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Murrays in Illinois


James Tait Murray Chicago Surface Lines Motorman

James Tait MURRAY was born on 14 September 1886, in the village of Moffat in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.  He was a son of Walter MURRAY and Helen TAIT.  James was raised by his mother's cousin, George TAIT, after both of his parents died of tuberculosis before James was twelve (12) years old.

When James was fifteen (15), he was living and working on the Aitkenmoor Farm near Moffat with his guardian George TAIT and George's sister Maggie TAIT. 

Sometime during the next few years, James Tait MURRAY moved to Glasgow where he worked as a Car Conductor.  Eventually, James met Margaret GRAY who was working as a Domestic Servant, probably in the Partick District of Glasgow.  James listed his address at 28 Downhill Street in the Partick District when he and Margaret GRAY were married on 22 June 1910.

Margaret Gray MURRAY was born on 12 August 1889 in Carnwath, Lanarkshire, Scotland and was a daughter of Coalminer James GRAY and his wife Christina AITKEN.  Margaret was living at 22 Broomgate in Lanark when she and James MURRAY married.  The marriage was witnessed by James' brother Peter MURRAY.

Child of James Tait MURRAY and Margaret Gray MURRAY:

i.  Walter George Tait MURRAY who was born on 20 November 2010 at 22 Broomgate in Lanark, Lanarkshire.

In April of 1911, James MURRAY and family were living at 209 Holmlea Road in the Cathcart District of Glasgow where James was working as a Tramway Motorman.  On 13 September 1911, James MURRAY, fellow Motorman Charles YOUNG (who also grew up in Moffat), and Peter MURRAY boarded the S. S. Cameronia.  The three men arrived in New York on 22 September 1911 and found lodging at the Mills Hotel.  James Tait MURRAY had $25 dollars in his pocket and was listed as being 5' 9" with dark brown hair and grey eyes.

James MURRAY was living at 408 West 48th Street in New York when his wife, Margaret Gray MURRAY, and son, Walter MURRAY, arrived in New York on 1 April 1912.  Margaret and Walter had arrived on the S. S. Caledonia which had sailed from Glasgow eight (8) days earlier.

On 27 April 1913, James Tait MURRAY was living at 58 Stirling Avenue, Greenville Heights, in Jersey City, New Jersey when his sister, Jeanne MURRAY, arrived in New York.  Traveling with Jeanne was Elizabeth YOUNG the wife of James MURRAY's friend Charles YOUNG.  Charles YOUNG was already living in Chicago, Illinois at this time.

James MURRAY and family are living at 610 Toronto Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1914.  Also living with James MURRAY and family was, Peter MURRAY, when he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 25 October 1914.

In early 1915, no doubt at the urging of his Chicago friend Charles YOUNG, James Tait MURRAY, his wife Margaret and young son Walter moved to Chicago.  James found work with Charles at the Chicago City Railways Company as a Motorman (Street Car Driver).  The MURRAY family moved in with YOUNG family who were living at 6853 South Green Street in Chicago.

It was in Chicago, where Margaret Gray MURRAY began to plan a visit to Scotland.  She had not seen her mother in three years and, so proud of little Walter MURRAY now four (4), she certainly wanted to show him off to all of her friends and family in Scotland.  Elizabeth YOUNG also had family in Scotland and soon agreed to go.  As neither husband could get leave from Railways Company, they were not included in the travel plans.

In New York on 01 May 1915 at Pier 54, Margaret Gray MURRAY, Walter MURRAY, and Elizabeth YOUNG boarded the ill-fated R.M.S. Lusitania owned by the Cunard Line.

Spirit aboard the ship must have be lofty as on 07 May 1915 the Lusitania entered the Irish Channel.  It was a clear day, and we can imagine that Margaret, Walter, and Elizabeth enjoyed a splendid lunch.  We do not want to imagine what happened after 2:10 p.m. when a German U-Boat Captain fired one torpedo that hit the huge ocean liner.  By 2:20 p.m. the R.M.S. Lusitania had slipped beneath the waves.

Immediately as news of the tragedy reached Chicago (probably May 8th), James MURRAY and Charles YOUNG went to the Cunard office at the corner of Dearborn and Randolph streets hoping for news.  James MURRAY was carrying a picture of little Walter MURRAY.  The men vowed they would not leave until they received some word.  It is not known when James and Charles learned of the fate of their loved ones, but it is known that they were still holding vigil at the Cunard office as late as Tuesday the 11th of May.

