James Barr 1830-1890 - Master with PSNC

Capt. James Barr 1830 - 1890

When I received the following email from Angus Kindley I was fascinated and planned with his permission, to post it, on the web pages.
Not only was it the record of a former PSNC Captain but for genealogists it could be a "treasure trove."

Date: 24/01/2017
You may be interested in an ancestor of mine - James Barr.
James Barr (1830-1890) was a Captain in the fleet in the 1800's and was in command of the "John Elder" when he died at sea.
His son, another James Barr, was also a Captain in the 1890's with PSNC on West Coast trade off Chile and latterly joined Furness-Withy.
He was drowned when in command of the "Florence" (official number 95296) off Newfoundland on 20 December 1912 - the ship was a total loss. Best wishes, Angus Kindley


Early Pre-PSNC History

1830 Born 27 December at Alloa, Scotland
1831 Baptised 15 January at Alloa, Scotland
1841 Census Parish 465 Ed. 4 Page 12, Newmarket Street, Alloa, Clackmannshire.
James Barr, 40, Cabinet Maker, born Clackmannanshire;
Charlote (sic) (King) Barr, 40, born Clackmannanshire;
George Barr, 15, Shoe Maker's Apprentice, born Clackmannanshire;
James Barr, 10, born Clackmannanshire;
Charlote Barr, 5, born Clackmannanshire;
John Barr, 2, born Clackmannanshire.
Next on the Census:-
Margaret McEadie, 40, Grocer, born Clackmannanshire;
James McEadie, 20, Journeyman Cooper, born Clackmannanshire;
John Burd? McEadie, 20, Journeyman Blacksmith, born Clackmannanshire.
Next on the census:-
Elizabeth (King) Barr, 75, Independent, born Clackmannanshire;
John Barr, 35, Cotton Weaver, HL?{abreviation for Hand Loom}, born Clackmannanshire;
Janet Barr, 35, born Clackmannanshire.


Sailing Record to 1859

Sailing record to 1859


1846 Indentured 26 February for four years.  Bound to W (or M.) Thompson of Alloa, Scotland.
1850 Indenture expired 26 February.  Certificate of Service Number 55841.
1851 Mate's Certificate issued at Alloa 25 January 1851; Certificate number 55841, Register ticket number 25226.  Certificate states he has been Apprentice and Mate serving five years Foreign Service.

1851 31 March for the Census in Scotland. 692/02/033/02088 Schedule number 34.46, Shore, South Leith, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland:-
Jessie Creighton, Head, Widow, 66, Laundress, born Edinburgh, Scotland;
James Barr, Boarder, Unmarried, 24, Seaman, born Alloa, Clackmannshire, Scotland

1851 6 April - 9 August aboard "Alfred" of Alloa as 2nd Mate.   "Alfred" was a 342 ton barque built in Hull in 1801 and was owned by W. Thompson and registered home port was Alloa.
1851 22 August - 28 November aboard "Alfred" of Alloa as 2nd Mate.
1852 5 April - 18 August "Signet" of Alloa as Boatswain.  "Signet" was a 518 ton barque built in 1845.  The owner was W. Thompson and registered home port was Alloa.
1852 - 1853
17 October 1852 to 1 May 1853 aboard "Signet" of Alloa as 2nd Mate.
Aboard "Wanderer" of Leith as Seaman from 1 July until 31 December. Then travelled to Australia.
1854 In Australia aboard the "Raven" of Geelong from 6 March 1854 until 28 June 1854 as Seaman.
In Australia aboard the "Saphire" of Geelong from 1 July 1854 until 3 August 1854 as Second Mate.
1854 - 1856 In Australia aboard "William" of Sydney from 5 August 1854 until 10 May 1856 as Mate.
1856 In Australia aboard "Goldseeker" of Sydney from 1 June 1856 until 9 October 1856 as Mate
1856 In Australia aboard "Jessie" of Geelong from 27 October 1856 until 16 December 1856 as Mate.
1857 - 1858 In Australia aboard "Bright Planet" of Geelong from 9 April 1857 until 1 April 1858 as Mate.
1858 Back in UK.  Mate aboard the "Centurian" of Aberdeen from 28 August 1858 until 15 December


Passed First Mate Certificate 10th February 1859

Gives address on application as 13, Abbey Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland.


First Mate Certificate



Passed Master Certificate 22nd February 1859 - 12 days later


Master Certificate


1859 Passed Master 22 February 1859.  Certificate eneterd in Register 23 February 1859.
1859 Aboard "Robert Burns" Official Number 32850.
1860 Aboard "Francis Barclay" Official Number 7015   240 tons
1861 Census RG9/4506/F78a "Francis Barclay", Liverpool, Lancashire (In Dock).   Ship based at Port Carlisle.
The first part of the schedule (Form A) gives a description of the ship, port she belongs to, tonnage, trade and name of Master thus;
"Frances Barclay"; Port Carlisle; 240 tons; Barque, Foreign Trade; James Barr.
The schedule was given to James Barr (279) at Liverpool on the 4 April and was for the position of the vessel at midnight the 7 April.
The second part shows the crew on board on the night of the census;
Henry Huddert, Unmarried, 23, Carpenter, born Maryport, Cumberland;
Thomas Greenwood, Unmarried, 18, Seaman, born Port Carlisle, Cumberland.
Two crew ashore.
The schedule is signed by the Captain, James Barr.

