Children of James and Annie Murray.

 The seven children of James Murray and Annie (McCauley) Murray are listed here below:

1.  Charles Phillip MURRAY (1856-1858)


            There would have been quite a celebration when the Illawarra Mercury of 5 May 1856  announced the birth of James and Annie Murray’s first child. Charles Phillip Murray, as James and Annie Murray’s eldest son, was obviously named after his grandfather Charles Murray Sr. and his Uncle Philip.


          Sadly, almost two years later on 19 March 1858, the same newspaper carried an death notice for ‘Charles Phillip Murray on 05.04.1858, near Ulladulla, 1 year 10 months’. The cause of death is not known, but it would have been a time of much distress for James and Annie, to lose their eldest sonso soon.


          According to his death certificate, Charles Phillip was buried on 24 March 1858 at ‘Duckhole’, Ulladulla, Church of Rome. [1]  The property known as ‘Duckhole’ was later called ‘Avondale’ when it became the property of James’ father, Charles Murray Sr., and later his brother Charles Murray Jr.  This early burial place may have been the start of what would later become the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Armstrong’s Forest, adjacent to the pioneer RC St. Mary’s Chapel.


2.  Edward Thomas MURRAY (1857-1921)


         Born 1857 at Conjola NSW, Edward married Agnes Mayer on 24 November 1896 in St Mary’s Church, Concord, NSW.   Agnes, daughter of Charles Kenardine Mayer b. Dublin and Martha Pagett b. Great Barr, Staffordshire, England, was born in Dublin in 1860.  I can’t find anything to indicate when Agnes emigrated. Her brothers, William and John, are listed on the “Carlisle Castle” to Melbourne in 1886. I am unclear how and when they moved on to Sydney  or whether Agnes travelled with them.


Known locally as the ‘Murray brothers’,  Edward and his brothers, James and Charles were great breeders and trainers of bloodstock as well as conducting popular race meetings in the district. 


Edward and Agnes had two children, A daughter, Doris Annie Kathleen was born in 1898 followed by a son, William James Kenderdine in 1900.   Edward died on 8 March 1921 aged 63 years and was buried in the ‘private cemetery at Rissmore’.  In his Will [2] , Edward Thomas Murray of Allanbrae Conjola left ‘to brothers Charles Mordaunt Murray and James Shannon Murray equal shares as tenants in common absolutely’.  He left his ‘real and personal property … to my dear wife Agnes Murray’.  Agnes, continued to live at Rissmore, playing her part in the community, surrounded by her adult children and growing family of grandchildren for another 21 years. 


The Conjola Murrays continued to play an important role in the local community. An elderly resident, Alma Cole, who married Frank McGee (related to the Murrays) in 1929 and went to live at Conjola said, in her reminiscences, that each year, on the Anniversary weekend in January, the Murrays would hold a big sports and picnic day on their flat by Gooloo Creek.  ‘It was the event of the year.  All Conjola turned out for the fun’.   On this community picnic day, all the Conjola families would get together for competitive and novelty sports, horseracing and sheaf tossing.  Alma said they also enjoyed many dances and card nights in the old school and the various homesteads.                                                          


Agnes Murray died on 18 September 1942, aged 82 years, and was laid to rest with Edward in the family cemetery at Rissmore.


Today, in the year 2013, the Rissmore and adjoining Alan Brae properties are still held and worked by members of the pioneer  James Murray family; descendants of Edward’s son, William James Kenderdine Murray.


William and Mary’s son, Bede Murray of Rissmore Conjola trains racehorses on the property today, while children of his late brother, Ken, run the dairy farm on adjoining Alan Brae.  These two farms make up the 500 acres acquired by their great grandfather, James, 140 years ago. The present  generations living on the original properties comprise the families of Bede and his wife Edith Howes and Ken and his wife, Vaudine Freeman.


William’s son, Ken, in a speech at a Murray Family Reunion at Mollymook in March 2000, contributed the following anecdote:


Our father was the last Murray in that generation [descended from James Murray].  Uncle Jim and Uncle Charlie had no descendants -they both died in 1947 as old men.  So our parents really wanted some sons to carry on the Murray name.  First they had their daughter, Kath, who helped organise this reunion, then Clare, then Joan.  All surrounded here tonight with kids and grandkids.   Then when their first son, Bede, arrived – great celebrations!  And then I arrived!   Well they already had one, but here was another one.

