Parken Family Tree

Created 2001, Revised 20/10/2022, 15/10/2022

I have periodically received email corrections that have inspired me to ask mum a bit more, thank you.

Dameral family’s home had been at Home Park, Brentor, near. Plymouth. The Parken family home was Plymouth.

Family Tree - Parken - ancestors.pdf

Family Tree - Parken Ancestors

Richard Parken & Mary Jane Dawe

Married 1852 Cadstock, Cornwall (Mary's father is registered as William Dawe)


      • Fanny Anne

      • Mary Ellen

      • Elizabeth Frances

      • Wilfred? #

      • William Dawe {farmer}

      • Jane

      • John

      • Bessie Francis

      • Thomas


William Dawe Parken {??? - 1939 farmer} & Helen Dameral (??? - 1899) - her Christian name is consistently recorded as; Ellen. Married; 1883

{My mum's middle name Helen was given after this granny. I have been told in a few emails she may have been known as Ellen, but my mum says no, that is not so.}

Second marriage, 1903 to; Jane Amelia Parken (1872 or 73 - 1919)

{My mum did not know of this second marriage previously to an email received in April 2014.}



Edgar William 1885-1969 {Photographer} & (Dorothy Frances Brailsford [Queenie]) Married Dec.1916, When the photo was taken of them.

These are my grandparents. Mum used to take me to see them on the train to Brighton. Granny gave mum some money to buy both of us Tea on the Brighton Bell once. It was tea served from a silver teapot with white bread and jam I had a glass of milk, I think it cost 10/- but mum said no it was more than that. Mum sometimes pointed to smoke going past the window so we were on a steam train but I was too young to look for wisps of smoke and so to see it.

Dad was not keen on mum's parents, but granddad gave dad nice things such as a 1900s English made camera lens, which the pictures on this page might have been taken with. But later had a good regard for both of them, though still critical that Granny's controlled everything, giving granddad pocket money. Granny ensured that the men followed behind the women carrying the shopping.

Probably to show mum, Granny later visited from Canada and showed dad a lot of very useful things in developing and printing his photographs. One of those things was to use a postage size piece of paper to test his enlarger exposure setting. She said to first guess the exposure, expose and print the test print from the centre of the picture. Don't bother with fixing your print, but look at it and judge how many stops you need to adjust the exposure.

This was a very much better method than using a test strip with many exposures and judging which is best. You can't judge, what was the problem with that textbook method. Granny also showed dad how to tint or spot a photograph and how to select a brush. Cleaned his lenses for him.

Mum told me she had printed using selective masking with her hand, but as a younger girl she would get the chemicals from the chemist and mix them for the photographic business. Unfortunately, mum chose to take pleasure in criticising dad rather than showing how to do those things, unlike her mum.

6 months after they had died, their UK state pension caught up with them, but it was too late. But on the other hand, mum spun and twisted the story and avoided £2,000 death duty on £10,000 left. Granny managed their money and did not expect to have a state pension.

William Dawe Parken;

Dawe was William's mother's maiden name. I am told in an email of 2006. Did not know of Wilfred and would like more information.

Email of April 2014;

Was born in; Calstock, Cornwall. His when married the family lived in; Plymouth, they moved to Homer Park, Brentor on 6 March 1891 with 1-year-old Arthur and 4-year-old Edgar. There is no connection between the family and the parish prior to that date.

William was a farmer but also began a rather successful coal merchant business (1891 Census says coal merchant) which supplied a lot of the surrounding properties. This business was taken over by his son Arthur in due course. The family are fondly remembered in the area.

Sadly, in August 1899 your great-grandmother died (aged 41) and she was buried in the local village churchyard.

At some point around 1900 William extended Homer Park to form a six bedroomed detached property. Not sure the motive behind this, but he did take in lodgers at various times. In 1903, he married Jane Amelia Parken and by the time of the 1911 census it was just him and Jane living in a 13 roomed house. Presumably your grandfather had moved away by this point.

In 1919, Jane killed herself. The newspaper report at the time records that she walked the half mile to the local railway station and threw herself off the railway bridge. The local story I was told as a child was that she lost her mind, hid the Parken family fortune, which consisted of a bag of gold sovereigns, and then threw herself in front of a train. The sovereigns were never found. Not sure if there is any truth in that, but that is the legend.

Your great-grandfather died in 1939 and was buried beside his first wife. Arthur Parken and his wife continued living at Homer Park until his death in 1961 when the property was sold.

Brentor First World War - project which is looking at the contribution the parish made on the Home Front during the 1914-18 period.


Helen (recorded as Ellen) Dameral; Father was Archibald Sidney Dameral from Plymouth. He was a piano tuner with an excellent voice.

  • The name Dameral goes back to a navy captain in the 1500’s there may be a record in Plymouth - I have not been able to check this information mum gave me, but it comes from a Genealogist who mum paid about £20 to for the search many decades possibly in the 1980s? {Ellen is recoded christian name but my mum, Jean Helen, always said she was Helen like mums own middle name}

Jean H Parken (my Mum) met Helen (Ellen) when Helen came to visit Brighton. Mum was 15 and this is the only time my mum met that Granny.


