Dorothy Griffin and Robert Parry

UPDATED December 5, 2018

Born November 24, 1890, Dorothy Griffin was the only daughter of John Griffin (1860-1937) and Sarah Jane (nee Goodland) (1857-1931). When she was born her father was 30 and her mother was 33.

I know very little about my great-aunt. I have one photo of her, below, with my great-grandfather, Arthur and my great-uncle, Charles Griffin during WWI. My grandmother, also Dorothy Griffin, may have taken her name from her aunt.
Arthur Bird, Dorothy, and Charles Owen Griffin
Dorothy appears with her family on the 1911 census, but according to a passenger form from the Ocean Liner Minnedosa, Dorothy arrived in Canada (Quebec) in May 1921. The form suggests that she was coming to Canada to be married. The form names her father, John, as her next of kin and suggests that she's going to meet her future husband, Robert Parry, in Calgary, Alberta. The form suggests that Robert lived at 1209 5th Avenue NW in Calgary.


5th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB, Canada (image via GoogleMaps)
Annette Fulford who is researching Canadian War Brides of the First World War on her site, provided me with a copy of the marriage announcement in the Calgary Herald. The announcement suggests that the couple was married on June 2, 1921 at St. Barnabas Church in Hillhurst, Alberta.

Calgary Herald, June 6, 1921 (image via Google News)
And although I'd had trouble finding it prior to, thanks to Annette, I was able to identify the couple on the 1921 census, living with Robert's brother, William and his family at 307 11th Street Northwest. (Interesting - on present-day GoogleMaps, this is a two-story residence, but as late as 2009, it was only one story.) William's occupation is listed as "Postman", born in Wales eight years before his brother. His wife Elizabeth is at home with their son Reginald, who is ten years old. Robert's occupation appears to be a "Freight Handler."
1921 Canadian Census (image via Ancestry.com)
307 11th Street Northwest, Calgary (image via GoogleMaps)
I have very little information about Robert Parry and his family other than the fact he was born on April 10, 1893 in Bethesda, Caernarvonshire, Wales. After marrying, Dorothy and Robert had two sons:
  • John (Jack) Owen Parry (1923-?)
  • Robert Alan (Alan) Parry (1924-2000)
A Family Reunion (From right - Robert Parry, Arthur Griffin, Jack Parry (Back),
Grace Griffin (front), Lily (Moore) Griffin, Alan Parry, Dorothy Griffin)

We find one further record in March, 1928 of Dorothy and her two sons (Jack and Alan) crossing back from Liverpool via the Ocean Liner Celtic (owned by the infamous White Star line). At this time, it appears they're living at 915 4th Avenue NW in Calgary (GoogleMaps shows that the home on this site was removed and a new one built in 2007). The document suggests that they were visiting her father, and it doesn't appear that Robert joined them.


After this, we find no further records of the family until 1956 when Robert died on October 26th.


Their obituaries from the Calgary Herald as follows:


This record confirms that Robert Parry was born in Wales. It also provides new information: Robert was employed by the Canadian National Railway (CNR) as a baggage master (which is possibly also where he was employed on the 1921 census, when he was a Freight Handler). The family was living at 201 29th Avenue N.E. at the time of his death at the Calgary General Hospital (the house is quite small and GoogleMaps photos from 2007-2015 are not clear because of an overgrowth of bushes out front). The record further suggests that one of his sons, Jack, moved to Finland, and the other, Alan, while still in Canada, was on the east coast in Newfoundland. At this time, the couple has two grandchildren.

Dorothy survived her husband by 24 years, and died on February 5, 1970. Dorothy was living in an apartment at 119 28th Avenue Northwest in Calgary at the time of her death and she is buried with her husband in 1970 in Union Cemetery. This obituary suggests that her children moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and she had two more grandchildren.

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