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Looking details of my father John Kenneth Kerr.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


JoonieCloonie Report 16 Sep 2016 03:47

There is one John E Kerr in Toronto on the voters lists ... a barrister ... but unfortunately his wife is Laura.

There are seriously just too many John, 'Mrs John' and 'Mrs Margaret' Kerrs on the voters lists (you can't search for people together and have to look at each record to see whether one name is with the other) that even finding a couple with those names would not tell you whether it was them.


JoonieCloonie Report 16 Sep 2016 04:31

I really don't think Margaret and John married.

Ontario marriages are available at familysearch and Ancestry up to 1931 (85 year rule). There is no marriage there.

Margaret really would not have travelled back to Ireland as McKee if she was married. She would have had her passport altered or reissued in her married name. Travelling alone with her child who did not have her same surname would have been rather embarrassing. The child would have been added to her passport so having a passport in her married name would have been no extra burden.

Also there doesn't seem to be a record of Margaret leaving Ireland again, although one can never rule out bad transcriptions and the like.


MargaretM Report 16 Sep 2016 12:54

Finally found her arrival in Canada but it doesn't tell us anything:

: Margaret McKee

Given Name(s):MargaretSurname:McKeeAge:19Gender:FNationality:IrShip:METAGAMAPort of Arrival:Quebec, QuebecDate of Arrival:1926-05-16Year of Arrival:1926Volume Number:4Page Number:83Series:C-1-aMicrofilm Reel Number:T-14722Reference:RG 76Item Number:643666


Sandra Report 16 Sep 2016 13:44

Jooniecloonie - I am quite sure they didn't marry. Its just strange that she came back here on her own with a baby! I wonder did he die?

MargaretM - I have another Margaret Mckee sent to me in my thread, who I think is more likely as the address is perfect!

I think the John is not the right one, as he would be Catholic.


MargaretM Report 16 Sep 2016 14:03

But that one matches the outgoing passenger list that was posted, same ship, Metagama, left UK 8 May arrived Quebec 16 May.

I just don't understand why it isn't on Ancestry where it would give more info like where she's heading and who she's going to join.

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 16 Sep 2016 15:44

(it's on Ancestry as below Margaret, with no surname, lol, so probably why you couldn't find!)

Chris :)

Margaret abt 1907 16 May 1926 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Belfast, Northern Ireland Metagama


JoonieCloonie Report 16 Sep 2016 16:05

This has been posted a lot of times now, hasn't it? :-)

Starting when I posted it on page 1:

Name: Margaret McKee
Gender: Female
Age: 19
Birth Date: 1907
Departure Date: 8 May 1926
(although your Margaret would have turned 20 then)
Port of Departure: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Destination Port: Quebec, Canada
Ship Name: Metagama

That's the one that gives no details about destination.

ooookay, now I get it. There are two images for the same set of passengers.

(Not uncommon, someone in my family who emigrated, actually the same year, has the same thing ... one list with a lot of details, one list with a different name and no details! I was very confused for some time until I realized it was the same list of people.)

The one transcribed without a surname is a terrible image, impossible to read unless you know what you're looking for.

Exactly like my rellie's, it is the typed version of the list including the second page facing where details of destination are shown:

Born in Crumlin
age 19
mother Mrs Agnes McKee, Crumlin
destined to Salvation Army, Toronto (that is a stamp on the page)
stamped in as a landed immigrant.

Are those details somewhere in this thread and I can't see them?!

There are numerous 'Salvation Army' and 'YMCA' stamps in that column for various people. I suspect that someone arriving as a domestic, for instance, was steered there on landing.

Margaret apparently did not give John's name as her destination perhaps because this was a big secret and she had told friends and family she was simply emigrating as a domestic.

Sandra any thoughts about that John Edward Kerr??


Sandra Report 16 Sep 2016 16:26

Wow, this is great.
I am unsure about the John Edward Kerr. Unless she worked for him as a domestic but would he have put his name on the birth certificate?? I guess its not him if the John Kerr father, lived in 580 Ontario street, unless that was the address of the barrister!

I have looked up all the graves in Mt. Hope cemetery but can not find one for the baby, although it states Mt.Hope on his burial certificate!

