Harriet Inkster McMurray.

Harriet was born at Red River on October 10, 1846, the daughter of John Inkster (b. 1799) and Mary Sinclair (Metis). Harriet married William McMurray (Metis), on July 13, 1865 at Norway House. He was a widower whose wife Nancy Ballenden had died in 1862. He was the son of Thomas McMurray and an Indian woman. William was born in Rupertsland in 1819 and died in 1877 at Kildonan. Fort McMurray, Alberta is named after Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Factor William McMurray. The former North West Company post at the junction of the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers about 250 miles downstream from Athabasca Landing, was rebuilt by the HBC’s Henry “John” Moberly in 1870 and named after William McMurray. It functioned as a fur trading post and transportation centre connecting Edmonton with the Athabasca country. William was born about 1820 in the North-West, the Metis son of Thomas McMurray (b. 1776), a Chief Trader of the HBC and his wife Jane Cardinal (b. 1780). William received his education at the Red River Academy. The HBC apprenticed him as Postmaster around 1837, and in 1866 he was appointed Chief Factor, subsequently becoming Chief Factor for the northern district. McMurray died suddenly at Winnipeg on 7 March 1877. William was first married to Annie Christie Nancy Ballenden (b.1837), the Metis daughter of John Ballenden1 and Sarah McLeod. Annie died in 1862. In 1865, at Norway House, he then married Harriet Inkster (b. 1846), the Metis daughter of John Inkster and Mary Sinclair. They had one son, John Donald McMurray born on October 17, 1870 at Fort Chipewyan. Harriet died on April 5, 1891 at Lowes Fort. Scrip: McMurray, Harriet; for her living son, John Donald McMurray; born: 17 October, 1870 at Fort Chipewyan; address: Kildonan; father: William McMurray; mother: Harriet Inkster (Métis and deponent); file ref. 775944; claim no. 1610.


Known as “Orkney Johnny” he was a A Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Company.

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute

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