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Looking details of my father John Kenneth Kerr.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


ArgyllGran Report 8 Jan 2018 00:45

I've looked at the 1930 directory.
Wm McClung was still at 580 Ontario Street.

There were lots of John Kerrs in various streets - too many to list at this time of night!

When I have more time , maybe tomorrow, I'll have a look at the 1931 directory - they take ages to download.

All the directories are here, if you want to have a go yourself:


ArgyllGran Report 8 Jan 2018 09:05

1931 directory -

John Kerr -

15 Fairmount Cres
122 St Patrick
51 Woodycrest Av (bricklayer)
1864 Davenport Rd (clerk ?)
178 St Cranens Av (clerk)
102 Springhurst Av (computer, valuation dept)
27 Superior Av, Mimico <<<<<<<<<
107 Jones Av
160 Wallace
99 Cottingham (gardener)
27 Lambton Av (musician)
157 Margueretta (operator, gutta percha)
287 Shaw (salesman)
239 Withrow (salesman)
24 Follis Av (shipper, mfg co)
794 Shaw (supt, paving co)
103 Roxburgh (supervisor, city treas dept)
36 Fifth (traveller, Standard Fuel)

John A, 210 Lawlor Av
John A, 138 Broadway Av (space sol)
john A, 1310 Danforth Av (pc, No 8 Stn)
John E ,222 Glen road (of Kerr, Kitchen & Keyes)
John H, 33 Lenty Av (clerk, employment office)
John H, 7 Briggs Av, labourer
John J, 58 wnchester, stationers traveller
John M, 23 Hayden, carpenter
John M, 42 dingwall Av, drug app
John M, 137 Highfield Ave, with Tor Hydro
John M & Son (Wm R Kerr), mfg agents, 29-33 Melinda
John McD, Rev, 312 Roehampton Av
John R, 203 Vaughn Road
John R, 327 Davisville Av (ctr Eatons)
John R, 150-6 Bathurst, supt albert Kerr Co
John R D, 478 St Clarens Av (storekeeper)
John S, 135 Hastings Av, lineman, Bell Tel
John T, 99 Cottingham, mail order clerk
John W, 2244 Queen, grocer & butcher

580 Ontario St - Wm McClung (with an asterisk at his name, as many other people do - don't know why)


JoonieCloonie Report 8 Jan 2018 12:07

o m g, Argyllgran, you did it - went through all those names.

At least it wasn't like the voters' list where you have to click on the image for each name to see exactly where it is and who's in the household and what their occupation was!

But that John is the one with no occupation listed .....

(The John E on Glen Road would be the lawyer I had mentioned earlier who was not the right person. Google finds the firm listed in a city directory on Bay St. That's "the City" or Wall Street, Toronto style.)

Sandra, this is the house on Superior. I managed to find a year when the trees were not yet in leaf so you can see the house. It's the left-hand side of the double you are looking at. It might very well have had lodgers in the early 1930s.


ArgyllGran Report 8 Jan 2018 14:22

John of Superior Av is listed as an employee of CNR (Canadian National Railways).

His name also has an asterisk at it - there must be an explanation somewhere, but haven't found it yet!


An asterisk means that to the best of the directory compilers' knowledge, the person living there is the owner.


ArgyllGran Report 8 Jan 2018 15:57

John was still in Superior Ave in 1932, still working for CNR.
In 1930, he was at the same address, an engineer for CNR.

Margaret McKee isn't listed anywhere in Mimico 1930-31.
Only one name is listed for each address, so if she was John Kerr's lodger, for instance (or bidie-in), and he was the owner of the house, only he would be listed.


ArgyllGran Report 8 Jan 2018 17:37

No sign of John in 1926 - at least not at that address, and not working for CRN.

In 1927-1928 he's at 27 Superior, working for Goodyear Tires.
In 1929 he's at 27 superior, an engineer for CNR.

Still no listing for Margaret in Mimico - but she would be a lodger.


JoonieCloonie Report 8 Jan 2018 20:52

So well done AG.

Now we don't know for sure this is him. But he seems a very good bet.

A train engineer ... that's a bit of a highly skilled job to just fall into. He would have had to have rather extensive railway experience, for that. It was also a pretty well paid job, so if he were single he might have boarded, but he might also have owned the house.

Edit - saw your edit, so he was the owner. That might be a little odd, owning a 3-storey house and not having a family.

