Author Topic: Hunting for James HUNTER  (Read 2262 times)

Offline Little Nell

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Hunting for James HUNTER
« on: Wednesday 04 September 19 16:25 BST (UK) »
I'm looking for some help with a long-standing brickwall.  Apologies for the length of what follows, but I'm trying to give all the information that I have and which might help.

James Hunter was b 1783 in Leith, Scotland, parents Andrew Hunter & Euphemia Muir – I have his baptism record.  Mother died in 1784, father remarried.  He was a merchant in Leith, his business failed in 1790s, he died in 1821 in Melrose.

James married in 1804 to Mary Blaikie at Melrose.  They had 6 children as far as I know:
Andrew (1805) – fate unknown
James (1806 – 1891)
Elizabeth (1809) – fate unknown
Euphemia (1813-1891)
Robert (1815-1901)
John (1820) - fate unknown

An unsubstantiated family story is that James senior was a schoolmaster. He definitely took his family to North America and there are conflicting accounts as to where the youngest two were actually born, Scotland or America.  The baptisms are recorded in the Galashiels OPR .

James junior emigrated to USA in about 1833, with wife Janet and two young children.  They eventually settled in North Adams, Massachusetts and had a further 4 children.  This James founded the James Hunter Machine Company there.  He became a senior deacon in his local Congregational church.

Euphemia married a resident of Galashiels.  Robert became a minister in the Evangelical Union church and died in Leith.

James senior’s uncle John Hunter, who died in 1830, left a detailed testament dated 1819 indicating that James was in North America at that time.  When the will was registered, there was no indication that James was dead or of his whereabouts.

The various histories of the James Hunter Machine Company and obituaries indicate that James junior was sent to school in Edinburgh when aged 9 and apprenticed to a woollen manufacturer in Galashiels.  There is an online tree which says that the school was George Watson’s in Edinburgh.

I can find no definite trace of James Hunter senior and his wife Mary in the records after the birth of John in 1820.  Robert and James junior were in contact with each other – family photos of children taken in North Adams still exist.  Possibly James junior visited his brother in late 1880s since there is a photo of Robert  with his wife and some of his own children with a gentleman who bears a very strong resemblance to James junior and to himself.

James senior’s wife Mary Blaikie was dead by 1842 when her brother George wrote his testament.  George left James an annuity and indicated that James was currently abroad.  George died in 1854 and made some alterations to his original settlement but did not alter any statement or bequest for James. 

However, an obituary in the North Adams Transcript of 27 Feb 1899 for Mrs Sarah Parker, née Hunter, aged 51 said that she had been born in Canada and had lived in North Adams for about 40 years.  Her parents were Mr & Mrs James Hunter and she was ‘the half-sister of the late Deacon James Hunter.’  Deacon James Hunter died in 1891 and his son James was still alive.  In 1860 census for the household of James junior, there is a Sarah Hunter, born in Canada of the right age to be this Sarah.  James junior and his wife did not have a daughter named Sarah. 

Sarah also had a sister, a Mrs B B Eldridge of Janesville, Wisconsin.  I have found her in later censuses in USA and she indicates that she was born about 1844.  She married BB Eldridge in 1878.  She was Mary A Hunter – I have not found her  in an official record prior to this date.

A 1901 biographical publication of the counties of Rock, Green, Grant Iowa & Lafayette, Wisconsin record that Mary was the daughter of a Scottish Presbyterian minister of Quebec, Canada and he died there aged 92.  He was a minister of the Congregational church and died only 2 days after delivering his last sermon. This seems to be James senior, born in 1783.   I have found note of a burial in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal for a James Hunter who d 25 Sep 1876, but I don’t have any other detail.

So I’d love to be able to find out answers to any of the following:

When & where did Mary Blaikie die?
Where and when did James die? 
Who was his second wife and when did they marry?
Where in Canada were his daughters born?

Can anyone help, please?

Nell
All census information: Crown Copyright www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline oldohiohome

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 04 September 19 17:34 BST (UK) »
Thank you for the complete information.
Do you have this?

