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Col James Murray
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Birth: Jul. 4, 1736
Death: Apr. 1, 1816
Northumberland County
Pennsylvania, USA

Married twice. 1st to Mary Ann Fisher in 1757 and 2nd to Ann Winn in January 23, 1779.

Col. Murray served in the Revolutionary War under Col. James Potter. He was a Lt. Col. from the fall of 1776 until March 10, 1777 in Col. Potter's Pennsylvania Regiment. He was commissioned May 21, 1777, Colonel of the Second Battalion of Northumberland County Militia and served until the end of the war.

(special thanks to PattyB #47090714 for the following info) Col. James Murray was born in Sherman's Valley, Cumberland (then was Perry County), PA. Died in Chillisquaque, near Watsontown, in what was Northumberland Co. (now Montour), PA. His widow stated he died in 1816, but the stone shows 1817 (see below). His father was James Murray Sr. (~1706 County Armagh Ireland - Dec 1757 Sherman's Valley, Cumberland, PA( & his mother was Jean or Janet (last name unknown)(~1706 Ireland - after 1758 in PA).

In 1769, James and his brothers, John & William, along with James McMahon, Thomas Hewitt, Johnson Chenney & William Fisher crossed over into Chillisquaque Valley where they took up about 300 acres of land on the south side of the Chillisquaque Creek. They built their homes on the north side. (now Pottsgrove). According to the survey of James McMahan's farm it was the month of April 1769.

Col. Murray owned most of the land north of Pott's Grove including the present town site. Col. James entered and had surveyed a large tract of land on the west side of the Creek beginning at some distance above the present Catawissa Railroad Bridge and running SE to about where the Presbyterian Church of Pottsgrove now stands, and then turned SW with the bend of the creek, to a white oak tree which marked the corner between the James McMahan and Murray farms. The same white oak tree still stands and has been for many years, the established corner of 4 different farms. Brother John entered a large tract on the opposite side of the creek and William still higher up.

Col. James Murray served his country and served well. After peace was declared, he retired to private life, spending his time in his farm cultivation, was a useful man in his community and among the pioneers of Presbyterianism in the new settlement. He was found in death, having gone out to bring in his sheep. His passing came on April 1, 1816 according to his widow's deposition, though his tombstone says 1817. Ann said he was upward of 75 years old. The tombstone says age 80. It may well be that Ann's memory had faded in the 20 or so years since her husband's death when she gave her deposition. Inscription: In Memory of James Murray Who Died April 1, 1817, Aged 80 Years.

Samuel McMahan, Esq. in his "History of the McMahan Family," stated: Colonel Murray was a brave, fearless soldier and an efficient officer. He too, like Capt McMahan, gave of his own means to keep men in the field; but his descendants were more fortunate than those of his brother-in-law McMahan, inasmuch that the government reimbursed them dollar for dollar with interest. The colonel served in different capacities during the entire war. He served the country and served it well, and after peace was declared he retired from the active duties of a soldier to that of a private citizen--spending his time in the cultivation of his farm. He was a useful man in the community and among the pioneers of Presbyterianism in the new settlement--active in the formation and support of the Chillisquaque church, of which organization one of his grandsons is an active ruling elder at the present time. The colonel lived to be an old man, and died like Jacob, leaning upon the top of his staff. He had gone out in the evening to bring in his sheep to house them from the depredation of dogs, and not returning, a member of his family went in search of him, and found him cold in death, with his hand holding the top of his staff--which had run into the ground--supposed to be by the pressure of his weight in falling. Thus ended the life of a useful man. 'Verily man knoweth not his time.' Although this soldier, citizen and christian fell by the way, he still lives in the life of his descendants, many of whom were and still are active members of the same religious organization he helped to form more than a century and a quarter ago.

Children with 1st wife, Margaret or Mary Ann Fisher: Mary (~1762-1831 married 1st James Morrison, married 2nd William Reed Jr., Esq.); Thomas (~1766-1838 married Jane "Jennie" McMahan); and Samuel (~1768).

