Murray-Priors in Ireland

John Murray/Murray-Prior (1720-81). Tom Prior’s cousin and heir. m (1) Mary O’Neil (1720-61)
Andrew Murray-Prior (c.1747-95) m 29 April 1772 Frances Morres (b. c.1751)
Thomas Murray-Prior (1773 - 5 November 1854) m. 1799 Catherine Palmer (d. 1802) m. (2) or de facto? Mary Ann Thompson and other possible liaisons producing children. This Thomas Murray-Prior was the first of a continuing, unbroken line of Thomas Murray-Prior.

With the acquisition of a country property with tenants, the Priors and subsequently Murray-Priors established themselves as part of the Anglo-Irish gentry. The men were accorded the courtesy title Esquire, usually shortened to Esq. after their name. Arguably, when the estate was lost to the family, one of TLM-P's key motivations was to re-establish the prestige of his family. It is possible too, that in re-establishing his family's status, TLM-P was the first to add a hyphen in the surname. Though the hyphen was not consistently used until recent generations, for the sake of consistency, I have used one from the formation of the name on Tom Prior's death in 1751.

Ever since the above Thomas M-P was born in 1773, the tradition has been followed that each Thomas and his wife call their first-born son Thomas. It’s a bonus that the name celebrates the first Prior in Ireland as well as the great Tom Prior whose will prompted the formation of the Murray-Prior name. It is less of a bonus when trying to keep track of which Thomas is which! Nevertheless it is an incredible achievement, indicative of a strong family identity. How many other families can match this tradition?

  • murray-priors_in_ireland.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/03/22 10:22
  • by judith