Related Families

Today (June 19, 2019) I am beginning to address a deficiency that has existed on this website since its inception – the lack of information on other important families from Devon and Newfoundland which had close ties to the Morry family. This oversight was perhaps forgivable initially, since the focus of the site is admittedly the Morry family itself. But the more I have researched the Morry family the more I have become familiar with these other families with close business and family ties (through marriage) to the Morrys during various periods of their migration and development and come to realise that they formed an equally, if not in some cases more important role in history than did the Morrys themselves and are therefore worthy of being highlighted here.

Obviously the level of detail that I am able to provide on these other families is commensurate with the extent of my previous research. In some cases, where this is insufficient to provide a worthwhile contribution, further research may be needed over the coming years. I will focus primarily on families, members of which intermarried with the Morry family. But passing reference will also be made with those substantial business partners that contributed to the advancement of the Morry family.

Finally, it should be noted that, even though some families mentioned below were more closely connected to the Morrys during the years when the Morrys were residents of England while others did not become closely associated with them until they moved to Newfoundland, all of these families had roots in Devon and a greater or lesser association with Newfoundland.

Devon Families

The Grahams

The first family that comes to mind when thinking of the important families in Devon associated with the Morry family is of course the Grahams. Although they are not the first family, chronologically, to have played an important role in the lives of the Morrys, they are the most important in terms of the Morry family association with marine careers and the Devon-Newfoundland codfish trade.

The first wife of Matthew Morry I, our immigrant ancestor, and the mother of all of his children, was Mary Graham, the second child and eldest daughter amongst the five sons and six daughters of Capt. Christopher Graham and Mary Churchwill.

The extent of our knowledge of this family is limited to this one generation. No one knows from whence or when Capt. Christopher Graham first came to Dartmouth, except that it must have been sometime in the mid-1700s. The couple were not married before 1743 when their first child, who also alter became a sea captain plying the Newfoundland trade, and who bore his father’s name, was Christened at St. Saviour’s Church. At the time of his christening on 14 December 1743 he was recorded under the name of “Christopher Graham Churchwill” with no father’s name given and only later, presumably after his parents’ marriage, did he reverse the two surnames and become “Christopher Churchwill Graham”.

There is no record of the marriage of Christopher Graham the elder and Mary Churchwill, even though her family is well represented in the parish registers of St. Saviour Church of England in Dartmouth before they bore their first child together. That said, it seems likely that Christopher senior was a “Dissenter”, as Protestants who did not adhere to the Church of England beliefs were then known. After their first son, all other children’s christenings were recorded at the Flavel Congregational Meeting House. And Dissenters were not exceptionally good at recording their Births, Marriages and Deaths. Hence the absence of a marriage record at the Flavel Meeting House does not necessarily imply that this couple was not married there; it could simply have not been recorded. On the other hand, the Christening of their first son took place at St. Saviour’s Church of England in Dartmouth, yet there is no record of their marriage at that church either. It is possible that they dispensed with a formal marriage and lived common law. Due to the fact that he was likely Presbyterian (with a Sottish surname this would have been most common), and the fact that the christenings of all of their later children were recorded at the Flavel Meeting House, it is most likely that they did not actually attend services at St. Saviour’s, even though it was in that churchyard where they were both eventually buried. In those days, only the Anglican churches had consecrated ground for burials.


The Sweetlands


The Holdsworths


The Prideauxs


Newfoundland Families

The Windsors


The Le Messuriers


The Wheelers and Bishops and Their Kin



  1. just found your site ,it is very informative and interesting.
    I was looking for my husband’s family-Edward Ithiol Bishop was his grandfather. We knew very little about them since my husband was the son of Edward’s son Cyril Desmond Bishop -his parents did not marry and he grew up with his Mother’s relatives, he remembers vaguely his Father visiting him and he has his Father’s first and last name.
    He did not contact his Father when he got older because he did not want to cause any hurt to his Father’s family. now they are all dead, we know there are children but not who they are. I do not know if it is proper to have him recorded in the descendant’s tree or not, we have two sons and three grandsons (one grandson deceased), Thank you for such a detailed list –
    Marina Bishop-the

    • Hello Marina:
      Thank you so much for getting in touch. Your husband’s line is indeed one of the empty spaces in the family tree for the reasons you explain. It is not that I did not want to provide the details, it was simply that I did not have them. My mother, who was a first cousin of Cyril Desmond Bishop (I have many photos of them together from early infancy onward) never wished to speak of Cyril’s private life except to say that he was unreliable and took advantage of his father who doted upon him, being his only child. I personally met Cyril and Beryl on a few occasions.