Children with 2nd wife, Ann "Nancy" Winn: James Potter (1779-1848 married Margaret unknown); Margaret (1781-1842 married Mr. McCoy); Isabella "Belle" (1785-1842 married Daniel Gray); Robert (1787-before 1846); John (1789- ? married Mary unknown); Jonathan (1792-?); Hester "Kittie" (1794-after 1855 m1 George Barclay, m2 John R. Ketler); Mary Jane (1796-1844 married Capt William Boyd Barrett); William (1798-1883 married Jane S. Kerr); and James (1800-?).

And in case you want more on his military:
Rev. War, under the command of General James Potter, Northumberland County Militia. When the Northumberland County militia was organized in early 1776, and on 24 Jan 1776, James was appointed Captain of the 7th company of the 2nd Battalion under Col. James Potter Regiment. 13 March 1776, he was appointed Lt. Colonel in the 5th company of the 3rd Battalion of Col. Plunket's Regiment. The certificate of the Muster Roll of Captain Long's Company, 2nd Battalion, "Now in actual service" dated December 3, 1776, was signed by James Murray, Lieutenant Colonel. December 1776, a large number of the associators from Buffalo Valley (now Union county) joined General Washington and participated in the actions of Trenton and Princeton. The Northumberland Battalion was officered by Col. James Potter, Lt Col James Murray, and others. The following year, on 31 May 1777, he was commissioned Colonel of the 2nd Battalion of the Northumberland Co. militia and served until the close of the war under then-General James Potter. 11 Sep 1777, Battle of Brandywine. On 11 Nov 1777, his command joined General Washington's Army, serving in the campaigns in Philadelphia and New Jersey. 11 Dec 1777, occurred the action at Guelph's Mills (near Philadelphia) in which the enemy endeavored to surprise General Potter. The 2nd Battalion, under Col., Murray, was engaged. 15 Dec 1777, General Potter writes home that in an action a few days pervious his people all behaved well, particularly the regiments of Col Chambers and Col Murray. 22 Dec 1777, a return shows that Col Murray's regiment of Northumberland Co. Militia was then in Major General Armstrong's division and numbered 226 men on the rolls. 31 Dec 1777, the year closes gloomily enough, with the army encamped at Valley Forge.

On the Return of the 2nd Battalion of Northumberland militia, May 1, 1778, Colonel James Murray. He had in the meantime succeeded Plunket as Colonel of the Regiment. The "return" is as follows: Colonel James Murray.
First Co., Cpt Thomas Gaskins, total officers and men 61.
2nd Co., Cpt John Nelson, 60
3rd Co., Cpt David Hayes, 63
4th Co., Cpt Arthur Taggart, 66
5th Co., Cpt James McMahan, 57
6th Co., Cpt Robert Reynolds, 43
7th Co., Cpt John Chatham, 42
8th Co., Cpt John Clingman, 73

May 1778, the 6th & 7th classes of Col. Long's battalion were ordered to be embodied by Col. Hunter, and scout along the frontier until the 6th & 7th classes of Col Murray's and Hosterman's battalions should arrive at the Great Island, to cover the frontier there.

October 1782, a small body of savages came to the house of John Martin in the Chillisquaque settlement near the residence of Col James Murray, and barbarously murdered Mr. Martin and his wife and also took from the house 2 young women and a little girl, 7 years of age, and carried them off. (History of the West Branch Valley by F. Meginness)
Col Murray continued in active military service until the army was disbanded in 1783. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ann Winn Murray (1756 - 1846)
 
 Children:
  Mary Murray Reed (1762 - 1831)*
  Mary Jane Murray Barnett (1796 - 1844)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Chillisquaque Cemetery
Mexico
Montour County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: Cousins by the Dozens
Record added: May 13, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52353197
Col James Murray
Added by: Leanne Keefer Bechdel
 
 
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- Cousins by the Dozens
 Added: Jan. 15, 2012
Thank you for your service.
- Leanne Keefer Bechdel
 Added: Jul. 1, 2011
 
 
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