Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s

James Weir

Born: abt. 1842, Ayr, Scotland
Died: Jan 29, 1900 in San Francisco

Captain Weir lived and sailed out of the port of San Francisco in the 1870s thru 1890s. He was the Master of the ship Loch Awe. The Loch Awe was built in Dundee by Gourlay Bros Shipping. In 1874, this sailing ship of 1053 tons made a record passage from Gravesend, London to Auckland in 76 days and 6 hours under the hard driving Captain Weir.

This voyage is said to have been some two years before the introduction of cable services. The first that her Auckland agents knew of her sailing was when she appeared on the Waitemata harbour, which greatly challenged the customs agents at the time.

During my research, I have found newspaper articles (marriage and death notices) about him in the Daily Alta Cailfornia (Marriage Notice - Oct. 15, 1876, page 4) and the San Francisco Call (Death Notice - Jan. 30, 1900, page 11). He is noted in the California Voter Registration Records as becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen on July, 22, 1884. I also found his name listed in the American Lloyds Ship Registers (1877-1886) noted as the Master of the Loch Awe.

White Wings. Fifty Years of Sail in the New Zealand Trade.

One of his record setting voyages (1874 London to Auckland, New Zealand) on the ship Loch Awe is noted in the book, White Wings: Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900, (Vol I) by Henry Brett (1924) pages 193-195.

Bruce J. Weir

July 7, 1874, The Daily Southern Cross, Auckland, New Zealand

The clipper ship Loch Awe, from London arrived in port and anchored in the stream on Monday, June, 22. She comes consigned to the New Zealand Shipping Company, and brings a general cargo.

The Loch Awe is commanded by Captain Weir, and made the passage in 67 days from land to land (76 days and 6 hour port to port). This vessel has been much admired during the stay in port. She brought a large number of immigrants to this port, who were landed in good health, very little sea-sickness having occurred on board during the voyage. Complaints were made against the Surgeon-superintendent of the ship Dr. Wylie, by some of the immigrants, which formed the subject of an inquiry here for the members of the Immigration Office. Their report has been sent on to the authorities at Wellington.

We learn the Loch Awe had discharged the whole of her general cargo, and has only now on board a quantity of railway iron, when will, on landing that, take in about 600 tons of ballast and sail for San Francisco at an early date.

The Loch Awe belongs to Messrs. Wilson and Dick, of Glasgow, and was built by Messes Bartley, Curle, and Co. five years ago, receiving the highest classification at Lloyd's. There were two deaths on the passage.

The following is a complete list of the immigrants on board the Loch Awe:

Left Gravesend for Auckland on April 6:


