151 years ago today

George Murray 1861 – illegitimate

My great grandfather, George Murray Turner, was born 27 May 1861 in Coldstream in Scotland. It took me quite a while to figure this out as I was initially off on the wrong trail with respect to name and place. I was looking for George Murray Turner with a birth year about 1862 in Northumberland. I realised I needed to think again after discovering that his mother Barbara Murray did not marry William Robinson Turner until 1864. This set me off on the trail of Barbara’s journeys from her birthplace at Alford in Aberdeenshire to her burial at Amble in Northumberland. In the 1861 census 20-year-old Barbara, who must have been heavily pregnant at the time, appears in the household of her father George Murray in Gas Lane, Coldstream. This gave me the clue I needed to search for my great granda as just George Murray in Coldstream records on ScotlandsPeople. The clip from the record shows an illegitimate boy George Murray born in Gas Lane. I wonder if my granny ever knew this about her father. It was never mentioned, so maybe it was the family secret.


5 thoughts on “151 years ago today

    • This one was enlightening, but left me a bit unsure as to what to do with my Turner research. Have chosen to carry on looking at them too. William Robinson Turner must have been an accepted step Dad to George as they have named children after him and are all buried together in one family plot. So I would like to find out more about the Turners from the viewpoint of nurture rather than nature. Hope that some day DNA research may also give some clues as to who the biological parent may have been.

      • So glad you’ll follow up with the Turners Lyn and agree re: the nurture/ nature matter. After all, in many cases only the mother truly knows who the father is … and in some cases the mother isn’t sure.
        In my own mother’s case, her mother’s husband is named as her father on her birth certificate, despite everyone knowing my Grandpa was the father. It was done so she wouldn’t be regarded as “a bastard”, evidently. 😦
        A whole different world back in the 1920’s here in South Oz… and Nana never did divorce and marry Grandpa.

  1. What an thought-provoking post. It’s interesting how illegitimacy has been mentioned (or not mentioned) in records and family stories down through the years.

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