Margaret Murdison/Morrison was married 9 June 1802 to James Fairgrieve. Her marriage records lists her as being the daughter of Andrew Murdison, tenant farmer in Newbie in the parish of Peebles, Peebleshire, Scotland. Her name is shown as Margaret Murderson in the parish records of her marriage in James' parish of Lasswade. The name is shown as Morrison on her children's death certificates.


Marriage record of James Fairgrieve and Margaret Murdison, Peebles parish register

No christening record has been found for Margaret, but other records show the Andrew Murdison family in Peebles. Murdisons are found in Peebleshire throughout the 1700s, but it is not a very common name.
Andrew Murdison is found in a tax list in Newbie, next to James Murdison and William Murdison. James Fairgrieve is also listed nearby.

Murdison Horse Tax

Farm Horse Tax 1797-98

8 August 1797

Master/Mistresses Name            Number of Horses        Duty

James Murdison in Newbie          1                                    0.2.0
William Murdison in Newbie       1                                    0.2.0
Andrew Murdison in Newbie       1                                    0.2.0

A Survey of the Horse Tax, per 37 Geo. III. Cap. 108. in the Shire of Peebles, From the 5 of July 1797 to the 5 of April 1798 By William Brunton Surveyor -

Andrew Murdison and Janet Lawder had children in Peebles in the right time period. Janet was christened 21 April 1745 in Newlands, Peebleshire, the daughter of David Lauder and Mary Smith. Andrew was buried 15 August 1803 in Drumelzier. It is likely that Andrew and Janet had the following children:

*1. Margaret, born in about 1780; married James Fairgrieve 9 June 1802 in Peebles.

2. Janet, born in December 1783; buried 7 May 1784 in Drumelzier, Peebles: "Janet Murdison, a child about 6 months, daughter to Andrew Murdison, tennent  of Boald, Traquair parish, was buried here".

3. William, christened 1 October 1790 in Traquair, Peebles.

4. Christian Stevenson, (female) christened 3 August 1792 in Peebles, Peeblesshire.

5. John, christened 29 April 1795 in Peebles, Peebleshire.

Sources: IGI; Peebles parish register; Midlothian, Edinburgh - Register of Marriages, 1751-1800 on; Drumelzier parish register; Farm Horse Tax Rolls 1797-1798 on, Volume 4.

Andrew, James and Thomas Murdison are all shown as living in Newby. James and Thomas are the sons of Andrew Murdison of Drumelzier, so it is very likely that Andrew is too, making this family group:


Andrew Murdison was christened 27 May 1677 in Drumelzier, Peebleshire, the son of William Murdison and Barbara Simsone. He married Margaret Stevenson of Kilbucho parish 31 December 1719 in Drumelzier. Margaret was the daughter of Alexander Stevenson, and she was christened 2 April 1699 in Stobo, Peebleshire. (This family connection to the Stevensons would explain Christian Stevenson Murdison's middle name.)

Andrew Murdison

Marriage record for Andrew Murdison and Margaret Stevenson in Drumelzier:
"Decer 31 Androw Murdoson in this parishe and Margaret Stevenson in the parish of Kilbucho having been ordere proclaimed & having obtainst & testemonials thereof was maried att Kilbucho"

Andrew died and was buried 23 May 1747 in Drumelzier. The parish register states: "Andrew Murdison, tennent in Drummelzier and one of the elders of the parish aged about 60 years was buried". 

Andrew Murdison burial

Burial record for Andrew Murdison in Drumelzier

Margaret died in Traquair, and was buried 12 November 1781 in Drumelzier: "Margaret Stevenson relic of the deceased Andrew Murdison late tenant in Drummelzier died at Boald in her eldest sones house and was buried here this day aged 86 years."

Andrew and Margaret had the following children:

1. Janet, christened 19 February 1721 in Drumelzier.

2. John, christened 22 September 1723 in Drumelzier; found in horse tax rolls in 1787 in Bold, Traquair, next to William Murdison of Scrogbank, Traquair; buried 10 March 1802 in Drumelzier.

