Roderick Macqueen Murdoch was a British Home Child and was one of many Children Transported to Canada.
Roderick MacQueen Murdoch [1860 – 1926]
Roderick MacQueen Murdoch, the eldest child of David and Harriet Murdoch, was born in Ireland on April 9 1860, nine months to the day after his parents’ marriage in Worcester. His father had been posted to Birr, County Offaly, by the Excise Department, but was soon moved back to England in 1861 to work in Bingham, Notts where their next five children were born and brought up. At the census of 1861, Roderick, aged 1, is living in Church Street, Bingham with his parents and his maternal grandmother Mary Ann Parkes.
In December 1866, David was moved to Wirksworth in Derbyshire “at the displeasure of the Board”, the first indication we have that he was not the ideal public servant. He may have been moved frequently over the next few years [we have no formal Excise Board records] and the next two children’s births were registered in Wakefield, Yorkshire where Harriett’s mother was living [Charles, 1868], and in Liverpool [David, stillborn 1870]. The April 1871 census shows the family in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, where David was still described as an excise-man, but by August 1872 they are living in Monmouth, Wales, where the last child, Lucy, was born. David’s name appears on her birth certificate as the father and informant: his occupation then is described as “commercial”.
At some stage around this time, David abandoned the family and emigrated to Sydney, Australia where he took up a similar post in the Customs Refineries and Distilleries Office for a few years between 1875 and 1878. He was befriended there by his brother-in-law Fred Parkes who had enlisted in the British army in October 1872 but later emigrated. David died of the effects of “intemperance and congestion of the lungs” in July 1879. He is buried in Rookwood Mausoleum, Sydney, with a headstone.
Even before the birth of Lucy, Frederick at the age of 7 was the first of seven Murdoch children to be shipped to Belleville, Ontario, Canada under the auspices of Miss Annie MacPherson’s organisation caring for destitute children. We know virtually nothing of what lead up to this dramatic breakup of the family. Roderick at the age of 13 was sent to Canada on the SS Prussian, arriving on 21st August 1873. He was taken into the care of the Marchmont Homes in Belleville, Ontario where Miss Bilborough found him “a good, healthful, obedient boy; a splendid fellow.” Walter, Colin followed in 1873 and Marion in 1874.
On arrival, the circumstances were summarised: “Parents living at Monmouth where father was head post master [this is probably an incorrect occupation]. Expelled for drink. They are now in trying circumstances. The mother having three younger than Roderick, was compelled to part with him, very unable to support them. He is a sweet little fellow.” Harriett seems to have settled in Manchester, but crossed the Atlantic herself in 1875 with Jessie, Charles and Lucy, soon returning with them and with Marion/Minnie, leaving four boys in Ontario. Charles later returned independently to North America as a young man: all five boys [Roderick, Frederick, Walter, Colin, and Charles] eventually lived out their adult lives in the United States.
Roderick was helped to find work in local Ontario businesses in Wolfe Island and Odessa, and further afield in Toronto and also in Pennsylvania and Chicago in the US. Reports received back in Belleville suggest that he may not have been able to maintain that previous good reputation away from supervision. “R[oderick] had been found guilty of breaking into Mr. C’s store and opening safe. Took money & was committed to Cohery gaol. There he abused the kindness of the gaoler & tried to escape”. Roderick nevertheless was apologetic and wrote to his mentors in Belleville, “I know that in the past I have neither treated you with the respect that I ought. I hope you will kindly look over all. It is good for me that I have been afflicted.”
At 24 he married in Chicago in 1884, but his wife [name unknown] died 3 November 1886, two weeks after giving birth to stillborn twin sons.
In 1890 he became a naturalised US citizen and at Christmas that year Roderick married again (at the age of 30) to 20-year-old Lillian Beatrice [aka Charity] Viel the daughter of a labourer in Genesee, Michigan. They lived with her parents in Fenton within a few miles of Detroit at least until 1900 when he (at 40) was a travelling salesman and Lillian was 29.
In 1910 Roderick (50) and Lillian (41) are found 2000 miles further to the west, lodging in a railroad camp in Salmon City, Lemhi, Idaho but described as an accountant. Ten years later Roderick (60) is living in his own home in Brooklyn precinct, Salmon, with his wife (now called Charity V[iel?]). Roderick, described as “a prominent businessman of the city” died in Salmon of a stroke in January 1926 at the age of 65, and there is no record of any children of this marriage. Lillian died in Salmon, Idaho in June 1965.
input by John Murdoch PATRICK: January 2016
(all GEDCOM data imported)
This biography was auto-generated by a GEDCOM import. It's a rough draft and needs to be edited.