Andersen, Peter ,44
Andersen, Grithe ,44
Andersen, Ann, 21
Andersen, Lisein 15
Andersen, Albert 1
Ash, John 39
Ash, Mary 37
Ash, Edward 20
Ash, Marion 15
Ash, Ellen 13
Ash, Arthur 7
Ash, Ernest 4
Ash, Charles 2
Beamont, William 65
Beamont, M. E. 53
Beamont, M. E. 34
Beamont, C.S. 30
Beamont, George, 22
Beamont, Sarah 20
Beamont, Charles 16
Beamont, Alice 11
Beckett, William 40
Beckett, Eleanor 40
Bowman, Thomas 24
Bowman, Annie 24
Bowman, Rosa 4
Bowman, Frederick 2
Boyd, Alfred 34
Boyd, Mary 31
Boyd, Louisa 8
Boyd, Charles 6
Boyd, Mary 4
Boyd, Amy 1
Braithwaite, George 39
Braithwaite, Eliza 39
Bright, Robert 42
Bright, Johanna 34
Bright, Ann 14
Bright, Robert 11
Bright, Mary 9
Bright, Elizabeth 6
Brooker, William 41
Brooker, Sarah 40
Brooker, Elizabeth 20
Brooker, Cleave 16
Brooker, Thomas 14
Brooker, Charles 11
Brooker, Albert 9
Chapman, Henry 24
Chapman, Elizabeth, 21
Clark , Frederick, 22
Clark, Sarah 25
Clark, Elizabeth 1
Cook [sic Pook], Alfred 27
Cook [sic Pook], Fanny, 21
Cook [sic Pook], Alfred 1
Corcoran, Pat, 22
Corcoran, Mary 32
Corcoran, Bridget 1
Craig, Alexander 30
Craig, Letitia 30
Craig, Mary 6
Craig, Richard 3
Craig, William
Derbyshire, Mary 32
Derbyshire, Martha 11
Derbyshire, Charles 7
Derbyshire, Alice 6
Derbyshire, Abbey 1
Devitt, John 37
Devitt, Margaret 35
Devitt, Bridget 12
Devitt, John 10
Devitt, Michael 8
Devitt, Patrick 4
Devitt, James 2
Ellis, Richard 30
Ellis, Mary 28
Ellis, John 10
Ellis, Richard 9
Ellis, James 6
Ellis, Michael 4
Ellis, Mary 1
Ferne, Arthur, 22
Ferne, Agnes, 21
Ferne, Arthur 2
Golds, John 25
Golds, Eliza 20
Golds, Eliza 1
Hartney, Andrew 36
Hartney, Bridget 25
Hartney, Michael 2
Hartney, John 1
Hawkes, Edwin 28
Hawkes, Rhoda 26
Hawkes, Sarah 7
Hawkes, Albert 5
Hawkes, John 2
Healey, Patrick 40
Healey, Eliza 36
Healey, Ellen 11
Healey, Eliza 7
Healey, Bridget 5
Healey, Mary 3
Healey, Annie 1
Hetherington, William 20
Hetherington, Margaret 25
Hetherington, Sarah 59
Hurrell, George 40
Hurrell, Mary 31
Hurrell, Mary 4
Jelly, James 30
Jelly, Sarah 26
Jones, Charles 38
Jones, Catherine 37
Kemble, William , 22
Kemble, Mary 26
King, James, 48
King, Bridget 38
King, James, 21
King, Mary, 19
King, Thomas 9
Lamb, William ,44
Lamb, Rhoda 43
Law, George 35
Law, Emma, 22
Lockhart, William ,44
Lockhart, Jane 39
Lockhart, Jane , 19
Lockhart, William, 17
Lockhart, James 12
Lockhart, Lilian 2
Lockhart, Catherine 1
Madon, Zius 39
Madon, Berthe 39
Madon, Hane 13
McGrath, James 35
McGrath, Margaret 29
McGrath, Mary 6
McGrath, James 3
McGrath, Patrick 1
Murphy, Edward 34
Murphy, Sarah, 31
Murphy, William, 8
Murphy, James, 5
Murphy, Ann, 3
Newman, Richard, 22
Newman, Elizabeth, 21
Newman, Harry, 1
Olsen, Frederick, 33
Olsen, Anne, 40
Olsen, Kate, 11
Olsen, K., 8
Olsen, H.C. 5
Olsen, K., 1
Orr, William ,44
Orr, Mary 43
Orr, William, 22
Orr, James 20
Orr, David 18
Orr, Edwin 15
Orr, Josias 13
Parsons, William 26
Parsons, Agnes 24
Parsons, Maria 1
Parvin, Tom 24
Parvin, Louisa 24
Parvin, Lydia 2
Parvin, Tom 1
Philmroe, Charles 34
Philmroe, Mary 38
Philmroe, Emily 15
Philmroe, George 9
Philmroe, Sarah 7
Philmroe, Elizabeth 5
Philmroe, Ann 2
Pike, Henry 26
Pike, Mary 26
Pike, Annie 5
Pike, George 3
Pike, Elizabeth 1
Quin, Joseph 40
Quin, Elizabeth 37
Quin, Elizabeth 15
Quin, James 10
Quin, Mary 7
Quin, Margaret 3
Rout, Stephen 39
Rout, Sarah 43
Rout, Harriet, 17
Rout, Walter 15
Rout, George 14
Rout, Isaac 12
Rout, Emma 8
Rout, Henry 6
Rout, William 5
Rout, Stephen 2
Rutledge, Samuel 24
Rutledge, Rebecca, 22
Rutledge, William 1
Sarosen, Peter 43
Sarosen, Johanne, 39
Sarosen, Maren, 14
Sarosen, Christine, 11
Smithers, George, 22
Smithers, Sophia, 22
Spanswick, William 25
Spanswick, Alice, 22
Spanswick, Samuel, 1
Sullivan, Thomas, 27
Sullivan, Honora, 24
Sullivan, Robert, 1
Testra, James, 26
Testra, Elizabeth, 32
Testra, D., 11
Testra, Mar,y 8
Testra, James, 3
Testra, Lucy, 1
Walker, Amos 33
Walker, Bridget, 30
Walker, George, 13
Walker, Emily 10
Walker, William 8
Walker, Thomas 1
Walsh, Mark 38
Walsh, Catherine, 30
Westbuch, Walter, 29
Westbuch, Elizabeth, 28
Westbuch, Elizabeth, 7
Westbuch, Walter 6
Westbuch, Herbert 4
Westbuch, Florence 1
Weyman, George 32
Weyman, Martha 30
Weyman, Jane, 9
Weyman, Frank, 6
Weyman, Frederick 4
White, William ,44
White, Mary ,44
White, Charles , 19
White, Thomas 15
White, Loria 13
White, Arthur 11
White, Mary 8
White, John 6
White, Sarah 3
White, Charlotte 2
Wild, John 47
Wild, Elizabeth 38
Wild, Alice, 21
Wild, Ann, 18
Wild, Richard, 16
Wild, Edward, 14
Wild, Agnes, 11
Wild, Arthur 9
Wild, William 6
Wild, Frank 4
Wild, Albert 2
Wild, Ada 1
Zesson, Johan 45
Zesson, Anne ,49
Zesson, Marie 20
Zesson, F.C. , 19
Zesson, William, 17
Zesson, Helena, 13

