Annie Murray (1914–1986) of Rannafast, Annaghery, Co Donegal
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According to the information recorded on the Doegen speaker questionnaire in September 1931, Annie Murray was born in Rann na Fearsaide, and was aged 17 at the time of recording. Her father's occupation is not given, but he came from Strabane; her mother came from Rann na Fearsaide. In response to questions, she stated that she spent four years in Scotland from the age of one, but otherwise had always lived in Rann na Fearsaide. She had attended primary school in Rann na Fearsaide. No occupation is stated for the speaker. Irish and English are named as her mother languages, and she could read and write both. The recording team noted "clear musical voice, not strong".
Annie Bhidí Mhéadhbha was the granddaughter of one of Rann na Fearsaide's most renowned tradition-bearers, Méadhbha Tharlaigh Mhóir Ní Ghallchobhair
(c1846–1935). Méadhbha's mother, Máire Nábla, was in turn a granddaughter of Aodh Phádraig Dhuibh Uí Dhomhnaill, one of the "filí gan iomrádh".
On 1873/01/09 at Kincasslagh, Méadhbha married Condaí Tharlaigh Óig Ó hArlaigh; their five children, with civil dates of birth where known to me, were:
In 1901, the household consisted of Magey Harley 50, married; and her unmarried children Mary 20, Charles 18, James 17, and Dan 16. Magey had Irish only while the children were bilingual. Conall Harley, 45, was at Skirling, between Lanark and Peebles. In 1911, the household consisted of Magey 66, now a widow; her unmarried children Mary 32 and Dan 28; and her grandson Charles Murray 11. All were bilingual. Magey's marriage had taken place 37 years earlier, and all 5 children were still living.
Méadhbha Tharlaigh Mhóir agus Bidí Mhéadhbha.
Pioctúir: Pádraig Ó Baoighill, Amhráin Hiúdaí Fheilimí.
Bidí Mhéadhbha married John Murray, a railway labourer from Co Tyrone, at Killygordon in 1897. In
1901, they were living in the house of Mary Gallagher, a widow aged 45:
John Murray 36, his wife Biddy 27, and their son Charles 1 who was born in Tyrone. The same family were to be found in 1911 at
Braidwood, Carluke, Lanarkshire: John Murray 45, a railway plate-layer; wife Bridget 40; children Mary 8, Maggie 6, Kate 4, James 2. All were born
in Ireland. The marriage had taken place 13 years previously, and 4 of 5 children were living (which seems to ignore Charles with his grandmother in Donegal).
The registered dates and places of birth of the children were:
Annie married Paidí Aodh Sheáin 'ag Gairbhith on 19/06/1939 at Anagaire. They seem to have lived in Mín na Craoibhe, Annagry, where her mother Bidí Mhéadhbha was consulted by folklore collectors such as Tadhg Ó Rabhartaigh, Niall Ó Domhnaill and Frank 'ag Grianna. Bidí died in 1948. In the early 1950s, the family relocated to Edinburgh, where Paidí died in 1979, aged 70, and Annie in 1986, aged 72. Their family included: Hugh (1942–2007), Madge (m Hugh Boyle 1973), John (1945–deceased), Cormack, Bridget (1950–1998, m James Duffy 1969), Ann, Paddy and Daniel (c1956–2010).
Annie Murray died, as already stated, in 1986 in Edinburgh, aged 72.
A grave-marker in Anagaire cemetery commemorates the descendants of Méadhbha Tharlaigh Mhóir. Those buried here include Méadhbha herself, as well as Mary Murray, who died in March 1984, and Margaret Murray, who died in August 1987.
Recent references to Annie Murray include:
Reilig Anagaire (Photograph © Irish Graveyard Surveyors).
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