Joseph Parr and Margaret Ann Bell

Joseph Parr and Margaret Ann Bell
These are my great grandparents. Joseph Parr was born in Darlington Township, Ontario, 2 March 1843, according to St. John’s Anglican Church of Bowmanville records, now stored at the Toronto Diocese Archives for the United Church of Canada. He is said to be the 5th child born of 9 to Joseph Parr and Jane Kennedy.

Margaret Ann Bell, was the daughter of William Bell and Jane McLaughlin, who was born in Hibbert Township, Ontario 10 November 1849. William Bell and Jane McLaughlin were married in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Whitby, Ontario, 1 February 1842, and it is said that William was of the same parish in Ireland as the Parrs.

Joseph Parr and Margaret Ann Bell were married 15 January 1866 in Wesleyan Methodist Church, Mitchell, Ontario.

They had seven children, two of which were baby deaths. They are as follows:

    Annie Letitia Parr (married John ELLIOT)
    William Findlay Parr (married Grace Elizabeth RIGNEY)
    Joseph H. Parr died when 5 months and 16 days old
    Joseph A. Parr died when 2 months and 17 days old
    Jane Ellen “Nellie” Parr (married Thomas Edward RIGNEY)
    John W. Parr (married Florence Gertrude WONNACOTT – my grandparents)
    Ethel Belle Parr (married Guy Raymond BELL)

Hickory Island Cemetery Michigan, USA

NOTE: The 25 page typewritten story that I have a copy of, details this generation of my Parr/Bell family. It was originally written by William Findlay Parr’s daughter Sarah (Sadie) while he dictated it to her, and then transcribed from his diary by his granddaughter, Dorothy Brown of Regina, Saskatchewan.

As of 2018, I had this story published William Findlay Parr's Parr Story in book formatinto book format (only 10 original copies ever created) and titled “A Parr Story” ( 3.61 MB ) even though I know there are a quite few interesting connections to our Bell family too.

In this book, I did my best to document everything that William Finlay Parr (my great uncle) stated… and, I kept the book to only his story due to so many complaints from different generations in my Parr family who never ever wanted to be referred to.

So, rather than skip over mentioning those branches (leaving holes in my Parr tree), I decided to simply not go any further mentioning other generations; this way, hopefully preserving peace in the family. However, my research files are detailed with documentation in a lot of cases, and I will be leaving these to the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints to preserve for generations of our family to come.

Joseph Parr and Margaret Ann Bell lived in Hibbert Township, Ontario (north of London, Ontario) and their first five children were born there. However, Joseph was ‘bitten’ by that ‘pot-of-gold’ and travelled to Imlay, Michigan area where my grandfather, John W. Parr was born, 23 February 1878. After the Michigan fire of 1881, apparently many Canadian families were told to either take out American citizenship or go home. My great grandparents chose to return to Canada. This time they immigrated to the Wolseley, Saskatchewan area, where Ethel Belle Parr was born, 30 September 1887.

The story on my Parr family, though fascinating (and lengthly), I will not be going into it here. For those interested, feel free to contact me either by email or snail mail: Trish Parr, 525 Ritson Rd. N., Oshawa, Ontario L1G 5R4 Canada. I will be glad to share further information.

Joseph Parr’s obituray was found to have been published in the Wolseley News newspaper, Saskatchewan, Wednesday, April 6, 1910 edition and reads as follows:

JOSEPH PARR Who died on March 30th at his home eight miles south of Wolseley, had been a resident of the district since 1882. He was born in Darlington twp., Durham county, Ontario, on March 4th [sic], 1843 and was married to Margaret Bell, daughter of Wm. Bell of Huron county, Ont., in 1865 [sic]. They came west in 1882 and with the exception of three years (1885-8), when they resided at Broadview, they have lived in Wolseley district. For a few years they resided in town. The wife and two sons and three daughters, viz., William and John of Greenville, Mrs. John Elliott and Mrs. T.E. Rigney of Wolseley and Mrs. G. Bell of Unionville, Mich., survive him. He was a quiet unassuming person. All who had the pleasure of his acquaintance respected him very highly.

He was a member of the Greenville Methodist church and of the L.O.L. order. The funeral was held on Saturday afternoon, service being conducted by Rev. Mr. Bennee. The remains were interred in the Wolseley cemetery.
The bereaved wife and family have the sincere sympathy of the community in their affliction.

At the Wolseley cemetery, Wolseley, Saskatchewan Joseph Parr and Margaret Ann Bell’s headstone sits the Parr family plot, and reads as follows:

DIED MAR. 30, 1910
He that overcometh shall inherit all things.
MARGARET A. his wife
DIED June 7, 1922. AGED 73 YEARS.