Joseph Parr and Jane Kennedy

Joseph Parr married Jane Kennedy, 27 September 1832, at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Coburg, Ontario. When I checked for a wedding bond ( 453 KB ) there was one on microfilm at the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, signed on the 26th day of September, 1832. The bond states that Joseph Parr was of Township of Cavan [Ontario] ( 282 KB ) and Jane Kennedy was of Township Haldimand [Ontario], and was witnessed by Thomas Montgomery and Ephran Doolittle (Ephraim?). The marriage ( 454 KB ) on the 27th was witnessed by Thomas Montgomery and Eliza Robe. The ministers name appears to have been A.N. Bethune.

Joseph Parr had purchased a 100 acre farm, at Lot 6 Con 10 in Cavan Township, Ontario, 27 February 1831, from Thomas Judd [Instrument #1475] ( 166 KB ) and he sold this acreage on 27 April 1833 to John Brown [Instrument #2006] ( 592 KB ). The Tax Assessment Records for this area, proved that he remained on the land for another year.

The perplexing question here is, where did Joseph and his family live between 1834 and 1843?

It was noted by a hired researcher that no Parrs were listed as living in the Darlington Township, Ontario previous to 1842 [R.G. 21, Municipal Records, Sect. A. Newcastle District, C and A 1803-1850 Darlington Township assessment]. Whether this was an oversight we do not know. In 1844 Darlington Township Tax Assessment Records, Joseph Parr was recorded as residing at Lot 33 Con 8, across the road from Joseph Parr and Isabella Nesbitt [an assumed Uncle & Aunt – to date]. My 2xs great grandfather Joseph no longer appears in these Tax Assessment Records after 1845.

Records of two children born to Joseph Parr and Jane Kennedy were discovered in the St. John’s Anglican Church (Bowmanville, Ontario) early records — Joseph Parr ( 879 KB ) and John Parr ( 965 KB ). Now we know when two of their 9 children (Joseph and John) were born.

The early Darlington Township, Ontario records have been searched and to date we have not found the first 4 children’s baptismal dates. Earlier ministers apparently recorded all baptismals simply as “3 babies baptised at Darlington Twp. today”, not who!

Have acquired a copy of Joseph’s purchase of 100 acres, Lot 25 Concession 14, in Biddulph Twp., Ontario from the Canada Company [Instrument #327 – 1856] ( 838 KB ). I remember reading somewhere that early settlers had to live on the land for 10 years before they could purchase it. If that proves true then Joseph would have settled on this land ten years prior to the date of the instrument, in 1846, shortly after his son John was born.

The Ontario census record of 1851 ( 802 KB ), list Joseph Parr and Jane Kennedy in Biddulph Township ( 851 KB ). We noted that Jean should read, Jane and Ann Jean Parr at 15 should have been listed as #43, ahead of Thomas Parr and should read – Ann Jane Parr. The family was listed again in the 1861 ( 863 KB ) and 1871 ( 1,398 KB ) Ontario census records.

A Will was found on microfilm dated August 13, 1873, filed after death, May 13, 1873 of Joseph Parr [described as #2467 General Registry ( 1,663 KB ), Biddulph Twp., Ontario].

Key phrases are:
“…to my son John Parr…”
“…and to my son James Parr…”
“…to my wife, Jane Parr…”
“…to my son Joseph Parr…”
“…my five daughters…”
“…to my son Thomas Parr…”
“I also wish that James Dickson and his wife shall remain on the spot they now live so long as they either shall live.”
“And I appoint Samuel Crawford of the Town line between Blanchard and Biddulph and Samuel Langford of Biddulph on the gravel road near Fishers School House as my Executors…”

Due to a marriage registration ( 119 KB ), we know that Samuel Crawford was father-in-law to Joseph Parr’s son John who married Mary Jane Crawford on the 5 April 1876.

In the 1871 census, James Dickson and his wife Mary are shown as Joseph’s neighbours. James 105, Mary 75. Both are shown as born in Ireland. James is shown as “Retired Life”.

Two newspaper articles written detailing Joseph Parr’s untimely death were as follows:

Tuesday, May 27, 1873 ( 295 KB ), the London [Ontario] Daily Advertiser:

BIDDULPH.—This township has just lost one of its oldest and most respected residents by an accident. Mr. Joseph Parr was assisting a neighbor to raise a barn by means of a screw jack last week, when part of the machinery gave way and the barn came down, crushing Mr. Parr, who happened to be beneath it. He was killed instantly.

Tuesday, June 3, 1873 ( 769 KB ) also in the London Daily Advertiser:

FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR GRANTON.—On Monday 12th May, Mr. Perry, who lives a few miles east of Granton, had a number of his neighbors assisting him in raising an old barn a few feet from the ground by means of levers. After getting it up a short distance several men went under to adjust some blocks used in the operation, when one of the levers gave way and the barn fell down to its former position, crushing to death and [sic] man named Mr. Parr who happened to be standing under one of the sills at the time.

A death notice ( 1,130 KB ) was found in the Wingham Advance Time Newspaper, for Jane (Kennedy) Parr, which stated the following:
PARR-In Wingham on the 17th Aug. Instant. Jane Parr age 87 years, 3 months and 5 days.

A death registration ( 226 KB ) was located for Jane, though the date of death appears to be incorrectly stated as a year after the fact.

At the Wingham Library, among their death cards for the Wingham Cemetery is a card with the following:

Parr Jane
Sex: Female
Address: Wingham
Death Date: Aug 17, 1894
Death Place: Wingham
1807 – 1894

On the Back of this card is printed:

W T A(U)G. 24, 1894, P83

Those handling the cemetery records in Wingham, Ontario believe, due to the death card being found here, Jane is most likely to be buried in the Wingham Cemetery. No headstone marks her grave, and the assumption is that she is buried in her daughter Margaret (Parr) Bell’s family plot.

No death registration ( 529 KB ) was ever filed on Joseph Parr with the province of Ontario. I can only assume that officials were brought in at the time of his accident and that the Parr family assumed that the officials would file a death registration with the province.

Tombstone of Joseph Parr @ Prospect Hill Cemetery, Prospect Hill, Ontario, Canada

Joseph Parr was buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Prospect Hill, Ontario. His headstone reads as follows:

Memory of
May 13, 1873
E. 61 yrs

There is a biblical inscription below this, but it is not legible.

Eight of their nine children [except Ann Jane Parr] have been accounted for. All with spouses, marriage dates, children and most – even photographs.

It is with grave disappointment that Ann Jane remains a stray to date! Should you know of Ann Jane’s descendants or her final resting place, please, email me with this information. It would be GREATLY appreciated!

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

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