This section is about John James Parker, my great-grandfather


John James Parker (known as "Jim") was born on November 2, 1845 in Sydney, Australia. His parents were Thomas and Mary (Carr) Parker. He married Isabella Stamm (b. April 1, 1853) on April 6, 1869 in the town of Warialda, New South Wales, Australia. He died on September 4, 1932 in Inverell, NSW, Australia. (Read the obituary of John James.) His wife Isabella died at the age of 66 on October 8, 1918.(Read her obituary.)

John James Parker

Jim and Isabella Parker had 13 children:

  1. John A. (Jack)
  2. Louisa
  3. James
  4. Elizabeth (Liz)
  5. Ella (Nell)
  6. Alexander (Alex)
  7. Mary
  8. Ada
  9. Jessie C. (Jess)
  10. Francis William, born July 18, 1891
  11. Arthur E.
  12. Walter A. (Wattie)
  13. Florence N. (Neta)

John James Parker (by Joy Shaddle)

This is how I remember my grandfather. I inherited his white hair and black eyebrows, but not his eyes--his were very brown and mine are very green!

Born Oct 2, 1845 at Kent St., Sydney, baptized March 1, 1846 at St. Mary's, Sydney (Parish of St. James, County of Cumberland. Recorded in the McEnroe Book 1846-1848 p. 12 No. 165.) Baptized by P. C. Farrelly. Sponsors: Swain and Celia McCauley.

Parents: Thomas Parker (who signed his name. Mary Carr Parker put an X as she could read or write--so the priest signed her name for her beside the X.)

St. Marys Church was built in 1823 and burnt in 1860. A picture of the original church is in a book--"Sydney in 1848" by Joseph Fowles at Mitchell Library, Sydney.

Jim Parker married 6th April, 1869 at Warialda to Isabella Stamm (or Sharpenburg.) He was 24, she was 17 and both lived at Yetman N.S. Wales. Jim Parker died 4th September, 1932 at Inverell District Hospital, age 86 of asthma and diabetes. (Read his obituary.) I was 13 when he died. I remember this sad event like it was yesterday and I'm sure I missed him more than anyone on earth as he he had spent so much time with me during my formative years. He was living with us at Inverell (in 1932) when he became ill and we had to take him to the Hospital up on the hill, where he died. I was so grief stricdken I couldn't stop crying for weeks...and I missed him for years! He had helped to raise me. He loved music and taught me lots of tunes. His favorite song was "Moonlight and Roses" (a hit tune when I was a little girl). They left 13 living children and 3 deceased. He was buried Sept. 5, 1932 in Inverell Cemetery (Roman Catholic section.)

He lived with us off and on for most of my childhood and he was wonderful to me! And a great influence. I loved his sense of humor. He taught me the alphabet at 4 years--frontwards and backwards!--and many other cute things. He had excellent eyesight and could read without glasses in his 80's.

Isabella (Stamm) Parker was born at McIntyre Brook, Queensland about 1852. Her parents were Anthony Stamm (born at Harmstadt, Hessen Germany) and Catherine Mary Morehart from Wurzburg, Germany.

Her maternal grandparents were Alexander Morehart (a shoemaker) and Margaret Brickman. Her paternal grandparents were William Stamm (a farmer)--deceased and Mary Stamm (living).

Isabella married Jim Parker 6th April, 1869 at Warialda, N.S. Wales. They had 16 children (3 died young). She died of burns from a home fire at McIntyre St., Inverell. She lingered for 2 weeks and died at Inverell Hospital on Oct. 8, 1918, age 66 years. She is buried next to her husband John James Parker in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Inverell, N.S. Wales.

Anecdotes told by my Grandfather Jim Parker

by Joy (Parker) Shaddle

He was born Nov. 2, 1846 in Kent St. Sydney--one of ten children (5 sons and 5 daughters). Times were hard and in order tomake a bit of money when he was a boy he and his older brothers would put lights on the corners of the streets around the Rocks in Sydney, as it was a rough place in those days. The called these pots of light "The Grotts." They consisted of fat (lard) with a big wick in the center--and they lit up the dark spots and made them safer. The passing public were so grateful they would give the boys a few pence. Unfortunately, they would often be robbed on the way home by bands of bigger boys (hoodlums).

The Parker boys would try to run away from them--but one night my Grandfather turned around and hit one of their attackers in the face with an empty pan of lard!!

He never forgot the incident because every time we'd pass a man with a flat face he'd say "I wonder if that's the fellow I hit in the face with the frying pan years ago at the Rocks?" And he would always laugh like it happened yesterday...!

His father Thomas Parker had a show shop on George St. at this time (where Anthony Harderns later built their store.) He had moved from Maitland to Kent St. Sydney after he had served his 7 years as a convict and received his "Certificate of Freedom" on 10th June 1835 and married Mary Carr on 2nd October 1836.

Thomas had decided to return to his original trade of shoemaker. He obviously had lots of ambition as he had 12 men working for him making boots--all handmade on the knee. (They were probably some of his ex-convict friends as there are many shoe-makers listed on the Indent Forms.)

My Grandfather told me when he was a boy, he and his older brother Tom used to walk around Sydney Cove with some the shoes on a stick over their shoulders, trying to sell them--but very few people had any mone to buy them...So, the business eventually closed up.. The family moved back to Maitland and started a Coach business--but that failed too, so he took his family north to Inverell (leaving Tom, Jr. as he wanted to stay in Sydney). Thomas Sr. ended up shepherding sheep at Gum Flat, where he later died and is buried (but his headstone is gone!)

He also told the story of the famous wreck of the "Dunbar." He said a man paid him one Pound to drive him to Watson's Bay to see it. He was the 12 years old and at that time there was just a bush track out to the Bay. He had a horse and vehicle--called a "Dog Cart" (a small buggy), and he drove his passenger out to see the wrecked ship, and back safely to Sydney Cove. This event must have been in late 1857 because the huge anchor of the Dunbar is on the top of the cliffs at Watson's Bay with the tragic account of the wreck. It says:-"The Dunbar was wrecked about 500 yards south of this spot in a heavy N.E. gale at night, Aug. 20, 1857. From a total of 122 there was only one survivor. This, her anchor, was recovered by local residents 50 years later and is not set up in memory of the tragic event." Lloyd and I visted Watson's Bay in 1982. Of course there's no sign of the Dunbar at the foot of the cliffs, but her huge anchor is still on display on the headlands.


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