Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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KERR, JAMES (1810-1879)

KERR, JAMES, farmer, businessman, and sawmill superintendent; b. Kirkbean parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, 1810, s/o William M. Kerr and Isabella Little; brother of George Kerr; m. 1837, Elspeth Burnett Johnstone, sister of James B. Johnstone and Thomas George Johnstone; d. Chatham, 18 Jan 1879.

For many years James Kerr was among the most prosperous farmers at Napan, while also engaging in commercial activities in Chatham. In 1838 he had a store. Later, without abandoning his business interests, he became superintendent of his brother's sawmill, the former Abrams steam mill, at Rosebank. In 1871 the mill which his brother owned at this site was among the most valuable industrial establishments in Newcastle parish and had a seasonal workforce of twenty-five men. He retained his position in the mill until his brother's death in 1872.

Kerr was a member of the school board of Glenelg parish in 1843. In 1849 he was a Chatham parish assessor. For the last twelve years of his life he made his home in Chatham. He was "very comfortable," and at his death in 1879 he left "a snug fortune" to his family. His wife, Elspeth B. Johnstone, predeceased him in 1858, at age forty-two. He was survived by five children, including William Kerr and Elspeth B. Kerr, the wife of William S. Loggie.


[b] LDS-IGI [m] official records [d] Advocate 22 Jan 1879 / Fraser (WSL); Gleaner 13 Feb 1838, 3 Jan 1843, 16 Jan 1858