famainmilia fam __Early Forfars including the "junior" james & ada forfar

The origins of the Forfars are presumed to be from Forfar, Scotland. If they were originally named "Forfar" is not known for sure. (As it was the custom for some immigrants to use the town of origin name instead of their own.)


Born in the mid 1800's, details are sketchy, especially about Ada (Mirrick) who had a very 'sweet disposition. and "she was seeing a lot of doctors" before her death around 1912. They lived in Lyons, NY. The junior James was the son of James Forfar from Scotland. (1827-1890?) The senior James signed the Lyons census in 1860 when he was 33, listing Jane Forfar age 31(presumbly his wife) and 3 children.
1) a daughter named Lilly age 8, son James age 5, and daughter Adeline age 1. At that time he wrote down his occupation as "carpenter" .

According to the 1867 Lyons Town Directory, the 'elder' James Forfar was a "builder and proprietor of planing mill and dealer in lumber and coal." Lyons country records show that a James Forfar was on the "committee to fix up school yard" on October ninth in 1883 as well as "chosen chairman and clerk" on August 25, 1885. The records are slightly confusing as both (presumed) father and son share the same name, hence it is unclear which James they are talking about.

James 'junior" was born in 1855 and attended Philips Exeter, but his schooling was halted after his father remarried. (No explanation for the 2nd marriage found) The story goes that James's father died soon after that marriage and the widow and her own 3 children took all the money and left the junior James out in the cold. The junior James married Ada in Lyons, and they had 3 children- Irene (Rene)(188?-19??), Audrey (Belle) (1883-1975), and Don (1885-1975). Also, Ada had a sister known as Aunt Gertie (Gertrude Mirrick) that would come visit from Wisconsin. See below for more about Belle as a painter and explorer! What became of Lilly is unknown and the only info I found on Adeline is the Rock Creek Cemetery
Connection below)


The only other family knowledge about James 'junior" was that he was an alcoholic who died of pneumonia around 1916 in great debt. While in his early 30's, his son Donald worked to pay off the debts of his father. Don rarely spoke about this or his past. I am not sure how this all ties in with Donald being in France as a 1st Lieutenant in 1918.

When Don was in his 80's he recounted a story to his daughter Joan about a memory from the age of 12 when he and his mother went to great lengths to prepare a birthday party with a magic show for his father James. James arrived home too drunk to notice.


NOTE: most info provided by jfb and some info from an older web page of the Lyons Town Directory which is no longer available.

Additonal Lyons Town Directory info from 1869-79 lists: "FORFAR JAMES, lumber and coal, Geneva"

There are 2 George Forfar's mentioned on the Lyons directory, one dieing as a baby, and the other possibly the brother of JamesForfar "senior?"

Also a Robert Forfar (relative?) of Lyons, NY is listed as a 5th New York Volunteer Infantry during the period of the unit's service, 1861-1863.

Lyons, New York..."a post village and the shire town of Wayne County, is finely located on the Erie Canal and New York Central R.R., at the junction of Canandaigua Outlet and Mud Creek. Contains three banks, two newspaper offices, and extensive mercantile interests. Daily mail - east and west by railroad, and north to Sodus and intermediate villages by stage."



Adelina Forfar (Adeline)

There is an Adelina Forfar buried at Rock Creek Cemetery. I presume she is the daughter of Jane and James Forfar because she was born in Lyons in 1859. So perhaps Adeline changed the last letter of her name or Rock Creek got it wrong...

Below is a copy of the 9.09.04 response from Rock Creek Cemetery. to my inquiry about Adelina.

Mr. Forfar,
I have checked our records and have not found the names Ada or James Forfar. There is one person buried here by the name of Adelina Forfar. Date of
interment was August 22, 1933. She was 74 years of age at the time of death and was born in Lyons, New York.
This is the only person listed close to the names that you provided. Hope this is of some help.

Cynthia Bogino

Rock Creek Cemetery is part of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
St. Paul's Church-Rock Creek Cemetery
Neighborhood: Brookland
Address: Rock Creek Church Road & Webster Street, NW
Date: 1775
Metro: Brookland-CUA to H8 Metro bus, destination Mt. Pleasant

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, established in 1712, is the only surviving colonial church in Washington, DC. The original 18-inch brick walls, laid in 1775, remain intact despite several fires. Beautiful stain-glass windows, added in the 1940s, tell the history of the Episcopal Church in America.
This urban space, with its natural rolling landscape, was designed as part of the rural cemetery movement to function as both cemetery and public park.


Audrey "Belle" Forfar (Shippam)

Auntie Belle article
The Artists' Bluebook

and... (found by Ross Corsair)


• Maj. Willis Shippam, now Assistant Professoi of Military Science and Tac- tics, was with the 6yd Coast • Artillery Corps in the American Expeditionary Forces from 1916 to 1920
• Golden Gate National Cemetery (San Bruno, CA):

• Shippam, Willis , b. 06/04/1885, d. 02/18/1959, COL USA, Plot: S 2664, bur. 02/24/1959