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Archibald DAFF
James DUFF
Isobel NEILL
(1771-Bef 1839)
James DUFF


Family Links

1. Agnes KERR

James DUFF 2

  • Born: 3 Nov 1795, Greenock, Renfrewshire 3
  • Christened: 8 Nov 1795, West Parish, Greenock, Renfrewshire 4
  • Marriage (1): Agnes KERR on 21 Jun 1819 in East Parish, Greenock, Renfrewshire 1
  • Died: 23 May 1880, West Greenock, Renfrewshire 5
  • Buried: 27 May 1880, Greenock Cemetery, Renfrewshire 6

bullet  Notes:

The second of three surviving brothers, James was brought up on Fencewood Farm on the outskirts of Greenock. He became a Brassfounder, establishing James Duff and Sons in East Greenock: the firm was successful, with 90 men and boys employed in the 1870s. He was Provost of Greenock from 1858 to 1860.

James married Agnes Kerr (qv), the daughter of a quarryman, and had eight surviving children - five sons, three of them brassfounders, and three daughters. The family lived in Chapel St in East Greenock and then in Forsyth St in West Greenock, moving in the 1850s. Their eldest daughter Agnes did not marry, and lived at home with her parents. Their eldest son James became a brassfounder, taking over the family firm after his father died. He married the daughter of a joiner, and had six surviving children: his elder son James also became a brassfounder; his younger son John emigrated to New Zealand; and two of his daughters married brothers from the Lyle family, who had sugar and shipping interests in Greenock and London. James and Agnes' next son David was first a teacher at the Greenock Grammar School, then a United Presbyterian (UP) Minister in Helensburgh, and finally Professor of Church History at the UP College in Edinburgh. He married the daughter of a shoemaker - their five sons all entered the professions. The next daughter Jane married James Stevenson, a shipmaster who died in the West Indies, and had four sons.

The next two sons were brassfounders: William (qv); and John, whose son James was the last member of the family to join the family business in Greenock. The youngest daughter Janet, who was known as Jessie, married Thomas Neill, a shipbuilder: she emigrated with three of her sons to New Zealand in the late 1880s. James and Agnes' youngest son Robert was variously a mineral explorer and tobacco manufacture. He firstly married Emily Lloyd in Quebec, and had four daughters who were born in Canada and Greenock. After Emily died in 1881 Robert emigrated to USA where he remarried, and was living in Brooklyn in 1910.

Additional source:
Provosts of Greenock 1833-1974.
Outward Passenger Lists 1890-1960, TNA ref BT27


James married Agnes KERR, daughter of David KERR and Agnes WALKER, on 21 Jun 1819 in East Parish, Greenock, Renfrewshire.1 (Agnes KERR was born in 1797 in Houston, Renfrewshire,7 died on 27 Dec 1885 in West Greenock, Renfrewshire 8 and was buried on 30 Dec 1885 in Greenock Cemetery, Renfrewshire 6.)



1 GRO (Scotland), OPR Marriage ScotlandsPeople GROS 564/02 0001.

2 GRO (Scotland), OPR Birth ScotlandsPeople GROS 564/02 002 (son William).

3 Church Register, West Parish Greenock, FHL(L) ref Mf 1041063 (baptism).

4 Church Register, West Parish Greenock, FHL(L) ref Mf 1041063.

5 GRO (Scotland), Death ScotlandsPeople GROS 564/03 0256.

6 Non-parochial burial ground, Records of Greenock Cemetery, Inverclyde Council.

7 Census, 1881 Census (ScotlandsPeople) - GROS Vol 564-3 p23.

8 GRO (Scotland), Death ScotlandsPeople GROS 564/03 0684.

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