3. Andrew, christened 29 July 1725 in Drumelzier.

4. Alexander, christened 19 April 1727 in Drumelzier. This is believed to be the Alexander Murdison of Newby who was tried and hanged with his shepherd John Millar on 23 March 1777 in Edinburgh for using a specially trained sheep dog to steal his neighbors' sheep and rebrand them as his own. The story is told in Stories of the Border Marches by John Lang.

5. James, christened 8 July 1729 in Drumelzier; of Newby, Peebleshire; married Janet Donald 16 December 1758 in Drumelzier; found in horse tax list in 1797 in Newbie; buried 19 August 1799 in Drumelzier: "James Murdison in Newbie was buried here".

6. Robert, christened 7 May 1731 in Drumelzier; buried 7 May 1731 in Drumelzier.

7. Janet, christened 25 May 1733 in Drumelzier; buried 22 November 1760 in Drumelzier: "Janet Murdison, daughter to the deceased Andrew Murdison, late tenent in Drumelzier aged between 27 and 28 years was buried."

8. William, christened 28 May 1735 in Drumelzier; found in horse tax rolls in 1787 in Scrogbank, Traquair, next to John Murdison of Bold, Traquair, found in horse tax list in 1797 in Newbie.

9. Margaret, christened 31 March 1738 in Drumelzier.;

10. Thomas, christened 20 February 1740 in Drumelzier; married Jean Wilson; occupation sheep hand or servant in Newbie.

*11. Andrew, born in about 1745; married Janet Lawder; found in horse tax list in 1797 in Newbie; buried 15 August 1803 in Drumelzier.

SOURCES: Drumelzier parish register.


William Murdison married first Margaret Henderson 14 December 1662 in Drumelzier, then second, Barbara Simsone 26 November 1676 in Drumelzier. Barbara was most likely the daughter of James Simsone and Marione Rae of Drumelzier.

William Murdison marriage

Marriage record for William Murdison and Barbara Simsone in Drumelzier:
"Wm Murdeson in this parish and Barbara Simsone in ye parish of xxx proclaimed"

Barbara died and was buried in November 1709 in Drumelzier.

Barbara Murdison burial

Burial record for Barbara Murdison in Drumelzier:
"November Barbrie Murderson in Dr"

William and Margaret had the following children:

1. Jennet, christened 11 December 1664 in Drumelzier.

2. Johne, christened 7 April 1667 in Drumelzier.

3. Thomas, christened 18 September 1670 in Drumelzier.

4. Helen, christned 16 November 1673 in Drumelzier.

William and Barbara had the following children:

*1. Andrew, christened 27 May 1677 in Drumelzier; married Margaret Stevenson 31 December 1719 in Drumelzier; buried 23 May 1747 in Drumelzier.

Andrew Murdison

Baptism record for Andrew Murdison in Drumelzier

2. Thomas, christened 11 November 1677 in Drumelzier; buried 19 February 1747 in Drumelzier.

3. Jennet, christened 1 January 1682 in Drumelzier.

Sources: IGI; Drumelzier parish register, FHL #1067905; ScotlandsPeople.


No christening record has been found for William Murdison, but there are several Murdison families in Drumelzier having children at the same time. They may be his brothers. There is also a marriage for James Murdesone and Marioun Hoge on 5 November 1628 in Drumelzier. They are of an appropriate age and  may be William's parents.

James died and was buried
31 October 1679 in Drumelzier.

James Murdison burial

Burial record for James Murdison in Drumelzier:
"Octr 31 James Murdosone"

James and Marioun may be the parents of:

1. Thomas, born in about 1630 of Drumelzier; married 1) Jannet Stewart 14 January 1651 in Drumelzier, married 2) Christine Chisholm 23 October 1653 in Drumelzier; born
2 December 1677 in Drumelzier.

2. James, born in about 1638 of Drumelzier; married Bessie Boe 26 August 1659 in Drumelzier.

*3. William, born in about 1640 of Drumelzier; married 1) Margaret Henderson 14 December 1662 in Drumelzier, married 2) Barbara Simsone 26 November 1676 in Drumelzier.

4. John, born in about 1642 in Drumelzier; married Janet Alexander 16 June 1666 in Drumelzier.

5. Alexander, christened 10 April 1649 in Drumelzier

SOURCE: Drumelzier parish register on ScotlandsPeople.


These Murdisons are found in the early Drumelzier burial register:

Murdisons are found in early burgh records of Peebles town. The document on discharging of the outland burgesses, dated 20 January 1555, lists "William Murdoksone in Drummelzeare". (Charters and Documents Relating to the Burgh of Peebles)  This may be James Murdison's grandfather.

Andrew Murdison is mentioned in earlier records in the late 1400s: "23 April 1498  The cont of the common guddis of the burgh of Peblis, made in the Tolbutht of that ilk, the xxviij day of November the yer of God, etc, lssssviij yeris, be Andro Gibsoun, resauar of the saidis gudis, befor Meitin Balkeske and Patrik Dekison balyeis, with a parit of the best of the town, the which dai al thing conttit and rekonit of al termes bygane, al prestos feis and otheris of al termes bygane part and allowit, the which day Gilbert Wilyhamsoun was maid tresorar for a yer. Item, fra Andro Murdison for his burges silver, x s"  (Charters and Documents Relating to the Burgh of Peebles)

An earlier document mentions Andrew as a child: "8 Feb 1478  The which day abon wntyn, master Wyllam of Twede, tutour and owisear (overseer) to Andro Morchoson, dehuerit the said Andro Morchoson and his gudis (goods) in the kepyn of John Scot while the child com to lawfull eld (age), and than the said Jhon Scot was bwndyn to the sayd master Wylyam to deliver the child his gudis and ayrschip again saclyk as he rasauit or the part of tham when the child askyt, and this was don at the for yeit of the said Andro Morchosonis efter that he tuk sesing (possession), befor the witness abou wirtyn." (Charters and Documents Relating to the Burgh of Peebles)


Another early document, written after Michaelmas 1470, mentions John Morchoson, and James of Murdasone in the town council: "The last chossyng dowssan (the town council) eiter Mechelmes the yer lx lx Georg of Elphynston, Wylyam of Peblis, John Madour, John Dekyson, Mechel of Forest, John Morchoson, George Dawyson, Rechart Cant, Wyll Smayll, Andro Folkart, John Haw, Patrik of Tempyl, James of Murdasone, Thomas Jamson, John Gybson, Hartbart of Twede, John Huscher, Rob Fosster, Andro Myller."  (Charters and Documents Relating to the Burgh of Peebles)


John Morchoson is also mention in 3 October 1468, in a document describing six men chosen to the baileys council: "Thu ar the sex men that is ordanyt to fief the balyies consell Wylyem of Pebillis, John Madur, Patton of Tempyl, Wyl Smayll, Jhon Blaklo, and Jhon Murchosoun."  (Charters and Documents Relating to the Burgh of Peebles)

Drumelzier is a small parish in Peebleshire. In 1831, the population was 223. Drumelzier is the traditional location of Merlin the magician's grave: "The site of his death and burial is indicated by tradition on the banks of Tweed where it is joined by the Powsail burn, and is marked by a very old thorn tree."

An interesting post on the internet gives this information: "I have been trying to piece together the jigsaw that is the Murdison family tree for nearly 30 years. The name originally appears to be from the lands of Murdochstoune in the Scottish borders, land traditionally owned by the Scott family (Sir Walter Scott has a fictional character Meg Murdieson in his novel Old Mortality). In olden times the name was variously spelt Murdosoune, Murderson, Murdiston, Mordison, etc before settling down to be Murdison. Interestingly, one of the earliest places where you find Murdisons is in Drumelzer, the place traditionally where Merlin met his death. The original spelling of Merlin is Myrddin or Murdin, so maybe we are all Murdin sons!?",


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