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The earliest recorded details (that I have found) of McMurrays in Co. Armagh are in Seagoe Church of Ireland Parish records dating from 1771. Records from the Protestant Knocknamuckley "Church of Ireland" Church show the marriage of my great-great grandparents in 1868, i.e. the marriage of James Edward McMurray and Sophia McMurray (note both bride and groom had the same surnames.)

Knocknamuckley Church of Ireland

I can only guess as to the origins of the McMurrays in Ireland, probably Protestant settlers from Scotland, as McMurray and Murray are traditional old Scottish names. Although the name McMurray was found in Roscommon (Southern Ireland) in ancient times.

Census and map records for the townland of Ballygargan show that the residents there owned small areas of land suitable for the growing of potatoes and other crops, along with flax for the production of linen in the local mill called "Blackers Mill" This mill was still in operation until 2002.

Click for enlarged picture.

Produce would have been bought and sold at the local market towns of Lurgan and Portadown. Typical housing consisted of a single story with a thatched roof of straw. The walls where made of stone and white washed. A painting above is of the house Joseph Edward McMurray (my great-grand father) and family lived in (1890 - 1950).


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