I'll tell you a secret. :-)

My great-grandfather was a fireman (the engine man) on the railway in southern Ontario from 1906 or so, when he immigrated with his family, until he retired, which was around about 1935. He had had the same job in Nottinghamshire before that.

Ah, in 1921 he is listed as an engineer. Maybe he had been promoted.

There was just enormous work on the railways in Canada from the 1860s up to the depression at least. So there was great demand for labour of all kinds -- actual train employees, plus carpenters in the yards, etc. etc.


JoonieCloonie Report 8 Jan 2018 21:20

If this were to be our John ... the rest of the story of the going to Canada doesn't check out.

This is him in the 1921 Canadian census.

Name: John Kerr
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Age: 41
Birth Year: abt 1880
Birth Place: Ontario
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Harry Kerr
Father Birth Place: Scotland
Mother Birth Place: Scotland
Racial or Tribal Origin: Scotch (Scotish)
Province or Territory: Ontario
District: York West
District Number: 145
Sub-district: Mimico (Town)
Sub-District Number: 74
City, Town or Village: Mimico
Street or Township: Superior Ave
Municipality: Mimico
Occupation: Engineer
Income: 1800

John Kerr 41
Harry Kerr 34 (obviously it's "Mary")
Edna I Kerr 8
John Kerr 4
Murray Kerr 6/12

(1800 was a very healthy income. It's double the 900 of a labourer on the page, nearly double the 1050 of a locksmith also on the page, etc.)

If it were him ... Margaret, who went to Canada as a domestic, could have been employed in the household ...


JoonieCloonie Report 9 Jan 2018 03:49

I hadn't noticed before because I didn't click on family members' names.

The names of the wife and daughter of that John Kerr have been corrected by a family member at Ancestry:

'The original data on the record is incorrect.
Mary Kerr was my grandmother.'


AustinQ Report 9 Jan 2018 09:04

This looks to be the birth of Edna from that census:

Name Lena Edna Kerr
Event Type Birth
Event Date 23 Nov 1912
Event Place Mimico, York, Ontario, Canada
Gender Female
Father's Name John Kerr
Mother's Name Mary Kramp

Image here:

and John's marriage in 1911:

Name John Kerr
Event Type Marriage
Event Date 27 Dec 1911
Event Place Egerton, Grey, Ontario, Canada
Gender Male
Age 32
Birth Year (Estimated) 1879
Father's Name Alexander Kerr
Mother's Name Elizabeth Herriot
Spouse's Name Mary Kramp
Spouse's Gender Female
Spouse's Age 25
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated) 1886
Spouse's Father's Name Frederick Kramp
Spouse's Mother's Name Caroline Marklinger

Image here:


AustinQ Report 9 Jan 2018 09:51

Photo of him here (he's listed as Alexander John- but appears to be the same person- listed as John on grave):


ArgyllGran Report 9 Jan 2018 10:31

Birth of his sister Janet:

Jennet Kerr
in the Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913
Name: Jennet Kerr
[Janet Kerr]
Date of Birth: 20 Nov 1878
Gender: Female
Birth Place: Grey, Ontario, Canada
Father's name: Alexander Kerr
Mother's name: Elizabeth Harriot

and the family in 1891 and 1901:

John Car
in the 1891 Census of Canada
Name: John Car
[John Kerr]
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single
Age: 14
Birth Year: abt 1877
Birthplace: Ontario
Relation to Head-of-house: Son
Religion: Free Church
French Canadian: No
Father's name: Alexander Car
Father's Birth Place: Ontario
Mother's name: Elisabeth Car
Province: Ontario
District Number: 126
District: Wellington North
Subdistrict: Luther East
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Alexander Car 35
Elisabeth Car 31
John Car 14
Jennett Car 12
May Car 10
William Car 7
Alexander Car 4
George H Car 2

John Kerr
in the 1901 Census of Canada
Name: John Kerr
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single
Age: 23
Birth Day & Month: 27 May <<<<<<<<
Birth Year: 1877
Birthplace: Ontario
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father's name: Alexander Kerr
Mother's name: Elizabeth Kerr
Racial or Tribal Origin: Scotch (Scotish)
Nationality: Canadian
Religion: Presbyterian
Occupation: F Lab
Province: Ontario
District: Wellington (north/nord)
District Number: 125
Sub-district: Luther (East/est)
Sub-District Number: G-3
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Alexander Kerr 45 - Scotland
Elizabeth Kerr 42 - Ontario
John Kerr 23
Janet Kerr 22
May Kerr 19
William Kerr 17
Alexander Kerr 14
Duncan Kerr 9
Lizzie Kerr 7
Finlay Kerr 4
Gordon Kerr 4/12


