JOHN MURRAY AND WIFE MABEL GOLDEN (my great grandparents)


AND SON SHERMAN MURRAY (my grandfather) and ALICE EDITH SOUTHWORTH (my grandmother)






From the marriage certificate of Thomas K. Murray, his parents are identified as John Murray of Bangor, a machinist and Mabel Golden of Bangor who was born in Calias Maine.  Mabel was a domestic.  John Murray and Mabel Golden were married on the 24th of November 1865 in Bangor Maine per, their son's marriage license lists John as immigrating from England; Mabel Golden from Ireland.


Ara Sayward is the daughter of John M. and Sarah Sayward, and the granddaughter of Ambrose Sayward who was born July 1805 Maine and died March 14, 1875 at the age of 69  and 8 months in Burnham, ME. Ara's grandmother is Martha Morton Sayward born April 8, 1809 Maine and died March 28, 1883 in Burnham at the age of 73.  Martha Sayward's grave inscription is "Ae 73yrs 11ms 20ds/ Wife of Ambrose Sayward."  His says: Inscription: AE 69yrs 8ms/ Husband of Martha Sayward.  They are buried at Reynolds Cemetery in Burnham Maine.

                                                                                 Ara's grandfather's grave:





Ambrose and Martha Sayward had 4 children: James W. Sayward (1841-1914); John M. Sayward (Generation #1); Elvira P. Sayward Cole (1852-1905); and Henry W. Sayward.

From the Selected 1850 Agriculture Census, we know that Ambrose Sayward owned 40 acres of improved land and 347 acres of non-improved land.  The cash value of his farm was $1400.  He owned 3 horses, 5 milking cows, 2 working oxen and 6 other cattle.  He had no sheep; but had one swine.  The value of his livestock was $315.  On the 22nd of August in 1850 he owned 17 bushels of rye and 70 bushels of Indian Corn as well as 200 bushels of oats.

From the marriage certificate of Ara Sayward Murray, her parents are identified as John Sayward of Burnham, a farmer, and Sarah E. Pushor of Burnham who was born in Newport Maine.  Sarah was the daughter of George and Mary Cookson Pushor.  Sarah  was a domestic/housekeeper.  Per Ancestry family tree and the following censuses, John was born August 1844 and Sarah about October 1847.  John died 1916 and is buried at Reynolds Cemetery in Burnham.  His gravestone Inscription: Husband of Sarah Pushor Sayward.  Sarah died in 1931, many years after her husband passed on.  Inscription: Wife of John M. Sayward  They married 16 Aug 1864.

In the 1880 Census for Burnham Maine, John is 35 and Sarah is 34.  He farms and she keeps house.  All were born in Maine to Maine-born parents.  They have 6 children living with them:

  • Sherman Sayward (15; b. 1865 d. 1882) farming. Reynolds Cemetery gravestone Inscription: Son of John M. & Sarah Pushor Sayward
  • Linda Sayward(13; b. Jan. 1866) at school. Linda m. Marcus M. Littlefield on 12.24.1887.
  • George Sayward (10; b. abt 1870) at school. Died at age 20 in 1890.  Reynolds Cemetery gravestone Inscription: Son of John M. & Sarah Pushor Sayward
  • Eddie Sayward (8; b. Jan. 1872) (m. Alice, b. Aug 1879; farm laborer); he died 1930 and is buried at Reynolds Cemetery in Burnham Maine. As is his wife Alice M. Sayward.  Their daughter Athene L. Sayward Mosher (1901-1962) is buried at Pond Cemetery Row 41, Unity Maine.
  • Mertie Sayward (3; b. abt 1877 d. 1881 at age 6). Reynolds Cemetery gravestone Inscription: Son of John M. & Sarah Pushor Sayward 
  • Ara Sayward  (1; b. abt Oct. 1879) m. Thomas Murray (B. May 22, 1877)

In the 1900 Census for Burnham Maine, John is 55 and Sarah is 52 and they have been married 35 years.  Ara and Thomas Murray have been married 2 years.  Thomas Murray is a horse trainer.  Interestingly, on the 1900 census Thomas is listed as born in NY to NY born parents.  This is not true, especially in light of their marriage certificate below.  According to the 1900 census, John and Sarah had 6 children, only 3 of whom are alive in 1900.  Since Edward and Ara still live at home they are 2 of the 3 living children.  Sherman, George and Mertie are three who have died. This makes Linda the 3rd living child.



