Kerr, John Walter (1868-1937)

Henderson’s City of Vancouver Directory, 1905, page 315.

Henderson’s City of Vancouver Directory, 1905, page 315.

John Walter Kerr was an insurance agent. He lived at 1034 Gilford Street in 1905 and 1906.

John Walter Kerr was born in Ireland on February 4, 1868. His parents were Thomas Kerr (1832-1899) and Maria Jane Thompson. (1838-1899).

 

Family Background

John’s father, Thomas Kerr, was born in Maghera, County Derry, Ireland, on September 20, 1832. In 1855 he began to work for the Scottish Amicable Life Insurance Company of Glasgow.

In 1865 he married Maria Jane Thompson, who was born on February 13, 1838.

In 1869, Thomas and his family moved to Canada, where he worked for a time in the wholesale grocery business. Later he had a position with the Union Mutual Insurance Company.

In 1878, he began his employment with the Standard Life Insurance Company of Edinburgh. Later he became the inspector for Standard Life.

Maria Jane died in Toronto on August 15, 1899.

Maria Jane Thompson Kerr, death notice, Toronto Globe, August 17, 1899, page 12.

Maria Jane Thompson Kerr, death notice, Toronto Globe, August 17, 1899, page 12.

Thomas died in Toronto on November 25, 1899.

“Death of Mr. Thomas Kerr: Well-known Insurance Man Passed Away Suddenly on Saturday Night,” Toronto Globe, November 27, 1899, page 6.

“Death of Mr. Thomas Kerr: Well-known Insurance Man Passed Away Suddenly on Saturday Night,” Toronto Globe, November 27, 1899, page 6.

 

John’s Marriage and Move to Vancouver

John lived with his parents until the end of the 1890s.

On April 7, 1900, in Bowmanville, Ontario, he married Carolyn Beatrice Allen. She was born in Clark Township, Ontario, on June 17, 1873. Her parents were William Forsythe Allen (1832-1921) and Lucy Louisa Lyall (1841-1898).

In 1901, John and Caroline were living in Toronto, along with John’s sister, Margaret. John was an insurance cashier.

In the spring of 1902, John and Caroline travelled to Vancouver, where John became the manager of the local Standard Life Insurance office.

Vancouver Daily World, April 30, 1902, page 1, column 6.

Vancouver Daily World, April 30, 1902, page 1, column 6.

John first appeared in the Vancouver directories in 1902. He was living at 779 Bute Street, and he was Standard Life Assurance Company’s chief agent for British Columbia.

Henderson’s BC Gazetteer and Directory, 1902, page 690.

Henderson’s BC Gazetteer and Directory, 1902, page 690.

John and Caroline lived at the following addresses in Vancouver.

1902 779 Bute Street
1903 and 1904 1109 Pacific Street
1905 and 1906 1034 Gilford Street
1907 to 1911 1665 Haro Street
1912 and 1913 920 Bidwell Street
1914 to 1920 1575 Laurier Avenue
1921 to 1937 1615 West 13th Avenue (John Walter Kerr)
1938 to 1940 1615 West 13th Avenue (Caroline Beatrice Kerr)

They appeared in the Vancouver society directories in 1908 and 1914.

Elite Directory of Vancouver, 1908, page 49.

Elite Directory of Vancouver, 1908, page 49.

Vancouver Social Register and Club Directory, 1914, page 35.

Vancouver Social Register and Club Directory, 1914, page 35.

In 1921, John’s sister, Margaret visited with John and Caroline for several months.

Vancouver Daily World, June 11, 1921, page 7, column 6.

Vancouver Daily World, June 11, 1921, page 7, column 6.

John continued to work as an insurance agent until 1937.

John died in Vancouver on November 7, 1937. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.

Caroline died in Vancouver on May 9, 1940. She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.

John and Caroline did not have any children.

 

Sources

Thomas Kerr (father of John Walter Kerr)

“Canada Census, 1871,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M43T-668 : 2 April 2016), Thomas Kerr, St David’s Ward, East Toronto, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 45, line 20; Library and Archives Canada film number C-9972, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 4,396,301; http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/1871/pdf/4396301_00519.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1881,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVFS-HTP : 30 June 2017), Thomas Kerr, St-David Ward, Toronto (City), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 5; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13246, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,882; http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/e/e328/e008181571.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1891,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWGD-47Z : 3 August 2016), Thos Kerr, St Davids Ward, Toronto City, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148172; http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1891&op=pdf&id=30953_148172-00510.

