Wednesday, October 22, 2014


While this book is dedicated to the thousands of descendants of Robert and Henrietta (Brown) Muir, I cannot forget to give my Dad a very special thank you. I got my love of family history from my father. He was the genealogist in our family for years, starting before the Internet made it so much easier than it is today. He wasn't the best typist in the world so he would save up all his data entry tasks for my visits home. We spent hours together in his home office as I entered his latest research into the computer -- all the while Dad would tell stories about our ancestors. He was a natural born teacher and storyteller.

When I got a personal computer in 1994, the first software application I bought was for family trees. Since Dad was working on our family, I started on my husband's. I didn't get very far. His parents were first-generation Americans whose parents came from Lithuania, Austria, and Serbia. My first big discovery was finding my husband's paternal grandfather on a passenger list on the Ellis Island website.

Each time I hit a brick wall, I would put down my research for months and years at a time and then pick it back up again. I'd find some new bits and pieces of information every few years before hitting another brick wall. And so it continued until 2012.

Dad suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and could no longer research our family history. After seven months of brutal physical, occupational and speech therapy, he was again able to walk and to understand what we are talking about, but he is not able to speak and is often confused when left by himself. When Dad's therapists felt they had brought him back as far as they could, Mom decided they could't be apart any longer. She moved into an assisted living facility and Dad joined her the next week. They lived there happily together with wonderful care until Mom's death in 2014. What the future holds for Dad, well, we take it one day at a time.

We sold their house not long after they moved into their assisted living facility and I brought all Dad's genealogy files home with me. And so began my obsession. I promised Dad I would write a book about the one line he was unable to learn much about -- that of his grandfather, Robert Muir (1875-1956). The Muir family was his one line that did not come to America before the Revolutionary War. Dad did not have access to Scottish records so only knew as much as his mother could remember.

My father's grandfather, Robert Muir, was named for his paternal grandfather (and my great great great grandfather), Robert Muir, who was born about 1800 in Ireland and died on 20 April 1869 in Stonehouse, Scotland.

I hope you enjoy reading about our family!

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