Surprisingly, this volume about my own branch of the Muir family was particularly difficult to write. It took two hiatuses and just over a year to finish. It contains biographical sketches of 321 people -- all descendants of James Muir (1848-1926) and his first wife, Margaret Semple (1850-1920) -- as well as information about the places they lived, events that shaped their lives, and occupations they held. Completing it would not have been possible without the assistance of several people.
Sarah Semple, my fourth cousin once removed, reached out to me in early 2013. She noticed I had Semples in my family tree and explained how we were related and sent me a chapter about the parents of Margaret (Semple) Muir, my great great grandmother, she had written several years ago. For over three years we have been research collaborators on our shared Muir-Semple line. Much of her research has enriched this volume in ways large and small. Frequently, the two of us would work non-stop for days at a time on the people in this volume. Sarah working in New Zealand when I was sleeping and me picking up the baton when she went to bed.
During the course of writing this volume I was beyond fortunate to have several Muir cousins reach out to me. They shared stories and photographs of our common ancestors and their contributions have greatly enhanced the depth and breadth of the information contained in this volume. I am well aware there are omissions and errors of fact; they are mine alone.
This book includes several memories of my extended immediate family. After reading these articles if anyone wants to submit stories or memories of their siblings, parents, or grandparents, it is not too late. I can add them to the blog immediately so they will be available whenever I published a new edition of this volume.
Thank you all!
I started this multi-volume book as the fulfillment of a promise to my father. I believe I have been delivering on that promise in large part thanks to all of those who have contributed. Many will notice this volume is out of chronological order, following Volume II. That was a result of a promise made to my 88-year-old uncle who very much wanted to read about his Scottish roots. The next volume I will begin is Volume III: Descendants of Robert Orr Muir (1839-1917) and His Wives. He had thirteen children by two wives so it promises to be another long journey.