Morry Papers

 Morry Papers

People often refer to the “Morry Papers” as if they were a single comprehensive collection of historical documents. In fact there are several. The collection most often referred to as the “Morry Papers” is that which has resided at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Colonial Building in St. John’s since donated by Dad Morry before his death. There are also less comprehensive collections at the A. C. Hunter Library Newfoundland Collection at the Arts and Culture Centre, at the Newfoundland Museum, at the Memorial Library Newfoundland Collection and at the Maritime History Archive (also on the Memorial Campus). There may also be some “Morry Papers” at the Ferryland Museum, though that has as yet to be confirmed.

Only the documents at the Provincial Archives are the original papers (at least in part). The rest are photocopies, and much of this material is duplicated from collection to collection. I have personally seen most of this material and have obtained copies of the most important items that are amenable to being photocopied, but several of the documents at the Provincial Archives are too old and frail or too large and cumbersome to be photocopied and will eventually have to be transcribed manually.

Eventually it is hoped that the entire collection will reside in one location in the new Provincial Archives in “The Rooms” now under construction (January 2004). It is also hoped that those family members holding original materials of historical importance will eventually donate them to this new central collection for the benefit of their protection and their use by other researchers. In the meantime, as I obtain copies and transcribe them, digitise them or photograph them as appropriate, they will all be recorded here for easier access by more people. For now, many articles are simply listed until time permits to transcribe or digitise them.

Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador — Morry Papers (PANL MG 237 — Matthew Morry)

Box 1

File 1:  Receipt of Probate Papers in the estate of Matthew Morry 31 May 1862 Transcript

File 2: Probate of the Will of Matthew Morry of Caplin Bay Nfld. 12 July 1860 Transcript

File 3: Copy of Last Will and Testament of Matthew Morry (Planter) of Caplin
Bay 25 April 1856 with attached affidavit by Thomas Morry 29 May 1862 . Transcript

File 4: Bill of sale of Thomson’s Fishing Room ( Cape Broyle ) & Plantation by Charles Hutchings ( Dartmouth ) to Wm. Pendergast ( Cape Broyle ) 9 Nov. 1831 Transcript

File 5: Power of Attorney given by Matthew Morry (Dartmouth) to his son Matthew Morry (Capelin Bay) Re: his estate and interests in Nfld. 6 Nov., 1813 Transcript

File 6: Letter to Mr. Peter Le Messurier St. John’s from N. P. [sic] Morry ( Caplin Bay ) Sept. 28, 1856 [Editor’s Note:  N. P. Morry should be Robert Morry; the title of the article at PANL contains an error] Transcript

File 7: Bill of Sale of Nash’s Plantation by Arthur W. O. Holdsworth (Dartmouth) to Matthew Morry (Caplin Bay) 14 Dec. 1855. Transcript.

File 8: Petition for& Grant of land to Matthew Morry (Caplin Bay) for use in the fishery, 8 Sept. 1784 by Gov. John Campbell.  Digital imageTranscript.


Box 2

File 9: Grant to Matthew Morry of land for the fishery in Caplin Bay by Jacob Waller (H.M.S. ROSE) 13 Sept. 1790 Transcript

File 10: Two receipts for purchase of consolidated £3 Percent Annuities 24 Mar 1807 and 8 Jan 1805 Digital image

File 11: Precise description of property boundaries of Matthew Morry’s land at Timber Cove ?? Description of buildings thereon undated unsigned

File 12: Last Will& Testament Rose Steer?? (Dartmouth, Caplin Bay) 20 June 1825

File 13: Deed of Loan to Matthew Morry & Co. (Dartmouth/Caplin bay) by John Morry (Dartmouth) 20 Aug 1816 Transcript by Kevin Reddigan

File 14: Bill of sale of property in Caplin Bay?? By Patrick Clancy to Wm. Sweetland 27 Nov 1817 . Transcript by Kevin Reddigan

In July 2015 whilst going through an eclectic group of files at The Rooms which are referred to as the 1000-2000 series, and which are put together in boxes in an effort to do a preliminary sorting of materials that have yet to be properly accessed into the permanent Manuscript series, I came upon another Morry document that really ought to be included in the above collection. It is filed as 1000-2000 Series files, Box 26 in the Series 2015, File 14. It was indexed as a letter pertaining to Sweetland property in Cape Broyle/Caplin Bay and indeed that is what it was but what the index did not say was that it was in fact a letter from my 2nd great granduncle Robert Morry to his brother, Thomas Graham Morry, concerning these lands, which at the time were in his possession, presumably as the agent for the Sweetland family, the Sweetlands long since having vacated the southern shore for central Newfoundland and the US. I have asked that this letter be relocated to MG 237:

Letter from Robert Morry to Thomas Graham Morry, dated Sept. 22, 1871 concerning possible sale of former Sweetland house and lands Digital Image Transcript

A. C. Hunter Newfoundland Collection

There are only three documents in this collection.

