James A. Barclay, an heir of his brother Alexander, has given me quite a bit of trouble. I have tried to learn more about him but it has been difficult and he remains a mystery.
I estimate he was born about 1838 and he died in early 1906 in Bridgeport, Connecticut but the census that I have collected varies from 1838 to 1852 for his birth year. He died during the probate of Alexander’s estate sometime during 1906.
This is from the listing of heirs in Alexander’s estate:
“James A. Barclay, aged 68 years, residing at 1444 Stratford Ave., Bridgeport, Conn. who is a brother.”
There is a possibility that James is in the 1850 U.S. census for Connecticut but I do not know for sure if it is him.
Source: 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Litchfield, Hartford, Connecticut, 30 July 1850 – Ancestry.com
Line 29, Dwelling 131, Family 144 Joshua D. Berry age 40 male, Epis Clergyman 120.00 born NH, Jane Berry age 28, F born Ct., James Barclay age 12 male, born Ireland.
The fact that he is born in Ireland could be a mistake instead of Scotland. The other possibility is the family went to Ireland and then to the US. The age is right for James Barclay, John’s son and George and Alex’s older brother. The location is a bit farther from the rest of the other scattered children of John Barclay and Margaret.
However, the next time I find James Barclay is in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Southington, Hartford, Connecticut. He is living with his sister Mary J. Ford. He is 21 in this census which means he was born in 1849?
Line 27, 493 – Living with Ely, Adolph, 583 Ford, Jerome B., 24, M, W, Laborer all born Connecticut, 11, Jan. Ford Mary 27 F, W, Keeping House, Ford Rosaliee, 3, F, W. Barclay, James, 21, M, W, Laborer.
Source: Jerome Ford Family, 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Southington, Hartford Co., Connecticut, pg. 65, enumerated 29 June 1870, Deenis P. Farch.
Note: Litchfield is northwest of Bristol and Southington is south of Bristol. Mary and Jerome settled in Bristol later on.
Backing up in the census to 1860 there is a James Barclay living with a family in East Windsor by the name of William Cains. This James is 12 years old born in Connecticut but they have him listed as Irish. He is in East Windsor which is closer to other Barclay siblings.
In 1880 there is a James Barclay age 28 which means he was born 1852 and that is very different from my date of 1838. He is with a Mary J. and Albert 8/12 yrs. He is a working in a clock shop. In 1900 I have a Jam Barcley (50 yrs) living with a Mary J. and an mother-in-law Elizabeth Phelps. He states he was born in Connecticut but his parents were born in New York and he is now a baker? The following information maybe incorrect based on the census above but I have that James married a Maryanne Stewart? Well you can see that I am having trouble pinning James down.
When I visited Connecticut in May of 2011 I went back to the Connecticut State Library and I studied the probate records for Bridgeport, Connecticut but I could not find a probate for James Barclay. I studied Film #1428182 but found the V. 113, 115, 116 and 118 and 119 missing for the time period I needed for James. I even went an ordered the probate index. They had me move to the special collections area of the library to view it. I did not have any luck figuring it out. James name was just not appearing in the records, nor where any Barclay’s in the records for Bristol in 1905, 1906 and 1907. I will probably have to go directly to the Bridgeport courthouse to seek out my answers at some point.
At the time of Alexander’s probate process James was divorced and there was a little concern about the distribution of the funds by another sister Martha W. Ford written for her by her daughter Carrie Ford. If that is him in the 1900 census he is not divorced yet?
In a letter dated June 1, 1900, Martha writes to Dr. H.N. Rogers the Administrator of Alexander’s estate from San Francisco to Dakota County, Minnesota:
“I did not know that brothers and sister of the half blood would inherit as against brothers and sisters of the whole blood. I do not think that the widow of Jas. Barclay is entitled to enherit any portion of the estate because she was divorced long prior to the death of Alex Barclay…” she goes on to say that Mr. Rogers should do as he sees best.
James’s heirs did receive 1/10 share from Alexander’s estate. It appears that an N.B. [Girgen] was the administrator of James’ estate. I cannot read his signature to verify his name. The file was so thick I had to put numbers on the some of the actions so this has #36 written on it. Unfortunately, this is all the information I have about James A. Barclay.
So I have a little more digging to do with James. I have tried to find his obituary, the estate papers, his marriage and have not been successful at this time. I also need to consider his divorce but everything is so vague about him it is difficult.