My longest and tallest brick wall concerns my 3rd great grandfather, George Rice Price PARRY.
I first found mention of George on the birth certificate of his son, Thomas Rice Price PARRY. Thomas was born on the 3rd of October 1837 in Holywell, Flintshire. His parents were listed as George Rice Price PARRY, tailor from Holywell, New Road, and Ann OWENS.
Note Ann is listed as Ann OWENS not Ann PARRY previously OWENS so I don’t think they were married.
Using this I was able to locate the family in 1841 living on New Road in Holywell. (HO107/1413 Book 7 Folio 20 Page 32 lines 1 to 4)
As you can see George and Ann were not born in Flintshire, and the estimated birth date for George is 1816 ± 5 years.
Again, using Thomas in the search I found the family living in Chester Street, Holywell (HO107/2500 Folio 250 Page 2)
The family has grown, and you can see that George is shown as George R P Parry, a tailor who was born in the Isle of Mann around 1813.
In 1861 George is found in St. Asaph workhouse (RG9/4297 Folio 27 Page 3)
He is still married, and the rest of the family are not in the workhouse with him. Again his place of birth is given as the Isle of Mann, this time the estimated birth year is 1810.
When I discovered that he was in the workhouse I contacted Flintshire Record Office. Steven Davies, archivist, provided me with the following information:
He first appears on Wednesday 7th March 1860. His full name is given as "George Rice Price Parry", classed as an "old and infirm man" for dietary purposes, given the number 14-1 and admitted by the order of Thomas Griffiths.
The cause of seeking relief is "bad eyes" and the parish responsible for his relief is Denbigh. His first meal on admittance was supper.
He discharges himself on 16th April 1860 and is described as "of good character"
He is re-admitted on 16th January 1861. The details are the same though he is now written as "George R P Parry" and the cause of relief is described as "blindness".
He discharges himself again on 22nd April 1861. Then he is re-admitted again on Saturday October 26th 1861. Again the details are the same though the cause of relief is "Bad Sight" - so the earlier blindness was not permanent or maybe was exaggerated by the workhouse records. This time he is admitted by order of the Overseer of Denbigh.
He again discharges himself, on 14th November 1861. There are no other 1861 entries. There are no other family members mentioned in all of this.
In 1871, for some unknown reason, I found George living in a boarding house in Bradford, Yorkshire. (RG10/4461 Folio 68 Page 18)
He is recorded as ‘George R P Parry’ so I’ve got the right man, but is describing himself as a ‘widow’, whilst Ann and the rest of the children are still living in Holywell. However, she is also describing herself as a ‘widow’, so perhaps it was a ‘poor-mans’ divorce. There is a family rumour though that he ‘ran off to London to buy cloth and was never seen or heard of again’. He is shown as a tailor, born in the Isle of Mann in about 1810.
This is the last I’ve found of him on census records.
I couldn’t locate a marriage for George and Ann (having used Freebmd to search for George PARRY and OWENS / OWEN from Sept. 1837 to Dec 1871 all counties / all districts), nor could I locate a likely death entry on the GRO.
So I went back to the beginning. As the only three constants were
Name: George Rice Price Parry
Place of Birth: Isle of Mann
I focused my search on finding a baptism between the years 1810 and 1816 in the Isle of Mann. Thanks to the help of some rootschat-ers a possible baptism was located in the parish registers of St. Matthew, Douglas. There was only one problem. As you can see below the name of the child was George Rice Price OWEN.
He was the son of John OWEN and Ann, who was baptised on the 11th of September 1812. A rootschat member who is well versed in parish registers from the Isle of Mann had a look at the entry and told me that, in his opinion, the parents were not married. If they were the image ought to have contained the mother’s maiden name. There are no other baptisms for children with a father called John OWEN or OWENS
I’m 99% certain that George Rice Price PARRY started life as George Rice Price OWEN. However, this in itself raises questions.
1. Why did George change his name from OWEN to PARRY?
2. Where did his parents come from? In the major online sources of Manx history, there are no established OWENS or PARRYs on the island at this point in time.
3. When and how did George come over to Wales, and how did he come to settle in Holywell?
4. Why did he move to Bradford?
5. Despite not being able to find a marriage record, did George and Ann OWEN marry?
6. Where and when did he die?
If anyone can give me a clue as to an answer for any of the above I’d be grateful. Also, as I’ve no idea where to go from here all suggestions are welcome……