James Kerr

???? - 1816


Slave-owner in Jamaica, dying in Glasgow 1816. No connection has been found to James Kerr senior (q.v.).

  1. Mary Kerr, daughter of Sarah Cope, "free mulatto", born 26/01/1804 and baptised in St Catherine, 19/09/1805. Janet Kerr, same mother, born 05/09/1805 and baptised at the same time as Mary. Sarah Cope, "free mulatto", who had a daughter, Catherine Isabel Kerr, born 22/09/1815 and baptised 18/05/1816 in St Catherine, Jamaica. Mary, Janet, Joseph and Catherine Bell Kerr are named as the children of James Kerr by Sarah Cope in his will.

  2. 19 Dec. [1816] At Maxwelton Place [Death of] James Kerr of Lorn Plantation parish of St Catherine Jamaica.

  3. The siblings and aunts named in his will indicate that this was the James Ker, second son and third child of James Ker [sic] and his wife Isobell Moffat "at foot of the Green of Machermore", baptised 19/12/1771 in Minnigaff, Kirkudbrightshire, Scotland.


  1. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. Scots Magazine Vol. LXXIX (1816) p. 80.

  3. GROS OPR Births 876 10 116 Minnigaff.

We are grateful to Diane Cole for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information


CC10/5/14, Hamilton & Campsie Commissary Court [precis]

Testament Testamentary and Inventory of James Kerr Esquire, late planter in Jamaica afterwards residing in Maxwelton Place Glasgow who died 19/12/1816.

James Kerr of Kingston, Jamaica, planter.

All my estate real and personal to be liable for the payment of my debts.

To my friend John Moffatt of Kingston and Edward Sword and James Tulloch of St Catherine and my brother John Kerr of Leadhills and James Moffat and George Blair in Glasgow, Scotland, all my messuages, tenements, lands, slaves, chattels, effects whatsoever or wherever upon trust that thet shall manage and dispose of my property as hereinafter mentioned.

A sufficient sum to be paid out of my estate for the support of my aged mother during her natural life and also for the support of my children with her for their education. This sum to be whatever James Moffat and George Blair says necessary.

To my sister Bell Kerr, to be paid her at her marriage providing my estate is in funds, £1000 sterling with interest from the day of my death.

To each of my following brothers and sisters viz John Kerr, Joseph Kerr, William Kerr, Margaret Kerr, Mary Kerr, £500 each. Should any die without heirs before the payment is made then the £500 to be divided between the remaining siblings.

To my nephew James Kerr, son of my brother John Kerr, my best gold watch.

To each of my executors, £20 to purchase mourning.

Also Sarah Cope and my children that may be with her at my decease, £50 to purchase such things for mourning as she thinks proper.

The residue to be equally divided between my reputed children by Sarah Cope, viz. Mary Kerr, Janet Kerr, Joseph Kerr and Catherine Bell Kerr, or any further children she may have by me, to be paid to them on marriage or when the youngest becomes of age.

My interest in Salt Pond Hutt to continue until the end of the lease at which I leave them at liberty to dispose of my moity of the negroes now jointly between me and George McKirlie, also those negroes lately purchased and put on Salt Pond Hutt and undivided between George McKirlie and me, and the estate of the late James McIntosh deceased to be them upon Lorn provided it is not disposed of as they may think most advantageous to my estate.

To Sarah Cope and my reputed children, the pen where I now reside called May Pen, with all the milch cows, sheep and goats that may be thereon. May Pen to be of the same convenience to Lorn as it is now till my executors shall think fit to dispose of Lorn viz. May Pen shall keep a fresh spell of stock for the disposing of Lorn Grass at all time and all the pregnant women to be sent there to be delivered, and that every necessary that they may require shall be furnished at the expense of my estate, the case of the women to be left to Sarah Cope with an assistant midwife to be kept always there at the expence of my estate. All woods, pasturage and other uses of May Pen to belong to Sarah Cope during her natural life and at her death to be sold for the benefit of my natural children.

My further will is that what of my reputed children they may with Sarah Cope get a liberal education and be decently supported in all necessaries at the expense of my estate.

All monies arriving to my estate after paying my debts, legacies, etc, to be laid out to interest till my estate is sold. Any of my chidlren living in Great Britain, their share to be placed to be best security for their advantage.

To my aunts Barbara Moffatt and Primrose Adam Moffat, £50 each.

To my worthy friend John Moffatt all my books that he may think worth perusing, my military sword and pistols, also my double barrelled fowling piece.

From my situation with David Aird Esquire of Kingston I conceive it necessary to appoint him one of my executors.

My executors John Moffat, Edward, Swords, James Tulloch, John Kerr, James Moffat, George Blair and David Aird to be guardians to my children.

Signed 26/06/1816.


Household furniture, books, plate and other items in his dwelling house on Maxwelton Place, Glasgow, £78 19s 4 1/2d

Horse, gig and harness (sold) £28 16s 4d

Associated Estates (5)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1815 [EA] - 1816 [LA] → Other
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
- 1816 [EY] → Owner
1811 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Other

Previously joint tenant of the heirs of Joshua Buckridge.

1826 [EA] - → Previous owner

Enslaved people previously owned by James Kerr were shown as having been sold to this estate c. 1826.

Relationships (5)

Extra-marital relationships
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Son
Father → Natural Daughter

Addresses (1)

'at foot of the Green of Machermore', Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire, Southern Scotland, Scotland