The news was not good.  Margaret Gray MURRAY, Walter MURRAY, and Elizabeth Grossart YOUNG were among 1,195 passengers who died during the sinking of the Lusitania.

A grieving James Tait MURRAY went through the motions as one work day turned into another.  Then, late in September of 1916, James MURRAY received official word that this dear brother, Peter MURRAY, had been killed in France.

James adjusted as best as he could to life in Chicago declaring his United States Citizenship on 27 April 1917

James Tait MURRAY had met a young widow named Margaret Wilson KEELEY and they were married sometime in 1917.  Margaret was born on 9 July 1881 in Glasgow, Scotland and was a daughter of John WILSON and Christina THOMPSON.

In about 1905, Margaret WILSON was married to George KEELEY.  George KEELEY died in the family home at 5329 South Carpenter Street, Chicago, Illinois on 30 March 1917.

Four of the five children of George KEELEY and Margaret WILSON accepted the surname MURRAY after Margaret Wilson KEELEY married James Tait MURRAY.

Children of George KEELEY and Margaret Wilson Keeley MURRAY:

1.  Clarence J. MURRAY, who was born on 08 March 1903 in Chicago.  Clarence and his wife Verona raised a family of three (3) in the Chicago area.  Clarence died in April of 1974.

2.  Pearl MURRAY, who was born on 23 May 1906 in Chicago.  Pearl was married to Herman F. SIEGER.  Herman was born on 14 April 1905 and he and Pearl had a family of three (3) children.  Herman SIEGER died on in April of 1976.  Pearl Murray SIEGER died on 23 April 1986 in Lockport, Illinois.

3.  Hazel MURRAY who was born on 16 January 1908 in Chicago.  In about 1928, Hazel was married to Waldermar JENSEN.  Hazel and Waldermar JENSEN had two (2) children.  In Maywood, Illinois on 03 May 1988, Waldermar JENSEN died.  Hazel Murray JENSEN died on 13 January 1993 in Maywood.

4.  Lawrence J. MURRAY, who was born on 13 November 1909 in Chicago.  Laurence married Arlene ZUEHLKE and they raised a family of four (4) children on South Kildare Street in Chicago.  Arlene was born 10 December 1912 and died in January of 1986 in Chicago.  Laurence Keeley MURRAY died in March of 1965 in Chicago.

5.  Mary KEELEY. It is not known when she was born. Mary was alive in 1917, but may have died before 1920.

Shortly after their marriage, James Tait MURRAY and his wife Margaret Wilson Keeley MURRAY and family were living near the corner of West 53rd Street and South Sawyer Avenue on Chicago's Southside.  When James registered for the WWI draft, he was described as of medium height and of stout build.

By 1919, James and family were living three (3) blocks west and one (1) block north at 5216 South Homan Avenue.  A year later, James Tait MURRAY and family had moved to 5220 South Homan Avenue.

In 1930, James and Margaret MURRAY were living at 3821 59th Place, in Chicago.  In 1934, the family was living at the corner of 122nd Street and Cicero Avenue in Aslip, Illinois.  By 1937, the family was living at 5703 South Ada Street, in Chicago.

Margaret Wilson Keeley MURRAY died on 03 December 1937 at the South Ada Street address.  In April of 1942, James was living at the corner of 121st Street and Cicero Avenue in Alsip.  James Tait MURRAY died in May of 1954.  James and Margaret are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery on West 87th Street in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Children of James Tait MURRAY and Margart Wilson Keeley MURRAY:

ii.  Christina Thompson MURRAY who was born on 03 December 1919.  Christina was married to John BULTEMA, Jr.  Christina and John raised two children in Alsip.  John BULTEMA, Jr. help organize the Alsip, Illinois fire department in 1942 and was it's first chief.  He held that position until he retired in 1983.  John helped design the Alsip firehouse and organized the ambulance service for the municipality.  John also retired from Ford Motor Company with about 34 years of service.  John BULTEMA, Jr. died in December of 1989.  Christina Murray BULTEMA died on 03 November 2004 in Palos Heights, Illinois.  Christina and John BULTEMA are buried in Chapel Hill Gardens South Cemetery on Central Avenue in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

iii.  John James MURRAY who was born about 1924.  Sadly, John was killed on 15 September 1934 by a hit-and-run driver while John was riding his bike in front of the family home at the corner of 122nd Street and Cicero Avenue in Alsip.  John was just ten (10) years old.