Morry Family Papers


This is a collection of transcriptions from private family documents, some of which have been donated to The Rooms Archives by members of the Morry family. Some of the documents date back as far as 1784 and pertain to an assortment of information about land grants, wills, deeds, land measurements, bills of sale, etc. They mainly relate to Matthew Morry, of Dartmouth, Devon, England and his descendants, however, there are a few documents, the presence and significance of which are not readily apparent.



Morry Family Papers.

A collection of documents pertaining to the Morry family of Devon, Calvert (Caplin Bay), and Ferryland.

  • Morry Family Papers - 1784, Petition by Matthew Morry, Testimonial by Robert Carter, and Decision on a Land Grant at Caplin Bay
    In 1784, Matthew Morry of Dartmouth, Devon, England, petitioned the Governor of Newfoundland, John Campbell, for possession of a piece of ground at the head of Caplin Bay. This land was described as being 80 yards by 80 yards, with a flake over the pond. On September 15, 1784, possession of the property was granted by the Governor, with the stipulation however, that it should only be used for the fishery.
  • Morry Family Papers - 1790, Decision on a Petition by Matthew Morry for a Land Grant at Caplin Bay
    Sometime during, or prior to, 1790, Matthew Morry of Dartmouth, Devon, England again petitioned for possession of another piece of ground at the head of Caplin Bay. This piece of land, described as being 125 yards by 125 yards, was located on the northeast side of the pond. Possession of the land was granted by Jacob Waller, the Surrogate magistrate at Ferryland, with the same condition as before, i.e. that it should only be used for the fishery. The location of this land is not identified in any detail, only by the general description of its size and location, noted in the court record. However, a century later, in 1890, Thomas Power was granted land per Crown Land Grant #6229 - Volume 41, Folio 11 in the same general area. His land was bounded by adjacent property that was in possession of William Morry, great-grandson of this Matthew Morry. The location of this property and the calculated size of the Morry land, (including the roadway reservation of one chain wide - i.e. 66 feet), as shown on the survey of Power's land grant, appears to closely match the location and size of the property described in the Morry grant of 1790.
  • Morry Family Papers - 1817, Bill of Sale - Patrick Clancy to Wm & B Sweetland & Co.
    This is a transcript of the bill of sale for Patrick Clancy's property near the Old Woman's Pond at Caplin Bay. The sale of the property to William and Benjamin Sweetland & Co. included the house, plantation, and gardens, as well as another unfinished house or building, and two fishing skiffs and their crafts. It is interesting to note that the Sweetlands had already established a fishing room in this area, the western boundary of this property being the road leading to this room. The fishing room, in all likelihood, was in the area later known as Keough's Cove. This property was one of several that the Sweetlands purchased in that area during the second decade of the 1800s. An addendum at the end of this deed indicates that, some years after selling his property, Patrick Clancy was still occupying and renting part of it from Benjamin Sweetland. This addendum also indicates that by 1830, the business at Caplin Bay was being run only by Benjamin Sweetland.
  • Morry Family Papers - 1851, Survey of Crown Land Grant - #961, Volume 2, Folio 85.
    There has surfaced, from the private collection held by Freddie Mercer Caines (a Morry descendant), a survey sheet which appears to belong to Crown Land Grant #961 awarded to Matthew Morry, Junior, in 1851. It gives details of the land, totalling over eight acres, which was located between the shoreline of Caplin Bay (west of Tinker's Point and Lance Cove) and the east side of the old road from Ferryland to Caplin Bay. The grant document itself is missing, and it has not surfaced to date.This grant was lost in the St. John's Fire of 1892 and was never re-registered. The property was sold in March 1900, by Elizabeth and Henry Morry (children of Matthew) to Dr. James Walker McCulloch, who was stationed in the Ferryland area. Dr. McCulloch was also granted additional Crown land adjacent to this property in 1906 (Volume 65A, Folio 26). However, by 1911 the railway surveys show that the land was again in possession of the Morry family. The owner in the railway documents is shown as H. L. (Howard Leopold) Morry of Ferryland. Howard was the grandson of John Henry Morry, brother of Matthew Morry to whom the land was originally granted.
  • Morry Family Papers - 1855, Bill of Sale of Nash's Plantation
    This is a transcript of the bill of sale for Nash's Plantation at Caplin Bay. It shows that the plantation was sold by W.O. Holdsworth to Matthew Morry (the second) for two payments of 30 pounds each, in 1847 and 1848. This was the property owned originally by Thomas Nash of Ireland, supposedly from sometime about 1765 to the mid 1790s. Community lore is that the Nash family moved to Branch, St. Mary's Bay after they left Caplin Bay. Basic survey measurements and directions are given in this document. This property was located along the coastline in the area known today as The Point.
  • Mortgage (aka Deed of Loan)- John Morry to Matthew Morry & Co - 1816
    This is a transcript of a document whereby Matthew Morry and Co. likely staved off possible bankruptcy by using inheritance money that was being held "in trust" for John Morry, his grandson. This questionable decision ruffled some feathers since the money involved was not supposed to be used for such a purpose. John, who was orphaned when his father and mother died, was still a minor in 1816, and therefore was not legally entitled to have the money left by them until 1820 (when he was 21 years old).

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