Arthur Henry Parken - 1890 - 1960 was married to Genty Maud

[Genty Maud Stevens marriage 1914 Knightsbridge, London is recorded - this could be wrong]

Mum received a small legacy. Mum was contacted William John West (known to mum as John West - Mum received the letter from New Zealand from him) lived in the same house as Miss Mary Jane Pool, Census 1911.

Dr. Edwin Richard Parken;

Mum’s uncle Edwin Parken, who taught Pharmacy in Brighton, originally served in WW1 as a doctor. He may have only been able to treat the injured by minimising suffering.

Uncle to my mother and her brothers below. Taught pharmacy in Brighton - many of the pharmacists in Kent and Sussex (now retired) were taught by him. Born and Died in Tavistock, served as a Doctor in the First World War.

I believe Edwin was also very fond of Genty Maud, though it was his brother Arthur who married her. Edwin never married.

  • Arthur, Edgar and Edwin were brought up by Miss Poole (Brighton ~1856 -1947) as their mother died young. Mum said Miss Pool was very wealthy, and the names listed in the 1911 Census may be employees, she died at age about 93 mum says in Brighton and there was a very big funeral.

  • Census 1911 also list Arthur as a Horseman on the Farm and servant at age 21. Mary Jane Pool, born about 1856 - was the "head" at Lapthorne, Modbury, Ivybridge, Devon. William John West was born about 1879 there are 3 people surname West at this address.


  • Julia Wooley email, 2006 (Calstock Parish council website has more)

  • Philip Whitcomb, email April 2014 (Lives at Homer Park and is writing a book on the WWI and the village's involvement in that war)

  • Jean Lohmann (my mum) gave me most of the information.

Edgar Parken;

Edgar Parken took my granny, who he employed, to the cinema and proposed after. As my grandparents told, it is not how things are done it now. When I knew him he was a very old Victorian gentleman, he enjoyed tinkering with radios. He did not approve of granny giving me old clocks to repair (take apart) because there were repairable.

More history of Parken see Brailsford

My Grandfather Edgar W Parken took this picture in 1908 of St. Davids Church in Plymouth. The detail in the original is excellent, achieving some detail in the darkest corners as well as some detail in the light from the stained-glass. The photographic paper would have been selectively exposed by masking of parts of the paper during the printing stage. The exposure was 30 minutes and people walked in and out of the church during that time, but they did not stop long enough to form ghosts in the image, my grandfather Edgar explained.

Moved to Leven, near St. Andrews, Scotland. Later left Florence with the business and moved to Brighton and granny purchased lots of paintings cheap and a house.

He bought the Talbot Studios, the first photographic business in Scotland, in about 1907 the original proprietor was Adam Diston, but the property had been something else for a short period. In Edinburgh in 1922 or 23, the business moved to Vorth, Berwick, then to Leven, St. Andrews, where there were seven shops. That business started in about 1855 until sometime about 1900 by Adam Diston was an excellent photographer the Parken family have photos from 1850s they have fantastic detail. This was the first photographic business in Scotland. More detail My Granny

Photographer and Photographic business;

The photographic business E.W and D.F Parken continued after auntie Florence and uncle John retired. The business was sold in 1979 to people from Belleville, Ontario. There are many old pictures from the early business which were taken to a museum in Killcoddy (CHECK this may be Kirkcaldy). My mum who had to work for the business remembers her sister Flossy mixed the chemicals in jars hypo etc in the 1930s aged 14. There is a short gap between Adam Diston's ownership of the business and the Parken family's ownership, according to links below. Adam Diston founded the business in 1857 which is believed to be the oldest photographic business in Scotland. Up until the early 20th century, Pharmacist prepared the chemicals that the business purchased. The Parken photographic business was established in many shops and located in Cobourg, Ontario from about 1955 till 2000.

My Mother's family see Talbot Studio;;

Talbot Studio, Leven, St Andrews, Scotland (Adam Diston is not related to subsequent owner Parken and Blasiak)


My grandparents Edgar and Dorothy retired to Brighton after the war, in the 1940s I guess, and put their savings into a large house and many paintings and furniture. Those paints had been purchased cheaply such as 10/- (50p) and sold later when they needed money, they often moved, downsized and travelled a lot by ship. My father recalled visiting mum at her home and her grannies being there, one crept about he said to catch them canoodling. I guess Miss Poole also lived there at the end of her life? I recall as a boy visiting and seeing some of the biggest paintings I've seen filling a hallway, my great-grandparents were not alive then, but students often lodged with my grandparents.

After my grandfather died, granny expected to follow him two years later, which she did. She sold their house, leaving another house in Brighton with tenants, and emigrated to Canada where she died of cancer all over her body seeming to carry on regardless of it until her last month. She was a fatalist and heard back about her future as she would have told good fortune-tellers. She went out when it was going to rain and was never rained on, my father said as if she could determine her own fate. If we went to a fair and I wanted to win something a goldfish in a bowl then she'd ask what needed to be done a hoop over that or three balls rolled into certain numbers and do it then get or argue for and get whatever it was. Granny never needed a second go. Granny favoured her sons and grandsons over the girls.