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Emily Parr was my Greatgrandmother and there has always been considerable mystery about her origins. She married my GGrandfather Michael Byrne in 1904 in Rathgar. What is fascinating about the marriage certificate is that, her occupation, profession was listed as Lady living in Milltown. Her father listed as George, gentleman, and Lawrence Byrne as Gentle man and Michael as a Gentleman. I know that Michael was a van driver and mechanic, his father worked as a gardener. Family stories about Emily are that she was the daughter of a British soldier, she was born abroad ( either India or somewhere else ), she was illegitimate and didn't acknowledge where she was born. We believe her mother was called Eliza, and my grandparents knew Elizawhen she lived in Milltown, she declared she was a widow. Emily was probably born between 1880 and 1886 no one knows, when she died in 1954, no one could find a birth certificate or any clues as to where she originated. It is known she worked in the laundry in Milltown. Using this information, I found and Emily and Eliza living in Milltown on the 1901 census, it gives Eliza's place of birth as Inchicore and her age as 48, Emily's place of birth is listed as Curragh Camp, Kildare and her age as 17. ( hence the military info I expect) . I haven't traced any birth record around this information. However I have found an Emily Parr born in 1878 in the workhouse (South Dublin Union) her father is listed as George Parr, a servant living in Richmond (possibly the barracks?), Mother is Eliza formerly Callaghan. There are other workhouse entries for an Eliza Parr one of which indicates her occupation as laundress, and wife of soldier. I am unable to find any record of a marriage, birth etc. If anyone can shed any light on this it would be helpful. At present, I am of the opinion, Eliza never married, and Emily is probably the one I have found. Emily never divulged anything about her origin to my grandmother or mother only that her father was probably a soldier. Eliza Parr continued to live in Milltown ad can be found on the 1913 electoral roll. Apparently she died there, but the only Parr death is of an Elizabeth Parr in 1927, laundress who died in the workhouse. Any help suggestions etc would be great.











Tuesday 14th December 2021, 02:28PM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Helen

    I found Emily's mother, Bridget Elizabeth Parr (laundress, age 60) in Lee's Lane, Milltown in the Census of 1911. On her death cert she is recorded as Elizabeth B. Parr (1852-1927) late of Lee's Cottages Milltown. 

    You may discover other birth records under mother Bridget Parr (albeit she went by Eliza). In 1911 she saw it important that Bridget be recorded.

    Her 1911 Census record gives us a bit more information:

    • she had 5 children (2 still living in 1911)
    • married 29 years previously (c.1882).
    • Emily had one sibling still living in 1911.

    On Emily's 1904 marriage certificate I find it interesting that

    • Her father, George Parr, is not recorded as "deceased" (even though Eliza stated she was a widow in 1901 and married in 1911)
    • the witnesses – Patrick J. Byrne and Eibhlin Byrne had the Irish language version of their names in brackets. I get the feeling they were larking about with officialdom with the "lady" and "gentleman" references and that the registrar (with his Old Irish script penmanship skills) was sympathetic. In fact, the witnesses may have insisted on giving their names in Irish and the registrar forced a bilingual entry. 

    Having said that, I do get the impression that Milltown Eliza IS the same Eliza Parr (born in the 1850s) who has a steady trail of admissions into the Dublin South Workhouse:

    • Feb-April 1874 Eliza Parr res. Kilkenny  "soldier's wife"
    • May-Jun 1875 Eliza Parr res.  Goldenbridge (i.e. Richmond Barracks) married "no occupation"
    • Feb 1879 Eliza Parr res.  Richmond  married "soldier's wife" returned from Cork St Hospital
    • Feb-Jul 1879 Eliza Parr res.  Goldenbridge (Richmond ) "laundress" 
    • Aug-Oct 1879 Eliza Parr res.  Goldenbridge (Richmond) married "laundress"
    • April 1900 Eliza Parr res.  Hacketts Cottages, Milltown, Widow "washer"  for rheumatism

    Given their connection to Richmond Barracks, I suggest you join the IrelandXO community of St Jude's and add an ancestor profile for both Eliza and George there (connecting George to Richmond Barracks and the Military ancestors' group) and connecting Eliza to Dublin South Workhouse and the parish of St Peters Dublin (for Milltown). 

    Hope this helps!

    Emily Parr (age 17 in 1901) m. Michael Byrne in 1904 

    Mother: Bridget Elizabeth Parr (1856– 1927) RC laundress (widow age 48 in 1901 b.Inchicore par. St Jude's) (married age 60 in 1911 b. Co. Dublin)  > St Jude's > St Peters Dublin > St Maul's Kilkenny

    Father: George Parr  > St Jude's > Military AncestorsRichmond Barracks > Dublin South Workhouse 

    Keep an eye out for spelling variants for PARR such as Poer aka Power (from de Paor) or Phair, Part or Perry. There was in fact a George Poer (1798-1873) gentleman of Stephen's Green.

    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Wednesday 15th December 2021, 12:36AM

    Dear Rua Thank you for this, I had found the 1911 census with Elizabeth Parr and the death certificate. I think you maybe right, as I know from family she lived in Milltown until she died. The interesting points are the children , (these were never ever mentioned in the family), she was always referred to as a widow, no one ever mentioned the husband or father of Emily except to say they thought he was a soldier. I wonder if the 3 siblings that are dead were still births or died in infancy.

    Why did Eliza suddenly want to known as Elizabeth Bridget or Bridget Elizabeth, and declare she was married? 

    Emily's marriage certificate, the two witnesses are Michaels siblings, Patrick was a schoolteacher and certainly was proficient in the Irish language.

    The lady/gentleman could possibly be associated with Michaels mother Mary Byrne (Pakenham) she was always referred to as "Lady  Mary" !!

    Thank you for your help and suggestions



    Thursday 16th December 2021, 01:33PM
  • Dear Rua I did find a birth record for Emily Parr, in 1878 to a George and Eliza Parr, he is listed as a servant, Eliza was formerly Callaghan, this birth is recorded in south Dublin workhouse, likely to be the same people, however does suggest that Emily wasn't 17 in 1901

    Best Wishes Helen 






    Thursday 16th December 2021, 01:56PM