Today on my Ancestry.com family tree today I noticed a new hint for my husband’s 3rd great grandmother Ellen née Dony or Dory, wife of a glassblower named George Murray. (Their daughter Ellen Murray provided information about her parents when she married James Cross, a gold digger, at Buninyong in 1856.)

1856 marriage certificate for James Cross and Ellen Murray

The younger Ellen Murray arrived in Victoria in 1854 as an assisted immigrant on the ‘Persian. Also on board was her sister Bridget. The passenger list records Bridget and Ellen Murray as both from Dublin. Their religion was Catholic; both could read and Ellen could also write; Bridget was twenty-four (which means that she was born about 1830) and Ellen was eighteen (born about 1836).

To date I have had no luck in finding what happened to Bridget, nor have I been able to track down their family in Ireland.

Today’s hint for Ellen Dony or Dory was a baptism record for a daughter called Ellen with parents George and Ellen Murray. The baptism was in 1836 in Dublin. The father’s occupation is not given.

Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915 retrieved through ancestry.com. Detail: National Library of Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Microfilm Number: Microfilm 09151 / 02 Name Ellen Murray Baptism Age 0 Event Type Baptism Birth Date 1836 Baptism Date 21/05/1836 Baptism Place St Mary’s (Pro-Cathedral)Diocese Dublin Father George Murray Mother Ellen Murray

At first I didn’t feel completely confident that these were Greg’s forebears. Murray is a common surname in Dublin, and I thought that at the time there was probably more than one couple called George and Ellen with a child named Ellen.

So I decided to search the Ireland Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915 for all children born with the surname Murray, father George and mother Ellen. I did not restrict the search by place or time. If there were many children belonging to many couples with the same names it would be a mistake to assume that the baptism belonged to Greg’s great great grandmother and her parents.

There were only five records, with two belonging to the same child. All baptisms were at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin.

  • Bridget, baptised 12 November 1828
  • Peter, baptised 21 February 1831 (2 records for same name and date)
  • Josh, baptised 3 April 1834
  • Ellen, baptised 21 May 1836

I have not found any other couples named George and Ellen Murray having children baptised in Dublin at this time. I was very pleased that Bridget’s baptism turned up in the results, for she appears to have been roughly the right age to be the Bridget recorded on the Persian‘s passenger list.

I have concluded that there is a strong chance the Bridget and Ellen of these baptisms are indeed Greg’s relatives and that they had two brothers, Peter and Josh, probably Joseph.

I have decided to accept the hint and use the information to try to make make further progress on this branch of the tree.

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