possible marriage date for her. These birth years are worked out from how old each person was said to be at the time of death. The GRONI website doesn't seem to find any of the children's birth records, it doesn't even find the 1941 death records, which is the date I'm most sure of.

    William (S.?) Murray born 1891
    Molly/Mollie (wife) born 1902
    Ita (I assume female) born 1928
    Kathleen born 1930
    Philomena (also known as Wilma ?) born 1931
    Sheila born 1940

    All with a death date of 16 April 1941. They all appear in the Civilian Deaths records of CWGC.

    I won't give you the names of the 4 children who survived since I believe at least 2 might still be living. I have seen William Murray described as "in The Guards" in WW1 - but whether that means the Irish Guards I have no idea. I have read that the houses at Messines Park were built for returning WW1 soldiers, whether that means William was at the Battle of Messines I don't know.

    One of the surviving children was born in 1924 and might be the eldest, so I think I am looking for a marriage between William and Molly/Mollie around 1921-24. The GRONI site won't let me search for a marriage between William Murray and Molly, it finds several William Murray marriages and tells me the surnames of the spouses, but I can't purchase a dozen certificates on the offchance of one being a Molly.

    A newspaper article says that William was a clerk at a Labour Exchange in Londonderry and was a sergeant in the Local Defense Volunteers (WW2 I assume).

    Any suggestions, please for finding William & Molly's marriage and Molly's maiden name ?

    p.s. Perhaps I should have started by saying that I think this family is in some public trees on Ancestry but I don't have a subscription.

  2. #2
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    Sorry, completely forgot to mention that William Murray had a brother Bernard Joseph ("Barney") Murray (1885-1946) who married Freda Evelyn Butler in 1925 at Fylde, Lancashire. Bernard and Freda 'adopted' William Murray's 4 surviving children. I realise of course that if I bought Bernard & Freda's marriage certificate that would tell me the Murray brothers' father's name.


    edit - a result from GRONI - Bernard Joseph Murray born 12 June 1885, Londonderry district. Father William Murray, mother Catherine, nee Boyle.
    Last edited by wimsey; 29-07-2018 at 2:15 PM. Reason: more information

  3. #3
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    further possible result from GRONI. William Murray born 18 December 1892, Londonderry, MMN Boyle. That would make him 49 at death, most sources say 50, one newspaper said he was 56.

    edit - just realised that I won't find the Murray children's births in GRONI because they are not over 100 years old.

  4. #4
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    If I ask GRONI to look for William Murray marriages for the period 1920 to 1924, only two results are in Derry. They both happen to be on 26 December 1922. One is to Ellen McCarter, the other is Mary O'Gorman at Waterside Urban (RC). If Molly is a pet name for Mary I guess the latter may be the marriage I am looking for.

  5. #5
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    Default William Murray's birth record

    If you are looking for family birth records pre 1916 or marriages pre 1922 then the cheapest option is to use irishgenealogy.ie This site shows free images of the actual bmd registers. It also covers deaths up to 1922. If in the Irish Republic the final dates for marriage and death searches are 1946 and 1966 respectively.
    This site shows William's date of birth as 16th December 1892 and shows the family at 72 Bishop Street. William senior is shown as a clerk.

  6. #6
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    thank you very much for that. The 1922 Murray/O'Gorman marriage record I mentioned at #4 gives William Murray a fairly unusual middle name - Stanislaus.

  7. #7
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    will it be easy for me to find any other children of William Murray senior and Catherine Boyle on irishgenealogy.ie !?

  8. #8
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    Default Ancestry William Murray 189Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by wimsey View Post
    If I ask GRONI to look for William Murray marriages for the period 1920 to 1924, only two results are in Derry. They both happen to be on 26 December 1922. One is to Ellen McCarter, the other is Mary O'Gorman at Waterside Urban (RC). If Molly is a pet name for Mary I guess the latter may be the marriage I am looking for.

    One of the online trees on Ancestry shows the S in William S Murray as Stanislaus and his wife as Mary O'Gorman. I saw 5 trees there for this family - some rather small. Two were private. None of the them were sourced with BMD records, the only source linked were William's probate link from 1941 in PRONI. One tree also mentioned a link to The Blitz-Belfast in the War Years by Brian Barton, published by Blackstaff Press.

  9. #9
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    thank you

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimsey View Post
    will it be easy for me to find any other children of William Murray senior and Catherine Boyle on irishgenealogy.ie !?
    Yes you should be able to find them with a bit of work. Once you have searched narrow your results to SR District/Reg Area - Londonderry and then just wade through the individual images.

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