Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Trove Tuesday : The family of James Muir

This week I have been continuing the quest to identify photographs contained in the Georgina Auld nee Muir album. Several carte de visite photographs in the album were taken by photographers located in Brisbane and it is the Muir's from Queensland that today's post is concentrated around.

Marriage of James Muir and Kathrin Gray Coutts

Searching the archived newspapers on Trove for a Muir family related to Georgina Muir, resulted in a marriage notice printed in The Brisbane Courier in 1884. The clue was a reference to Georgina's father, [the late] John Muir, who was a Colliery Manager who lived in Gatehead, Ayrshire, Scotland. Gatehead being located within the Parish of Kilmaurs and is approximately 3.5 miles (or 5.6 kilometers) from Kilmarnock.

This particular marriage was between James Muir (youngest son of John Muir) and Kathrin Gray Coutts (daughter of Donald Coutts) and occurred on 15 September 1884. The marriage notice reads as follows:

Source: Family Notices. (1884, September 16). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 1. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3434153

Confirming James Muir as a brother to Georgina

From previous research undertaken, I knew that Georgina Muir did have a brother named James and that their father was John Muir. Research also confirmed that James Muir was the youngest son of John Muir and Elizabeth Miller. A quick search of the online Queensland BDM registers for a death for James Muir (index number 1916/B23755) also confirmed both parents names in full.

Two Muir / Coutts marriages

An additional search for a marriage index number between MUIR and COUTTS came back with two results for our James Muir. The marriage previously identified with Kathrin Gray Coutts in 1884 was listed (index number 1884/B009137) as was another marriage in 1874 to Elizabeth Coutts (index number 1874/B004577).

Marriage of James Muir and Elizabeth Coutts

An additional search in Trove confirmed the details located in the registers. This first marriage occurred on 15 December 1874 between James Muir (youngest son of John Muir) and Kathrin Gray Coutts older sister, Elizabeth Coutts (eldest daughter of Donald Coutts). Again reference is made to James' father John Muir from Ayrshire Scotland. The notice appeared as follows:

Source: Family Notices. (1874, December 16). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 2. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1392469

The family of James Muir

Looking for Muir births with a Coutts mother in the Queensland birth indexes, we find eleven children. Four children with Elizabeth (first wife of James), and seven children with Kathrin Gray (second wife of James). The children and their birth year/reference numbers are:

Children of James Muir and Elizabeth Coutts

  • 1876/B20863 - John Donald Coutts
  • 1877/B22664 - James
  • 1879/B24813 - Hugh Dalrymple Coutts
  • 1881/B28157 - William Thomas Miller

Children of James Muir and Kathrin Gray Coutts

  • 1885/B34298 - Donald Coutts
  • 1886/C8033 - Elizebeth Wilhelmina
  • 1888/C9124 - Oswald
  • 1888/C9125 - Walter Gray
  • 1889/C9760 - Kathrine Georgina
  • 1891/C4419 - Christina Janet
  • 1895/B55875 - Agnes

Interestingly, based on the consecutive numbers, it appears that in 1888 James and Kathrin had twin boys, Oswald and Walter. This detail is confirmed with a birth notice that appeared in The Queenslander:

Source: Family Notices. (1888, February 25). The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), p. 281. Retrieved May 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19930654