1851 Census St Dunstan, Quebec
James Hunter, 61, school master, born in Canada,
William Hunter, 11
Sarah Hunter, 10
Mary Hunter, 6
female, Jenny? Hunter, 4, unreadable note in occupation column

ages are "age next birthday"
all children born Canada
whole family: Presbyterian
no column for marital status.

http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/e/e093/e002311566.jpg

Is it the correct James? could his 1st wife Mary have died in childbirth with William? She probably would have been too old. Do you have a birth year for her?

Could his second wife have been named Jenny?

(numerous edits)

Offline oldohiohome

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 04 September 19 18:00 BST (UK) »
1861, all Quebec
nothing for James or Mary, looking for Hunter James/Mary

-----
could this be the son William:

1861 St Dunstan, Quebec
household of John Taylor, farmer, 55, born in Ireland
William Hunter, 20, born Lower Canada, servant, single

all in household said to be Church of England

http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/1861/jpg/4108812_00011.jpg

-- searching on surname and sub-district of St Dunstan: William is the only Hunter in St Dunstan

-- searching on given name of James and sub-district of St Dunstan: no surnames that could have been "Hunter" misspelled


Offline Little Nell

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 04 September 19 18:07 BST (UK) »
No, I did not have that 1851 census - thank you.  I may have seen it at sometime in the past but discounted it because the age is out by about 7 years.  I'd like to think that a schoolmaster would be a bit more accurate with his age!

Mary, his first wife, was born in 1777 in Melrose, so she would definitely have been too old to be William's mother.

I'm afraid I have absolutely no idea about the second wife's name. :(  It is only in the last 18 months or so that I became aware of the second marriage.

William is not a name that appears in either James's or Mary's families, but of course it might be associated with his second wife.

If this is 'my' James, at some point he becomes a presbyterian minister, assuming the the biographical information about his daughter Mary is correct.

Nell
All census information: Crown Copyright www.nationalarchives.gov.uk


Offline oldohiohome

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 04 September 19 18:21 BST (UK) »
Chalmer's Church, Presbyterian, Quebec City
13 October 1840

James Hunter, teacher [unreadable] and
Isabella [Hamel*] of the same place, spinster, after ... in St John's Church were married on the 13th October 1840 by [unreadable]

* Ancestry says her name is Hamel. I can't prove otherwise. very hard to read. I will attach a clip.

in case you have ancestry.com for US and Canada
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=fTz1598&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1091&gsfn=james&gsln=hunter&gsfn_x=NN&mssng=james&msddy=1876&msupn__ftp=quebec%20urban%20agglomeration%20,%20quebec,%20canada&msupn=1654534&_F20ED074=Presbyterian&new=1&rank=1&uidh=hti&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=34&fh=14&h=1123412&recoff=&ml_rpos=15

---------
thanks for the reply.
and so far he is still in Quebec City, so that burial in Montreal might not be him, at least not yet.

Offline oldohiohome

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 04 September 19 21:57 BST (UK) »
I looked through the church records for Quebec (Drouin Collection).
I didn't find:
---the death/burial of either of James Hunter Sr's wives
---baptism of any of the children of the second marriage
---James' death/burial
Censuses, didn't find:
---James on any census after 1851

It looks like the family broke up by 1860, with William on his own and Sarah with her half brother. Maybe Mary and Jenny were orphaned out...?

Offline Little Nell

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #6 on: Friday 06 September 19 20:20 BST (UK) »
Thank you for that.  The marriage record is a possibility well worth considering.

I have to admit I'm not convinced about the census record.  It is so difficult when there are so few clues and no definite idea of where exactly James died.

Thanks for taking the time to look for me.

Nell

All census information: Crown Copyright www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline eileenwilson

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #7 on: Monday 09 September 19 15:00 BST (UK) »
The complete marriage record transcribed: James Hunter, teacher, Valcartier, widower, and Isabella Howel (or Hamel), of the same place, spinster, after having been regularly proclaimed in St. John's Church were married on the 19th October 1840.

Offline eileenwilson

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Re: Hunting for James HUNTER
« Reply #8 on: Monday 09 September 19 15:19 BST (UK) »
There is a burial for a James Hunter in Valcartier (of the Settlement of Lake Beauport), school master, who died 13th October 1851, buried the 14th, in the Church of England church.