William Park of Bath, Belfast and Quebec

My great-great grandmother was Matilda Park (1828-1881). She was born in Belfast, Ireland, and married Richard Vause in Bath, Somerset, England, in 1852 and they emigrated to Natal in the following month.

Richard Vause was born in Hull, and grew up there, and so one of the mysteries of our family history is how he met and married a girl who lived in Bath. He did work in shipping for a while, and that may have led him to travel, but Bath was not exactly a major port.

Matilda was the youngest daughter of William Park (c1780-1844) and Mary Martin (c1784-1851).Her death announcement in The Times (Jun 17, 1881) reads:

On the 12th May, at her residence, Bellevue, aged 52, deeply lamented,
MATILDA, the much-loved wife of RICHARD VAUSE, of Robinson, Vause, and Co.,
Durban, Natal, youngest daughter of the late William Park, Esq., of Bath,
Somersetshire (formerly of Belfast and Quebec, Canada), and granddaughter of
the late John Martin, Esq., of Messrs. John Martin and Co., Belfast,
Ireland. Friends at a distance will kindly accept this intimation.

Also in The Times (Mar 5, 1855) appears this death announcement:

On the 1st inst., in his 35th year, Samuel Martin Harrison, Esq., youngest
son of the late John Knox Harrison, Esq., and grandson of the late John
Martin, Esq., of Belfast.

So Samuel Martin Harrison was possibly a first cousin of Matilda Park, and John Knox Harrison may have married a sister of Mary Martin.

Mary Martin is described as the daughter of John Martin of John Martin & Co, Belfast.

Matilda Park and Richard Vause were married in a double wedding ceremony, along with Matilda’s sister Octavia. The Bath Herald of 10 Jan 1852 carried the following marriage announcement

Jan. 6, at St Saviour’s, in this city, by the Rev. Dr. Stamer, Rector, Frederick Robert Hawkins, esq., of Trowbridge, to Octavia, daughter of the late William Park, esq., of Belfast.
At the same time Richard Vause, esq., of Hull, to Matilda also daughter of the late William Park esq., of Belfast.

The name Octavia could imply that she was the eighth child in the family (making Matilda the ninth), and there were certainly other siblings.

A death announcement in the Natal Mercury reports that Annie G. Barrett (born Park) sister of Matilda Vause died 19 Aug 1871 New York, aged 52. Another death announcement in the Natal Mercury noted that Alice Bruce, wife of John Bruce of the Surveyor General’s Department, niece of Matilda Vause (born Park) died 21 MAR 1877 at Rosehill, Port Louis, Mauritius aged 28. Another announcement in the same paper noted that William Bruce of the Storekeeper General’s Department died at Port Louis, Mauritius on 3 June 1885, and that he was a nephew of Matilda Vause.

A marriage register entry shows that Margaret Martin Park married James Drake in Bath in 1848.

I’m interested in finding out more about William Park, and his connections with Belfast and Quebec. There is some more about him on our family Wiki pages. We’d also like to know more about his children, and descendants of his other children, and more about the Martin family of Belfast. There is more information about Matilda Park and her husband Richard Vause here.

8 Responses

  1. Bath was not a major prot but nearby Bristols was a major port of trade, especially with the slave trade.

  2. Paul,

    Thanks very much for all your help with this.

    I doubt that the slave trade had much to do with them meeting, though, since it ended about a generation before.

  3. For many years I have been searching (without success I can say) for my early forebears. William Park & his wife Mary came to Australia in 1838 on the “Mandarin”. Shipping documents say they were natives of Belfast. It is possible that on the same ship William’s sister Jane was a passenger – her name then was Herd but her single name was Park. To date (as I have said) I have had no success in anything earlier. Now the million dollar question does anyone in this link think there is a possibility of a connection that might lead me to the “holy grail” (so to speak) btw The William who came to Australia father was also a William. I look forward to any reply

  4. Re Parke/Park Family…I don’t think I have much to offer but here’s a little: I have an Elizabeth Parke Rainey, b1799, Armagh, married a James Orr, 1816, Parish of Kilmore, Armagh. They came to Quebec in 1831. Now Elizabeth was a Rainey but her middle name was Parke/Park. There is an old handwritten letter in the Orr famiy that says Elizabeth descended from Daniel Parke. The same Daniel Parke who fought in the Battle of the Boyne and the Battle of Blenheim. I can’t find any evidence to support this. It might be true or might be just family legend. Regardless, I am thinking that Parke was her mother’s name. The Rainey’s came from Ayreshire, then to Belfast. My Parke’s might have come from Belfast area too. Re your William Park. Is there a relationship? I don’t know. But I do know from all the genealogy I’ve done is that brothers, sisters, cousins…all came over to Canada/the U.S. together or joined their relations here. I suppose it is possible that your William could be some sort of cousin to my Elizabeth, on her mother’s side.. A long shot for sure but who knows? There is a Rainey pedigree in the National Library of Ireland from 1580 to the 1900’s. I am investigating at the moment having a researcher in Ireland look at it…I of course am interested in the Rainey family but I really would like to know who Elizabeth’s mother was. To confirm that she was a Parke/Parke and her full name, where my Parke’s lived, etc. Another long shot for sure, but again, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    Oh by the way, Elizabeth Parke Rainey was my ggg grandmother.


  5. […] Matilda Park was the daughter of William Park (of Belfast, Bath and Quebec) and Mary Martin (daughter of John Martin of Belfast). There is more information about the family here and here. […]

  6. There’s a death notice for Annie G Barrett in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for Monday 21 August 1871. Page 3 column 2.


    She died at Westport Connecticut (not New York) but her home was in Brooklyn at 213 Fulton Street. There’s no mention of family members.

    She was buried at Greenwood cemetery in Brooklyn.

  7. The New York Herald for July 7 1871 (page 8) mentions a schooner named Annie G Barrett (the master’s name was Bond) that had left New Haven bound for New York. Maybe a clue there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: