Mary Ellen



Emma, daughter of Robert Parr and Hannah Charity, was born 13 August 1826 at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, England. She was baptized with her sister Lucy and brother George at the St. John the Evangelist Church at Waterbeach on 4 May 1828. In 1834, 8 year old Emma, siblings and parents arrived at the New York harbour, eventually settling near Wardsville, Ontario by 1842.

Josiah, son of Josiah Dewey and Sallie Williams, was born 29 December 1814 at Brunswick, Maine.  Emma and Josiah were married in 1842 near Newbury, Ontario. They had six children: Robert Parr, Josiah Augustus, Clara, Eliza, Ida and Frank.

Josiah was listed in the 1860 census as a Master Chair Maker, with son Robert as his apprentice. The family was living at Cedar Rapids, Iowa at that time.

Josiah died in 1863 and was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery, Linn County, Iowa.

Emma remarried to James Sterling Brink 26 May 1865 at Cedar Springs, Iowa. James, son of Ephraim Brink and Laura Coggshall, and was born 1 May 1821 at Bradford, Pennsylvania.

What would you make of someone who registered for the Class II Civil War Draft that had the note recorded “says never will be a soldier”? James was recorded as a “grist and saw miller” on that draft document … and never became a soldier.

Emma and James had two children, George (1866) and Angelia (1869). James was recorded as a Constable at Cedar Rapids.  However, the 1880 Census found Emma and James living apart.  James was living with his daughter Mary and son-in-law Frank Dimmett with James listed as having consumption. Emma was living with two of her children, Ida Dewey and George Brink; Angelia wasn’t found in the 1880 Census or other government documentation and presumably had died by then.

Emma died 20 January 1887 and was buried with her first husband, Josiah Dewey.


If you have information on Emma Parr, or her descendants, I'd be thrilled to hear from you!  Please contact me at


I thank you for your interest in the family of Robert and Hannah Parr.

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All rights reserved. Revised: 27 Nov 2016 16:13:20 -0500.