      I will carry on this conversation by private email so that we can deal with the more sensitive family issues of which you speak

      Best regards


  2. Hi. I was very excited to find your site. From research done so far, I appear to be the 5th great, great granddaughter of Captain Richard MOREY and Mary Downing. This is through Nicholas Milward MOREY and Susanna Cox (4th GG grandparents), William Cowling and Susanna Selina MOREY (3rd GG grandparents), Frederick James Cowling and Sarah Mary Luscombe (2nd GG grandparents), Ernest William Burnett and Florence Jane Cowling (great grandparents) and Ethel Maud Burdett (grandmother). I knew my grandmother very well, however have no idea who my grandfather was as he wasn’t mentioned on the birth certificate. She gave birth to my mother in the workhouse in Newton Abbot, Devon, and Mum was immediately fostered and then adopted. Despite this she was always part of our family. I’m really enjoying reading your blog and it will certainly add a great deal to the information I already have.

    • Hello Linda:

      Thank you very much for making contact. It is seldom that people do so sadly, even though many people who are related to people in my family tree must have stumbled upon it in the years that it has been online.

      Yes Richard is indeed a relation of mine. In fact, poor man, he was a cousin of my immigrant ancestor, Matthew Morry who started coming to Newfoundland at least seasonally staring in the 1770s or even earlier. Richard, was the Master of at least one of Matthew’s vessels during the time that they worked closely together. Indeed, he died in this service, being taken prisoner by the French in 1804 whilst Master of the DORSETSHIRE owned by Matthew Morry & Co. He died the following year in a French prison. Before this, Mary and he had four children that I know of. I worked carefully on this family with the late Margaret [Bilverstone] Dickson who’s husband Ray was a direct descendant of one of their children, Mary. Ray and I are seventh cousins. We once stood shoulder to shoulder in the rain beside the graves of our sixth great grandmothers in the churchyards of St. Saviours and St. Clement Townstal in Dartmouth.

      I have not followed down the line of Nicholas Milward Morey as you may have noticed. This is because it was not Ray’s or my line. But if you have researched the line I would be more than happy to receive the results of your research and add to that line of the family tree. Unfortunately I will not be able to contribute anything in return to reward you for your trouble.

  3. Hi Christopher:
    Just received a notice from My Heritage regarding the relationship between the Brine, McLea and Morry families.

    Everything appears to be in order. James McLea from Texas has done a very thorough research of the McLea family back to the 1700s in Scotland.

    I am a decendant of Jeannie McLea and Robert Prowse.


    Phebe Prowse Langdon

    • Hello Phebe:

      You have very distinguished Newfoundland ancestry indeed, being descended from both the McLea and the Prowse families. As for me, my connection to the McLea family is rather via my Carter ancestry (also a very distinguished Newfoundland family) rather than my Morry ancestry (much more humble!). John Kenneth McLea married Mary Lucretia Rendell Carter. She was the daughter of Magistrate and JP Robert Carter and his wife Sarah Rendell (another distinguished Newfoundland family).My 5th great grandfather was also named Robert Carter and was also a JP, amongst other highlights. He was the first Carter to arrive and stay in Newfoundland and he and his wife, Ann Wylly, were responsible for fending off the final French attacks on Ferryland and St. John’s in 1762.

      Thank you for letting me know about James McLea in Texas and the work he has done on your ancestry. Best of luck in your future research.

      Christopher Morry

  4. Hi again Chris, just remembered, your Webster Family connects on two other lines of mine, besides the LAING Family one. They also connect on the Thomson Family and my Rae Lines, which is my 3rd Great Grandmothers Family Lineage 🙂
    William Webster Married Mary Laing (My 4th Great Aunt 🙂
    Williams brother Archibald Married Mary Forbes, whose Mother was a Thomson 🙂
    Than we have another brother Robert who Married Margaret Rae (My 2C5R)
    The above children’s Parents were: John Webster & Euphemia Club 🙂


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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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