Family History

Some time ago, the Murrell Family decided to trace the history of their ancestor and found that Daniel Murrell was one of Australia’s early convicts who was transported to Australia for 'Stealing a Fowl!'

Daniel Murrell was born in Fordham Essex England in 1815; his parents were James Murrell (a labourer) and Martha.

Daniel Murrell was convicted on 22nd May 1832 in Chelmsford Essex on two counts:

  • Stealing a Matlock (a tool)
  • Stealing a Fowl

He received a seven year sentence for each offence. When convicted in England Daniel Murrell’s occupation is listed as a Ploughman.  Daniel was transported aboard the 'York' convict ship which departed England on the 01 September 1832 and arrived in Tasmania on the 29 December 1832.

When Daniel Murrell arrived in Tasmania, he was employed on public works on the 'Great Island' and then sent to the Hamilton District to work on a private farm.  He received a Ticket of Leave on 01 January 1840.  He then obtained a Conditional Pardon on 12 February 1842 and finally was granted a Certificate of Freedom on the 03 November 1847.

Eventually Daniel departed Tasmania and traveled to Geelong in Victoria, and from there moved into the Western District of Victoria.

Daniel Murrell married Mary Higgins in Geelong on 16 February 1858.

Daniel’s occupation was a carrier living in Teasdale and Mary was a servant at Batesford.  Mary at 22 years of age was 18 years younger than Daniel.

It is interesting to note that neither Daniel nor Mary could write.  Daniel and Mary had a son James Murrell who was born in 1858.  Sadly Daniel died two years later in 1860.

Little information is known about James Murrell except that he was a butcher and cattle dealer in Shelford and that he married Laura Hawes and that they had a son Harold Henry Murrell who was born in 1892.

Harold Henry Murrell was Gordon’s father and in 1916 he enlisted in the Australian Army, joining the 29th Battalion and went to serve on the Western Front in France during the First World War.

As Harold had no trade, he witnessed the brutality of fighting in the trenches, fighting in battles at Fromelles, Polygon Wood and Ypres.  At the end of the Great War he traveled to Edinburgh and studied at the Royal Veterinary College before returning to Australia.  Harold took up a Soldier Settlement lot in Foxhow and married Flora Urch and raised three children, Gordon who was born in 1925 being the eldest.

Although Gordon’s family lived in Foxhow, he was born in Geelong. His father Harold, too busy to register his birth on the day he was born (the 21st of March), he registered him the following day on the 22nd March. This was the day he always celebrated his birthday throughout his life.

Gordon grew up happy on the farm but didn’t like school, and when he was 14 he left school to dig 'Post Holes'. He enjoyed sport and with his brother Ron, helped Cressy Football Club win their first Premiership in nearly 50 years.

Gordon got a job driving staff to the flax mills in Lismore and it was there that he fell in love and later married his wife Lorna (Dunn). Lorna’s father died when she was 6 years old, he was a 'Bullock wagon driver'. Lorna had a happy childhood with her mother and 3 brothers although times were very hard, she would tell the story of knitting at night with her mother Sarah over a single candlelight.

Gordon and Lorna were married in Foxhow in 1950. Where they operated a stock transport business before moving to Geelong in 1963.

They have both since passed away with Lorna passing in 2009 and Gordon in 2012. 

It was their Son Daryl that followed his parents into the family business and built the company from its small beginnings into one of Geelong’s most well know companies. 

Daryl was born in Lismore (located in Victorias Western District) spending the first few years of his life on the farm before moving to Geelong at the age of six with the family. Daryl attended Roslyn State School and Belmont High School (before leaving at the age of 16 to pursue a apprenticeship as a chef) after completing his apprenticeship Daryl joined the family business at the age of 20 where he remainded until his passing in 2018.

Daryl and Sharon first met playing tennis and were married in 1984.

Sharon is a lifelong Geelong resident. She was educated at Morongo High School and also recieved an accounting degree from Deakin University. Whilst maintaining an active role in the management of The Murrell Group Sharon is also a practicing accountant working with her father John Tonkin at their Fenwick St offices.

After Daryl first recieved his difficult cancer diagnosis in 2017 the day to day running of the company was taken up by Daryl and Sharon's oldest son Tim. With the excellent support of his Mother Sharon Tim continues on the proud legacy of his Father to this very day. 

Tim and Sharon are proud of the Murrell family's long history which is displayed on the company letterhead whilst the company slogan also boasts “From Transported to Transporting”. Tim and Sharon look foward to the Murrell Group continuing to grow and prosper well into the future.

Daryl & Sharon Murrell