ArgyllGran Report 9 Jan 2018 10:33

Parents' marriage:

Elizabeth Herriott
in the Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1935
Name: Elizabeth Herriott
Age: 19
Birth Year: abt 1858
Birth Place: Ontario
Marriage Date: 21 Feb 1877
Marriage Place: Wellington, Ontario, Canada
Father: William Herriott
Mother: Barbara Herriott
Spouse: Alexander Kerr

Alexander Kerr
in the Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1935
Name: Alexander Kerr
Age: 21
Birth Year: abt 1856
Birth Place: Scotland
Marriage Date: 21 Feb 1877
Marriage Place: Wellington, Ontario, Canada
Father: Matthew Kerr
Mother: Elizabeth Kerr
Spouse: Elizabeth Herriott


ArgyllGran Report 9 Jan 2018 10:35

Alexander Kerr
in the 1881 Census of Canada
Name: Alexander Kerr
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Age: 25
Birth Year: 1856
Birthplace: Scotland
Religion: Reformed Presbyterian
Nationality: SCOTCH (Scotish)
Occupation: Farm Labourer
Province: Ontario
District Number: 154
District: Grey South
Sub-District Number: E
Subdistrict: Egremont
Division: 3
Household Members:
Name Age
Alexander Kerr 25
Elizabeth Kerr 22
Elizabeth Kerr 45
John Kerr 4
Jennett Kerr 2


ArgyllGran Report 9 Jan 2018 10:41

Just a possibility:

Alex Kerr
in the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Name: Alex Kerr
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Birth Year: abt 1857
Date of Arrival: 27 Jul 1875
Vessel: Manitoban
Port of Arrival: Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Port of Departure: Glasgow, Scotland; Liverpool, England


ArgyllGran Report 9 Jan 2018 10:54

A tree on Ancestry says these were Elizabeth Herriot's parents:


William Herriot 1827–1911. born 6/3/1827 in Borthwick, Midlothian.
Married 29/5/1847 in Earlston, Berwick.
Arrived in Canada 1851.
Died 17/3/1911, Arthur, Wellington, Ontario.
Buried : Southgate, Grey County, Ontario.
William's parents: John Herriot; Elizabeth Wightman

Barbara Donald 1826–1901
Born 17/2/1826, Scotland.
Seven siblings listed.
Andrew Donald 1804–1889
Barbara Cunning 1801–1852
Died 22/11/1901, Wellington, Ontario.

Lots of proof of everything on the tree.
Widdis-Ritchie Family Tree; owner mhritchie

Nothing about Elizabeth & Alexander Kerr's children, though,.


Sandra Report 16 Jan 2018 00:39

On the deceased sons death certificate he signs as John Kerr. His nationality is English, written over the top of something I can't make out, might be Irish. My dad said his Kerr name had Scottish origin. In 1929 at that time he was living in 580 Ontario Street. I have written off to Salvation army to see if they have anything in their records for Margaret but to date no reply.
Argyll Gran thank you so much for going through all those records. I joined my heritage website and found a 1916 Canadian census for Saskatchewan / alberta / manatoba. I have found 2 John Kerrs who seem likely suspects.
JOHN KERR age 26 Scottish nationality, living in Halifax as a lodger. He emigrated to Canada 1913.
JOHN KERR age 8 Scottish nationality, living with his family who emmigrated 1903. That's all I have found, as I just joined tonight.


Sandra Report 16 Jan 2018 00:40

Oh, I have also bought a Dna kit, so will see what that brings! :-D


Sandra Report 16 Jan 2018 00:43

My thoughts on John Kerr, superior avenue are if he was the owner, it's unlikely to be him, as he was probably a lodger in Ontario Street in 1929! :-(


JoonieCloonie Report 17 Jan 2018 20:18

I think it's pretty certain that

John Kerr at 27 Superior in 1929 (1921 census and 1930 city directory as posted above)

is not

John Kerr at 580 Ontario in 1929 (son's death certificate).


I would say that it's also highly unlikely, even if the child had been his with a woman other than his wife, that he would have signed the death certificate.

And there are just so many John Kerrs in Canada at the time that identifying the one from the death certificate in 1929 in any other time and place can only be random guesswork, unfortunately.

There were 80-100 John Kerrs on the 1935 voters' list in Ontario (the earliest one available).