Kennedy Murray

#233, (24 August 1771-18 June 1853)
FatherJohn Murray1
MotherElizabeth Calder1
ChartsBarbara Nicholson - ancestors
Last Edited19 Sep 2021
     NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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Direct descendants of John and Kennedy Murray have had their DNA tested and their DNA matches the head of the MacGregor clan. This indicates that John and Kennedy were in fact MacGregors. MacGregor was a banned surname in Scotland and Murray was a common alias.2 This contrasts with another family story that the family is descended from the Murray family that holds the 'Duke of Athol' title. This has been put forward by a number of family members and supposedly confirmed by the unreliable Col. Harry Murray V.C. but there is no proof of this.3 Kennedy Murray may have been born circa 1764 at Edinburgh.4 He was probably baptised on Saturday, 24 August 1771 at Dundonald, Ayreshire, Scotland. He was apparently born out of wedlock.5,1 He was the son of John Murray and Elizabeth Calder.1

On Wednesday, 7 December 1785, Kennedy and four others were apprehended at Glasgow for shop-breaking and lodged in prison.6 He was charged with stealing "three small table knives with bone handles, three small knives with hart-horn handles, a pair of striped garters with some knittings with a pair of plated buckles".7

Kennedy was sentenced at Glasgow Court of Justiciary, Glasgow, on 21 September 1786:
Kennedy Murray was accused of theft, and having petitioned for banishment, the same was consented to, on account of his youth and some other favourable circumstances; and he was sentenced to transportation for fourteen years, and seven years’ service.

This was reported in the Caledonian Mercury on Sat 23 Sep 1786 on p. 3.8,9,7 Historian Susan Jamieson from the University of Sydney suggests that he had prior convictions, and that it is likely that he had help writing his petition.10

He was imprisioned in the Tolbooth prision, in Glasgow, for 4 years.11

He was relocated to a prison hulk in Plymouth for a further two years.11 Kennedy Murray was transported to Sydney Cove on the 'Pitt' from Yarmouth, departing 17 July 1791 and arriving 14 February 1792.12,13

After his arrival in New South Wales, Kennedy was sent to Toongabbie convict settlement, in Sydney.14,15 At Toongabbie "[t]he convicts were worked so hard, it developed a reputation as a place to be avoided at all costs."16

Kennedy his time at Sydney could not have been easy.:
By December 1792, Toongabbie had fulfilled Phillip's intention of becoming the principal farm of the colony with over 696 acres (281.6 hectares) of wheat, barley and maize while Parramatta's cultivation had dwindled to 316 acres (127.8 hectares). Most of the government's stock of cattle, horses and sheep were kept at Toongabbie as well. The settlement came to be self-sufficient with a barber, shoemaker, tailor, thatcher, miller and eight constables as well as convict overseers. Toongabbie was designed to accommodate a convict workforce of 700. But its convict population swelled to over a thousand, including 260 women, many boys and some "old and feeble men" who were hutkeepers. Convicts worked from 5 am till 10 am, rested til 2 pm then worked until sunset. Work included felling trees, piling them up for burning, digging out stumps and turning the ground with spades and hoes.Convicts were employed in raising grain, maintaining the township infrastructure and in looking after the government stock of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens

It was a hard place to be for a 21 year old a long way from home and family.17

He entered into a common law marriage with Anne White, circa 1796 at Norfolk Island, Australia.8 Kennedy, aged 27 and Anne White became the parents of Kennedy Murray on Sunday, 4 August 1799 at Norfolk Island.

After his sentence had expired, Kennedy apparently returned to Sydney on the 'Hannington', abandoning Anne and their two children on Norfolk Island.7,18

Kennedy was granted 30 aces of land near Windsor, New South Wales, in 20 November 1809 (parcel 89 in the district of Evan.)7,19

Circa 1810, Kennedy Murray and Ann Parker began a relationship.20 Kennedy and Ann lived in 1814 at Windsor, New South Wales. They were living "off stores" with two children.20

Kennedy Murray married Ann Parker at St. Philips on Monday, 14 March 1814 at Sydney, New South Wales. They were 42 and 28 respectively. This was a wattle and daub church, burned down in 1798.21,13

He was convicted of poultry theft in 1820.22

Kennedy and Ann Four children of Kennedy and Ann were admitted to an Male Orphan School at Cabramatta on 22 October 1823:
Resolved that the four children of Murray aged from 3 to 10 years whose mother died insane at Castle Hill, and whose father is stated to be now insane be admitted into the school

