What happened to the Oldest Brother John Barclay?

In the last post I wrote about John Barclay the son of John and Margaret Barclay and brother to Alexander and George Barclay.

He took his family and headed to California about 1871-72.  They were probably there by 1874 when the baby son Albert passed.

Unfortunately the trail goes cold on John Barclay and what happened to him.

We turn to Alexander Barclay’s probate file and find several affidavits that may explain a little of what happened.  In any event, the estate of Alexander went to John and Minerva’s children:  John Avery Barclay and Sarah Ellen Barclay.

The two children, John and his sister prepare an affidavit that states what they know of the whereabouts of their father.

Affidavit John Avery Barclay, April 1, 1906

Affidavit John Avery Barclay, April 1, 1906 partial

John Avery Barclay is the son’s name, but someone added, in handwriting on the original affidavits, an initial “A” in the father’s name to read “John A. Barclay.”

#24 Affidavit of John A. Barclay

State of Minnesota  )                                      In Probate Court

County of Dakota   )

 In the matter of the estate of Alexander Barclay, Deceased,

 State of California                              )

City and County of San Francisco     )

             Be it known that on this 9th day of April 1906, before me a Notary Public within and for the City and County of San Francisco and State of California, personally appeared John Avery Barclay, who being first duly sworn on oath deposes and sayes; that his name is John Avery Barclay, that he was born at Sibley in the State of Minnesota on the 23 day of July 1867, that his father was John [A.] Barclay, that he, and his sister Sarah Ellen Barclay, now Mr/s. Lewis Sears, are the only children, and heirs at law of said John Barclay.

            That his father said John [A.] Barclay, prior to the year of 1877, departed, left his family and, that he was last heard of in San Francisco, California, in 1877, has not been seen or heard from, and no one knows what has become of him.

             That for years a consistent and careful search was kept up to try and discover his whereabouts, that he could not be found nor could any information be obtained regarding him.

             That his wife, Mrs. John Barclay, deponents’ mother some years after his fathers departure obtained a divorce, and has since married again.

             That deponent has reason to believe and does believe that his father said John Barclay, is dead.              Signed by John Avery Barclay

 Subscribed and sworn to before me this 9th day of April, 1906: Jessie O’Brien

The affidavit for the probate court in Minnesota is pretty much the same for the sister:

#24 Affidavit of Sarah Ellen Barclay Sears – Mrs. Lewis Sears

 State of Minnesota  )                                      In Probate Court

County of Dakota   )

In the matter of the estate of Alexander Barclay, Deceased,

State of Washington, County of King                    

            Be it known that on this 20th  day of February 1906, before me a Notary Public within and for the County of King and State of Washington, personally appeared before me Mrs. Lewis Sears, who being first duly sworn on oath deposes and sayes; that her name is Mrs. Lewis Sears, and that prior to her marriage to Lewis Sears, her maiden name was Sarah Ellen Barclay, that she was born at Sibley in the State of Minnesota on the 29th day of March 1869, that her father was John [A.] Barclay, she has a brother John Avery Barclay, and that she and her said brother are the only children and heirs of said John A. Barclay.

            That her father said John A. Barclay, prior to the year of 1877, departed to know one knows where, and has not been heard of since, save that he was last seen that year in the city of San Francisco, California, and that for years a careful and systematic  search was made to discover his whereabouts and he could not be found nor could any information be obtained as to what had become of him.

             That his wife, Mrs. John Barclay, deponants mother some years after his fathers departure obtained a divorce, and has since married again.

             That deponent has reason to believe and does believe that her father said John Barclay, is dead.                       Signed by Mrs. Lewis Sears

 Subscribed and sworn to before me this 20th of February 1906. Jessie O’Brien.

Apparently the court was not satisfied and wanted a third affidavit and in this case it was the sister of the said John Barclay who made statement.

#24 Affidavits of Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn

State of Minnesota  )                                      In Probate Court

County of Dakota   )

In the matter of the estate of Alexander Barclay, Deceased,

State of Washington, County of King                                   

             Be it known that on this 20th  day of Feb. 1906, before me a Notary Public within and for the County of King and State of Washington, personally appeared Sarah Agnes Blinn, who being first duly sworn on oath deposes and sayes; that she is a known sister of John Barclay, that said John A. Barclay, was married in the year 1866, that there was born to said John A. Barclay, as the issue of said marriage, one son viz: John Avery Barclay, and one daughter viz:  Sarah Ellen Barclay, now Mrs. Lewis Sears.

             That said John A. Barclay, if living, would be 70 years of age, that he has not been heard from, and there is every reason to believe that he is dead.

             That his wife, Mrs. John Barclay, some time after the departure of said John A. Barclay obtained a divorce, and has since married again and is living in Sunnyside, California.

            That said deponent has reason to believe and does believe that said John A. Barclay, is dead.                                     Signed by Sarah Agnes Blinn

 Subscribed and sworn to before me this 20th day of February 1906.                                             [Unreadable signature]  Notary, Co. of King, Washington

In 1880 there is a census record for Sonoma County, California where a Lulu Barkley is living there with a John and Ella, no John Barclay is listed with her.

Source:  1880 U.S. Census, Sonoma, Sonoma County, California, page [27], SD# 3rd, ED#120, enumerated June 6/16, 1880, by A. Drahnis. 

Line 20, ___, 187, Barkley, Lulu, W, F, 31, married, housekeeping, born New York, parents born in Pennsylvania, Barkley, John, W, M, 13 son, at home, born Wisconsin, father born Scotland, mother born New York, Barkley, Ella, W, F, 11, daughter, born Wisconsin, father born Scotland, mother born New York.  

This census information might have been easy to miss because of the reference to Wisconsin as the birth of the children.  My cousin has sharp eyes and knew who they were.

Here is a link to a map of the counties of California which is interactive.  Of course you would have to find maps of the counties in the time period of 1880 as counties change over the years.

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/california-counties-map/