Margaret Elaine (Marge) Shearing and
Alfred William (Jim) Shearing


Margaret Elaine (Marge) Murray was born October 25, 1902, on the farm Roode Bloem in the Graaff-Reinet District of South Africa, the daughter of Thomas Everitt Murray and Eleanor McDonald. She grew up at Roode Bloem, attended boarding school at Cape Town for four years, from 1917 through December1920, and then returned home.

Margaret Elaine Murray, Age 5
Margaret Elaine Murray, Age 8

Marge Murray and her cousin, Eileen Murray, enjoyed a six-month holiday trip to England, meeting many relatives and seeing the places where they had lived, as well as visiting Scotland and Wales and touring France, Italy, Switzerland, and the Norwegian Fjords. This trip made her keenly aware of family history and traditions.

She was married at St. James Church, Graaff-Reinet, on December 9, 1933, to Alfred William Shearing, "Jim", born in London England October 18, 1902, who came to South Africa in 1929 and farmed Bruinrug farm, Nelspoort, Cape Province. Jim had joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1918 and served as a navigator, remaining in the RAF in the Middle East and later in England before moving to South Africa. During World War II he was the Commandant of the southern Karoo NRV in South Africa.

Marge Shearing - 1951
All the pictures on this page are from the book "My Ain Folk," described below and were provided by Margot Shearing.
Jim Shearing - 1951

Jim and Marge farmed at Bruinrug Farm until 1989, when they moved to Beaufort West, where they lived until Marge's death on June 16, 1992. Jim then moved to the Parsonage Street Old Age Home in Graaff-Reinet in May 1993, and passed away in Graaff-Reinet on January 5, 1994. He and Marge are buried in the family graveyard in Roode Bloem.

Margaret Elaine (Marge) and Alfred William (Jim) Shearing celebrated their fiftieth anniversary on December 9, 1983, with family and friends at Hartebeesfontein.

Marge Shearing compiled a "Family Book" and kept up an extensive correspondence on family affairs as well as personal contacts. She kept diaries which were complete until shortly before her death. Peter Murray described his years of correspondence with her as providing "what the pedigree charts lack: plenty of detail and points of human interest about the Thurtell and Murray ancestors and relatives. Marge Shearing's writing style and choice of material almost makes us feel we know the individuals and the life they experienced. . . .At the same time she always displayed excellent historical judgement and accuracy in all she wrote . . and sensitivity to the occasional scandals that have sometimes threatened to divide the family even long after the fact. Her "Family Book" also contains many photographs and clippings (originals). . . .A good deal of source material that Marge Shearing had was inherited from her family. Some was from Helen Kernick, a relative who inherited the papers of Herbert and Ada Murray and was herself keenly interested in the family history. And much more of her information came from her extensive life-long correspondence with relatives and other family history contacts around the world. I never had the chance to meet Marge in person through all our years of correspondence, but I got the strong impression that she was someone with a positive outlook, intellect and warmth that drew everyone to her, and that she was in many cases was instrumental in bringing a far-flung family into closer touch with each other."

Marge Shearing had begun writing a family book, "My Ain Folk," in 1961 and continued compiling it until shortly before her death; and it was her dream to see it published.

In 2000 her granddaugter, Margot Shearing, now Margot Collett, made that dream a reality. She compiled additional information about the immediate family of Marge and Jim Shearing, and obviously spent countless hours in typing, typesetting, editing, layout, and design, including numerous wonderful pictures, newspaper articles, and stories, as well as the facts, dates, places, and detailed information that Marge Shearing kept so carefully.

Depending upon available copies, this fantastic book can be obtained by contacting Margot Collett directly at P.O. Box 2654, Port Alfred, 6170, South Africa, or by email at



Additions and corrections are always appreciated!

Susan T. Miller
1411 West Childs Street
Wheaton, Illinois 60187-4601
Phone 630-682-0108

Links to other sites on the Web

Susan T. Miller's Genealogy Home Page
Index to Pages with Photos
Family Page for Marge and Jim Shearing
More Information about Margaret (Murray) Shearing

I am always interested in exchanging information regarding the Thurtell and related families!

Send E-mail to Susan T. Miller at

© 2001

Last updated January 20, 2007