Last month I requested a copy of the pension application for my second great grand uncle, Stephen Parker, from the National Archives. I got the first 100 pages on CD today. Much of it I already know. But there are some great pieces of evidence in the file that solidify and confirm important details about Stephen and his family. One item was very new information though, and stood out.
Below is the deposition of Mary Morkin née Parker. She was the daughter of Leonard Parker, who lived near my third great grandfather Patrick Parker in Blanshard township in western Ontario. Leonard and Patrick also have records that put them together in County Westmeath and in Lanark County of Ontario. Other family researchers had written that they were brothers, and I’d tended to go with that assumption as well. Mary Morkin gives the most direct evidence so far that they were in fact related. She testifies that Stephen Parker’s father (Patrick) and her father (Leonard) were first cousins.
Eliminating the possibility they are brothers is going to make looking at any possible records a better process. For instance, I won’t reject families with a Patrick Parker as incorrect matches if there’s no sign of a Leonard in the family. Or if descendants of Leonard Parker take DNA tests, we’ll expect them to be much more distant genetically.
There are more things to glean from this file, but that’s the biggest in the first batch.