Thomas Kimball Murray married Ara E. Sayward on Saturday, 26 March 1898 in his bride's home town of Burnham, Waldo County, Maine.  She was 20 (born October 1879) and he was 21 at the time of their marriage (Born May 22, 1877).  Ara Sayward's mom was Sarah Pushor Sayward and her father was John Sayward (both born in Maine; John born about 1845).  Thomas K. Murray's mom was Mabel Golden and his father was John Murray. (Per Ancestry Maine Marriage Records)  Thomas K. Murray was born in Bangor Maine and resided at the time of his marriage in Benton, Maine.  He was a machinist and Ara was a  domestic.  Per family relayed information, Thomas and Ara were both Catholics. Thomas had blue eyes and gray hair in 1917; he was of medium build.


In the 1880 Census Ara Sayward was 1 year old and living with her family in Burnham, Waldo, Maine.  It is interesting to note that her oldest brother was named SHERMAN!

In the 1900 Census Ara E. Sayward Murray was 20, having been born in October 1879.  In 1900 she was living in Burnham, Maine with her spouse Thomas R. Murray.  They married in 1898 and had now been married two years.  Thomas and Ara were living with her parents, Sarah Sayward (52) and John H. Sayward (55).  Also living with them were Edward "Eddie" C. Sayward age 39, Alice M. Sayward age 20 (this may be her sister Mertie??).  

In the 1904 Benton Maine Register, Thomas is listed as a mill worker and she is listed at home with son Sherman Ambrose Murray.

In the 1910 Census Thomas K. and Aria/Ara Sayward Murray were living on Main Street in  Pittsfield, ME, household of widow Nellie M. Taylor, where they were listed as boarders.  He is working as a weaver at a woolen mill and she is a servant for a private family.

COMMENT:  Originally I thought that the Catholic Thomas K. Murray died leaving his Catholic wife Ara E. Sayward Murray a widow.  But Aunt Maxine told me they divorced (!) and she then married on March 13, 1920 Mr. Pearl Crockett, a welder, as her second husband.  Ara and Pearl opened the Brooks store that ultimately was run by Sherman Murray and his wife, Priscilla Robbins Murray. Pearl lived from 1875 to 1933.   Ara died, a widow again, in 1947 and is buried at the Rose Cemetery located in Brooks, Waldo County, Maine.

In the 1917/1918 Draft for WWI, registered at Skowhegan ME:

In the January 1920 Census for Brooks Maine, Pearl Crockett is divorced/head of household/age 45 and living with him is his daughter Helen L. Crockett who is 18 and single.  Pearl had originally married Lavinia Dorsey Gibbs on July 26, 1897.  He was born about 1875, so he would have been about 22 when he first married.  He was from Presque Isle Maine and Lavinia from Ft. Fairfield Maine. On March 13 of this census year, 1920, Pearl Crockett married Ara Sayward of Burnham Maine.  He would be 45 at the time of his second marriage. 

In the 1930 Census for Brooks Maine, Pearl (57) and Ara E. Crockett (52) lived in Brooks along with her mother, Sarah Sayward (82).  Pearl was the head of the household and worked as a retail merchant in dry goods; Ara as a salesperson in dry goods.  They owned their home valued at $1500; and, yes, they did own a radio set!  They did not live on a farm.  All were born in Maine to Maine-born parents per this census. None in school; all could read and write.

SON OF Thomas K. Murray and his wife Ara Sayward Murray:


SHERMAN AMBROSE MURRAY was born May 28, 1903 in Benton, Maine and was delivered by Dr. L. D. Rand of Fairfield.  He ultimately died in January of 1966 in Volusia County, FL per the Florida Death Index.  Sherman A. Murray (1903-1966) is buried at Rose Cemetery in Brooks, Waldo County, ME. Sherman married PRISCILLA ROBBINS (1907-1997).

Sherman Murray had a son with Alice Edith Southworth of Belfast Maine.  Sherman's mother, Ara Sayward Murray refused to allow them to marry, declaring that her son, Sherman, was "too young" to marry (though he had fathered a child and was 20 or 21 years of age).   He did not support his son Robert Southworth Fuller, but he did acknowledge him as his first child.  

