Isabella Haliburton Kerr

ID # 6963, (1872-)
FatherDavid Kerr (1832-)
MotherCatherine Duncan (1838-)
BirthIsabella Haliburton Kerr was born on 7 April 1872 at Sherbrooke, Quebec. 
MarriageShe married Jacob F. Beck, son of Jacob Freidrich Beck and Charlotte Josephine Hespeler
ChristeningShe was christened on 12 May 1872 at District de Francois, Sherbrooke, Quebec. 
NoteIsabella's baptism is to be found on the Drouin Records as provided by Ancestry. While we may be reasonably sure that we have the correct Isabella, there are two anomalies here. Isabella's name as per the baptism record was Isabella Halyburton Kerr. (For anyone seeking her baptism record via Ancestry and Drouin, by the way, it is indexed as Isabella Halyburton. Her surname Kerr does not appear in the index though it does in the baptism's text.)The second anomaly is in that census information consistently shows the family as being Presbyterian (her parents and some older siblings were born in Scotland), yet she was baptized in a Baptist Church, or at least she was so baptized according to the binder label to the side of each image.

Your researcher's understanding of Baptist Church baptisms is that they are adult baptisms, while that of Isabella was an infant baptism.

Isabella's parents, per the baptism record, were David Kerr and Catherine Duncan. They appear in Sherbrooke in the 1871 and 1881 censuses and they had a substantial family.

After looking over clergy in the area, particularly Presbyterian clergy, the officiating clergyman's first name as signed might be anything, but 'Chas.' Tanner or 'Charles' Tanner would be a good interpretation and there was indeed a Charles Tanner, a Presbyterian clergyman, in Sherbrooke at the time (he served there from October 27, 1869 to September 18, 1872. The only reasonable conclusion is that the image, actually 23 images, have been mislabelled. This notion is strengthened when we consider that the church's record book for the year 1872 is 'missing'. Actually, it isn't. It is simply labelled as a Baptist book. Any doubts may be dismissed when we note that Rev. Tanner's signature appears on every page of the book.

Interestingly, Charles Auguste Tanner, the baptising officiant, was born in France and was of Swiss extraction - not typical for a Presbyterian clergyman. This information is to be found in the 1871 census as enumerated at Sherbrooke. His wife was Jane (maiden name Shaw), and they were married in Montreal in 1864. Apparently Charles was one of several Presbyterian clergy who were French speaking and whose mission was to French speaking parishoners in the community. Some information with regard to his presence in Sherbrooke and elsewhere may be found in a paper, The Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Quebec, 1875-1925, Alexander Goodwill MacDougall, 1960, Department of History, McGill University, Montreal.

A marriage record for Jacob and Isabella has not been found. The 1900 census at Detroit appears to say that they have been married nine years. Daughter Charlotte was apparently born in May of 1892. Though the entry of the year is poor, she is said to be age 8, so this may well be correct. As of the 1891 census in Richmond, Quebec, Isabella was still with her parents. She is shown as age 19 and a bookkeeper. However she may have met Jacob, she must have been away from Quebec within the year for daughter Charlotte is said to have been born in Michigan.

A record of death for Isabella has not been found. The best that may be said is that she was still living in London, Ontario, as of the 1940 voters' list. She resided with her daughter Mrs. George Beresford. The voters' list describes both women as widows. 
Last Edited2 Apr 2019