Maybe he just decided he didn't want to be a father and left them. That could be why they came back alone, or maybe he died between Jan - April? Or maybe he was married :-( There are so many possibilities, I think I will go to my grave without really knowing who John Kerr was, where did he come from and where did he go :-(


JoonieCloonie Report 16 Sep 2016 18:14

My thinking is that Margaret just emigrated under the usual banner, as a domestic, without getting into the personal complications.

If it weren't for the two births some time apart, I would think that Margaret was just 'deceived' and abandoned. But perhaps she was. After the first child died at birth, things carried on; when the second pregnancy occurred and John was not willing to do the right thing, she came home with the child. That would not be an unusual situation. 'She was poor, but she was honest ...'

There certainly doesn't seem to be a death record for John in Ontario around 1930-1931.

What I wonder is whether Margaret might then have gone to England for work as a domestic, after leaving her child with her sister.

We don't know her date of birth, very unfortunately, as that could help find a death in England if that was the case.

I might wonder about this death:

Name: Margaret Agnes McKee
Birth Date: Jun 1905
Date of Registration: Dec 1973
Age at Death: 68
Registration district: Hendon
Inferred County: Greater London
Volume: 5c
Page: 640

Margaret's age on the incoming passenger list in April 1931 was 25, which would match with a June 1905 birth (not yet 26 in April 1931).

On the 1955 electoral roll that Margaret is living at 63 Brook Avenue with an Yvonne Fevre. In 1953 Paul Fevre was also there. Before that, the couple was on Edgware Lane and I do not see that Margaret anywhere. The couple is at different addresses from 1947, and in 1952 at the Brook Ave address that Margaret is not with them.

I don't see a marriage in England/Wales that would account for the name Margaret Agnes McKee, or a birth to match there or in Ireland for that name.

Could this have been a late registration of that birth?

Name Margaret Agnes Mckee
Event Type Birth
Event Date Oct - Dec 1910
Event Place Belfast, Ireland
Registration Quarter and Year Oct - Dec 1910
Registration District Belfast
Volume Number 1
Page Number 144

I'm confused by your post on page 1 about where everyone was in the 1901 census.

'1901 census - Margaret was in her daughter Agnes house, looking after Annie who was 1. Agnes was in the Rectory, as she was a house servant.'

So our Margaret's mother was Agnes, and Agnes's mother was Margaret?

Could this logically make our Margaret = Margaret Agnes?

but where was our Margaret in 1911?

EDIT - found them:

McKee John 59 Male Head of Family Presbyterian Church farm labourer
McKee Agnes 33 Female Wife Presbyterian Church
McKee Maggie 4 Female Daughter Presbyterian Church

so they were not the wealthy family

About the baby who died at birth: he would very likely have been buried in an unmarked grave in the children's section. This was very common; people did not have the resources for graves and gravestones. You could ask the cemetery what records they might have. I was recently able to get info from an Ontario cemetery about a child in an unmarked grave: the section number of the cemetery, but no identified plot.


Kay???? Report 16 Sep 2016 19:53

Did Margaret have any relatives in Canada that she could have been going to?

the year she traveled, at other times 2 other McKee people went from Belfast,also using the same shipping company,,Canadian Paciffic who seem to be the main liner co.on round trip out of Belfast by the Metagama .

Robert McKee 18 and a farmer.

Elizabeth McKee-- ?? (mis as McKie).a collar maker,.

From a newspaper clipping.8th March 1926.

It cost £3 for 3rd class for **approved** people who were migrating,,,,a year or longer was classed as migration !

and possibly arrangements were made ahead of have a job to go to,?or she went as a domestic with a family.?if so then things may have taken a sour turn when she got pregnant. and with John she maybe sent for help from family to get her back home.?


JoonieCloonie Report 16 Sep 2016 20:49

I've confused myself again

from your OP:

'None of her other children knew a father, despite his name being on all their birth certificates and her name being down as Margaret Kerr!'

These children were all born in Ireland? So Margaret did not go back to Canada, and looking for her there after 1931 would be fruitless.

I mean, it would seem unlikely that she continued to have children in Canada
and transport them back to Ireland :-)

In any case you have those children's birth certificates in Ireland.