Worcester, Worcester St. Clement, Worcestershire, England, UK
Source: S124 Title: Original certificate on file
Source: S176 Title: ancestry.com Patrick Family Tree NOTEDATE: 1 Feb 2008 _ITALIC: Y _PAREN: Y
Source: S280 Author: Barnardo's, Cottage 4, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex, IG6 IQG - case #157718154 Title: Correspondence from Barnardos about Marchmont rec'd. 21 Jan 2009 Publication: Name: Name: large package of correspondence about Murdoch siblings at Marchmont and their immigration into Canada as "home children" in 1872 and following years. It includes a cover letter, supporting information, and ledger sheets for Colin, Frederick, and Rod; NOTEMEDI: Letter DATE: 27 Jan 2009 _TAG2: _ITALIC: Y _PAREN: Y
Source: S360 Title: Census, 7 Apr 1861, Bingham, Nottinghamshire, England, UK NOTEMEDI: Census/Tax DATE: 3 Feb 2008 _ITALIC: Y _PAREN: Y
Source: S361 Title: Death, Roderick Murdoch 1860-1926 Publication: Name: Name: Idaho Death Index, 1911-51 (on Ancestry.com), certificate #052513, birth date shown as 9 Apr 1862, death date 12 Dec 1926.;; NOTEMEDI: Vital DATE: 6 Sep 2008 _ITALIC: Y _PAREN: Y
Source: S362 Title: Passenger List, Prussian, arr. Quebec 31 Aug 1873 NOTEMEDI: Voyage DATE: 27 Jan 2009 _ITALIC: Y _PAREN: Y
Source: S422 Title: Marriage Certificate, Murdoch/Parkes NOTEDATE: 8 Mar 2008 _ITALIC: Y _PAREN: Y
Source: S501 Author: Ancestry.com Title: 1861 England Census Publication: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.Original data - Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1861. Data imaged from The National A; Repository: #R3
Source: S541 Author: Ancestry.com Title: 1871 England Census Publication: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1871. Data imaged from the National A; Repository: #R2
Source: S584 Author: Ancestry.com Title: 1910 United States Federal Census Publication: Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2006; Repository: #R4
Source: S585 Author: Ancestry.com Title: 1920 United States Federal Census Publication: Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2010; Repository: #R4
N1656Dorothy's Uncle Roderick, according to twins
IGI record of birth in Scotland, but no date.[Unlikely] Father was posted from Birr, County Offaly
Family bible entry shows name and date of birth but no place
According to ancestry.com's "Parkes/Hobbs" family tree, Roderick was born 4 Sep 1860 in Ireland or Scotland.
1861, aged 1, in Bingham, birthplace Ireland with parents and grandmother Parks
1871: 11, scholar, born Ireland, with parents and 5 sibs in Bromsgrove.
He left the UK aboard the SS Prussian on 21st August 1873 (aged 13) and arrived in Quebec on 31st August, [Sharon's Marchmont House file]"Parents living at Monmouth where father was head post master [this is probably an incorrect occupation]. Expelled for drink. They are now in trying circumstances. The mother having three younger than Roderick, was compelled to part with him, very unable to support them. Heis a sweet little fellow.
Sharon writes: "Roderick MacQueen Murdoch (1860-1926) was in Toronto,Canada 20 Dec 1879, then in Pennsylvania in Jul 1880. By June 1884 he was married to his first wife (name unknown). She died in childbirth, as did Rodericks only child. Most of this information is from Rodericks Canadian file".
1900 US census shows Roderick M Murdock with wife Lilla B [Viel, 30] in Fenton, Genesee, Michigan 
1920 US census shows Roderick M Murdock with wife Charity V  in Salmon, Lemhi, Idaho
According to Grace Johnson's 2 Feb 1945 handwritten notes, Roderick's only child died at birth (name unknown). This was a child by his first wife, who died in childbirth. These notes also say that he died in January 1918. As of 2 Feb 1945, these notes say that his widow was living in Fenton, Michigan.
Kay Wilson's database has Roderick dying in Philadelphia in 1918. I found a record of his death in the Idaho Death Index, 1911-15. There were also two census records from Salmon, Lemhi, Idaho that show Roderick in 1910 and 1920. In 1910 his wife was Lillian. In 1920 his wife was Charity V. Murdoch! I didn't see a marriage for Roderick and Charity in ancestry.com's Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996. According to ColinDouglas Murdoch II's paper family tree (from 1967), Roderick is married to Lillian (Charity) Viel.
"Died of old age" Stephen Carter. Died in Lemhi, IDAHO, SE of Seattle, WASHINGTON
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Roderick Macqueen by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: