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Monday, 18 May 2015

Edith Simms Murdock (1890-1930)

Edith was the younger sister of my grandfather Alexander Simms.  She was the fifth of eight children born to farmers William Simms and Agnes McAllister in Dundas, Ontario.  Her date of birth was January 13, 1890.

On the Census records of 1891, 1901 and 1911, I have found Edith living in Mountain Township with her family.

Edith (with no middle name I've been able to discover) married Erroll Glen Arron Murdock (1896 - 1975) in about 1920.  On the 1921 Canadian Census of Mountain Township, Erroll is actually the enumerator and he and Edith are married and listed as boarders.

Over the next 8 years, Edith and Erroll were blessed with 5 children, a boy and then 4 girls.   Tragically, as Edith was expecting her sixth child, it was found she suffered from uterine cancer.  The child was stillborn and buried beneath a tree in the yard as they knew Edith would follow within days.  This sad event happened on March 15, 1930 and Edith was buried with her baby in the South Gower Cemetery.  Thank you to Erroll's grandson Dave for this information.

 Her five surviving children ranged in age from 9 to almost 2 and Erroll would have likely been encouraged to give them to family or others to raise but it seems he was determined to keep his family together.  

Erroll remarried Lillian Bainbridge and they went on to have 4 children together.  Dave shared with me that they were all raised as one family - not "step" or "half" just brothers and sisters -  in the South Mountain area.  Their Aunt Mary (Simms) Bryan  often hosted the Murdock children and memories of her kindnesses lived on with those little children.  Family is certainly more than blood lines and DNA, as Mary knew and showed.


  1. Hello. I am the grand-daughter of Erroll Murdock and Lillian Bainbridge. I can attest to what my cousin David Dobbie reported that all Edith's children were raised and loved by my grandparents (Lillian and Erroll) My aunts and uncles born from Edith were loved dearly by Lillian. We were/are a close family and the children of Edith's marriage were and are my aunts and uncles, no distinctions ever made.
    Debbie Murdock-Donaldson

    1. Glad you found the blog Debbie. You sound like a wonderful family that many others could learn from. Thanks for your comment.