Anyway there are now twelve Murray males – all here tonight – descendants of James.   Bede is training racehorses on the original property with his sons and I am there on the other property [AlanBrae] with two of my three sons.


Obituaries of William and Mary Murray. [3]


         Passing of William Murray

   It is with regret we report the passing of William James Kenderdine Murray, late of “Allan Brae”, Conjola on August 2, aged 75 years.Mr. Murray became ill while staying with his daughter, Mrs. W. Andriske of Ulladulla and passed away at her home after a week’s illness during which time he was cared for by his daughters, Kath, Clare and Joan.  Mr. Murray was the only son of Agnes and Edward Murray, and the third generation to pursue farming on the family properties known as “Allan Brae” and “Rissmore” Conjola, his great grandparents settling in Conjola in 1858.

   Mr. Murray was educated at St. Patrick’s College, Goulburn.  In 1927 he married Mary McDonald, daughter of the late Patrick McDonald of “Woodstock”, Milton. Mary predeceased William on August 19, 1965, aged 63 years.

He was a man keenly interested in all sport, being a supporter of local league with grandsons playing in both the senior and junior teams. He followed horse racing and when a young man he bred, trained and rode his own entries in the local picnic race meetings held in those days on Narrawally flats, also the Australia Day sports event held on the race course at Conjola. He was a life member of the A&H Society and a familiar figure in the ring on show days.  A member of the St. Vincent de Paul and the Milton-Ulladulla Bowling Club.

   A Requiem Mass was offered at “Star of the Sea” Catholic Church, Milton, on August 5 followed by internment at the family private cemetery, “Rissmore”, Conjola.  Father Da officiated. Left to mourn their loss are one sister Doris (Mrs. O”Connor, Molong), daughters Kath (Mrs. Cox, Nowra), Clare (Mrs. Egan, Ulladulla), Joan (Mrs. Andriske, Ulladulla), sons Bede and Ken of Conjola, and their families.


Sad passing of well known Milton woman

  Residents of Milton district and many friends in the Shire of Shoalhaven, learned with seep sorrow of the death on Thursday morning of Mrs. Mary Murray, beloved wife of William J. Murray at her home, ‘Allan-Brae.’ Conjola. The late Mrs. Murray had entered the Mater Miseracordia Hospital some months ago, and afterwards was nursed in her own home by her daughter (Mrs. J. Cox of Nowra) and members of her family.

  Mrs Murray had lived all her life in the Milton district, a daughter of the late Patrick and Kate McDonald, one of a family of 11 children and daughter of pioneering folk.    Her life in this community was an example of quiet service and charitable deeds.  She made her main interests her family and her church, and always interested herself in rural matters. Present at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Milton, and attending her funeral at the family cemetery on Friday, August 20, was a gathering that bore testimony to the love and respect in which the deceased was held………


The property ‘Allen Brae’


            Colin Ogilvie, who came as a young boy, in 1925, to work on William Murray’s property Alan Brae, penned the following words when he was overseas during the Second World War.  In a trench, he sat down one starlit night and wrote this poem and sent it in a letter to his brother Chris. It evokes wonderful images of the Aussie bush around Conjola and the Murray property Alan Brae Colin knew as a youth. Famous Poet Laureate, Henry Kendall, was not the only poet produced by the pioneer families of Armstrong’s Forest and Conjola.




(By Colin Ogilvie)


Sometimes I watch the dawning light dim the stars that lit the night,

And fill the day with sundrenched glow and fresh clean air I used to know

In old Conjola.

I see again the rich green flat, the drowsy beasts so sleek and fat,

With udders full of creamy milk and glistening coats as smooth as silk

In old Conjola

I well remember an ironbark tree blanched in naked majesty,

Stripped by lightning’s blast one day, it stands there still in Alan Brae

In old Conjola

A saline arm from distant lake flows with foam flecked tidal wake,

Through lovely gums of mottled grey that line the banks at Alan Brae

In old Conjola

From dawn to dusk I toiled away on the lush green farm called Alan Brae

Milking, fencing husking corn and tending calves just newly born

In old Conjola

With horse and plough I gouged the furrows

While greedy rabbits watched from burrows

Waiting for the miracle birth of tender green to shoot from earth

In old Conjola

I spent my youth at Alan Brae, with broth Chris not far away,

Up on a farm just o’er the hill, with cows to milk and soil to till

In old Conjola

Yet I did leave this wondrous place where life moved on at steady pace,

To sweat and toil in grit-filled air that never finds its way down there

In old Conjola

Perhaps one day I’ll find a way to settle down near Alan Brae

and stroll down cool and shady dells and wade through hosts of Christmas Bells

In old Conjola.

