Col John Weir


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Helen Chetham

Guest
I am a direct decendent of Col. John Weir a first class passenger on Titanic.
My Grandmothers maiden name was Weir and I believe he was her Grandfather.
If anyone has any further information on this or where I can go to get more info please e-mail me or leave a message here.
Kido24@bigpond.com.au
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,986
221
193
Helen, thanks for drawing attention to your distinguished relative. I see from his biography on this site that he was quite a notable passenger but he seems to have been overlooked in all the fuss about Astor, Straus and company.

I did a little research on his club. The Alta Club still exists and has a site at http://www.altaclub.org

I found a few more details scattered about. The club was founded in 1883 as a men's social club. It provided a place where non-Mormon men could socialise and originally Mormons were banned from membership, as were women. Mormons were allowed to join after about 1900 but women were not admitted till 1987. It's building is regarded as a heritage item and is being restored. Drop by for a Whisky and Cigars night, just as in 1912!
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Thanks Dave
I am new to all this research and I don't know where to start. Your help is very much appreciated. Yes, he has been overlooked, which I suppose directly relates to the issue of lack of information, but at least he is being recongnised as Col. John Weir - unlike most passenger lists where he is only refered to as MR.
Thanks once again.
Helen
 

Ian Bland

Member
May 31, 2009
68
0
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Hello Helen

I notice that you say that you 'believe' that John Weir was your Grandmother's Grandfather. I suggest that a good starting point would be to check if this is true. There have been many instances of family legends passed down by word of mouth about family members being on the Titanic. Sadly, many of these prove to be unfounded. You could begin by establishing the link.
You can use the British public records to trace Weir and hopefully establish the truth and the link to yourself. You should begin by questioning any older living relatives and recording anything and everything that they can tell you. I suggest you split your information into what you can prove and other things which are believed, but you have no documentary evidence for. My tip is to be suspicious of anything that you are told without proof. Memory and family oral histories are notoriously inaccurate!!
Weir was a Scot, so assuming he was born in Scotland, you may be able to find a birth certificate for him. Compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages in Scotland began in 1855. Records are kept by:
The Registrar General
New Register House
Edinburgh
EH1 3YT
Scotland
Tel: 0131 334 0380

I noticed that the biography on this site mentions a daughter, but not a son of John Weir.
If your Grandmothers maiden name was Weir, her father was presumably the son of John Weir. Establishing this link would be a big step forward. Weir travelled extensively, so his own children may have been born overseas. This could make things more complicated.
I hope this helps!
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,280
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Hi, Helen!

Col. Weir (a well-known mining engineer) sailed for England on Jan. 27, 1912 on a business trip connected with the British mining industry. His projected stay in England was originally intended to be 5- 6 weeks, but his return to the States was delayed until April 10.

On April 9 Col. Weir was chatting with the manager of London's Waldorf Hotel when he suddenly said, "I'll be hanged if I'll go tomorrow!" The puzzled hotel manager asked Weir why he made this unexpected declaration, and Weir replied, "Well, I know it sounds absurd, but I have got a 'funny feeling' about going. I may receive a business message this evening, and if I do I will not go, although I have booked a First Class passage."

The next morning Col. Weir was further unsettled when he arose to find that the water pitcher in his hotel room had inexplicably broken in half during the night. The hotel manager gently chided Weir about his superstition, but Weir remained uneasy about his upcoming voyage. He told his secretary that if he did not feel like continuing his journey to America he would send a wire from Queenstown.

The wire never came, and Weir was on board on the Titanic when she departed from Queenstown and headed for America.

All my best,

George
 
Dec 7, 2000
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It's interesting, Weir's return to the States was delayed so much, and he still managed to book his ticket quite late. He booked his ticket on Tuesday morning, April 9, 1912.

Daniel.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Perhaps someone can give me a clue over this one? Was John Weir's marriage in America his second one? There are people both in the U.K. and Australia who claim to be related to him through a first marriage.
 

Ian Bland

Member
May 31, 2009
68
0
36
Daniel

Perhaps not surprising though, as the ship was not anywhere near her capacity for passengers - coal strike and all that.
George

I was watching you on the telly again,last week.
Helen

I dug out some websites that may be helpful for tracing family history in the UK.

www.ffhs.org.uk
www.familyrecords.org.uk
www.sog.org.uk

May also be of interest to some other readers overseas. Hope this is useful to you.
Regards.
 

Ben Holme

Member
Feb 11, 2001
714
2
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Hi Helen,

I thought this might interest you. It is an article from the San Francisco Examiner dated April 20th, 1912, p.4

------------------------------------------------

[sup]Col. John Weir among the dead.

