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47 York Street

The History of the Parr Family

1881 – 1917

Head of household on the 1881 census is Charles Parr a 40 year old coal porter from Exning in Suffolk.  He is married to 34 year old Deborah (nee Vail) who was born in West Wratting.  The couple have a three year old daughter called Frances Mary and a one year old daughter called Henrietta Susan.  Both daughters were born in Cambridge.

Living with the family are two small children, Emily Heslett (7) and born in Poplar, London and Elizabeth Cole (4) from Cambridge.

Electoral records show that he and his family have moved from 24 York Street, where they lived from around 1877 to 1880.  Next door, at number 45, is Charles’ brother John Parr and his family.

In 1891 Henrietta is 11 and the youngest child is now 5 year old Mary. 13 year old Frances is working as a nursemaid and living with the Snow family on Earl Street.  It’s not clear what happens to her, it’s possible she is working as a Refreshment Rooms Cook in Grantham by 1901.

By 1901 Charles is 61 and working as a carter. Daughter Mary is still living at home and there is now a 3 year old called Bertie.  This census records Bertie as the son of Charles and Deborah.

In 1911 Charles is a horse keeper for a builder.  Mary is working as jam factory hand.  Bertie, now 13, is recorded as Charles and Deborah’s grandson.  The couple have been married for 41 years, they have had six children, three of whom have died.

Henrietta married electrician wireman Harry Mant Smith in 1905.  Harry died in 1913 aged 28, after an operation for appendicitis.  The family was living at 62 Sturton Street.  He was serving as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Cambs. Regiment of Territorials.  His funeral at Mill Road Cemetery was conducted with Military Honours and was reported in full in the Cambridge Independent Press.

At some point after Harry’s death, Charles, Deborah and Bertie move to 62 Sturton Street to be with Henrietta.  They are definitely living there by the end of the First World War.

Sources: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 UK Census, 1939 Register, Civil Registration Marriage Index (1837-1915), Civil Registration Death Index (1837-1915), Cambridgeshire Electoral Registers (1722-1966),



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