Robert, son of William Parr and  Ruth Manning, was born 17 March 1797 at _______________ England. 

Hannah, daughter of ______________________ Charity (father) and _____________________ (mother), was born __________________ 1794 at ______________________, England.

They were married _____________ 1819 in the ____________________ (church?) at Water Beach, Cambridgeshire. It may have been a scandal at the time, but their first born child Lucy was born 15 May 1819; it was a "shotgun wedding."

Seven children were born in England; Lucy, David, George, Emma, Mariah, Harriett, and Frederick. Robert and Hannah Parr landed in Ontario sometime after 1834 with their 7 children. Their eighth child Ellen, was born in Upper Canada (Ontario). At some point, they settled in Mosa Township, Middlesex County, near Wardsville, Ontario. (for the family bible)

There is a census record from New York that 'sort-of' fits this family for 1840.  It's plausible to suggest that that family in the census is that of Robert and Hannah Parr.  But Hannah and maybe Emma are not on this census (no names, just ages, are on this census - which leads to speculation!).  More digging is required to hopefully find out what happened with this family from the arrival record of 1834 to the first Ontario census record found.




In the 1842 Census for Mosa Township, has two married males listed. Presumably that would have been father Robert, but the second man?

Could it have been son David? David and Jane were married that year (1842). Or could it have been daughter Emma, as she had married Josiah Dewey sometime in 1842 as well. With this scenario, it somehow seems more likely that it was David and Jane. I don't have anything to support that, other than it seems more likely in their day for the son to stay home with a married wife than for the daughter to stay home with her husband.

Curiously though, this 1842 Census only had one female as listed as married. The married female was listed between the ages of 14 and 45. If Hannah was born in 1794, she would have been 48 years old for that census. This statistic doesn't help determine who the woman could be, either Jane Whiting or Emma Parr, though it seems that Hannah wasn't the woman.

At this point in time, I don't have any information on Lucy. She may or may not have been alive by this census; I don't know.

The final point with this census is the one line that indicates the "number of years in the province which is not native thereof ... "8". That puts the year of arrival to Ontario of 1834.

There were no Parr's listed on the Mosa Township, Middlesex County Assessments prior to 1844. However, in 1844 there was one entry for Robert. It was for the North half of Lot 17 of Range 2N. He had 2 oxen, 4 milch cows, and 3 horned cattle. Of the 100 acres he had, 20 were cultivated and 80 were not.

A curious petition exists that has Robert swearing an oath of allegiance before Thomas Talbot on 25 April 1845. It's curious since it lists that Robert had been on this tract of land since 1830 at Mosa Township. Two points suggest otherwise. One. The aforementioned 1842 Census had the family settled since 1834. Two. In subsequent census records, Robert's son Frederick has him listed as born in England with his birth for 1833 and therefore, it appears that some fudging of the facts was colluded upon.

Regardless though, the petition noted that Robert Parr had performed his settlement duties. Robert signed his own name, though one could argue that that was the extent of his writing capabilities.

Robert leased 100 acres in Mosa Township in the Second Concession, lot 16 on the north half with the date of the lease 4 October 1845. The second land transaction was one of Robert initiating a land purchase 8 April 1848 that was later cancelled. That was for Lot 17, Concession 2 NLWR. No reason was given in the Land Registry Office record as to why. No further record of Robert Parr has yet been found. Taking into account that this is an assumption, it appears that
Robert died soon after that April transaction date and before a monetary settlement was made.

A puzzle at this point, was the finding of Hannah's marriage to William Armstrong on 31 October 1947 by Rev. William Griffis of the Wesleyan Methodist faith. Witnesses to the marriage were Hannah's son David and David's wife Jane.

The puzzle is this, Hannah does not appear to be with Robert in the 1841 Census (nor do the 2 eldest daughters). Robert had to have been alive in April 1848 to at least initiate a land transaction. Hannah was married in 1847; what possible explanation can exist? A pioneer divorce? The wedding was sanctioned/witnessed by her eldest son, so there must have been some agreement within the family. The 1861 census, Hannah was living next door to her youngest son Frederick.
That would signal - if not agreement to the wedding - at least forgiveness from Frederick to Hannah, otherwise (I assume) he would not live anywhere near her.

The minister, as an aside, William Griffis was listed in the Shetland Community History book as the minister from 1834 to 1836. (Shetland, was the final resting place for son David and daughter in law Jane.)

In the 1852 census, Hannah and husband William were in Mosa Township. Living with them, is Hannah's daughter Ellen Parr. In the 1861 census, Hannah is living next door to son Frederick, and granddaughter Hannah Ann Tunks (Mariah's daughter) is living with them. In this census, William Armstrong is listed as a weaver.

In May of 1866, William Armstrong made out his will. In read in part, "... being of sound mind and memory but admonished by sickness of the mortality of my body ...". It later reads that if Hannah does not remarry, she inherits the 50 acre farm.

Whether William recovered from the sickness, or whether he continued to be "admonished by sickness of the mortality of my body" until he died, is unknown at this point. What is known is that William died 5 September 1874 and was buried in the St. James Anglican Church Cemetery at Wardsville, Ontario.

Hannah died 30 August 1877 and was buried in the Wardsville Cemetery at Wardsville. The headstone still exists, although the words are significantly weathered. Since Hannah's headstone said "relict of Robert Parr", Robert was dead by the time Hannah died; but the big question that remains unanswered, "When?"

From the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the "Inner Light" episode when the Jean Luke Picard character was transported to a dying planet and relived a life before the planet went super nova. The life that he lived brought him a wife, a family, a best friend and eventually a grand child; all that the Jean Luke Picard character didn't have. As time went by for the Jean Luke Picard character, his wife and best friend died. At the end of the episode, when the planet was about to die, his wife came back to tell him he lived a life with them so that;

"If you remember what we were,
and how we lived,
then we will have found life again.

Now we live in you.
Tell them of us."

As you read of your cousins, they "will have found life again", as they will now "live in you".
This website and your continued life memories will live in you, it's up to you to "tell them of us"


If you have information on Robert and Hannah Parr, or their descendants, please contact me at

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

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Copyright 2015 by Jack Parr

All rights reserved. Revised: 27 Nov 2016 16:09:39 -0500.