Chapter Five

Edgar Morrissey and Hilda Parker


Edgar Morrissey and Hilda Parker, on their wedding day in 1940, outside Trinity Memorial Church, Montreal

My father Edgar Morrissey, the youngest son of Martin Morrissey and Edith Sweeney, was born on 11 March 1912 in Montreal and christened at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. He attended St. Leo's Academy in Montreal and began working at the Canadian Pacific Railroad in March 1930, as a stenographer in the department of immigration and colonization in Montreal. In 1937 he was transferred to the office of the Vice-President and in 1939 became a secretary in that department. In 1942, he became secretary to the Chairman and President; his office at Windsor Station overlooked present-day Peel Street. In 1946 he was appointed chief clerk to D.C. Coleman, Chairman and President.


5515 Avonmore Avenue, door on left of building, residence for Edgar Morrissey and Hilda Parker Morrissey from 1940 to 1952

In 1940 Edgar Morrissey and Hilda Parker were married at Trinity Memorial Anglican Church on Sherbrooke Street West near Decarie Boulevard in Montreal. Their first residence was at apartment number four, 5515 Avonmore in N.D.G. From around 1951 to 1954, due to my father's poor health, the family lived with my grandmother Edith Sweeney at 2226 Girouard Avenue. In addition to my parents, my brother John and I, there was also my grandmother and my father's older sister, Mable, living at Girouard during those years. From 1954 to 1963 we lived at 4614 Oxford Avenue. My father died in 1956 and my mother remarried in 1962, to Graham Nichols. We then moved to 4350 Montclair Avenue in western N.D.G., where my mother still lives. My father loved music, especially Glenn Miller and other jazz bands popular in the 1930s and 1940s. He played several musical instruments, guitar, bass, and banjo, and played in his brother Herb Morrissey's band. He was still employed by the C.P.R. when he died on 16 November 1956 at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.


4614 Oxford Avenue, lower flat door furthest on the left, family residence from 1954 to 1962

Husband: Edgar Raymond Leander Morrissey:
Born: 11 March 1912, Montreal
Died: 16 Nov 1956, Boston, Mass.
Buried: 20 Nov 1956, Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal
Father's name: John Martin Morrissey
Mother's name: Edith Sweeney
Wife: Hilda Richards Parker:
Born: 1 March 1916, Montreal
Spouse's father's: John Richards Parker, Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Spouse's mother's: Bertha Chew, Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Spouse's father's birth: 27 March 1887, Blackburn
Spouse's mother's birth: 14 September 1883, Blackburn
Second marriage: in May1962 to Graham Nichols, St Matthews Church, Montreal
Second spouse's birth: 19 November 1909
Second spouse's death: 30 October 1969
Second spouse's father: M. Edgar Nichols
Second spouse's mother: Dora Wood (father was Josiah Wood)
Second spouse's siblings: Tom, Charles
Children: John, Stephen


Edgar Morrissey and his son Stephen, N.D.G. Park facing the corner of Girouard and Sherbrooke Street West, Fall 1950

1. John Richard Morrissey:
Born: September 1946, Montreal
Spouse's name: Katherine Thompson
Married: in 1970 at St. Matthew's Church, Montreal
Children: David, Heather

1.i. David Morrissey
Born: February 1977 in Ottawa, Ontario.

1.ii. Heather Morrissey
Born: April 1980 in Ottawa, Ontario.

2. Stephen Edgar Morrissey:
Born: April 1950
Married: Patricia Walsh, August 1976
Spouse's father: John Stanley Walsh
Spouse's mother: Marian Cowie
Divorced: July 1989
Second marriage: Carolyn Zonailo
Spouse's father: Matter Zonailo
Spouse's mother: Anne Grey
Married: 10 April 1995, Malone, New York
Children: Jake

2.i. Jake Walsh Morrissey
Born: January 1979 in Montreal, Quebec


Hilda Parker Morrissey and her two sons, John and Stephen, dog Buddy, Oxford Avenue flat, around 1957

Hilda Parker's Ancestry

Hilda Parker was born on Irene Avenue in St. Henry on 1 March 1916. Her parents were John Richards Parker (born 27 March 1887, 76 Woodbine Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, England; died 1965, Montreal) and Bertha Chew (born 14 September 1883, Blackburn, Lancashire, England; died 1957, Montreal). They immigrated to Montreal after first living for several years in New York City. Bertha was born at 41 Saint Paul Street in Blackburn.

John Richards Parker was twenty when he married Bertha Chew. He was employed at the time as a brewer's labourer and they lived at 6 Burlington Street in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. His father John Parker, was deceased when his son married. Bertha Chew was twenty-four years old and employed as a cotton weaver; she was the daughter of the late Thomas Chew. They married on 18 April 1908 at the Tabernacle '(particular Baptists)' Church on Montague Street, in Blackburn. In 1909, John R. Parker emigrated to New York City where he lived with his paternal uncle William Parker, an employee at the Brooklyn Zoo. He worked driving a streetcar in New York City and his wife Bertha joined him there in 1910.


Bertha Chew Parker and her two children, John on left and Hilda on right, photo taken around 1923.