I’d hear the southern summer breeze a-singing through the swamp and trees,

And maybe then I’d cease to run, for there I’d be till day is done

In old Conjola. [4]




            The “Rissmore” property, originally a dairy farm, was turned into a racing complex in 1962. Bede and Ken Murray’s Rissmore Jersey and Friesian Stud is well known – founded on sound lines by William James Murray, their father.  In addition, they follow the Murray tradition of breeding and training thoroughbred horses.  In partnership with local men interested in the turf, they established a stud and training stables with Bede as chief trainer and studmaster. In 1994 Bede expanded his operations to set up a training complex at Kembla Grange.  He now (2013) has over 100 horses in his care and employs over 20 people, including his sons Paul and Graeme, both  qualified trainers themselves.


3.  Charles Mordaunt MURRAY (1859-1949)


            Charles was born on 14 May 1859, Ulladulla NSW.  The name, Charles, was given again to son number three as the first Charles had died the year before.  He grew up at Conjola and was very active in local affairs. In the 1893 local directory, Charles Mordaunt Murray is listed as an Alderman with the Municipal Council.  Two years later in 1895, he, as honorary secretary together with his brothers, James and William, were instrumental in establishing the Conjola butter factory. Charles Mordaunt Murray was the first President of Clyde Shire Council, when it was formed in 1907; he served subsequent terms as President in 1910 and 1914.


          In 1915, Charles was married, late in life at the age of 54, to Madge Frize, who was a teacher at the Milton Public School.  The marriage did not last long and Madge is not buried in the Murray private cemetery on Rissmore.  After the marriage broke down, Charles continued to live at Rissmore with his brother James and sister Annie, neither of whom married.


During the year 1920, the Prince of Wales was in Australia on a tour and in June paid a visit to South Coast town of Jervis Bay and was entertained at tea by the officers of the Naval College there.  As President of Clyde Shire, Charles Mordaunt Murray undertook to provide horses and gear for the Prince of Wales and Lord Mountbatten to use whilst at Jervis Bay, and was also an invited guest at the function. The Ulladulla & Milton Times of 19 June 1920 reported:

‘President Murray, on behalf of the people of Clyde Shire, extended to the Prince a warm welcome and assured him of their loyalty to the throne and Empire.  The Prince thanked President Murray for the welcome, and for providing horses for himself and his staff while there’.


Charles not only entertained the Prince of Wales on his landing at Jervis Bay but also served as his guide on an excursion into the adjoining country.  He and his brothers had very generously provided three horses, including Smart, which horse the Prince chose to try out first.  Three other owners also provided one horse each. Charles served as President of the Clyde Shire Council again in 1920-24 and 1929 as well as serving on the Conjola Co-op Creamery Board.  He was on the 1927 Committee which erected the Walter Hood Memorial.  Many years earlier, the loss of the clipper Walter Hood off Wreck Bay during massive storms in 1870 made a dramatic impact on the small community.  In 1927, Charles Murray was active in helping to erect a monument to those 11 passengers and crew who drowned. 


            Charles M. Murray and his brothers were well known to have been keen breeders of thoroughbred horses, and Charles, a known supporter of the turf, was asked to judge at the Brisbane Royal Show.       


            In a 1926 publication, entitled The book of Shoalhaven, as it was and as it is, Charles Mordaunt Murray was mentioned.  He was appraised as being, ‘identified with the principal movements on the Coast on behalf of the farming interests and, since the introduction of the local government, has been one of the leading workers for the Clyde Shire of which he was President for several terms.’  Charles Murray presided over the Clyde Council for a period of 12 years between 1906-1929, looked after the interests of the Conjola school for decades, witnessed signatures and wrote letters for people without education. ‘ In brief, it was Charles to whom local people in trouble turned for help and guidance’.[5]      


            Charles Mordaunt Murray died on 20 October 1949 aged 90 years and lies with three generations of Murrays in the private graveyard on the hill of their beloved Rissmore, overlooking the fertile hills and valleys of Conjola.


