Donald Murray, son of William and Grace, was a soldier in the British Calvary[i]. He brought with him to Nova Scotia his sword which always hung in the kitchen of his cabin or house. He was nicknamed Swordy.
Donald married Margaret Campbell of Cyderhall, Dornoch, in 1819. The couple had a small holding in post clearance settlement of Rearquhar near his home hamlet of Fluchary. Their first six children were born on that croft.
In 1831 the family was under financial stress and lost the croft due to unpaid rent[ii]. The family joined a boatload of emigrants from Eastern Sutherland who were mainly families cleared in the 1819-1821 era but chose to remain in Sutherland at that time. Most of these families were directed to marginal uplands surrounding Loganville, Earltown, Upper Kemptown and parts of West River. Donald acquired a hilltop near Loganville known as “The Craig”. It was not a hospitable location as it was exposed to the distant Northumberland Strait and a number of valleys extending towards Mount Thom, Kemptown and the Berrichan. Thereafter this branch of Murrays became known as the “Craigs”.
In total they had ten children:
- William married Dolly Grant of Hardwood Hill. They settled a large farm at the junction of the College Grant and MacIntosh Roads. They had a family of ten including Libbie (Angus) MacBain and Jessie (Sandy) Ross of East Earltown.
- Hugh married Christy MacDonald of Dalhousie Mountain. Hugh took over the original homestead on the hilltop. They had no children of their own but brought up Christy’s nephew, John MacDonald. The MacDonalds moved to Oxford leaving John with the Murrays. John became known by the nickname “Bouyan” and lived alone on the Craig after the Murray couple died. The circumstances surrounding his unusual death are related in “Stories Around the Branch”[iii].
- Grace married James Innes of Golspie and lived in Loganville Glen. Descendants are in Prince Edward island.
- Isabel, unmarried
- John Lyall Murray went to Mirimachi as a young man and settled in the village of Doaktown.
- Robert died young in Scotland
- Margaret married Sgt. John Welsh of Dumphries, Scotland. They operated a boarding house in Pictou before moving to Quincy, Ma. Their family later relocated to Denver.
- Donald Jr. lived on a lower property on the Craig. He married Catherine Sutherland of East Branch. They had a family of nine, most of whom lived in the Canadian West.
- George Murray was a prospector in the west. After an absence of several years, his nephew, George Murray the merchant, went west on a search and tracking him down in Alaska. He was brought back to West Branch and lived his last few years with his niece, Mary Beck[iv].
- Robert “Craig” cleared a farm near the north end of the MacIntosh Road at College Grant. He married Annie MacLean who grew up on the same road. Together they had eight children. Jim Murray, late of College Grant, was a son who took over the homestead[v].
Margaret Campbell Murray, Donald’s wife, died in 1845 of lockjaw which was the result of stepping on a rusted nail. She was buried in the Earltown Village Cemetery[vi]. Donald survived her until 1859.
[i] Unpublished memoirs of George W. Murray of Lethbridge gives the origin of the nickname.
[ii] Online: County Sutherland: Dornoch Emigrant List
[iii] Mackay, et al, “Stories Around The Branch: A collection of tales from West Branch, Pictou County, N.S.” 2001
[iv] Interview with Dolly Murray Baillie, Scotsburn, 1980
[v] Family: Dan, Hantsport; Alex, Hantsport; John, Alberta; Maggie, Mrs. Mac Baillie, Welsford; Rev. George, Trinidad; Grace, Mrs. Gordon Matheson, The Falls; Dolly, Mrs. George Baillie, Welsford; Jim at home.
[vi] The back part of Loganville along the Gunshot Road had easier access to Earltown via the Berrichan than to West Branch. Consequently several families from that area are buried in Earltown.