The first was donated by Dad Morry (date?) but is actually a transcript of a report on early history of Newfoundland by an unidentified Miss Morry. This could be a number of the maiden ladies in the family whom Dad Morry consulted for family history and the general history of the area. My suspicion is that it was his Great Aunt Florence but I have no way of proving this except that I know she was the source of much of Dad Morry’s information (and misinformation) on the family history. Her account of the early events of note in Ferryland was passed down by word of mouth and some of it, though essentially factual, has been embellished or confused over the years.

The other two documents were also donated by Dad Morry in 1963 and 1965 respectively. The are his recollection of the words of two songs which he indicates were popular before the turn of the twentieth century. The second one, The Flying Cloud, is most interesting, both because it retells the story of a couple of individuals from Ferryland, but also because it describes in some graphic detail the despicable practice of slaving as it was still being carried out in presumably the early to mid-1800s

  1. 971.8 M83 — Morry, Miss and Howard Morry, Ferryland History
  2. 782.43 L88 4 cop. — Morry, Howard, Lord Bateman
  3. 782.43 F67 4 cop. — Morry, Howard, The Flying Cloud 

Freddie Caines Collection 2003

During the course of my search for old documents pertaining to the Morrys, cousin Fredris Mercer Caines came upon a remarkable discovery. Before her death in 1995, her mother, Aunt Phyl, had put away a suitcase full of old papers. Fredi found these and we spent some time going through the collection in the summer of 2003 and sorting them into sub-sets that were merely of sentimental interest, documents belonging to other living members of the family and those that could legitimately be described as being of archival value. I photocopied all of the latter and will in due course either digitise them or transcribe them and make them available here. I believe it is Freddie’s intention to donate these to the Provincial Archives when they are properly set up to deal with them. Word document listing.

Large Format documents (Originals and/or Certified Copies):

  1. Grant to James W. McCullock, Landed situate between Caplin Bay & Ferryland, Registered Vol. 65A, Folio 26, 3 January 1906 . Legible and scanable.
  2. Grant to Thomas G. Morry, land at Morris Marsh Road, Ferryland, Registered Vol. 41, Folio 55, 29 August 1890 . Legible.
  3. Assignment in Trust (Indenture), Thomas G. Morry to Alexr J. W. McNeily, lands and premises situate at Ferryland , Newfoundland , May 1, 1892 . Legible.
  4. Indenture (Unsigned; draft of above?), Thomas G. Morry to Isaac R. McNeily, lands and premises situate at Ferryland, Newfoundland, Undated 1891. Half Legible.
  5. Bargain and Sale of Certain Messuages, Lands and Premises situate at Ferryland from John Morry and Peter Paint LeMessurier to Ann Winsor, Consideration £400 Currency. May 16, 1853 . Legible.

Legal or Letter size documents (Some Originals but mostly Photocopies):


