Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My wife's ancestors - Kerr - Contents

John James Kerr


Autograph of Harriett Russ.
Fragment of lost letter to her dau Mary.
See larger and full size.

John James Kerr (see here and here),
born 18 Mar 1799.
Descendant of Robert III, King of Scotland and of Henry I.
His father came to Plas Issa, Wales, through a 2nd marriage in 1814.
John James became officer in Royal Navy.

He mar 15 Apr 1827 to Harriett Russ [or Harriet].
She was born 1808 or 1810 or 1811, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, dau of James Russ.
She is "Harriett" in census.

His father came to Maesmor, Wales, through a 3rd marriage in 1829.
His son was born at Selsey, near Portsmouth, in Apr 1830.
He was appointed Lieutenant in Royal Navy on 13 Aug 1830.
He is listed as Lieutenant in [Navy List, Sept 1830].
His son was baptised at Boulogne-sur-Mer, NE France, in 1836. At son's baptism he is listed as Lieutenant, living Rue de l'Hopital, Boulogne-sur-Mer (outside the old city, see map).
At dau's birth 1838, he is living at the port of Harwich, Essex. Lieutenant in Royal Navy.
Another dau born Harwich in 1840.
They are listed in 1841 census at High St, Llangollen Abbot (or Llangollen Abad), Llangollen, Wales.
His father died 1843.
His son Frank possibly born Northampton in 1844. He is described as "of Northampton" at his son Frank's mar.
Still listed as Lieutenant in [Navy List, Jan 1850].
His step-mother died 1859.
Listed as Lieutenant on half-pay in [Navy List, Mar 1860].
They moved to the area of Crickhowell, NW of Abergavenny, SE Wales (see map).
They are listed in 1861 census as living in lodgings at Oak House (unidentified), Crickhowell. He is Lieutenant.

Commander in Royal Navy:
Appointed Commander 1 July 1864.
Listed as Commander in [Navy List, June 1865] and [Navy List, Mar 1870].
Listed as Commander on retired list in [Navy List, June 1870] and [Navy List, Dec 1871].
They are listed in 1871 census as living Moor Park, Llanbedr, near Crickhowell, Wales. He is "Retired Commander R.N."
At death he is described as "Captain in the Navy, on half pay". But can't see how he could be Captain (already retired as Commander). Described as Captain at his son Frank's mar.

John James dies, 1872:
He died 3 Jan 1872, age 72 yrs [GRO.UK] at Druid's Altar, Llangenny (or Llangenau), just E of Crickhowell, just S of Moor Park, Wales (see map).
See Druid's Altar on 1888-89 map from
Not listed in [Navy List, Mar 1872].

[House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] records payment of a periodic allowance to (his mother-in-law) "Mrs. Kerr", late 1870s to early 1880s.
Harriett is listed in [UK census, 1881] at Cwmbach, near Glasbury, Brecon, Wales (some distance N of Crickhowell, see map). She is widow, living on (navy) pension.
She is NOT Harriett Kerr, died Islington, 4th qr 1893 [GRO.UK].
[House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to "Mrs. Harriet Kerr" on 16 Aug 1900. This could be her.
John James and Harriett had issue:

  1. Katherine Kerr,
    witnessed mar of her sister Myfanwy in 1859,
    "Kate Kerr" registered death of her father, 1872, she was living Druid's Altar, Llangenny, Wales,
    [House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to "K. Kerr" on 25 Dec 1906.
    See an autograph of "Kate Kerr".

  2. William Kerr, of Maesmor Hall,
    eldest son, born 5th Apr 1830 (or poss. 1831), Selsey, W Sussex, just E of Portsmouth, where father prob. was in the navy,
    NOT born Maesmor.

  3. Howard Kerr,
    born 15 July 1832.
    See entry in tree by Hugh Robertson.
    Commander in Royal Navy.
    He mar 1869 to his 1st cousin Mary Kerr [born 1832].
    Emigrated to New Zealand about 1882.
    [House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to "Howard Kerr's children" on 10 Apr 1883. See image.
    He died 1914, New Zealand.
    Howard and Mary had issue:

    1. Anna Harriett Cecile Kerr, born 1876,
      mar Lionel Nethersole "Ben" Ralph,
      had issue:

      1. Mary Katherine Ralph, born 1910,
        mar Hector Hercules Robertson,
        had issue:

        1. Hugh Robertson.
          DNA match to John Gibbon.

  4. John Manners Kerr,
    Major in British Army,
    named after grandfather,
    born 2 Oct 1834 [according to baptism],
    bapt 19 Oct 1836, at Boulogne-sur-Mer, NE France, in the British Protestant Chapel (also called the "Chapel of the High Town"), Rue St Martin, in the old town or the "high town" (see map).
    The 1834 birth date is written in the bapt entry among the 1836 baptisms.
    Perhaps the 1834 date is an error for 1836.
    He is listed as Lieutenant in Ceylon Rifles at mar 1860. His residence listed as Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool.
    He mar 19 Apr 1860 [GRO.UK] at St.Andrew's (Church of Scotland) church, Rodney St, Liverpool
    to Ellen Lawson [born 1839 or 1840, Nova Scotia, Canada, dau of Robert Lawson, merchant].
    Her residence listed at mar as St.Michaels Hamlet, Toxteth Park (think Liverpool).