4.     James Shannon (Jimmy) MURRAY (1861-1949)


            James was born in 1861 at Conjola NSW.  He grew up at Conjola and never married.  James and his brother Charles were the stalwarts in instituting the Conjola Butter factory in 1895. [6] James died 20th August 1949 at the age of 88 years He was described as ‘retired farmer’ and had been ill for 8 days.  He was buried in the family burial ground at Rissmore.  It would be a mere two months later that his brother Charles Mordaunt Murray passed away and  was buried beside him in the family plot.                                                                             

Extract from obituary:


Another pioneer passes – James Murray dead.

       One of the finest sportsmen and horse riders this district ever knew passed away on Sunday morning last in the person of Mr. James Murray, popularly known as “Jimmy” at the ripe old age of 88 years, the death taking place in Milton Hospital.Mr. Murray, who was a son of the late Mr. And Mrs. James Murray, who were among the pioneers of the Conjola district, was also a great cricketer, many tales being told of his prowess with bat and ball in the days when this district was full of fine cricketers.


       With his brother, Mr. Charlie Murray, who survives him, they bred some fine thoroughbreds out at Conjola, being interested in breeding, or owning a good horse right up until a few years ago, when advancing years compelled them to take life easier. Their horses won races all over the country and also in Sydney and Melbourne, and they bred them to stay as well as sprint including Silent Gundy, the 13-year-old horse which won races over the past 12 months on the coast and tablelands, including the last Bega and Moruya Cups.


5.  Mary Cecilia MURRAY (1863-1943)


Mary Cecilia was born on 17 May 1863, Ulladulla NSW.  In 1892, she married William Joseph Tarlinton, the eldest son of William Duggan Tarlinton of Tarlintonville Cobargo NSW and Catherine (Heffernan) from County Tipperary, Ireland. William and Mary Murray built their first home just over the hill from the original Tarlinton homestead, Tarlintonville called ‘The Ville’, on a part of the old property. 


            Mary’s first cousin, Charles Henry Marshall Murray, son of Charles Jr and Elizabeth Clare (Conyngham) Murray of Avondale, Yatte Yattah, married William’s sister, Catherine Tarlinton, in 1895. This made two Murray marriage connections with the Tarlinton family.  There would be more in the next generation. (See Chapter on Charles Michael Murray or Charles the Younger).



As the Tarlinton clan grew, many of the younger families headed north where there was land for new settlers to run cattle or farm bananas.  William and his family left Quaama in 1902 and took up a property at The Pocket, near Mullumbimby. William built a small temporary dwelling that later became the kitchen and storeroom for the ‘big house’.  For the latter, he felled and split all the timber himself, including the cedar and rosewood, which lines the interior.  William found the virgin North Coast land perfect for dairy farming and, true to family tradition, won many show ribbons with the stock he bred.


            While visiting Queensland to look over some land, William caught dengue fever and returned to die in 1914.  Mary moved to Sydney living at Waverley until her health failed and she went to live with her son NevilleTarlinton, dying in 1943.  William and Mary had five children, Lance, William Neville, Sadie, Rex and Gregory.[7]


Extract from Obituary – Mullumbimby Star, 26.3.1914.


   Mr. Tarlinton was born at Double Creek, near Bega, 51 years ago, and was the eldest son of the late Mr. W. Tarlinton.  His mother resides in Sydney.  Deceased leaves a widow and four sons and one daughter to mourn his loss…..

   The deceased was enthusiastic in everything he took up.  He had been brought up a farmer and he was a good farmer, his farm at the Pocket being a model to the district.  In cricket, which was his favourite sport, he always took an active part and helped to win the premiership this year for Billinudgel.  On the Agricultural Society he was one of the workers, and was re-elected to the committee a week or two ago.