However, it is almost certain that Ann wasn't dead and that there is no record that Kennedy was ever admitted to the asylum. The oldest son John probably remained with his father.23,24

For a time, Kennedy and his son John were living in 3 huts in Pittwater, New South Wales, perhaps with a domestic servant.25

In later years he moved to the small Tasmanian town of Evandale and lived in a barn on his son's property. He became a local celebrity, and was thought to be a friend of the artist John Glover.26

Kennedy died on 18 June 1853 at Evandale at age 81 His brief obituary stated that he was 89.13,4

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
Note memo only CR CR2
Note memo only3
1764Birth-CandidateEdinburgh4
1771Baptism-LikelyDundonald, Ayreshire, Scotland5,1
1
1785Note memo only CR CRGlasgow6
Note memo only7
1786Quotation type 1Glasgow Court of Justiciary, Glasgow8,9,7
Note memo only10
Note memo only CR CRTolbooth prision, in Glasgow11
Note memo only CR CRPlymouth11
1792Convict-TransSydney Cove12,13
Note memo only CR CRToongabbie convict settlement, in Sydney14,15
Note memo only16
Quotation type 1Sydney17
1796Marriage-Common LawNorfolk Island, Australia8
1802Note memo only CR CRNorfolk Island7,18
1809Note memo only CR CRWindsor, New South Wales7,19
1810Note memo only CR CR20
1814ResidenceWindsor, New South Wales20
1814MarriageSt. Philips, in Sydney, New South Wales21,13
1820Note memo only CR CR22
1823Quotation type 123,24
Note memo only CR CRPittwater, New South Wales25
Note memo only CR CRthe small Tasmanian town of Evandale26
1853DeathEvandale13,4

Family 1

Anne White (c 1771-1853)
Children

Family 2

Ann Parker (Jul 1785-4 Nov 1862)
Children

Citations

  1. [S614] Rootsweb Ancestry.com, (http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com) Family Tree of BRENDEN ANTHONY LYNCH - http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi
  2. [S1039] E-mails from Cheryl to Tim Hill, 2017- 'Kennedy Murray' - 31 Jan 2017, 15:35.
  3. [S1281] Noel Fooks, manuscript, February 1943 p.1.
  4. [S565] The Launceston Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, 1853 'Family Notices', Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), 23 June, p. 5. (AFTERNOON), viewed 06 Jan 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36269380
  5. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [23:30].
  6. [S447] Australian Royalty (https://australianroyalty.net.au/) http://australianroyalty.net.au/individual.php?pid=I68622
  7. [S823] E-mails from Colin Rowley to Tim Hill (e-mail address), 2014- 'Kennedy Murray family' - 25 December 2017 at 00:02.
  8. [S447] Australian Royalty (https://australianroyalty.net.au/) http://www.easystreetretreat.com.au/australianroyalty/…
  9. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [24:30].
  10. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [25:15].
  11. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [26:15].
  12. [S1122] Diana Kupke Writes (https://www.dianakupke.com.au/page6g.php) Kennedy Murray - Convict from Scotland to Norfolk Island - https://www.dianakupke.com.au/page6g.php
  13. [S447] Australian Royalty (https://australianroyalty.net.au/) http://www.easystreetretreat.com.au/australianroyalty/…
  14. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [26:40].
  15. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [27:45].
  16. [S1119] Lost Sydney: Toongabbie convict farm (http://www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au/…) para 2.
  17. [S1120] Toongabbie Government Farm Archaeological Site (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) paras 9-11.
  18. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [31:45].
  19. [S1123] People Australia (http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/) http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/entity/12456?pid=25707 (For land parcel details).
  20. [S1151] Convict Records (https://convictrecords.com.au/) https://convictrecords.com.au/convicts/parker/ann/105267 (based on research done Robin Sharkey).
  21. [S1122] Diana Kupke Writes (https://www.dianakupke.com.au/page6g.php) Kennedy Murray - Convict from Scotland to Norfolk Island - https://www.dianakupke.com.au/page6g.php (for exact church).
  22. [S1123] People Australia (http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/) http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/…
  23. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [39:50].
  24. [S1122] Diana Kupke Writes (https://www.dianakupke.com.au/page6g.php) Kennedy Murray - Convict from Scotland to Norfolk Island - https://www.dianakupke.com.au/page6g.php (for which orphanage).
  25. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [42:45].
  26. [S1118] Special Broadcasting Service, Who Do You Think You Are? S10E08 Rodget Corser, Television production, [44:08].