Here's what we do know....
- He was Scottish,
- He was a tailor in Scotland by profession,
- As an answer to your question, Molly....He was born in Scotland and immigrated to New York City (I've seen some accounts say shortly before he started the McCall Pattern Company--so the company is American but started by a Scotsman),
- While in NYC, he worked as an agent for the English pattern company called 'the Royal Chart'
- He was married (though we do not know if he was married in Scotland or the United States),
- He died in the United States (I am presuming this), and
- His widow, Mrs. McCall, co-ran the McCall Pattern Company for a limited time after he died (though I find no reference of her name anywhere).
Well, I figured since I am in Scotland, I could do a little research--however, given so little information, it is difficult to know where to start.
So, I've contacted the General Register Office for Scotland. They are the the main source of family history records in Scotland. You see, they've got this initiative called the Famous Scots Archives:
According to the General Register's website,
Records of every person who has grown up to be a 'Famous Scot', from Mary Queen of Scots to Sir Walter Scott, are archived in the Centre. Our Famous Scots Archive gives a snapshot of some of the men and women who have shaped the history of Scotland, the United Kingdom and further afield, together with the references to the relevant entries in the registers. Amongst our priceless archives are Rob Roy's birth records, Mary Queen of Scots' second marriage certificate and the death certificate of James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party. The archive is sub-divided into generic subject headings. To access these pages, click on... this link: Famous Scots Archive. Use our Contact page if you have a suggestion about a Famous Scots whose profile you'd like us to add to these web pages.
So following their suggestion, I have contacted them to add James McCall to their web pages. I really want to know more about the man behind my favourite pattern company! Why don't you join me and contact the General Register via their contact page and suggest that they add James McCall, the founder of the McCall Pattern Company to their website of Famous Scots? It would be great to know a bit more about this piece of history from folks that have all the resources available to research it!!