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Dr. James Murdoch M.D.


Early Pioneer of Medicine
Van Diemens Land

Author: Max G. Linton #826, 1997.
Read Max's foreword to this narrative.


Dr. James Murdoch was born on July 14 1785, and an entry in the Orwell Church Parish records reads:

"Murdoch - James son to John Murdoch in Craigow by Mary Robertson his spouse was born July 14, 1785 and baptised the following sabbath".

There is also listed in the same records the birth of John Murdoch to the same parents on October 23, 1783, who was baptised on October 26, 1783. No further trace has been found of John.

It is also of interest to note that in the churchyard of the Orwell Church at Milnathort there is a gravestone which reads:

Here lies the remains of John Murdoch of Milnathort, died 11th January 1795 aged 69 years and of Margaret Henderson, his spouse, who died 16th January 1795 aged 69 years.

It has not been possible to establish a link between these Murdochs and Dr. James, but it is most likely they were his grandparents.

Dr. James' mother, Mary Robertson b. 15/11/1763 was the daughter of James Robertson and Grizell Grieve.

Although opinions differ as to where Dr. James was born, it appears certain that his parents were tenants at Craigow at the time of his birth. The property of Craigow still exists in Scotland a few kilometres outside Milnathort.

Also in the cemetery at Orwell are the remains of Mary Murdoch, the second daughter of Dr. James, together with a number of her family.

There are no records of Dr. James' childhood and his education, but it is most likely he spent this period of his life at Craigow.

Dr. James married Miss Grace Beveridge in Kinross and the following is an extract from the Church Records:

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