Murray Yarns


Latest news

Get-togethers and reunions

Murray: Short History
Murray: Family Tree

Murray: Name Study

Murray Yarns
Photo album

Contact us

Family Tales About The Murrays

As soon as we have sufficient stories, they will be placed on a separate page.

How John Lightning Came By His Nickname

John "Lightning" Murray was the eldest son and second eldest child of the progenitor – John Murray of South Africa. He was born in Cape Town on 25 January, 1818 and died near Three Sisters in the Karroo in 1882.

His elder sister, Margaret, who was born in Cape Town on 1 March, 1816, died in Stellenbosch on 28 June, 1833.

John was a schoolmaster by profession and taught at various locations in the old Cape Colony (today known as the provinces of Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape). He taught at Franschhoek, Bredasdorp, Napier and Worcester (in the Western Cape) and Victoria West in the Northern Cape.

The Victoria West Messenger of 13 November, 1882 reports:
KILLED BY LIGHTNING -- A very sad death, caused by lightning, took place on Friday, the 3rd inst., on the road from Grootfontein to Pampoenfontein. It appears that on that day Mr John Murray left the latter place for his residence at Uilspoort. He was traveling quite alone in an open cart and two horses. He reached Grootfontein in the afternoon, and left again about half past three. On Monday morning Mr de Bruyn found him dead behind a bush along the road, and from all appearances it seems that the deceased must have got off his cart during the storm which raged shortly after he left Grootfontein, and took shelter behind the bush, where he was killed by lightning; part of his beard being burned off, a hole was found in his hat, and the bush was singed. Deceased was for many years a teacher in this district, and was well known and deservedly respected. He leaves a wife and several children.

He left the following children: Barbara Christina, Martha Isabella Gysberta, Anna Geertruyda, Izak Johannes, John Herman, Hermanus Izak Johannes and Helena Josina Margaretha.

About 100 years after the death of John Lightning, a few of his descendants started researching the John Murray family of South Africa. They were the Reverent Samuel Murray (Snr) of Jeffrey’s Bay; his son Peter of Riebeeckstad; and a third cousin, Percival Murray from Durbanville. Since there were so many antecedents named John Murray, the researchers started confusing the various Johns with each other and sometimes had a hard time placing the correct John in the correct place. It was then that Percy decided to name the schoolmaster who had been killed by a bolt of lightning "John Lightning".

Rev Samuel Murray dies on 18 August, 2005

Samuel Murray sr

Rev Samuel Murray B.A., Th.M., passed away at the home for the aged in Humansdorp on 18 August, 2005 at the age of 92 years.

He was the youngest of 13 children and was born at Loxton in the Karoo on 21 Julie, 1913. His parents were Izak and Dina (born De Vries) Murray.

The late Rev Murray attended school at Victoria West in the Karoo and at Heilbron in the northwestern Free State. After matriculating, he attained a B A Degree at the University of Stellenbosch. In the academic year of 1937/1938 he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, USA. where he achieved a Th.M. degree after obtaining a bursary.

Mrs Murray studied at the Iowa State University, Des Moines, USA from 1936 tot 1938 where she obtained an M.Sc. Degree in Domestic Science, also after being awarded a bursary.

After being legitimised in 1938 Rev Murray served for approximately 3 years at the parishes of Grootrivier (Louisvale), Fordsburg (Johannesburg) and Kensington (Port Elizabeth) as an assistant minister.

On 25 February, 1941 Rev Murray and Eunice Phoebe Grewar were married at Clocolan in authentic Voortrekker dress. Mrs Murray was the daughter of Peter George Lourens Grewar and Ignasina Wilhelmina (born Van Rooyen) Grewar who farmed on Skeefkop, just outside Clocolan.

The late Rev Samuel Murray served the following congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church: 1942 Paterson; 1947 Maraisburg (Hofmeyr); 1950 Leonard (S.W.A.); 1958 Vaalharts (Jan Kempdorp); 1964 Parkheuwel (Port Elizabeth); 1970 Windhoek-Hoogland (S.W.A.); and 1977 Kareedouw. On 17 March 1980 he received his superannuation and went to retire at Jeffrey's Bay where he and Mrs Murray lived for about 10 years.

In 1990 the Murray couple moved to "Ons Tuiste", a home for the aged at Humansdorp. On 21 August, 1994 Mrs Murray passed away at the home in Humansdorp and her husband 11 years later on 18 August, 2005.

Rev Murray who was a resident of "Ons Tuiste" for 15 years, was popular amongst the staff. At the beginning he often held devotional meetings for residents and staff.

The couple leave 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

(c) Peter Murray, 2005. Last updated 2011-01-14.