Trish Parr

An Introduction to Trish

Trish in 1955Born in southern Ontario, to a middle-class working family of six + children, I became interested in my family’s history in the 1960’s. No living relatives had ever visited my family up to that point in time. There was never any mention of family reunions in our home. It wasn’t until I started school and classmates spoke of their uncles, aunts and grandparents that I even knew that such people existed. Naturally, I became intrigued with the idea that maybe my family had these types of people too!

When I asked, my parents explained to me that both my grandfathers and one grandmother were deceased long ago. My maternal grandmother, living in California, only communicated with my mother every now and then.

Father was an only child, so there are no uncles or aunts on the paternal side of my family. Mother had one sister – Aunt Mary, and one brother – Uncle Oliver. These relatives lived in the area of London, – approximately, a five hour drive from where we lived at the time. With money being scarce, we couldn’t just rush off to my aunt’s or uncle’s home for a two or three hour visit, and my mother never was close to her siblings.
Trish in 1963
Dad helped me locate some relatives on his side of our family. At this time (1960’s), I was advised to stay with a “one name search,” as it would be less confusing. I have found this to be very sound advice!

I sent off letters to these relatives who were then located in the western provinces of Canada. Their answers to my letters are among my prized possessions to this day!

WOW! Imagine that… I have cousins. Discovering one’s family can be a very enlightening experience.

One cousin was located in White Rock, British Columbia, another in Wolseley, Saskatchewan. Both now deceased, I consider myself very fortunate to have known them as I grew to love them both, dearly. Neither one of these cousins (seniors at the time) knew the names of my 2xs great grandparents. They had both believed my great grandfather (buried in Wolseley, Saskatchewan) to have been born in Ireland. The records having been searched soon proved that my great grandpa was in fact born not far from where I now live (Oshawa), in Enniskillen, Ontario. He was baptized in Honor School on 14 June 1843 by a travelling minister who happened to be the Minister from St. John’s Anglican in Bowmanville.

The Darlington Tax Assessment records show that in 1844 my 2xs great grandparents were living on Con 8, Lot 33 – had two Milch Cows, 2 Cows 2-4 years and 14 lbs. Rateable Property. The acreage is not stated. In checking with the Land Registration Office, I could not find my 2xs great grandpa listed as owning this land so, I am left with the assumption that they were renting. By 1846 they were no longer listed on this land.

Trish in 1980
Since the 1960’s many more records have been organized/cataloged at most archives across Canada assisting researchers in their plight to discover their family’s past. Some of these records are now available at local libraries, on microfilm and/or microfiche – or you can borrow these records from your local library through an inter-library loan.

There have been several books published to guide a beginner in search of their roots. Check at your local library, you may find an up-to-date choice of guide to assist you in your search.

Through perseverance and a little luck I have been able to locate names of all nine of the children born to my 2xs great grandparents. Only one of their daughters (Ann Jane) has escaped final detection. Whom did she marry? How many and who were her children? Her and her husband’s final resting place? I won’t stop checking records each and every time another clue presents itself, until I do find her.

My 2xs great grandparents were married in Cobourg, Ontario, 27 September 1832, at St. Peter’s Anglican Church. A marriage bond was discovered on microfilm at the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, which is dated 26 September 1832. I’m sure there are clues to everyone’s families among the old records!
Joseph Parr head stone, St. Mary's, Ontario
Over the past several years now, the Genealogical Societies have worked very diligently at cataloging inscriptions on many headstones – in several cemeteries throughout Canada. The names of all persons found in cemetery records are with these Societies (some libraries now have copies too). Some Genealogical Societies are now offering cemetery files over the internet making them even more accessible for researchers. These files can help researchers locate their ancestor’s final resting place – saving valuable time in locating the cemetery. Some of the actual transcripts you must send for along with a small amount of money. All such information can be found at the perspective sites.

I was rather fortunate in finding my 2xs great grandfather’s final resting place. I contacted the Genealogical Society in the area I thought him most likely to be buried in – and voila! A member from that society thought the name sounded familiar. After checking, Mona wrote me with the location of his headstone! My great grandmother’s resting place has yet to be proven – though records indicate where she is most likely to be buried, no headstone exists. Of course, you can definitely say that I feel the Canadian Genealogical Societies are a valuable society, indeed!

The most enjoyable portion of family researching is finding cousins who are alive today! I have found one in California, one in Oregon (both places in USA), three in Brussels (Ontario), one in British Columbia and several assumed cousins throughout US and Canada.

It is my greatest aspiration to reconnect my paternal family and to be able to publish the information I have been able to collect, for all to enjoy now, as well as those of future generations.

