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John Jack Jr Esquire

The son of the Dundee Harbour Master and became a ship agent, ship chandler and bonded store merchant as a young man. He owned various ships with his partner, George Welch, but became an Edinburgh wine merchant in later life.

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Personal details and history

Full name

John Jack Jr

Date of birth


Place of birth




Marital status


Name of spouse

Helen Matthew Whitson - married 1854[2]


Margaret Matthew (c.1855-1879):[3][4] John Hill (c.1857-1938):[3][4] Helen Catherine Hill (1858-1883):[3][4] Agnes Whitson (1860-1864):[3][4] Adam Whitson (1863-1864):[4] James (1866-1950):[5]

Home address

Shore Terrace, Dundee, c.1853-1854.[6]
Freerton Grove, 57 Magdalen Green, Dundee, c.1856-1872.[7]

Age at death:

81 years[4]

Place of death:

Karori, Wellington, New Zealand[4]

Date of death:



Western Cemetery, Dundee (compartment 11 lairs 22 a,b,c,g,h,j.)[8] - Cremated at Karori, Wellington, New Zealand - ashes interred in Western Cemetery[4]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation


Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Committee, Dundee Mutual Marine Insurance Association, c.1858-1859. Committee, Dundee Model Lodging-House Association, c.1858-1872. Director, Dundee Insustrial Schools Society, c.1858-1865. Commissioner, Dundee Shipping Insurance Association/Dundee Shipping and Dundee Shipping Freight Insurance Associations, c.1861-1868. Director, Watt Institution, c.1861-1868. Scribe N, Union Royal Arch, Chapter No.6, Masonic Lodge, c.1861-1862. Captain, Dundee Rifle Volunteer Corps, 1st Forfarshire, c.1861-1862. Committee, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, c.1867-1872. Vice President, Dundee Horticultural Society, c.1869-1872.[7]

Public offices

None known

Related subscribers

Career and worklife




Partner in Welch & Jack, ship agents.[10]

Place of work

Ship agents

Work address

45 Dock Street, Dundee, c.1850.
49 Dock Street, Dundee, c.1856-1857.
15 & 52 Dock Street, Dundee, c.1858-1859.
Candle Lane, Dundee, c.1861-1865.[11]
Dock Street, Dundee, c.1865.[9]

Career to date:

John Jack became a ship agent at an early age. His father was the Dundee Harbour Master, so shipping was no doubt in the blood.[1] He went into partnership with George Welch, a former shipmaster about 1850. The partners were also ship chandlers and bonded store merchants.[10] The firm owned a number of ships: Lydia (built 1826), Risk (built 1848), Star (built 1855), Malay (built 1857), Garland (built 1849), Elizabeth (built 1844), Eliza (built 1849) and Robert Finnie (built 1829).

More information

John Jack’s father was born in Ferry Port on Craig (Tayport) and served for many years as Harbour Master in Dundee. In 1854 John Jack junior married Helen Matthew Whitson, who was born in Bendochy, Perthshire.

John’s partnership with George Welch was dissolved around 1866. By this time Welch had become manager of the Tay Whale Fishing Co., Whale Lane, Dundee.[12] John Jack remained in Dundee for a few more years, but had left Dundee by the mid 1870s. By 1881 he was a wine merchant living with his family at 48 Lauder Road, Edinburgh.[13] Presumably his experiences as a bonded store merchant stood him in good stead for this new career.


  1. 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 E16 p.10. Ancestry website.
  2. Old Parish Records. Liff, Benvie & Invergowrie. Banns. 16 September 1854. 301/40 422 and Dundee. Banns. 19 September 1854.282/230 498. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. 1861 Census Scotland. Dundee Second District. 282/2 ED25 p.17. Ancestry website.
  4. Inscription on Memorial Stone, Western Cemetery, Dundee.
  5. 1871 Census Scotland. St. Peter, Dundee. 282/1 ED3 p.9. Ancestry website.
  6. Dundee Directory, 1853-54. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  7. Dundee Directories, 1856-1872. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  8. Index to Lairholders, Western Cemetery. Friends of Dundee City Archives website.
  9. Dundee Advertiser, 23 December 1863. British Newspaper Archive website.
  10. Dundee Directories, 1850-1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  11. Dundee Directories, 1861-1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  12. Dundee Directories, 1864-1868. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  13. 1881 Census Scotland. Newington, Edinburgh. 685/5 ED105 p.20. Ancestry website.

The information above about John Jack Jr has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.