    They are listed in 1871 census at 9 Ashburnham Road, Bedford, Bedfordshire (see map). He is Captain in Army, on half pay.
    [Burkes LG, 1886] lists him as Captain in 27th Regiment, and also served in 62nd Regiment and Ceylon Rifles.
    He is described in probate as Major in the Army Pay Department, late of Plymouth.
    He died 30 Aug 1887, "Grand Hotel", Plymouth, Devon, age 50 or 52 yrs.
    See probate granted 14 Oct 1887 to his widow Ellen. She is listed as of 4 Honeywell Rd, Wandsworth Common, London.
    She is listed in 1901 census as living with her son at Cathay House, Royal St, Sandown, Isle of Wight. She is "living on own means".
    John Manners Kerr and Ellen had issue:

    1. Arthur M. Kerr,
      born 1861 or 1862, Columbo, Ceylon,
      [House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to "Arthur Kerr" in 1878-79,
      he is listed in 1881 census at 6 Golf Place, St Andrew's, Scotland, he is lodger, Army Student,
      his cousin William John Kerr was also in St Andrew's at this time,
      living with mother on Isle of Wight in 1901 census, he is "tutor", unmarried,
      he is listed in 1911 census at Elm Hurst, Elm School, Penrhyn Rd, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey (can't identify this school), he is Boarder, Schoolmaster, unmarried,
      died 1928, Bletchingley Infirmary, Surrey, age 67 years.

    2. Robert Kerr,
      think Robert H. Kerr, born 1864, Ceylon,
      at home in 1871 census.

  5. Mary Kerr,
    Mary Isabella Elizabeth, Isabella would be after grandmother Isabella Errington,
    though her daughter's grave has her as "Mary J. E.",
    born 10th Feb 1838, Harwich, Essex [GRO.UK].
    She is listed as living Crickhowell, Wales, at mar 1861.
    She mar 5 Oct 1861 at Crickhowell parish church (Established Church)
    to Arthur Augustus Gibbon [born 3rd Feb 1829] and had issue.
    [GRO.UK] and family bible and newspaper say mar 5 Oct. Some other family papers say 15 Oct but think this is error.
    Arthur worked in the War Office, London. She was from a military family. That may be how they met.

  6. Augusta Kerr,
    Augusta H. Grace Kerr, born 1840, Harwich, Essex.
    "Augusta Kerr" wit the marriage of her sister Mary in Oct 1861.
    See an autograph of Augusta, cut from a note to her sister Mary.
    She is at home in 1871 census, unmarried.
    [House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to Augusta Kerr in 1878-79.
    (todo) See death of Augusta Kerr, [GRO.UK], 2nd qr 1881, age 37 (born 1844), Hastings, vol 2 b, p 27.
    [House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to payment "For Turfing A. Kerr's grave in Hastings cemetery" on 6 Mar 1883.

  7. Myfanwy Kerr,
    Myfanwy Jane Kerr, Myfanwy is a Welsh name,
    born 1842 or 1843, Llangollen [census],
    she is listed as living Twickenham, London, at mar,
    mar 1859, Twickenham [her age 16 or 17, him age 33] to Rev. Charles Edward Partington [bapt 11 May 1826] and had issue.

  8. Frank Kerr,
    Francis William Caesar Kerr, born 1844, youngest son,
    apparently born Northampton [1861 census].
    Living at home in Apr 1861 census.
    "Frank Kerr" wit the marriage of his sister Mary in Oct 1861.
    He went to Australia.
    There is a photo taken in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, in 1871.
    He mar 23 Sep 1872, Parish Church of St Paul, Rockhampton, to Emily Mary Perrier [eldest dau of David Perrier].
    See notice in The Rockhampton Bulletin, October 1, 1872, page 1.
    [House Book of Arthur Augustus Gibbon] refers to "F. Kerr" in 1882.
    Frank and Emily had issue:

    1. Howard David Campbell Kerr,
      born Rockhampton, 19 June 1873,
      alive in 1875.

John James Kerr just appointed as Lieutenant in [Navy List, Sept 1830].
See full size.

John James Kerr listed as Commander on retired list in [Navy List, Dec 1871].
See larger and full page.


Moor Park, Llanbedr, near Crickhowell

Moor Park, Llanbedr, near Crickhowell, Breconshire, Wales.
Kerr was living here in 1871.

Moor Park, Llanbedr, near Crickhowell.

Moor Park.
From old map. Revised: 1916. Published: 1920.

Moor Park.
From modern satellite view.
See street view of entrance.




This picture has what looks like "H.K." on the back.
It may be Howard Kerr.
See larger and full size.
See other shot.

Signature of Augusta Kerr in a book.
See full size.
The book is a copy of the poetry of John Milton, dated 1844. See cover page.

Frank Kerr, 1871.
Photo taken in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.
See larger and full size.
See back.

Howard David Campbell Kerr, 1875.
Photo taken in Brisbane, Australia.
See larger and full size.
See back.

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