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William Barr was born circa 1827 in Donegal, Ireland, and moved to America in the early 1850's. We know nothing of his parents, and very little of his life in the United States.

His brother, Thomas J. Barr, was born in April, 1824 and also reared on the family farm in Donegal, Ireland. Thomas would move to America in the early 1850's to join William in Pennsylvania. Thomas then hired to a Quaker farmer in Pennsylvania, ran a "dray" (a cart designed to carry heavy loads) for awhile, before engaging in mining and farming. Thomas would marry Mary Grant-Barr, and then move on to Missouri to farm and raise his family of ten on 500 acres of rich, Missouri River soil.

Early Draying

Our research has located a William Barr from Ireland, born 1827, who had also immigrated to Pennsylvania. He must be our William, for he was also a drayman, and there was only one William Barr from Ireland that was on Philadelphia's 1860, 1870, and 1880 census.

In May 2011, we received a Mary Barr's 1904 obituary that describes her two surviving brothers Thomas Barr of Shackelford, Missouri, and William Barr of Philadelphia. Until then, we knew only of the two brothers, and over a century later, we never realized Thomas and William even had a sister. This was quite a landmark for the genealogists in our family! The obituary reflects that Mary (born 1830), came to America around the same time as her brothers. The three all landed in Pennsylvania where they would presumably meet up.

Mary Barr then would marry Michael McCall, and would remain in Pennsylvania. Mary died November 1904 in Freemansburg Pennsylvania, and was buried at age seventy five in St Michaelís cemetery in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They had six children and twenty one grandchildren.

While we have never found any of William's extended family, we do know that he did have at least one child, a daughter. If she was an only child, it is possible that William's branch of the Barr family ended with his passing. It is unclear how William spent his life in Pennsylvania. He would've been nearing 80 years of age and still living in Philadelphia when Mary Barr-McCall passed in 1904. William and Mary's brother Thomas J. Barr would pass in 1910 Shackelford, Missouri.



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