Was a carpenter. Came from Fawns Park, Linlithgowshire, Scotland (just west of Edinburgh). He was a builder and contractor, who built the Guelph Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario before he came out west to Winnipeg. According to the 1901 census, he immigrated in 1849. In the 1861 census, some of the kids are listed as born in the USA, so he may have immigrated their first before coming to Canada.
He returned east to retire at “Blair Athol” (built 1817) in Blair, Ontario, although some of his family stayed out west. He owned the Athol from 1882-1912, after which his daughter Roberta took it over.
There is a Blair Castle in Scotland which is where James Barclay and Peter Stewart met while carpentring there before James came to Canada.
May have found him in 1861 census for Guelph, listed as “Jas” Barclay, borne 1827 in Scotland, and married.
In 1881 census, he and his 2nd wife (Mary J.) are living in the Guelph area, along with daughters Mary G., Robertha, and a “Williamena”, born around 1868.
In the 1891 census, he is the Waterloo South district, married.
One family has him passing away 1912.