Around 1912 John Parker and Bertha Chew moved to Montreal. Soon after they were joined by John Parker's mother Bessie Richards and his three brothers, William, Herbert, and Victor. John and Bertha's first son, William, was born around 1913 but died around age two or three years. Their daughter Hilda was born in 1916 and a son, John Leslie Parker, was born in 1920. Several of Bertha Chew's siblings also moved to Canada around 1920, as well as at least one of Bessie Richard's sisters.

Hilda Parker's Paternal Ancestry:

Husband: John Parker (Hilda Parker's paternal grandfather)
Born: around 1865, Blackburn, England
Died: possibly in 1897, Blackburn
Siblings: William Parker; others unknown
Wife: Bessie Richards (Hilda Parker's paternal grandmother)
Born: around 1870, Blackburn
Died: late 1940s, Montreal
Married: around 1887
Siblings: Bessie Richards had seven sisters, one of whom was Bella Richards Brocklebank who moved to Welland, Ontario and had a daughter named Poppy Brocklebank.
Married: around 1897
Children: John Richards, Thomas Herbert, William, Victor


John Richards Parker, in his Hampton Avenue backyard, mid-1960s.

1. 'John' Richards Parker
Born: 27 March 1887, Blackburn, England
Died: 1965, Montreal
Married: Bertha Chew on 18 April 1908 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Blackburn, England Children: William, Hilda, John

1.i. William Parker
Born: around 1912, Montreal
Died: around 1915, Montreal
Buried: Memorial Gardens, St. Laurent, Quebec

1.ii. Hilda Parker
Born: 1 March 1916 in Montreal
Married: Edgar Raymond Morrissey
Children: John (1946) and Stephen (1950) (see above)

1.iii John Leslie T. Parker
Born: 1920
Married: Muriel Bott
Spouse's birth: 1923
Spouse's death: 1992 in Kingston, Ontario
Children: John, Jo-Anne

ii.1. John Parker
Born: 1949, Montreal
Children: two children

ii.2. Jo-Anne Parker
Born: 1951, Montreal
Children: Jennifer Parker


John R. Parker's Uncle William Parker and his mother Bessie Richards Parker, around 1935

2. Thomas Herbert Parker
Born: Blackburn. England
Died: 28 December 1965
Buried: Memorial Gardens, St. Laurent
Married: around 1946, to Annie May
No children

3. William Parker
Born: Blackburn, England
Died: mid-1960s, Montreal
Married: May Thomas
No children

4. Victor Parker
Born: Blackburn, England
Died: 7 July 1969, Hawthorne Dale Cemetery, Montreal

Hilda Parker's Maternal Ancestry:

Husband: Thomas Chew (Hilda Parker's maternal grandfather)
Born: 1851, Blackburn, England
Died: around 1908
Wife: Jane Gardner (Hilda Parker's maternal grandmother)
Born: 1850, Halifax, York, England
Died: around 1918
Children: Alice, Sarah Jane, Elizabeth, Obadiah, Ann, Ruth, Harry, Bertha


Jane Hartley Chew, mother of Thomas Chew, mid-1800s, Blackburn, England

1. Alice Chew:
Born: 1868, Blackburn
Married: Bill Holden
Note: the family moved to Woodstock, Ontario around 1920
Children: Gertrude, Anne, Bertha, Hartley, Jane

1.i. Gertrude Holden
Married: Fred Brown
Died: 1990s, Woodstock, Ontario
No children

1.ii. Anne ('Annie') Holden
Died: early 1970s in Woodstock, Ontario
Never married

1.iii. Bertha Holden
Married: Bud Karn
Born: 1906, Blackburn, England
Died: 5 July 2002, Woodstock, Ontario
Children: Patricia, Kathyrn

iii.1. Kathyrn Karn
Married: Gerald McCormick
Children: Kelly, Michael, Karn, Chrystal


Thomas Chew, husband of Jane Gardner Chew, Blackburn, England; late 1800s.

1.iv. Jane ('Jennie') Holden
Died: early 1970s in Woodstock, Ontario
Married: Arnold Davis
Children: William, Michael

1.v. Hartley Holden
Married: Mary Clarke
Children: Clarke, Lynn, Penny

2. Sarah Jane Chew:
Born: 1873, Blackburn

3. Elizabeth Chew:
Born: 1875, Blackburn
Married: a Riley
Note: In the early 1920s, the family moved to Woodstock, Ontario.
Children: Tom, Jim

3.i. Tom Riley
Born: date unknown, in Blackburn, England.
Married: Christian name, Frebi (the name is an acronym for the countries fighting Germany during World War One: France, Russia, England, Belgium, and Italy)

3.ii. Jim Riley
Born: date unknown, in Blackburn, England.
Married: Christian name, Edna May


Jane Gardner Chew, possibly early 1900s, Blackburn,England

4. Obadiah Chew:
Born: 1879, Blackburn
Note: He worked as a building contractor in Blackburn, England.

5. Ann Chew:
Born: 1870, Blackburn

6. Ruth Chew:
Born: in Blackburn
Married: unknown
Note: the family lived in Bercy and later Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Children: two daughters

7. Harry Chew:
Born: 1883, Blackburn
Married: wife's name not known.
Note: He lived in Ottawa, Ontario.
Children: Kathleen, Doris

8. Bertha Chew:
Born: 14 September 1883, Blackburn, England
Died: probably in 1957, Montreal.
Married: John Richards Parker in 1908 in Blackburn, England
Children: William, Hilda, John