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Archive for December, 2013

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Thomas McWhirter Jr. was born 26 January 1835 in County Tyrone, Ireland to Thomas McWhirter (1800-1867) and Eliza Jane Beatty (1800-abt 1846)

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On the U.S. Federal Census taken in September of 1850, Thomas was living in Ferrisburg, Addison, Vermont with his father Thomas McWhirter Sr. (1800-1867), stepmother Sarah McWhirter (1800-?), and younger siblings, Samuel McWhirter (1836-1874), Eliza McWhirter (1838-1900), James McWhirter (1843-?), Mary McWhirter (1840-?) and George McWhirter (1846-1883). Younger sister, Margaret McWhirter (1841-1914) was living with older sister Agnes McWhirter Clifford (1827-1898) in Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont, that same year.

My cousin, Laurie Winter, provided the following 1850 census record for the family.  The last name is  badly misspelled (Machosin…seriously?),  but all of the first names match up with our McWhirter family members.

Thomas McWhirter 1850 Census Ferrisburg, Addison, Vermont, United States1850 U.S. Census for Ferrisburg, Addison, Vermont
Taken: 25 September 1850

Thomas married Esther Scherer (1841-1885) on 10 November 1865 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, where he worked as a teamster.

Thomas McWhirter & Esther Shearer marriage RecordMarriage Record for Thomas McWhirter Jr., & Esther Scherer
10 November 1865, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts

Their first daughter, Mary Jane “Jennie” McWhirter was born 31 August 1865, in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She married John Jacob Klapperich (1864-1943) in San Francisco, California, in 1887. Together they had two sons: Louis Henry Klapperich (1888-1947) and Milton S. Klapperich (1890-1891). She and John divorced sometime between 1900 and 1910.

Mary Jane McWhirter Birth RecordBirth Record for Mary Jane McWhirter, 31 August 1865
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts

Their first son, George Elbridge McWhirter was born 29 January 1867 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

So far, I’ve only been able to find  two  records for George. One is the 1880 Census for San Francisco, California, the other is the  Merced, California Voters Register in 1888, where he was employed as a printer.

George Elbredge McWhirter, Merced, California Voters Register 1888George Elbredge McWhirter, Merced County, California Voter Register
11 July 1888

Second son, Joseph Henry McWhirter was born 18 November 1869 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts and died 15 June 1872, at age 2 years 7 months, from scarlet fever. He is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mattapan, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Joseph Henry McWhirter death recordJoseph Henry McWhirter Death Record , 15 June 1872
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts

Second daughter, Etta Esther McWhirter was born 24 January 1872 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts and died 2 October 1875 at age 3 from diphtheria. She is also  buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery,  in Mattapan, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Etta Esther McWhirter Death RecordEtta Esther McWhirter Death Record
2 January 1875, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts

Third son, Willis Joseph Baker McWhirter was born 1 September 1873 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. His WWI Draft Registration Card gives his description as: “Tall, medium build with blue eyes and gray hair”.

Willis Joseph McWhirter WWI Draft Registration Card 12 Sept 1918 Willis Joseph McWhirter WWI Draft Registration Card 12 Sept 1918 (2)Willis Joseph Baker McWhirter, WWI Draft Registration Card
12 September 1918, San Francisco, California

He married Bessie Lenore Grenfell (1876-1964) Stanislaus County California on 29 July 1908, where he worked as a building contractor.

Willis McWhirter died on 23 February 1942 in San Francisco, California. He and Bessie never had any children.

Fourth son and youngest child, Harry Samuel McWhirter, was born 15 October 1875 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

The 1910 U.S. Census records him as living in San Francisco, California, with his sister Mary Jane McWhirter Klapperich, working as a bricklayer.

He registered for the draft in WWI on 12 September 1918 in Atwater, Merced, California, where he worked as a farmer. His description is given as: “Tall, medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.

Harry Samuel McWhirter WWI Draft Registration Card 12 September 1918

Harry Samuel McWhirter WWI Draft Registration Card
12 September 1918, San Francisco, California

Thomas McWhirter Jr. died 12 September 1876 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, at age 41, just eleven years after he married Esther. Cause of death was listed as “intemperance”. He left behind his wife, Esther, and their 4 remaining children, Mary, George, Willis and Harry.

He also left her a bit of money. The following public record for Probate Court proceedings appeared in the Boston Journal.

Thomas McWhirter Jr_edited-1

Probate Court Record Notice for  Thomas McWhirter
(Boston Journal (Boston, MA) 26 September 1876, pg 2)

Thomas McWhirter Jr.  is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery,  in  Mattapan, Suffolk, Massachusetts. 

Mount Hope Cemetery, Boston, MassachusettsMt. Hope Cemetery, Mattapan, Suffolk, Massachusetts

Esther moved with the children to San Francisco, California, sometime between Thomas’ death in September of 1876 and 1 June 1880. The U.S. Federal Census for that year shows all 4 children living at home with Esther at: 31 Second Ave., San Francisco, California.

Esther Sherer McWhirter 1880 US Federal Census San Francisco, California1880 U.S. Federal Census, San Francisco, California
Taken: 1 June 1880

Esther Shearer McWhirter died 22 November 1885 in San Francisco, California. The following articles appeared in two local newspapers following her death.

Estsher Shearer McWhirter Obituary November 1885

Esther McWhirter, Mortuary Notice
(San Francisco Bulletin (San Francisco, CA)  23 November 1885, pg 3)

McWHIRTER–In this city, November 22, Esther, mother of Jennie and GeorgeMcWHIRTER, aged 46 years. Funeral to-day, at 1 p.m., from No. 31 Second avenue.”

Source: Daily Alta California, 24 November 1885.

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