M, #514, b. 26 April 1836, d. 25 August 1921
James Mair was born on 26 April 1836 at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland.1,2 He was the son of Alexander Mair and Margaret Sclater. James Mair was baptized on 6 May 1836 at Parish of Cullen, Banffshire, Scotland.1 His family was known by the tee-name of "Slater".
James Mair "Slater" (1836-1921)
(Photograph kindly provided by
John Crawford of the Buckie
and District Fishing Heritage Centre)
(Photograph kindly provided by
John Crawford of the Buckie
and District Fishing Heritage Centre)
He was listed as a member of the household in the 1841 census at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: Margaret Mair, 40; Margaret Mair, 11; John Mair, 10; James Mair, 5; Francis Mair, 2; Francis Slater, 25.3
He was listed as head of household's son in the 1851 census at 52 Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: Alexander Mair, head; Margret Mair, wife; George Mair, son; Margret Mair, daughter; John Mair, son; James Mair, son; Francis Mair, son; Cathrine Mair, daughter.4
He was a fisherman. He married Margaret Sclater at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland, on 9 February 1860.5,6
He was listed as head of household in the 1871 census at Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: James Mair, head; Margaret Mair, wife; Mary Sclater, step-daughter; Margaret Mair, daughter; James Mair, son; Alexander Mair, son.7
He was listed as head of household in the 1881 census at 234 Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: James Mair Slater, head; Margaret Mair, wife; James Mair Slater, son; Alexr Mair Slater, son.8
James Mair "Slater" had a Zulu fishing boat built by Alexander Watson at Duffus, Hillock, Banff and launched on 14 February 1884, named 'Challenger.9' He later had a new Zulu fishing boat, with a larger hold, built by John Grigor at Portgordon, Banffshire and launched on 18 December 1886, also named 'Challenger.10'
He was listed as a crew member in the 1891 census at fishing boat 'Challenger', Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Those recorded aboard 'Challenger' were: Jas Mair, master; Jas Mair, 2nd hand; Alex Mair, fisherman; Geo Mair, fisherman; Alex Mair, fisherman; Alex Mair, fisherman; Wm Wood, fisherman.11
James Mair was a harbour master.
He was listed as head of household in the 1901 census at 234 Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland. Those recorded in the household were: James Mair Slater, head; Margaret Mair, wife.12
The Valuation Roll for the County of Banff for Year 1905-1906 shows that James Mair "Slater" was owner occupier of 234 Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland.13 James died on 25 August 1921 at Harbour Place, Portknockie, Banffshire, Scotland, at age 85.14,2
- Chart (box): Descendants of William Mair "Shavie" (b. c1765)
Chart (indented): Descendants of William Mair "Shavie" (b. c1765)
Chart (box): Descendants of George Sclater "Hasser" (b. c1770)
Chart (indented): Descendants of George Sclater "Hasser" (b. c1770)
Chart (box): Descendants of William Wood "King" (b. c1695)
Chart (indented): Descendants of William Wood "King" (b. c1695)
Chart (box): Descendants of William Wood "Doo" (b. c1770)
Chart (indented): Descendants of William Wood "Doo" (b. c1770)
Children of James Mair and Margaret Mair
- [S1198] LDS Church, International Genealogical Index, "James Mair, male. Birth: 26 APR 1836. Christening: 06 MAY 1836 Portknockie, Cullen, Banff, Scotland. Father: Alexander Mair. Mother: Margaret Sclater."
- [S1054] Dr Guy D Sutherland-Barnicoat, Neil Pirie, Information kindly supplied by Dr Guy Barnicoat of Commerce Township, Michigan, USA.
- [S1210] 1841, Scottish Census, "James Mair, male, age 5, born in county, resident in Portknockie."
- [S1209] 1851, Scottish Census, "James Mair, son, unmarried, male, age 15, born in Portknockie, Banffshire, servant at home, resident at 52 Portknockie."
- [S1176] James Mair to Margaret Sclater née Mair, Marriage entry, "On the Ninth day of February 1860, at Portknockie. Marriage (after Banns) was solemnized between us according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland. James Mair, age 24, usual residence Portknockie, Fisherman (Bachelor), parents Alexander Mair Fisherman and Margaret Mair Maiden Name Slater. Margaret Sclater, age 28, usual residence Portknockie, (Widow), parents James Mair Fisherman (Deceased) and Catherine Mair Maiden Name Wood. Jas. Ledingham Minr. George Mair Witness. Francis Mair Witness. The above Marriage was Registered by me at Portknockie, on the 10th day of February, 1860. James Cumming Registrar."
- [S1199] LDS Church, International Genealogical Index, "James Mair, male. Spouse: Margaret Sclater. Marriage: 09 FEB 1860, Seafield, Banff, Scotland."
- [S1272] 1871, Scottish Census, "James Mair, head, male, age 35, born in Portknockie, Banffshire, fisherman, resident at Portknockie."