“Ontario, Toronto Trust Cemeteries, 1826-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KH6Z-Q7P : 28 November 2014), Thomas Kerr, 28 Nov 1899; citing Toronto, Ontario, Canada, section and lot G 7 3, line 13865, volume Volume 02, 1896-1908, Toronto Trust Cemeteris, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,617,049.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK1V-S687 : 15 December 2015), Thomas Kerr, 1899; Burial, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada, Mount Pleasant Cemetery; citing record ID 145616917, Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145616917: “Thomas Kerr; Birth 20 Sep 1832; Death 26 Nov 1899; Burial  Mount Pleasant Cemetery  Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada; Plot G 7 3; Memorial ID 145616917.

“A Well-Known Torontonian: Sketch of the Career of Mr. Thomas Kerr,Who Died on Saturday Last,” Toronto Globe, December 1, 1899, page 10.

 

Maria Jane Thompson (mother of John Walter Kerr)

“Canada Census, 1871,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M43T-X6X : 2 April 2016), Maria Jane Kerr, St David’s Ward, East Toronto, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 46, line 1; Library and Archives Canada film number C-9972, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 4,396,301; http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/1871/pdf/4396301_00520.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1881,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVFS-HT5 : 30 June 2017), Maria Kerr in household of Thomas Kerr, St-David Ward, Toronto (City), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 5; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13246, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,882; http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/e/e328/e008181571.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1891,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWGD-478 : 3 August 2016), Jane Kerr, St Davids Ward, Toronto City, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148172; http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1891&op=pdf&id=30953_148172-00510.

 

John Walter Kerr

Ancestry.com. Ireland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911 [databa     se on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620–1911. Index. Salt Lake City, Utah: Family Search. Name: John Walter Kerr; Gender: Male; Birth Date: 4 Feb 1868; Birth Place: Londonderry, Ireland; Father: Thomas Kerr; Mother: Maria Jane Thompson; FHL Film Number: 101160.

“Canada Census, 1871,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M43T-FD4 : 2 April 2016), John W Kerr in household of Jane Hughes, St David’s Ward, East Toronto, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 46, line 3; Library and Archives Canada film number C-9972, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 4,396,301; http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/1871/pdf/4396301_00520.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1881,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVFS-HTT : 30 June 2017), John Kerr in household of Thomas Kerr, St-David Ward, Toronto (City), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 5; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13246, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,882; http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/e/e328/e008181571.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1891,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWGD-476 : 3 August 2016), John Kerr, St Davids Ward, Toronto City, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148172; http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1891&op=pdf&id=30953_148172-00510.

“Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZBZ-TFL : 10 April 2015), John Walter Kerr and Carolyn B Allen, 07 Apr 1900; citing registration , Bowmanville, Nortumberland And Durham, Ontario, Canada, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,871,078.

“Canada Census, 1901,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KHP9-9VF : 27 April 2017), John W Kerr, York (east/est), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 13, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa; http://automatedgenealogy.com/census/View.jsp?id=110495&highlight=30&desc=1901+Census+of+Canada+page+containing+John+W+Kerr.

“Recensement du Canada de 1911,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV95-MK8M : 15 July 2016), John Kerr, 1911; citing Census, Vancouver Sub-Districts 1-18, British Columbia, Canada, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,417,661.

1921 Canada census; John W. Kerr [indexed as John W. Kell]; Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 12; Census Place: Ward 6, Vancouver, British Columbia; Page Number: 14. Ancestry.com. 1921 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2013.

Society, Vancouver Province, July 5, 1913, page 8: “Mr. and Mrs. F.R. McD. Russell are occupying their new home on Oak street, Shaughnessy Heights. Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Kerr also have recently moved to a new residence there.”

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FL2J-T6R : 8 November 2017), John William Kerr, 1937. [name changed to “John Walter Kerr” on original death registration form.].

“John Kerr Laid at Rest Here Today,” Vancouver Province, November 9, 1937, page 7, column 2:

“Funeral services for John W. Kerr, prominent Vancouver insurance man, were held today at the residence, 1615 West Thirteenth, with Rev. W. A. Cameron officiating.

