William John Murdock


Oct 16, 2012
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I don't understand from real Mr Murdoch to the one from the Mr Murdock, from the James Camron movie shot himself because he shot a passenger on the boat his name was Tommy 'O Ryan whats the difference between the real Mr Murdock and the one from the movie christa
 

Arun Vajpey

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Was this fireman and Titanic survivor's surname really Murdock or was it changed for some reason, perhaps to differentiate him from the First Officer? Fireman Murdock (sic?) was of Irish descent and AFAIK they spell the name same as the Scots, ie with an 'h' at the end rather than the 'k'. Also, in some works including Gunter Babler's crew book, he is listed as William John Murdoch; also on his Death Certificate here on ET.
 

Seumas

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Was this fireman and Titanic survivor's surname really Murdock or was it changed for some reason, perhaps to differentiate him from the First Officer? Fireman Murdock (sic?) was of Irish descent and AFAIK they spell the name same as the Scots, ie with an 'h' at the end rather than the 'k'. Also, in some works including Gunter Babler's crew book, he is listed as William John Murdoch; also on his Death Certificate here on ET.
William John Murdock's ancestors from way back would have spelt the name Murdoch (the correct spelling) but at some point Anglicised it by dropping the h.

They were most likely Ulster-Scots.
 

Thomas Krom

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1620477615775.png

In 1911 his surname was written down as "Murdoch" however.
 
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Jim Currie

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The written word "!Murdock" arises from an Anglo-Saxon inability to pronounce ancient Scottish names. The records of Ellis Island are full of examples of this. Incidentally, Seamas and I live near to "Lock Lomond" (I'm sure you've all hear of it.

I write from authority concerning the Murdochs because my full family names is James Murdoch, Buchanan Currie. and my wee brother is Captain Thomas Ian Murdoch Buchanan Currie.
Family stories handed down through the ages have been officially verified.

The Murdochs are descended form Doune in Perthshire, where my mother's GG Grandfather's flintlock pistol making workshop can still be seen to this day.
The name comes from Murdoch, son of Murdoch Stewart, Earl of Albany.
Thomas Buchanan. John and Thomas Murdoch were flintlock pistol makers at the time of the American revolution and the families inter-married.
It is said that a pistol made by my ancestor John Murdoch, fired the first shot that was heard around the world and that the same pistol and another made by his brother, Thomas were in the Washington and Lafayette families. Examples of the family work... Buchanan and Murdoch can be seen to this day at Glasgow Kelvingrove Museum.

How's that for a story? It is Saturday and the airwaves are quiet.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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In 1911 his surname was written down as "Murdoch" however
When I first took up a serious interest in the Titanic back in 1985, I believed that his name was Murdoch. Although I felt that such a jest or riddle was in bad taste myself, I have heard a couple of delegates at the annual Southampton conferences in the 1990s taking wagers (in the bar) that "William Murdoch survived" and that sort of thing.

I may be wrong but other than Gunter Babler's crew specific book, I don't recall Fireman William Murdoch being mentioned in any other Titanic literature.
 

Thomas Krom

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On the Belfast signing-in log he listed himself as "William Murdock" interestingly enough. On his grave his name is however listed as "Murdoch" once again:
1620486533995.png
 
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Seumas

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Could this have been a deliberate error in his part? Might he have been hesitant of having an Irish sounding name among predominantly English colleagues?
I wouldn't count on that.

Anyone with the name "Murdock" of an Irish (or more specifically an Ulster-Scots) background would be almost certain to be a Protestant.

There were many Liverpudlian crewmen of Irish Catholic stock who were happy to sign on with their birth names.
 

Arun Vajpey

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On the Family Search site, there is some unusual information about this.

William John, along with rest of his family, is listed as "Murdock" on the page with gives his birth details for 17th September 1874 in Clifton, Cumberland, England.

Rather unusually though, there is another page for his christening om 1st November 1874, six weeks later. There, all concerned including William John are listed as "Murdoch".

Both his Death Certificate and Memorial at the Rockwood Cemetery in NSW, Australia, give his surname as "Murdoch" William John Murdoch (1874-1941) - Find A Grave...
 

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