  1. Last Will and Testament (Photocopy) without subsequent Codicil, Thomas Graham Morry, June 13, 1930 . Poor quality photocopy – Text legible but marginal notes not.
  2. Petition for & Grant of land to Matthew Morry ( Caplin Bay ) for use in the fishery 8 Sept. 1784 by Gov. John Campbell. Includes letter of support from Robert Carter. (Same as PANL MG237 Box 1 File 8). Poor quality photocopy.
  3. Precise description of property boundaries of Matthew Morry’s land at Timber Cove ?? Description of buildings thereon unsigned. Sept. 23, 1800 (Same as PANL MG237 Box 1 File 11). Poor quality photocopy.
  4. Receipt for Sale of Land in Ferryland by Howard L. Morry to Minister of Agriculture and Mines for Trepassey Branch Railway, June 1919. Includes plan. Original. Legible and scanable.
  5. Last Will and Testament (Photocopy of Signed Original), Howard Leopold Morry, Dec. 19, 1963. Poor quality photocopy – text legible.
  6. Record of Receipt for Pay for Pvt. Howard Leopold Morry, August 17, 1915 Oct. 1, 1916 . Original. Legible.
  7. Cablegram from Fredris Minty Morry to Howard Leopold Morry, Sept. 1915. Original. Torn and deteriorating condition.
  8. Letter from Howard Leopold Morry to father, Thomas Graham Morry, June 22, 1915 . Original. Legible.
  9. A Plan of Property of Mrs. Holdsworth at Ferryland late in the Possession of Mr. Ewen Stable but now…Taken by John Preston, Surveyor, April 1830. Copied By Frederick R. Page, Land Surveyor, February 1859. 2 Badly photocopied pages. Barely legible.
  10. Last Will and Testament of John Morry of Ferryland, August 24, 1897 . Photocopy of Certified Correct Copy. Mainly Legible.
  11. Map or Plan of “Lower Grove Calvert”, January 28, 1851 . Shows same piece of land that adjoins Land grant mentioned in 1 above. Fairly Legible
  12. Letter to Matthew Morry in Harbour Grace from his brother William in St. John’s , Nov. 20, 1841 . Original. Legible.
  13. Indenture and extension of lease for fishing room and premises to William Devereaux from Florence Morry and Emily Francis Victoria Morry of Ferryland, January 1, 1937. Original. Legible.
  14. Bill of Sale for Land on road from Caplin Bay to Ferryland from Elizabeth Morry and Henry Morry to James Walker McCullock, March, 1900. Original, Legible. (This would appear to be the land adjacent to that acquired in 1906 by grant to Dr. McCullock in 1 above.)
  15. Agreement between Diocesan Synod of Nfld. and Howard Morry, conveying right to use land formerly occupied by Anglican Church in Ferryland, May 1, 1948 . Original. Legible.
  16. Trust Deed, Anne Morey Winsor To Thomas G. Morry, for the “Holdsworth lands”, Dec. 15, 1851 . Original. Fragile and taped together but relatively legible.
  17. Deed of Conveyance, John White to Catherine White and Richard H. White, Property at Ferryland. Dec. 14, 1883 . Very poor quality photocopy almost illegible.
  18. Legal Survey of 3 Parcels of land Ferryland North Side, in the name of William Morry , Dec. 7, 1987 . Evidently made in preparation for sale of Morry fish business. Original. Legible and scanable.
  19. Indenture, House and Lands in Ferryland, including survey, between William Morry and Mary Morry, No day or month 1996, Certified Legal Copy. Legible and scanable.
  20. Last Will and Testament (Photocopy of Unsigned Copy), Howard Leopold Morry, Dec. 19, 1963. Photocopy. Legible.
  21. Memories by Howard L. Morry, July 12, 1957 . I Page Photocopy. Legible
  22. The Great War: A Southern Shore, Soldier’s Tale, by Bob Ryan, July 22, 1994 . 15 pp plus 1 page Introduction and 1 page Bibliography. Quotes extensively from “My service in the World War 1914-1917 by H. L. Morry, August 1957 (no copy included). Photocopied. Legible and scanable.
  23. Memories of Howard Morry Feb. 18, 1965 . Transcript for his diaries up to that year. The person doing the transcription is not identified, nor is the date on which it was transcribed. 22 Page Photocopy. Legible but not scanable.
  24. Diary Beginning July 14, 1957 by Mr. Howard L. Morry, Ferryland. The person doing the transcription is not identified, nor is the date on which it was transcribed. 16 Page Photocopy, however page 3 appears to be missing. Relatively legible copy.
  25. My Service in the World War 1914-1917, by Howard L. Morry. Transcript of Diary commencing August 3, 1957 . The person doing the transcription is not identified, nor is the date on which it was transcribed. 22 Page Photocopy. Very poor copy, almost illegible in places. This is the same diary transcribed and annotated by Glen and Chris Morry in 2003.

Jean and Karen Funkhouser Collection 2008

In 2008, Karen [Funkhouser] Chapman very kindly and generously agreed to share with me a large collection of photographs, letters, documents and other articles of both historical and family history value. This material had been accumulated by her mother, Jean [Morry] Funkhouser, during the course of her lengthy family history research. What I presently hold, once properly catalogued and copied will be offered to The Rooms for their accession into the Morry Papers (see above). This may take some time, however, because there is an immense amount of material to go through. Not only that, but this is only a small part of Aunt Jean’s collection, most of which is still retained by Karen.

As I complete the digitising and/or transcription of these documents, copies will be placed on this website and elsewhere online that I have information pertaining to the Morry family history so that it will be accessible to anyone who is interested.

One document that stood out immediately from this collection sent to me by Karen was a document that appeared to be an original of the petition for a grant of land by Matthew Morry, the immigrant, to John Campbell, Governor of Newfoundland, in 1784. See File 8, Box 1, in the Morry Papers at PANL above. On closer inspection however it appears that this may be a copy made half a century later or more. Its age and authenticity is now being researched by staff at The Rooms. Here, for now, is a digital copy.

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Rockland, ON, K4K 1H9

Site Information

You are visiting the website of the Morry family of Newfoundland, ex Devon

Our Purpose

We hope that this site will serve as a link and a gathering place for the scattered remnants of the Morry Family, whose ancestor, Matthew Morry, came from Stoke Gabriel via Dartmouth Devon, England, to Newfoundland to make a living in the fishing trade some time before Sept. 1784. At that time we know he was granted land for a fishing room in Caplin Bay (now Calvert) near Ferryland, a tiny fishing village on Newfoundland’s Southern Shore that we, his descendants, think of as our family seat.

All information on this website is © Christopher Morry 2003-2019

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