The Bega Star, in another report, says:


He was the eldest son of the late Mr. William Tarlinton of “Tarlintonville”, Quaama, and was almost in the prime of life.  He was one of the smartest young fellows of his day in this district, and ever since living up North he had played cricket regularly.  He also took a prominent part in public matters up there, and owned one of the finest properties in that district.  A widow (formerly Miss Murray of Milton) and young family are left and they will have the sympathy of host of friends down here in their irreparable loss.[8]


6.   Annie Magdaline MURRAY (1865-1943)


Annie was born in 1865 in Conjola NSW.  She grew up at Rissmore Conjola and never married.  Her presence at home would have provided great companionship and comfort for her mother, also Annie, who lived to the age of 82 years, dying at Conjola in the year 1909. At the age of 57 years, Annie’s occupation was listed in a 1922 local directory as –  ‘domestic duties, Conjola’.


Some of Annie’s brothers who remained living at Rissmore as unmarried adults received the benefit of her housekeeping and cooking for many years.  And thereby hangs a tale!


The case of the poisoned Pepper Pot

            According to the reminiscences of Chris Ogilvie recorded in the publication Congenial Conjola, a rather bizarre event occurred in the Conjola district in 1930 concerning the Murrays when the police became involved and proceeded to question everyone in the district.  ‘You see’, he recalled, ‘there was quite a flurry on the Murray farm.  In fact it was the sensation of the district’.[9]   Rissmore was the unlikely setting for an investigation by the CIB.


            On their farm at Conjola were living at that time Annie at 64 years and her brothers, 71-year old Charles and 69-year old James.  They became very ill and were rushed into hospital with arsenic poisoning.  The affair made news in the Sydney press and the story was being retold in newspapers and magazines more than a decade after the actual incident.  All three showed exactly the same symptoms, though the degree of poisoning was far greater for Charles than for the others.  Questioning of the community by those investigating the situation established that the Murrays were upright, highly respected citizens with no known enemies.


It appears that, after much questioning of suspects, intense investigation and scientific analysis of certain breakfast sausages, it was finally discovered that the culprit was an aluminium pepper pot.  This pot had been used as a container by Annie to sprinkle around poison on the timbers of the church to get rid of invading white ants.  In it was a mixture of 90% arsenic plus borax, sugar and sawdust!  A pretty lethal seasoning indeed!


Annie had been confined to bed for two months with a nervous condition.  During this time, Charles had been preparing meals for all of them.  He found the container, and presuming it contained pepper, he used it generously, especially for himself.  Fortunately, the mystery was solved in time and the victims all eventually recovered.  Annie lived on for another 13 years and died on 7 September 1943 aged 78 years.  She was buried in the Rissmore family burial ground with other family members.


7.  Bernard John MURRAY (1871- ?)


             Bernard married Isabella McGee in 1890 at Waterloo NSW.  Isabella was the daughter of Francis McGee and Eliza Headcroft/Adcoft of Conjola.   Francis was one of the McGees sponsored in 1854 as emigrants to New South Wales by their uncle Charles Murray (the Elder) of Yatte Yattah.  The marriage of Bernard and Isabella was  one of several Murray/McGee marriages that occurred in different  branches of the family.


 Bernard and Isabella had three children registered at Redfern in Sydney NSW – Marie and Nita in 1890 and Eileen in 1897.  Bernard saw war service with the AIF in the First World War, 1914-1918.  He joined up on 24 February 1915 and returned from overseas service per HMAT Rakana on 25th October 1917.  He was discharged from the AIF on 29 November 1917 due to ‘medical unfitness’.  The family eventually went to live in Wanganui, New Zealand.  It is believed that they did not return to New South Wales.  Maybe descendants can add to this story.


To return to Murray Family parent page, click here.
To return to Chapter seven, James Murray page, click here.




Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1.  Burial information from Cathy Dunn, Local historian, Milton NSW.
  2.   NSW Will No. 106376/1921.
  3.  Local newspaper cuttings held by descendant Kath Cox of Ulladulla NSW.
  4.  McAndrew, Andrew.  Congenial Conjola.  Epping, 199, p.40-41.
  5. McAndrew 1991:14.
  6.  McAndrew1991, p.13.
  7. Michael McGOWAN (Ed.). The Tarlintons in Australia 1791-1991: a bicentennial history. The Tarlinton Book Committee :  Sydney, 1991,  p.49-50.
  8. For more information seeb nMichael McGOWAN (Ed.). The Tarlintons in Australia 1791-1991: a bicentennial history. The Tarlinton Book Committee :  Sydney, 1991.

    This excellent family history contains a wealth information on the Tarlinton family.

  9.  McAndrew 1991 p:38.