- [S1273] 1881, Scottish Census, "James Mair Slater, head, male, age 45, born in Rathven, Banff, fisherman, resident at 234 Portknockie."
- [S1315] Article, 'LAUNCH OF A FISHING BOAT', Banffshire Advertiser and Buckie and Moray Firth Fishing and General Gazette, "PORTKNOCKIE, LAUNCH OF A FISHING BOAT. – There was launched on Thursday afternoon from the building yard of Mr Alexander Watson, Duffus, Hillock, Banff, a beautifully modelled fishing boat of the Zulu build, of the following dimensions:- Length of keel, 50ft.; breadth of beam all over, 19ft.; and depth of hold, 3ft. 6in. The boat, which is one of the largest ever built in Banff, is made of the finest seasoned materials, and fitted with every convenience for the successful prosecution of the fishing and the comfort of the crew. The frame is larch and oak, and the planking of larch and pitch pine. The boat is fitted up with forecastle accommodation for eight men, and the cabin for two. There are also apartments fitted up for the curing of herrings at sea for a few days, in the event of a catch not being sufficiently large to warrant the boat coming to port, or the weather too calm for returning. Each box is conveniently placed for the day’s fishing, which is a matter of considerable importance under the circumstances above mentioned. The outfit of the boat has been entrusted to Mr Henry Munro, rope and sail maker, Banff, while the blacksmith work was accomplished by Mr Robert Watson, Macduff. On taking the water, the boat was gracefully named the Challenger by Miss Docker, daughter of Captain Docker, in the presence of a large crowd of spectators, who cheered heartily when the craft was fairly afloat. The Challenger was built to the order of Mr James Mair “Sclater”, Portknockie, who is both owner and master. It may be mentioned that boatbuilding is pretty brisk at Banff just now, Mr Watson having no fewer than four at present on the slips in various stages."
- [S1316] Article, 'NEW FISHING BOAT', Banffshire Advertiser and Buckie and Moray Firth Fishing and General Gazette, "NEW FISHING BOAT. There was launched on Saturday from the building-yard of Mr John Grigor, Portgordon, a finely-modelled fishing boat of the Zulu design. She was named the Challenger and is owned by Mr James Mair “Slater”, fisherman, Portknockie. She is fitted up with all the newest improvements, including Jack’s patented steering gear. The following are her dimensions:- Length of keel, 51 feet; breadth of beam, 18 feet; depth of hold, 10 feet."
- [S1274] 1891, Scottish Census, "Jas Mair, crew, male, age 56, born in Rathven, Banff, master, aboard Challenger at Fraserburgh."
- [S1275] 1901, Scottish Census, "James Mair Slater, head, male, age 65, born in Portknockie, Banffshire, harbour master, resident at 234 Portknockie."
- [S4121] National Records of Scotland, Valuation Roll, County of Banff, Year 1905-1906, Valuation Roll for the County of Banff for the Year 1905-1906 - Parish of Rathven, Page 384, "Special Water and Scavenging District of Portknockie, No. 3275, Description: House, Situation: 234 Portknockie, Proprietor: James Mair, "Sclater", Occupier: Proprietor, Feu-duty or Ground Annual: £0 15s 0d, Yearly Rent or Value: £4 10s 0d."
- [S1317] Article, 'The Late Mr James Mair', page 6, column 6, Banffshire Advertiser and Buckie and Moray Firth Fishing and General Gazette, Vol. XL, No. 2091, "THE LATE MR JAMES MAIR, PORTKNOCKIE
At the close of the day service in Seafield Parish Church, Portknockie, the Rev. Mr. McIntyre said – I cannot close without referring, however briefly, to the loss we have sustained as a congregation and a community, in the death of Mr James Mair “Slater”, one of our oldest, bravest, most skilful, and widely known fishermen – a fisherman of the older type of whom now there are but few remaining. He has passed to his next full of years – he had reached his 87th year, and but for an accidental injury to his leg which he suffered some two years ago, so good was his natural constitution that he would have likely reached a still greater age. He served the community for a considerable time in the office of harbour master, and won for himself the approval of the committee of management by the faithful discharge of its duties. Of a friendly disposition and gifted with a keen sense of humour, he could hold his own as a good Conservative when politics were being discussed at the Braehead. It is expected of a fisherman as of an astronomer, that he be devout, and he whom we mourn was at heart in a quiet way and without any parade of religion deeply so. His end was a most peaceful one, like that of a tired child falling asleep, and his life voyage ended in casting his anchor within the vale. “All’s well,” quoting a favourite hymn, were about his last words. His wife predeceased him some 11 years ago, but he was happy in having his granddaughter who waited on and ministered to him with loving care. He leaves two married daughters and two sons – Bailie James Mair, of “Aranmore” and Alexander, owners of the steam drifter Valkyrie.
Mr McIntyre also referred in suitable terms to the deaths of an infant of five months, of John Mair, a young fisherman aged 34, and a young married woman, Jane Wood, daughter of Mr Wm. Wood “Piper”, who had died at Peterhead in child-birth."