John Henry Morry

John Henry Morry

John Henry Morry
Portrait in Ferryland Museum

Sometime in the mid-1800s, John Henry Morry, grandson of the emigrant, moved from Caplin Bay to Ferryland. Along with his business partner and brother-in-law, Peter Paint Le Messurier, he acquired a large house and lands that had originally belonged to Arthur Holdsworth. This massive stone house remained the family home into the early 1900s. Unfortunately, the house was eventually left unoccupied for a lengthy period. It fell into ruin and was torn down shortly after WWI. Dad Morry (Howard Leopold Morry) built his own home on the same foundations.

Holdsworth house as it appeared at the turn of the 20th century

Description of the Holdsworth Property:

Henry Holdsworth, E.; Ferryland N. ; for sale: a plantation; stone dwelling house 60′ x 24′ , kitchen 24′ x 16′ adjoining with pantry, scullery; parlour; shop and office (all on ground floor); 4 rooms, 1st floor, attic for shop goods; cookroom 66′ x 20′ ; old house and yard 40′ x 27′ ; 7 houses with gardens; stone cooper’s shop 74′ x 16′, stone barking house with kettle 35′ x 16′; main wharf 130′ x 60′, 2 stages 20′ x 86′, 12′ x 21′, wharf store 92′ x 16′ , a store 100′ x 30′ x 18′, 4 stores 41′ X 17′, 43. x 17′, 52′ x 15′ , 71′ x 16′ ; large flake; back yard, with well; frost-proof cellar with loft, stable with hay loft; extensive meadows and gardens. William Richards E.. Ferryland, agent.

This property was advertised in the Public Ledger, April 27, 1827. 

The house and premises were used as a case study by Dr. John Mannion at Memorial University in a Cultural geography course and featured on the cover of North American Material Culture Research: New Objectives New Theories. (see below). Thanks to Steve Barnable for bringing this to my attention.

Title to the Holdsworth lands as listed for sale in 1828

It wasn’t at this time that the Holdsworth Property first came into possession of the Morrys. An indenture between John Morry and Peter Paint Le Messurier on the one part and Arthur William Olive Holdsworth (grandson of the original owner) on the second part, dated the 3rd of May 1844, shows that the property was jointly acquired by them at that time. Thus the property must have gone unsold for the sixteen years between when Henry Holdsworth (Arthur senior’s son) first advertised it for sale and when John and Peter bought it from Arthur junior. Clearly, the property was nevertheless always considered to be that of John Henry Morry and not Peter Paint le Messurier. 

The elder Arthur Holdsworth and Matthew Morry were both friends and business associates, as this letter from Arthur Holdsworth to Matthew Morry Jr., dated February 4, 1838 reveals.

The John Morry in question was John Henry Morry, Matthew Morry the emigrant’s grandson via Matthew Morry Jr. He was married to Elizabeth Sarah Winsor, the daughter of Henry Winsor and Ann Coulman Winsor. Peter Paint LeMessurier was not only his business partner but also the husband of John’s sister Mary.

Possession of the property and ownership seem to have continued to be divided over the years. Papers pertaining to an indenture between John Morry and Peter Paint LeMessurier on the one part and Ann Winsor of Aquaforte (John’s mother-in-law) on the second part, dated May 15, 1853 indicate that, through this indenture, they then sold their entire interest in the property to Ann Winsor for £400, £200 less than what they had paid for it.

In a separate but closely linked indenture, dated the 2nd of December 1864, moreover, John Morry is found to have sold the contents of the house as well as all his livestock and farming appurtenances to Ann Winsor.

Why John would be selling the house in which he evidently continued to reside and which was ultimately to belong to his son, Thomas Graham Morry, as well as all the surrounding property and even household furniture and livestock is a mystery at this time. The “sale” to his mother-in-law may have been strictly a way of transferring capital from her to her son-in-law for business purposes or to avoid taxes. It isn’t clear if Ann Winsor moved to Ferryland from Aquaforte to take up residence with her daughter and son-in-law in the house or not. In any event, the house and lands did return to the direct possession of the Morry’s through another indenture between Ann Winsor and her grandson Thomas Graham Morry in 1881.



    John Henry Morry
Born: 22 Feb 1818
Caplin Bay, Nfld.
Married: 12 Dec 1848
Died: 18 Apr 1897
Ferryland, Nfld.
  Thomas Graham Morry
Born: 4 Dec. 1849
Ferryland, Nfld.
Married: 1 June 1880
Died: 24 July 1935
Victoria, B. C., Can.


Howard Leopold Morry
24 July 1885
Ferryland, Nfld.
Married: 2 June 1915
Died: 8 Feb. 1972
Ferryland, Nfld.


Elisabeth Sarah Winsor
Born: 8 Sept. 1827
Aquaforte, Nfld.
Died: 16 Feb 1879
Ferryland, Nfld.


Catherine Frances White
Born: 20 Aug 1852
Ferryland, Nfld.
Died: 27 Aug 1927
Ferryland, Nfld.
Marion Frederick Powderall Minty
Born: 3 Apr. 1895
Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 15 Feb. 1948
Where: Ferryland, Nfld.

Children of John Henry Morry and Sarah Elisabeth Winsor

Name Born Place Married Spouse Died
Morry, Thomas Graham

4 Dec. 1849

Ferryland, Nfld.

1 June 1880

White, Catherine Frances

24 July 1935
      24 Jun. 1930 Windsor, Clara Isabelle  
Morry, Agnes Frederica

12 Dec. 1852

Ferryland, Nfld.

  Died in infancy  25 Jan. 1853

Morry, Alice Maud

12 Dec. 1852

Ferryland, Nfld.

  Died in infancy 29 Dec. 1854

Morry, Clara Isabella

22 May 1854

Ferryland, Nfld.

12 May 1890

Windsor, John James

28 Nov. 1931

Morry, John Howard

1 Dec. 1855

Ferryland, Nfld.

  Died in infancy 3 Dec 1855

Morry, Florence B. (Flossy) 8 Feb. 1857

Ferryland, Nfld.


1 July 1949

Morry, Mary LeMessurier

19 Aug. 1858

Ferryland, Nfld.

21 Nov. 1881

Carey, Robert Hillary

Aft. 1935

Morry, Alice Wylly

25 Apr. 1860

Ferryland, Nfld.

20 Jan. 1903

 Ellis, Charles Archer

20 Apr. 1950
Morry, Augusta Winsor

20 June 1862

Ferryland, Nfld.

  Died in infancy 21 Jan. 1878

Morry, Emily Frances Victoria
(Fan or Fanny)
23 Jan. 1865

Ferryland, Nfld.


22 June 1949

Morry, Jane Josephine (Josie)

10 Nov. 1866

Ferryland, Nfld.

10 Oct. 1892

Gray, William Nicholas

9 June 1949




Thomas Graham Morry (right) in Fort Garry (Winnipeg) ca 1875

Alice Wylly Morry ca 1894

Flossy Morry

Mary Morry

Fan Morry

Josie Morry



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Rockland, ON, K4K 1H9

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

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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.

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