Mr. Kerr, who was born in Ireland in 1868, had lived in British Columbia for thirty-five years. He died at St. Paul’s Hospital on Sunday.

Besides his wife, he is survived by a brother, Dr. W.A. Kerr of Edmonton, president of the University of Alberta, and a sister in Toronto. Dr. Kerr arrived in the city Monday to attend the funeral of his brother.

Funeral arrangements were in charge of Independent Funeral Service.”

John W. Kerr, death notice, Vancouver Province, November 8, 1937, page 15: “Kerr—Passed away at Vancouver, November 6, 1937, John W. Kerr. Funeral from his late residence, 1615 West Thirteenth avenue, on Tuesday, November 11 at 2 o’clock.”

 

William Forsythe Allen (father of Caroline Beatrice Allen)

“Canada Census, 1871,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M43Y-MHV : 2 April 2016), William F Allen, Clarke, West Durham, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 14, line 20; Library and Archives Canada film number C-9978, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 4,396,302.

“Canada Census, 1891,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW2L-8YW : 3 August 2016), William F Allen, Bowmanville, Durham West, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148134.

“Canada Census, 1901,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KH2J-6PM : 27 April 2017), Wilham F Allen, Durham (west/ouest), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 7, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa.

“Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JD8Z-B5Z : 11 December 2014), William Forsythe Allen, 05 Apr 1921; citing Bowmanville, Durham, Ontario, yr 1921 cn 23543, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,863,542.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVGR-9HXX : 13 December 2015), William F Allen, 1921; Burial, Bowmanville, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada, Bowmanville Cemetery; citing record ID 133587049, Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133587049: “William F Allen; Birth 27 Jun 1832; Death 5 Apr 1921; Burial  Bowmanville Cemetery  Bowmanville, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada; Plot Section C; Memorial ID 133587049.”

 

Lucy Louisa Lyall (mother of Caroline Beatrice Allen)

“Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J63Y-6WG : 25 June 2015), Lucy Lyatt Allen, 11 Aug 1898; citing Bowwasville, Durham, Ontario, yr 1898 cn 9791, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,854,386.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVGR-9HX4 : 11 July 2016), Lucy Lyall Allen, 1898; Burial, Bowmanville, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada, Bowmanville Cemetery; citing record ID 133587074, Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133587074: “Lucy Lyall Allen; Birth unknown; Death 11 Aug 1898; Burial  Bowmanville Cemetery  Bowmanville, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada; Plot Section C; Memorial ID 133587074.”

 

Caroline Beatrice Allen (wife of John Walter Kerr)

“Canada Census, 1891,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW2L-8Y6 : 3 August 2016), Caroline B Allen, Bowmanville, Durham West, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148134.

“Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZBZ-TF5 : 10 April 2015), John Walter Kerr and Carolyn B Allen, 07 Apr 1900; citing registration , Bowmanville, Nortumberland And Durham, Ontario, Canada, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,871,078.

“Canada Census, 1901,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KHP9-9VN : 27 April 2017), Carolin Kerr, York (east/est), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 13, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa.

“Recensement du Canada de 1911,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV95-MK89 : 15 July 2016), Caroline Kerr in entry for John Kerr, 1911; citing Census, Vancouver Sub-Districts 1-18, British Columbia, Canada, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,417,661.

1921 Canada census; Caroline Beatrice Kerr [indexed as Caroline Bertha Kell] in household of John W. Kerr [indexed as John W. Kell]; Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 12; Census Place: Ward 6, Vancouver, British Columbia; Page Number: 14. Ancestry.com. 1921 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2013.

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FLKG-XMY : 8 November 2017), Caroline Beatrice Kerr, 1940.

 

Margaret Kerr (sister of John Walter Kerr)

“Canada Census, 1871,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M43T-F88 : 2 April 2016), Margaret Kerr, St David’s Ward, East Toronto, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 46, line 2; Library and Archives Canada film number C-9972, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 4,396,301.

“Canada Census, 1881,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVFS-HTR : 30 June 2017), Margaret Kerr in household of Thomas Kerr, St-David Ward, Toronto (City), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 5; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13246, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,882; http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/e/e328/e008181571.pdf.

“Canada Census, 1891,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWGD-47D : 3 August 2016), Margaret Kerr, St Davids Ward, Toronto City, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148172; http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1891&op=pdf&id=30953_148172-00510.