1861 Marriage on 27 December at St. Thomas's, Wigan, Lancashire. Marriage Register entry 35.
James Barr, Bachelor, 30, Mariner, living Edinburgh.
Father - James Barr, Cabinet Maker
Elizabeth Wardrop, Spinster, 23, living Queen Street, Wigan, Lancashire.
Father - John Wardrop, Painter
Witnesses:- George McWilliam, John Graham, Sarah Wardrop, Elizabeth Jane Graham.

1862 Birth of son James Barr on 24 November at 09.30 hrs, 38 Broughton Street, Edinburgh.
Birth certificate shows his father as James Barr, Mariner (Merchant Service) and mother as Elizabeth (Wardrop) Barr who married 27 December 1861 at Wigan, Lancashire.   Elizabeth Barr registered the birth 12 December.
1864 "Australasian" Official Number 18493 and TS "China" Official Number 43705.
1864-1865 "Asia" 1284
1865-1866 TS "Aleppo" Official Number 50370
1866-1867 "Heela" Official Number 28225 and "Tarifa" Official Number 50378 1867-1868 "Tripoli" Official Number ??997
1868-1869 "Siberia" Official Number 58336

1869 Birth of son George McWilliam Barr, GRO Index reference December Quarter 1869 George McWilliam Barr, West Derby 8b 320.
1871 Birth 7 August of daughter Elizabeth Wardrop Barr at 14 Langham Street, Kirkdale, Everton, Lancashire.
Father shown as James Barr, Master Mariner and mother Elizabeth (Wardrop) Barr who registered the birth 13 September.


PSNC History from 1873 until death at sea in 1890

PSNC Sailing Record


1873 Joined the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, Liverpool on the 8th January as Second Officer.
1873 Promoted 24 May, Chief Officer on "Sorata", Official Number 65591.
His sailing record with the P.S.N.C. (obtained from Liverpool Maritime Library VoI 115/M5/1) shows that "Left "Sorata" at Callao and was appointed Commander of the "Valdivia" to bring her home"
1874 "Potosi"
1875-1877 Re-joined "Sorata" 17 November
1875 Took command of the vessel at Valparaiso for the voyage to Callao because of "Captain Conlan's illness".
Took the vessel back to Liverpool, U.K.
1877 Took command of the "Cordillera" on the 23 January.
1878 "Cordillera"/ "Magellan" / "Sorata"
1879 Command of the "Potosi". The record shows that she suffered a collision on the 21 September whilst entering Pauillac and as a result "Potosi" was laid up.
1880 Command of the "Magellan".   The record shows that in January of that year he "....was strongly cautioned as to a mistake in time of tide on entering Pauillac ..."
1881 The Minute Books of the P.S.N.C. shows an entry 8 April pages 278/279 thus "...The case of Captain Hamilton late of the "Valparaiso" was again considered and it was resolved that he be appointed to the Command of the "Magellan" and that Captain Barr of the latter vessel be transferred to the "Acongagua" ...."
1884-1887 "Patagonia". Crew Agreement for the "Patagonia" (official number 58995) voyage starting 23 April from Liverpool via Lisbon, Valparaiso, Caldera, Valparaiso, Coronel and thence back to Liverpool arriving 6 August. The agreement shows that James Barr was born in Alloa, Scotland in 1835. 1886 Makes Will (See file) dated 26 November.
1887 Crew Agreement for the "Magellan" (official number 58978) for voyage starting 23 March at Liverpool via Lisbon, Valparaiso, and thence back to Liverpool arriving 28 June. Agreement shows he was born Alloa in 1830.
1888 "Magellen" Official Number 58978
1889-1890 "John Elder" Official Number 63313



Crew Agreement for "John Elder" 1890

Crew Agreement for John Elder 1890

1890 Died at sea 26 July when Master of "John Elder".   The ship's Crew Agreement for that voyage shows " •••• I hereby certify that on the vessel's arrival at this port the death of Capt. J. Barr was reported to this office, under circumstances recorded in Official Log Book, his effects have been left in charge of the chief officer Mr. W. C. Poole, who has been appointed Master in his stead ... William Abbot, Consul General, Rio, 28 July 1890"
When "John Elder" arrived back at Liverpool on the 20 August 1890 the Crew Agreement reads
"I hereby certify that the evidence of the crew respecting the death of the within named James Barr, Master is satisfactory and corroborates the statement in the Official Log Book ... J. Farrie D. Supt M.M. Office, Liverpool 21 August 1890 ..."
Public Records Office Records "Deaths at Sea" (PRO KewjBT156j4) shows "James Barr, Male, aged 60, Master, born Alloa, Abode Liverpool, Died of Intestinal Obstruction on the 26 July 1890 at sea 29 degrees 32' South, 48 degrees 21' West on SS "John Elder".

Deaths at Sea 1890

Deaths at Sea 1890

1890 "Liverpool Mercury" Thursday 31 July 1890 page 7 "Deaths" "Barr - July, at sea, Captain James Barr of the P.S.N. Company's R.M.S. " John Elder" and 179 Walton Lane, Kirkdale (by cable from Rio de Janeiro 29th inst)"br 1890 Will proved at Liverpool 5 September.   Personal Estate worth Four Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty-Four Pounds Eight-Shillings and Tenpence.   Executors named as Christina Wardrop a Spinster of 5 Eccleston Street, Wigan and William Marsden (a Joiner of Wigan) of 5 Eccleston Street, Wigan.
The proving of will states that James Barr was "late of Walton Lane, Kirkdale, Liverpool"



My sincere thanks to Angus Kindley for providing this material and for being so patient waiting for it to be published in these web pages.pnbsp;



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