Pacific coast mining man is lost.

Was associate of Guggenheims and spent much time in San Francisco

Col. John Weir of London, who was for many years one of the best known mining mwn of the Pacific Coast, and an associate of the Guggenheims, was among those lost on the Titanic.

Confirmation of the report that Col. Weir was a passenger was received in this city yesterday by the house of Thomas Price and Son, analytical chemists. The confirmation came in a letter from Col. Weir's secretary. The letter, which was posted at London, said that Col. Weir was sailing for the United States on Wednesday, April 10th, and would arrive in New York the following Tuesday, and be in San Francisco in the latter part of May.

Finds name on list.

Arthur L. Price, on behalf of his father, Thomas Price, who was an old time friend of Col. Weir, immediately consulted the British sailing lists and found that the Titanic was the only steamship that sailed for the United States on April 10th. By reference to the published passenger lists of the Titanic, Price found that the name of J. Weir appeared among the names of Titanic's first cabin passengers. He learned further that J. Weir was not among those listed among those saved from the Titanic.

"The practical certainty of Col. Weir's death," said Price, "has come as a great shock to his many friends in San Francisco. None of them knew that he intended to visit the United States at this time. He was in San Francisco only last December, and when he left for his London home he had no intention of returning here so soon.

Spent much time here.

"Col. Weir, who was a Scotsman, had been closely identified with the mining interests of the Pacific Coast for many years, and had spent much of his time in San Francisco. Only during the last few years had he made his home in London. At the time he was the president of the Utah and Nevada Mining Smelting, and had been associated also with the Guggenheims in Mexican mining properties. It is probable that urgent business with mining interests caused Col. Weir to decide upon the unexpected visit to this country.

"Col. Weir's only near relative, so far as I know, is a daughter who is in the holy orders of a Scottish convent."[/sup]
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,280
2
0
Hi, Ian!

>I was watching you on the telly again,last week.

You must have been watching the 1932 film "Charlie Chan Goes to Bayonne." (I played the corpse.) :)

Thanks, Ian and Ben, for sharing your info with us. Good stuff!

All my best,

George
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Wow! thank you all for your quick responces.
Ian,
I have very much confirmed that Col John Weir is definately my Great Great Grandfather. My mother even has a silver tea set engraved with his initials that ws sent over in a large trunk with many other of his possessions by his Sister Margaret to his first Son Robert Duncan. (from his first marriage to Katherine Plant) My Grandmother was the second of eight children from Robert Weir's marriage to Nelly Archer. Col John was married for a second time and had a son Harold Mallinson and a daughter Mary. That is about all I found out over the weekend. But I think it is a pretty good start. And I am very excited to find out more.
Geoff,
I hope the above information explains the Marriage question.
George, Daniel & Ben,
Thank you all for your information. I'm sure it will all help to peice together this puzzeling background.
I have two family members that have looked into this while they were doing up our family tree and I'm sure that once I speak to them we will be able to combine our information and come up with a good idea of how it all goes.
It seems that Col. Weir was an important man, and I would love to have a complete biography of his life. It may take some time but I think it is worth it.
Once again thank you all.
Kind Regards
Helen Chetham
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Hello everyone,
Well I have found out some more information.
His Year of Birth was 1850
Place of Birth InnerLeithen, Peebles (Scotland/England Border)
Siblings: James 28 May 1856, Sarah 16 Feb 1858, George 29 Jan 1862, Jane 30 Jul 1864.
His Fathers name was John Weir and Mother Jane Gillies/Gillis.
Unfortunately we are not able to get an exact birthdate and therefore cannot obtain a death certificate. If anyone can help me please message me back on this thread or e-mail me at Kido24@bigpond.com.au
Kind Regards
Helen Chetham
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Just an update if anyone is interested - I have just been handed down some engraved silverware and a embroided napkin of Col Weirs and a Bible dated 1895 that was my Great Grandfathers - The first son of Col Weir from his first marriage Robert Duncan. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a birthdate for Col John Weir nor are we able to get a copy of the death certificate or even know where to start looking. But it is interesting to find out little by little about his life - a few reports say that he was working with the Guggenheims in mining and that he was appointed Quatermaster General by President McKinley. In 1899 he was sent to the Phillipines for the United States Government to investigate the coal mining situation on the Island of Mindanno. I have also found an article which explains about the claim by my Great Grandfather Robert Duncan for the estate left by Col John Weir in which his 2nd son from his 2nd marriage claimed was nothing - Yeah right - they probably didn't want to have to share it with their half brother. He had property in America, England and Scotland - although a lot of his fortune was lost as it was with him in stocks and bonds - he still would have been worth a damn site more than the one trunk of incidentals that were sent over from his Daughter and distributed throughout the Australian connection. I certainly prize the possessions that I have, I would just like to be able to get some more information on him - Oh well I will have to keep at it. I hope everyone is well and happy - it is the only way to be.

