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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (M)
Murray Family

We are descended on my mother's side (she is now 89.) from one Edmund John Murray(my great-great grandfather). He was born Edmund John Murray on Jan 1st, 1828 at Lanark, Lesmahagow, Springbank, Scotland He had a brother who was baptized as Charles Behems Murray, born  the second son of John Edmund Murray and his wife, Margaret Maxwell, nee Hamilton, on July 16th,1829at Lanark, Avondale, Scotland. This  following interesting story about this great-great uncle has come to us through research done by my mother's cousin, Charles Martin, who is now deceased.

After emigrating to Australia, circa 1850, Charles became second assistant overseer to John Stuart Hepburn, founder of Smeaton Hill, now known as Hepburn Springs, Victoria, Australia.  He was jocularly known as "Barie", as he claimed that he was entitled to return to Scotland to claim a baronetcy., but he did not, because he 'enjoyed the colonial life too much.'

Mum's cousin added that he did not think that this claim could be true, as Charles Murray was younger than his brother, my great-great grandfather Edmund.  However, there had been a title in the family. Their grandfather had been Sir Charles Murray who was a local magistrate and whisky distiller and reputedly living in a house called 'Arden Lea' at Peebles.

My mother said that Charles and Edmund Murray were remittance men which means, as I understand it that they were paid an allowance from their family in Scotland to live in another country.  Charles married the eldest daughter of John Hepburn, against her family's wishes and they had one daughter Marion.  Her mother, Alice died at age 34, so Alice's brother George dismissed Charles who eventually came to the small township of Somerville where his brother Edmund was, lived there until he died at age 70 and is buried in Frankston Cemetry. The Hepburn Family kept Marion, who later married a Charles Morton and had five children.

Curiously, the only descendants of the Hepburns are from this family as any children of other members of the family did not survive, and the last four children of the original Hepburns, all girls, including twins,
were taken back to England when their father died and they married there.

Charles was not a very reliable character and it is said he often retired in a huff to his property at Tea Tree Hill behind Kangaroo Hills which was not far away from Hepburn Springs.

My great-great grandfather married and sired thirteen children. His son, Charles married Elizabeth Grant, another Scottish family who were among  the pioneering families at Somerville.  I am intending to document as much oral history and family memory as my mother can recall.  She has a phenomenal memory, is still as sharp as a tack, living alone and looking after herself.  She is very interested in the Family history, so I am very keen to do further research. We are interested in going further back into our family's history in Scotland, particularly to find out more about the background our Murray ancestors came from.

Elizabeth Gibbs.
Our e-mail address is

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