Joseph Parr and Isabella Nesbitt

The story on the Parr families of Ontario is, that the early [1800s] Parr immigrants come from 5 brothers who immigrated from Ireland. Should this prove out to be true, below is one of the assumed 5 Parr brothers:

Early Darlington Township, Ontario Tax Assessment records show [1842-1849, 1848 records missing], Joseph Parr to be residing on Lot 30 Con 7 North [50 acres].

Copy of the 1842 Darlington Twp., Durham Co., Ontario, Canada census shows the following:

NAME of the            PROPRIETOR         NUMBER of   Number of years each person has
HEAD of EACH of _________ been in the Province when not
FAMILY REAL PROPERTY of Ireland native thereof

Parr Joseph 1 5 2

Copies found on microfilm are: Memorial (purchase) dated April 12, 1840 showing Joseph buying land in Darlington Township, Ontario. James Parr Junior of the Township of Cavan (mentioned under the Parr brothers as being married to Mary KELLET) is one witness to Joseph’s purchase of the North Quarter of Lot 30 Concession 7, Darlington Township, County of Durham, Ontario. A James McDonald was the other witness to this purchase.

An Indenture, dated June 29, 1850 was found on microfilm, between Joseph, his wife Isabella and Samuel Parr showing Joseph selling Samuel, 30 of his 40 [sic] acres for three hundred pounds (of Lot 30, Con 7), giving Joseph and Isabella Parr the right to timber off the South East three acres of said premises, for firewood, during their life time.

A Memorial dated June 29, 1850 is registered as an Indenture of the above, between Joseph and Isabella Parr and Samuel Parr, of Darlington Twp., Ontario, which was witnessed by James Parr of the Township of Darlington, and Andrew Montgomery of the same place. This Memorial was to be registered by the said Grantee shown named. There is a note on the following page; “I certify that the above was Cavan before one by the same named James Parr to whom I administered the same for proof of the execution of the said Indenture and Memorial ____ to the districts in each case _____ and provided this 14th day of October 1850 at Darlington in the County of Durham (document #557. pg 405, Township of Darlington).

And – Indenture, dated September 15, 1867, between Joseph and Isabella Parr and ______________. Document is handwritten and not very legible. It is registered #7150 Darlington, registered November 5, 1867. This document was witnessed by Andrew Montgomery, with a note on the bottom, but again, I cannot read all that is noted.

A copy of the Darlington Township, Durham County, Ontario Canada census for 1851 shows the following:

Names               Trade      Place   Religion    Age next    Sex
of Inmates of Birth birthday M F

40 Joseph Parr Farmer Ireland C England 67 x
41 Isabella Parr Spinster Ireland C England 55 x
42 Isabella Parr __Seamster Ireland C England 20 x

A copy of the same area census 10 years later in 1861 shows the following:

NAMES            TRADE       PLACE   RELIGION   Age        Married
OF OF next or
INMATES BIRTH Birthday Single

4 James Parr Gardener Ireland _.C 79 M
5 Isabelle Parr Ireland _.C 65 M
6 Samuel Parr do of C 38 M
7 Elizabeth Parr do of C 31 M
8 James Parr Up. C of C 29 S

NOTE: Joseph was incorrectly entered as “James”

Joseph and Isabella Parr’s headstone is in Trinity Anglican Church, Darlington Township, Ontario, which is now cemented into a semi-circle in a farmers front field facing the road – Lot 17 Con 8 and reads as follows:

Photograph compliments of Wayne Hall from Hamilton, Ontario.

                Joseph Parr and Isabella Nesbitt  
beloved wife of
native of Ireland
DIED, Jan. 9, 1871,
DIED, Jan. 12, 1873
AGED 95.

A copy of a death certificate was found on microfilm. Again Joseph’s name was incorrectly entered, this time as “Samuel” Parr, and reads as follows:

Name of Deceased:             Samuel Parr
When Died: 12 January 1873
Sex: M
Age: 95
Rank: Farmer
Where Born: Ireland
Cause of Death and Duration: Exhaustion 48 hrs
Physician: Dr. Hillus
Informant: S.E. Hillus M.C., Darlington
When Registered: 29 January 1873
Religion of Deceased: Church of England
Signature or Registrar: R. Windall(t)
Division: Darlington
County: Northumberland
REMARKS: 035523

A copy of Joseph Parr’s Will is on file at the Ontario Archives, GS 2-119, Surrogate Court Records, Northumberland Durham, Reg A p342, dated November 10, 1875 and has a note attached to the bottom of the front page which reads as follows:
“The other executor William Parr named in said Will having duly _________ all his right and _____ to probate and _____ of said Will.
signed _._. Chatterton, registrar of said Counties.
Donald William McLeod of the said Township of Darlington and Richard Page of the same place farmer two of the exectors named in the said Will . . .”
Extracts from Joseph’s Will are as follows:
“I give and devise tomy daughter Elizabeth Gamble widow of John Gamble now in Ireland . . . ”
“I give and devise to my daughter Margaret West wife of James West now in Maripossa . . .”
“I give and devise to my daughter Isabell Page wife of Richard Page . . .”
“to be paid her at my decease by my executors hereinafter named out of my moneys now lying in the hands of Andrew Montgomery and my agent D.W. McLeod . . . ”
“to Eliza Parr wife of my son Samuel Parr . . .”
“executors . . . D.W. McLeod, William Parr, and Richard Page . . .”
witnessed by D.W. McLeod and James Page.

The following records were found in Irelands records:

Registry of Freeholders 1826 County Cavan
Barony of Clonkee
NAME ABODE Location of Freehold Landlord

Parr, Joseph Tullylurkin Tullylurkin Rev. B. Adams
Lives: Dorothea Adams

Extracts from Knockbride Parish Registers copied from microfilm at the Public Register Office in Belfast, Ireland.
Diocese of Kilmore

Margaret dau of Joseph and Isabella Parr
born 30 July 1826 bapt 13 Aug 1826

Isabella dau of Joseph and Isabella Parr, farmer Tullylurken [sic] bapt 18 Jany 1829

An ancestor to Joseph Parr, is in possession of an old fiddle said to have belonged to a brother of ole’ Joe, who was tossed overboard, while in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence on their way to Ontario – for playing an ‘Orange’ song on a mostly Catholic ship! To date, we are assuming this brother to be James Parr, found in the Tax Assessment records of Cavan Township, Ontario, March 1827.

This family has been brought up to date and all accounted for – October 14, 1996. Feel free to email me.

My postal address is as follows:
Trish Parr, 525 Ritson Rd. N., Oshawa, Ontario L1G 5R4 Canada

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