Keep Smiling
Helen Chetham
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Hello Helen,

I'm an Aussie and live in Sydney. There was a claim filed against the White Star Line for Loss of Life and Property regarding John Weir, by his son for a total of $102,375.00 . If you're interested I could help you obtain a copy.

Daniel.
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Daniel
You are a lifesaver, where, how did you get this information. Obviously a more experienced researcher than myself. Would you by any chance know which son it was? The claim I know about was made to his second son Harold by his first son Robert. Either way I would love to have a copy of that. My e-mail address is Kido24@bigpond.com.au if you would like to e-mail me directly. Would you have any idea how I could get a copy of his death certificate and/or birth certificate - I have exhausted all avenues already mentioned in this thread. I imagine it would be easier if we were not in Australia - England might be the place to be to search for this info - but I can't see myself there in a hurry. How long have you been a Titanic buff? How did you get into it? Where do you get all your information from? Have you previously looked into Col John Weir or was it just because of my requests for help? Have you been to the Titanic part of Fox Studios - I am really wanting to go there but I can't get down to Sydney cheap enough. Since the Ansett collapse all the airfares have risen. And with work I don't have time to drive or train it down. Do you know if there will be any more exhibitions of the Titanic coming to Australia - more importantly Brisbane. I unfortunately missed the one at the museum a couple of years back. Thankyou for all your help.
Keep Smiling :)
Helen Chetham
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Hello Helen,

WOW, ahellova lotta questions
happy.gif
. I'm very busy at the moment, but I will try and e-mail you within the next week. Unfortunately I can't help you much. I've never looked into Weir, and only checked in my sources if there was a claim for him because you brought up the subject of John Weir. I haven't got the claim but will order it and send you a copy (hopefully it's not the one you have).

Warm Regards,

Daniel.
happy.gif
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Sorry about that Daniel, I suppose I just got excited at the prospect of getting something new on Col Weir. As I said I am new to the research thing and really don't know anywhere else to look but this site and it's links. I understand you are busy and I apologise for all the questions. Please take your time in responding - and again I thankyou for all your assistance.

Kind Regards
Helen.
 
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Helen Chetham

Guest
Hello everyone - long time no post. I have been very busy doing up my family tree and then out of the blue I received a message from a distant relative of mine from America. What a small world. I hope everyone is well.
Keep Smiling
Helen.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Helen!

I received the Weir claim finally! Please e-mail me privately and I'll get your address and send you a copy of it as soon as I can.

Daniel
happy.gif
 

Brian Meister

Member
Mar 1, 2001
265
1
148
Helen,

No need to wait for the claim for Colonel
Weir's personal effects...here goes:

Gold watch and chain 250.00
Gold chain 75.00
Two gold pencils 5.00
One gold cigar cutter 15.00
One gold cigar cutter 10.00
Gold match-box 25.00
Gold change-purse 7.00
Sapphire and diamond ring 200.00
Gold guard 2.00
Five gold studs 25.00
One set diamond studs 75.00
One set garnets 5.00
One set gold studs 5.00
One set turquoise cuff links 50.00
Single pearl pin 500.00
Gold stick pin with diamond 25.00
One set gold cuff links 15.00
One set gold cuff links 20.00
Ruby and diamond ring 450.00
One-half dozen vests 30.00
One-half dozen sets underclothes 18.00
Eighteen shirts 35.00
One and one-half dozen pairs socks10.00
Dressing gown 10.00
Bath gown 10.00
Dress-suit with dinner jacket 75.00
Three navy-blue suits 100.00
Two dozen collars (shirt, sic) 5.00
One set military brushes 7.00
Silver nail clippers 2.00
Clothes brushes and hat brushes 5.00
Bowler hat 2.00
Two caps 2.00
Two overcoats 50.00
Mackintosh 25.00
Four pair boots, night slippers 20.00
Steamer trunk 20.00
Valise containing articles for
immediate use, dressing gown, etc25.00
Gloves 15.00
Passage money paid 150.00

Total, 2375.00

I was hoping that you may be able to come
across an exact date of birth for the Colonel.
It is interesting that his siblings have had
their dates recorded, but not he himself.
Hope this is of interest,

Regards,

Brian
 

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