As time goes by, I am slowly filling in the blanks. The “paper trail” is vast but not impossible. Feel free to check out my pedigree chart, so far.
Trish in 1982
Among a myriad of real estate and computer courses, I also studied modeling. The photograph on your left shows me jokingly poising for the camera, just before attending a final test for what was termed as “runway.”

We were being graded on the outfit we selected, how well we applied our makeup in order to flatter our complexion and the steps used to display the outfit, when it was our turn to go down the official runway. That part wasn’t so bad …but when the instructor insisted we had to look into the faces of the people who were at the fashion show… I became rather self-conscious. All I could think about was modeling at some show where I thought I knew no one… then, all of a sudden imagined catching sight of an old acquaintance <gulp>. Would that cause me to trip over my own feet? Needless to say, I didn’t make modeling a career.

Princess and Trish in 1981The photograph on the right is of Prin (Maltese) and myself c1981. It’s one of my favourite photographs. When Prin was alive we did everything and went everywhere together. If Prin wasn’t welcomed – I didn’t go!

Anyone who claims to know me will tell you that I am an animal lover. When I was a young child, I had many more photographs of my cats than I had of my ‘other’ family members!

It is with a great sense of pride that I tell you this – on several occasions friends have stated that with all the pets I’ve had share my home, never have they noticed any smell associated with pets living here.
Trish with Tiffany, chipmunk, and kittens
From wildlife to household pets, I learned at a very young age that animals are the best friend any human can ever have. I also learned that pets don’t judge us, they always forgive us and they offer us comfort when we need it.

There is a chipmunk eating from my hand, in one of the photographs on your left… and the Maltese acting like a purse is Prin’s daughter Tiffany (usually shortened to Tif), modeling her new life jacket. She just loved to go boating and every precaution was taken in order to make sure she continued to enjoy it.

The cat with kittens is Patches with her first litter of kittens. I had the honour of serving as a midwife to Patches! Patches and kittens have since been given new homes. Patches was rescued from certain death, only for to discover she was pregnant. Knowing fewer homes could be found for a expectant cat, it was decided to help her out during her time of need. I honestly do not know how to live without the companionship of pets.

Trish in 1999
Now, for a more serious side of Trish… Parr’s Publishing is a business I am thankful to have been the founder of.

I had the pleasure of bringing you Canada’s Family History News newsletter, which was published four times a year. People have asked, “Whatever possessed you to start publishing Canada’s Family History News newsletter?” Well, my reply is simply:

During my years of researching my own families, I found several people wishing for a Canadian publication to assist them in their advertising and guidance in their own search. Having studied Desktop Publishing with NRI in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America – in order to publish my paternal family book at a much lower cost – I decided to put my learning to good use, and start a Canadian genealogical publication. This would serve both country and researchers with a service I was trained to provide. After several years of planning (feasibility studies included), Canada’s Family History News newsletter launched with the first issue being published in November, 1995.

Sadly, due to a lack of subscribers this venture proved no longer feasible by the end of 2000 – though back issues are still available.

Parr’s Publishing now offers to support YOUR DeskTop Publishing and website needs!

I’ve often been asked what hobbies I enjoy. My first passion is family researching (of course) but I also like to create things from tin cans. This art is little known, and tends to make one’s tin can carimagination see all sorts of images; like objects with sharp edges. Quit the contrary.

The photograph on the left is that of a miniature car I reproduced using a rather large, rectangular tin can that once contained vegetable oil. The picture further down and on the right shows the same tin can car creation along with other projects I have completed.

Note the white baby carriage in the photograph below. That was made from a International Coffee can, 10 ounce prepared soup can (for the bonnet) and two 6 ounce juice cans, cut in half, for wheels.

The wheel barrel is from a 1 1/2 lb. canned ham and a 28 ounce can flattened and attached underneath. The wheel is made from one 6 ounce juice can cut in half and soldered together before cutting and curling.

The santa sleigh in front is now painted red with black runners. I’ve added a piece of plastic holly and use it to hang on our Christmas tree.

The smaller black car in the back ground (right) is made from two International Coffee cans and two 6 ounce juice cans cut in half for the wheels.

After viewing these pictures, I hope you won’t laugh should you ever hear someone say that they do a tin can craft …will you?

I’d like to leave you with this thought… there have been rumors that some families today will be lost in the records of tomorrow. With the ever growing dependency on computers – and computer viruses – I can see where this could possibly happen. Can you?

Trish in 2010Why don’t you start your family researching NOW, saving your 2xs great granddaughter the same troubles in her search that I have had in mine?

At least you know how to write!

So, no more excuses …please?

On your left is the most recent photograph of me, taken in 2010.

Feel free to contact me either by email or snail mail: Trish Parr, 525 Ritson Rd. N., Oshawa, Ontario L1G 5R4 Canada.

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