                                        Sherman Murray:









Alice Southworth (left) with sister Martha Southworth on right:













In the 1920 Census, Sherman Ambrose Murray was rooming alone in the household of Amelia Gogan in Waterville, Kennebec, Maine.  He was 16 years old and was not employed.

FAMILY MEMORY OF MAXINE ELLIS:  "Thomas and Ara were Catholic, but Sherman did not want to be Catholic and as an adult he choose to become a Protestant which caused friction with the family back in that generation.  Some of the family held this against him."

In 1930 Sherman Murray was a barber in Brooks Maine working at the Kilgore Building.  Sherman owned a store in Brooks Maine and sold it to Kenneth and Lucy Moorehead.  Dotty Moorehead lived above the store, which closed in 1997.

In 1940 Census Sherman A. Murray was living as head of household at 185 High Street in Brooks, Maine.  He rented this for $15.  At this time he was 36 and his wife Priscilla was 32.  Their daughter Maxine and son Paul lived with them (12, and 10 respectively).  Also living with them was Ara Sayward Crockett (Sherman's mom).  Sherman had completed three years of high school; Priscilla 4 years.   Sherman was still a barber, working 84 hours a week (as example given for a specific week) and owning his own barer shop.

Sherman Murray married Priscilla Robbins on May 28 1927, and they had the following children:

1) Infant died young in 1932.  No name.  This child is unnamed and is buried at Rose Cemetery in Brooks, Maine.

2)  My Aunt Maxine Murray was born on 11 March 1928 in Brooks, Maine in the apartment over the family store.  She died Monday, October 25, 2010 in Portland though she resided at Cape Elizabeth, Maine - at the age of 82.  She married Robert Ellis of Cape Elizabeth, Maine on September 13, 1951.  Robert was born March 31 in the same year (1928) but he died in 1999, leaving Maxine a widow.  He had a brother Vaughn Ellis.  Maxine's brother, Paul, died before she did.  Maxine's mother Priscilla lived with Maxine and Robert for 40 years.

Below is a photo of the store:

Aunt Maxine attended Brooks High School and graduated with the class of 1946.  She then attended Boston University.  She worked for 20 years in sales for Bernie's Fashion in Portland.  Maxine was a member of the First Congregational Church in South Portland.  She is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Cape Elizabeth Maine.

FAMILY MEMORY OF VAUGHN ELLIS TO DONNA CATOR:  "My first recollection of your grandfather, Sherman, was that of a little kid who needed a haircut.  He operated a barber shop in Brooks complete with a pool table and it was a delightful place for the men in town to gather, play pool and solve all the major problems of the day.  Later in my twenties he was very encouraging in a career decision I had to make.  Lacking in enough self-confidence, he was most supportive saying, "you lay all over them".  That took place in the apartment above the department store overlooking the Marsh River in Brooks Maine in 1958."

FAMILY MEMORY OF MAXINE MURRAY ELLIS BY DONNA CATOR:  Aunt Maxine had that wonderful thick Mainah/Mainer accent that I love...but no longer can articulate well!  We also talked about how much my dad, Bob Fuller, looked like his dad, Sherman Murray.  Their resemblance  was quite amazing. 

FAMILY MEMORY OF MAXINE MURRAY ELLIS BY DONNA CATOR:  Aunt Maxine told me about the first time she met my Dad, Robert Fuller, was at the "Winterport store" (there were two stores??).  Dad came into the store which was divided into two sections and Maxine's dad, Sherman, was standing between the two parts of the store talking with Bob.  Sherman told Maxine he would have to leave to go home (Brooks?). Aunt Maxine was sitting on the desk at the time this happened.  Maxine at that time did not know about dad at all, but she got to meet him the following Sunday when he came to dinner with them. Maxine said that the resemblance between my dad Bob and my grandfather Sherman was very strong.  And, that "they shared good times" when they did get to meet. 

Children of Robert and Maxine Murray Ellis:

a) Brent Ellis and his wife Mary of Sebago, Maine, and Naples. Children Charlotte, Carolyn and Philip.

b)  Kent Ellis and his wife Ellen of NY and Lafayette, Colorado

c)  Roxanne Ellis and her husband Ted England of Gilbert, AZ; dau. Renee.

d)  Janet Ruth Murray (could this be the infant?)

