Scottish records are also very good, allowing me to track down her paternal grandmother's lineage. Mary Hay Murray, was born in 1902 in Fyvie near Aberdeen, to James and Helen Murray (nee Morrison). She was the youngest of 11 children, the eldest of whom was born in 1882. The family's ancestors appear to have lived in the Fyvie, Auchertless, and Inverurie areas around Aberdeen.
|Headstone in Auchterless|
|War Memorial in Inverurie|
While she was alive Helen's grandmother claimed she had been forced to come to Australia as a result of being done out of an inheritance from her wealthy and land-owning family. However, whenever one of the family would seek details in order to visit the scenes of her youth, she would become quite vague. She did not like being pressed for information.
Using what I knew of her: her family name "Murray" and the general location from where the family originated (Aberdeen and Fyvie), I was able to locate images of census records that established details about her parents, siblings, and grandparents. I also came across a coroner's report on her father and found that he had committed suicide shortly after leaving the Aberdeen asylum. This was turning out to be an interesting family!
|River Don just outside Inverurie|
|South Lodge of Fyvie Castle|
|8 Keithhall Rd, Inverurie|
Far from being the landed-gentry, the Murray family was living close to the edge of poverty and was now without its matriarch and patriarch. The 1911 census shows them living in 8 Keithhall Road, Inverurie. It was a multi-tenant building not far from the centre of town. The building still stands today and appears to continue to house multiple residents in two self-contained flats (apartments). I was able to take a picture of the building during our visit to the area in July, 2013.
Mary was then raised by her elder siblings. One can imagine angst and resentment on both sides. This tension probably led to Mary taking up a "bounty immigration" opportunity and leave for Sydney on the "Esperance Bay" on 28 August, 1923.
|Esperance Bay Ship's Register|
After arriving in Australia, her age seems to have dropped by a couple of years as what she reported to family and what is documented do not agree! Just another one of her family secrets. Nevertheless, she was to become the matriarch of her own clan: marrying Albert King in 1928, bearing four children, and living until 14 September, 1988.