McCann, James

James McCann, son of Arthur, was born in 1834 in Loughinsolin, Ballybriest, Ireland.  He married Catherine Donnelly on June 9, 1867 in Moneymore RC Church, Lissan, Londonderry.

He died as a result of an industrial accident  in Barrow-in-Furness, England on June 29, 1907 and is buried in Barrow Borough Cemetery.

The children of James and Catherine were:

Arthur, born Sept 8, 1868 in Ireland; Died June 7, 1920 in Philadelphia, PA

Mary, born April 17, 1870 in Ireland; died November 19, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA

Sarah, born about 1875 in Barrow-in-Furness, England; died March 1912 in Philadelphia, PA

Charles J., born January 31, 1875 in Barrow-in-Furness, England; died April 21, 1940 in Philadelphia, PA

Catherine, born abt 1878 in Barrow-in-Furness, England; died June 23, 1896 in Barrow-in-Furness, England.  She is buried in Barrow Borough Cemetery.

Patrick Joseph, born January 4, 1873 in Barrow-in-Furness; died December 8, 1959 in Brookline, PA

Francis, born December 11, 1884 in Barrow-in-Furness; died June 29, 1903 in Barrow-in-Furness, England. He is buried in Barrow Borough Cemetery.

Barrow Herald dated June 29, 1907

Barrow Shipyard Fatality – Man’s Sad End

After lying in the North Lonsdale Hospital since Saturday last, suffering from injuries which he received where he was employed a man named James McCann, of No. 1 New-Street expired on Wednesday morning.  The deceased met with a serious accident whilst he was following his employment at the Barrow Shipyard and when taken to the above institution he had to have his right arm amputated.  Sweeping the sawdust in the sawmill at the building side of the shipyard was the work the deceased was engaged in on the day mentioned, and he was getting the dust up from under a machine which was in motion when his coat got entangled in the part of the machinery, and before the machine could be stopped he was drawn around the shafting.  A short time after the man had been conveyed to the Hospital an operation was performed after which the deceased appeared to progress favourable, but became worse on the following Monday.  He gradually grew worse and expired as stated.  The Barrow Police and the District Coroner have been informed of the affair, and an inquest will be held.


Coroner Poole conducted an inquest on Friday morning at the North Lonsdale Hospital on the body of James McCann.

Mr. R. B. D. Bradshaw, solicitor, attended for Messer. Vickers Sons, and Maxim and Mr. Barrow solicitor was there on behalf of the family of the deceased.  Mr. Sidney Eraut, factory inspector was also present.

The first witness called was Chas. McCann, –he would have been 33 in 1907 since he is listed as 28 on the 1901 census)– (who lived at )13 Slater-street, son of the deceased.  His father, he said was 65 years of age, and lived at 1 New-street.  He had been a sweeper up at the sawmill for Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim for 25 or 26 years.  Witness saw his father at the Hospital the morning after the accident, when he said he had been cleaning under the shaft and by some means or other he coat caught on the shaft, which carried him round three times.

By Mr. Barrow:  His father had complained about doing work he ought not to have been done.

Inspector Rafferty. 45 Soot-street said he was at his work on Saturday morning in the saw mill, and heard a strange noise against the floor.  He went below to see what was the cause of it, and discovered deceased lying seven or eight yards away from the shaft, alongside the draft pipe.  He was conscious, and said “Oh, Dear! Oh, dear!”  Witness had him removed.  Deceased was working there keeping the cellar cleaned up.  The shaft would be about 2ft 6in from the floor.  Deceased would probably crawl under to get to the other side of it:  it was rather high to step over.  When witness found him is arm was hanging by his side in a helpless condition.  The shaft would be between three and four feet from the ceiling, which deceased struck.

By. Mr. Barrow:  It would be necessary for the man to get to the other side of the shaft to do his work.  It did not reach from one side of the cellar to the other.  There was a space at one end of the shaft.  There was no protection over the shafting and no notice up to the effect that employees should not go under.  The accident happened about 7 o’clock in the morning.

By Mr. Bradshaw:  It was deceased’s duty to keep the cellar clear.

By a Juror:  There was an electric light in the place that was twisted.  He thought deceased had caught it and torn it down.

By the Inspector:  He knew that part of the cellar well.  Deceased would have to go under the shafting or the belting. Witness had crawled under himself.

Daniel Toalk, oiler in the employ of the firm gave evidence and said he had known deceased for 20 years.  He had seen him crawl under the shaft very often.  The shaft was not all smooth, as there was a coupling on it.  Witness saw no clothing attached to the coupling after the accident.  Deceased told him the shafting caught him.

Wm. Galloway, foreman in the saw mill, said he saw deceased being attended to by the ambulance men, when he said he went round the shaft three times,  and his arm was hurt.  Witness had told him repeatedly to be careful.  He also knew that he went under the shaft.

By Mr. Barrow:  He did not see any reason why there was no protection over the shaft.

By a Juror:  Deceased could not go round the end of the shaft, he must either go underneath or over it.  There was no protection over the coupling.

By Mr. Bradshaw:  He would not go under where the coupling was.

The first witness, recalled, said his father’s jacket was torn in half up the back.

In summing up the Coroner said it was clear from the statement deceased made, that he was caught by the shaft, and carried round three times receiving injuries from which he died.  The protection of the shaft was a matter coming within the duties of the Inspector, and if he thought it necessary to have it protected he would give proper directions to the company, who, he was sure, would be reasonable enough to carry them out.

The jury found a verdict of “accidental death” and added that if possible there should be some protection over the shaft.

The inspector said he would see to it.


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