3)  Paul James Murray was born on November 8, 1929, one year after Maxine.  He was born in Brooks Maine and died June of 2004 in Ithaca, Thompkins County, NY at the age of 74.  His cremains are located at Parma Union Cemetery, in Parma, Monroe County, NY.  On December 21, 1968 he married Carol LNU when he was 39.   Paul was residing in Ithaca NY at the time of his mother's death.  Paul and Carol had two children, Peter and Karen Murray. 

Family Comment:  Vaughn Ellis, Maxine's brother-in-law said that Bob Fuller "as a handsome young lad could easily pass for Paul James Murray at the same age, minus the glasses."

Priscilla Robbins Murray was born on November 30, 1907 and died July 20, 1997 at her home in Cape Elizabeth Maine.  She had been ill for a long time.   At the time that Priscilla died, she was living her daughter Maxine Murray Ellis and Maxine's husband Robert Ellis.  Priscilla was born in Searsmont Maine to James Alden and Flora Hobbs Robbins.  Priscilla also predeceased her brother Jenness Robbins and her sister Ruth Robbins Peakes. 

Sherman and Priscilla operated Murray's Store in Brooks Maine for many years.  They also owned a stable of standardbred race horses that trained at the Spring Garden Ranch in DeLeon Springs, FL and raced at county fairs and on the grand circuit in New England and New York. 

 Donna Cator:  I recall as a young girl that my sister, parents and I attended a harness race in, I believe, Maine at a fair of some type.  I cannot help but to wonder if Sherman Murray was there with us since he was involved in harness racing. I loved the horses racing.

Family Comment:  Vaughn Ellis, Maxine's brother-in-law said that "Paul and Maxine's mother, Priscilla Robbins Murray, lived with Maxine and Robert until her death in 1997, I think at the age of 90.  She was a vibrant charming lady who was active, alert and vocal until her passing."

Family Memories:  Alice Southworth Healey, my grandmother and mother of Robert Earle Southworth Fuller said that dad "met him (Sherman), and liked him a great deal." 

Family Memory:  Dad, Robert Fuller:  My biological father was Sherman Murray.  Sherman's mother, my grandmother, Ara Sayward Murray, refused to allow her son/my dad Sherman to marry my mother Alice when she became pregnant because Sherman was "too young."  My mother told me about my birth dad when I was in my late teens.  I met Sherman when I was 18 or so at Sherman's residence in Brooks Maine.  He owned Sherman's Department (general) Store there.  Dad and I went to the horse races and had a lobster dinner afterwards.  Dad told his wife Priscilla about me and claimed me as his son.  Note:  Sherman died of a heart attack in 1966; Robert died of a ruptured aorta in 1999.

DONNA CATOR:  How do I feel about this?  Very mixed emotions.  My father suffered all his life from a sense of loss due to Ara Sayward Murray Crockett forcing her will upon her son and my grandfather Sherman Murray to not marry my grandmother when she was in need of a husband and, at the very least, public acknowledgment of my dad and naming Dad as a Murray.   Ara took away the opportunity for Sherman to know his first born child and this is sad for both of them.  In his early years Dad carried the name Southworth, as did his mother, but later when she married Percy Fuller, Percy gave Dad his surname, which pleased Dad very much and for which he was always grateful.  Percy, however, was not the best of husbands or stepfathers in many ways and the marriage ended in divorce, although Dad now had a "father's" name. 

Mom and Dad were solidly committed to us as a family and some of that commitment no doubt came from Ara's ill-fated decision, but also from the wonderful unconditional love of my great grandparents Alvra and Ralph Southworth and of Dad's mother Alice.   Ralph Southworth was, to my dad, his father figure always.  Ralph and Alvra were extremely good people.  Dad's grandfather Ralph actually died in my father's arms.

On the other hand, I am so very grateful that my father got to know of and meet his father Sherman.  He thought very highly of Sherman Murray.  And I thought very highly of  Aunt Maxine; she and Vaughn were blessings in my life.  Aunt Maxine was a wonderful Aunt to me for far too short a time.  She is missed, along with my parents.


Bob Fuller as young lad; Bob and Margie with kids (my sister and me!)


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