What years were they born?

Oh hm, here is Margaret's birth I think?

Name Margaret M'Kee
Event Type Birth
Event Date Apr - Jun 1906
Event Place Antrim, Ireland
Registration Quarter and Year Apr - Jun 1906
Registration District Antrim
Volume Number 1
Page Number 7

so much for my 1905 birth theory :-)

and the two other daughters:

Name Catherine Mckee
Event Type Birth
Event Date Jul - Sep 1911
Event Place Antrim, Ireland
Registration Quarter and Year Jul - Sep 1911
Registration District Antrim
Volume Number 1
Page Number 8

Name Annie M'Kee
Event Type Birth
Event Date Apr - Jun 1899
Event Place Antrim, Ireland
Registration Quarter and Year Apr - Jun 1899
Registration District Antrim
Volume Number 1
Page Number 12


Kay???? Report 16 Sep 2016 21:43

Images for metagama ship
c&p into browser.

just to get an idea of what the ship was like,


Sandra Report 16 Sep 2016 21:50

Yes, Agnes had 3 daughters Annie (illegitimately ) in 1899. She got married in 1902, had Margaret in 1906 and Catherine in 1911.

Annie Mckee appears on the 1901 census but not in the 1911 census. Strange that a 10 year old disappears! I looked for a death certificate but cannot find one :-(

Margaret's mother was a servant to the minister of their family church, Crumlin Presbyterian. The minister had 4 brothers, all ministers. One of them went to Canada to work. Would there have been a reverend Canning on the same ship ?

:-D :-D :-D :-D


Sandra Report 16 Sep 2016 21:54

Margaret gave birth to the baby who died in St.Mary's Hospital, which was founded by nun's. Do you think it's possible that the nun's could have got a space for the baby, if as you say they couldn't afford one. If so would the baby have had to be Catholic to be buried there, or would they have buried anyone?


Kay???? Report 17 Sep 2016 00:06

With nuns involved the baby could have been given an informal bapt and they took care of the burial as Margaret may not have been able to cope.?also there may not have been a Presbyterian Church near by.

No Canning on the same ship, also those males that went between 1924 and 1932 all seemed to be farmers.!

Annie or even a pet name? would be 11/12 in 1911,,,,,possibly with a relative?--ages on census will only be as true as those that gave it.


Eringobragh1916 Report 17 Sep 2016 17:24

Sandra...May be of interest or help relating to Margaret and her Canadian "Life" details of all Domestics (Female) assisted by the Salvation Army to Canada were kept in their ledgers.. see the following link.. scroll down to part relating to the Domestics....although the whole file makes very interesting reading...The Salvation Army's Records are kept in their Archives....


Sandra Report 17 Sep 2016 19:50

Eringobragh - thank you for this, explains why she went. I will try to find information in their records :-D :-D


Eringobragh1916 Report 17 Sep 2016 20:23

Sandra. Bear in mind that due to the Depression of the '30s thousands upon 1000s of people were deported from Canada it may be Margaret was one of those casualties...


JoonieCloonie Report 17 Sep 2016 23:22

Eringobragh the thing is I don't think there is any evidence that Margaret returned to Canada after taking son John back to Ireland.

Ah I see ... you are suggesting that her 1931 return to Ireland may not have been voluntary. However, I would not think that was the case. As a British subject with almost 5 years of residence - only 1 year was required - she had Canadian domicle according to that article.

I would expect it was her circumstances ... unmarried and unskilled with an infant and no family as the Depression settled in ... that took her back to Ireland. Of course those circumstances could have brought her to the attention of the authorities, but unless she was wanting to go back to Ireland anyway I don't think she would have been subject to deportation.

What do you think of the possibility of Margaret going to England after that to look for work? Would that have been common in the 1930s for someone in her situation?

Her other children could have been conceived there with her returning to Ireland for their births ...

I don't think I quite got an answer to the question of whether Margaret's other children were born in Ireland ... and when ...


Sandra Report 18 Sep 2016 14:10

All Margaret's other children were born in Ireland. Her return destination was cited as Croshill, Crumlin on the ship records.