Single Men

Albrook, John 20
Anderson, Niels 29
Andrenson, Niels 29
Ash, Joseph, 21
Attwood, James, 25
August, Carl, 25
Barker, George, 21
Barwood, Matthew 27
Bird, Martha 20
Blythe, J. , 19
Bodilson, Christien, 21
Bolton, John, 21
Brownett, Alfred 18
Christiensen, Carl 25
Christiensen, Hans 20
Christiensen, Christien 32
Clark, William 23
Clock, Anders 24
Dudeney, James , 19
Elling, Johannes, 21
Fallick, James, 21
Fargensen, Hans, 42
Forket, Augus,t 27
Gedge, Henry, 18
Green, William, 23
Halloran, James, 25
Hansen, Thomas, 30
Hansen, L., 22
Hansen, Ole 18
Hansen, Peter, 21
Hastie, George 20
Hastie, Thomas, 21
Hughes, Thomas, 21
Jackson, Robert, 21
Johnsen, Christien 26
Johnson, Johan 36
Johnson, Anders 9
Johnson, J0 ., 21
Kasmussin, Niels , 19
Kennedy, J. 16
Knight, William 20
Larsen, Niels, 22
Larsen, Lars 25
Larsen, P.C, 22
Mahoney, Patrick 30
Martin, Edward 26
Martinsen, Niels, 21
Matson, Isaac 25
McCormack, Martin 20
McKiff, Frederick , 19
McKone, Michael, 17
Mullen, Stephen 20
Neilsen, H, 22
O'Brien, John, 27
O'Callaghan, James 25
O'Laughlin, Michael, 22
Olesen, Niels, 21
Oliver, Frederick, 21
Osborne, William, 21
O'Shea, C., 35
Peoples, Isaac, 22
Peterson, Hans, 22
Place, John, 34
Rasmussen, Julius 20
Rasmussen, Zius 23
Reidy, John , 19
Rix, John 23
Ryley, James 12
Sarensen, Zius 20
Sensen, Niels, 21
Seversham, William 25
Snowdon, G. 23
Springfoot, Alfred, 22
Sriensfon, Johannes, 21
Steward, J., 28
Stiffersen, Claudius, 45
Zensen, Anders 30

Single Women

Boraird, Lizzie, 18
Bourke, Catherine, 17
Craig, Mary, 20
Dare, Prudence, 30
Fink, Maren 27
Frielerikson, Ane, 30
Gorvian, Matilda, 27
Heneky, Elizabeth 20
Heneky, Jane, 18
Hickey, Mary, 21
Hockley, Mary 26
Larensen, M., 18
Linslar, Mary 20
McKone, Mary 24
Nielsen, Maren , 19
Olesen, Grithe 29
Petersen, Ano, 17
Rasmussen, T, 21
Ryley, Susan 14
Sarenson, Ane 18
Truelsen, A., 19
Wells, Frances, 21

October 11, 1876, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The Loch Awe completes loading today and will be brought over from Oakland.

October 14, 1876, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Shipping Intelligence

British ship Loch Awe, Weir, Cork; Ammon, Caspari & Co.

October, 17, 1876, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

March 23, 1877, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Foreign Ports: Queenstown -- Sailed March 10th, British ship Loch Awe, Weir, Belfast.

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This book depicts important aspects of our maritime history as a result of original research done by the author, Commodore Bates, the holder of an unlimited master's license who has enjoyed a distinguished fifty-year career in both the Coast Guard and the American Merchant Marine.

The U.S. Coast Guard issues all Captain Licenses for U.S. Ports.
Note: Other countries have different regulations, i.e. the RYA (Royal Yachting Association), conducts certification for Britain and Ireland. As of 2011, they did not recognize the USCG certification; certification through their courses was required.

Master Unlimited is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of a vessel any gross tons. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are his or her ultimate responsibility. The STCW defines the Master as Person having command of the ship.

The Sea Chart
The Illustrated History of Nautical Maps and Navigational ChartsThe Sea Chart.
The Sea Chart.The Sea Chart.
John Blake
The sea chart was one of the key tools by which ships of trade, transport and conquest navigated their course across the oceans. Herein is a history and development of the chart and the related nautical map, in both scientific and aesthetic terms, as a means of safe and accurate seaborne navigation. 150 color illustrations including the earliest charts of the Mediterranean made by 13th-century Italian merchant adventurers, as well as 18th-century charts that became strategic naval and commercial requirements and led to Cook's voyages in the Pacific, the search for the Northwest Passage, and races to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Get Your Captain's License. Fifth Edition Get Your Captain's License. Fifth Edition. Charlie  Wing.
Charlie Wing
Considered the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to prepare for the U.S. Coast Guard captain's ratings exams required for anyone who takes paying passengers on a boat, and useful for serious boaters who want to save money on insurance. 350 pages of seamanship and navigation tutorials. More than 1,500 questions and answers from the Coast Guard exams. Includes an interactive CD-ROM with all 14,000 questions and answers in the USCG database, so you can take an unlimited number of practice exams

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Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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