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Contrary to what some people may think, Parlby Lake in central Alberta is not named after Irene Parlby, one of Alberta's most famous women. According to Historian Merrily Aubrey, the honour rested with the family into which she married.
The name Parlby Lake, near Bashaw, was recorded by the Dominion Land Survey in 1893 and 1894. And it was named for the brothers Edward and Walter Parlby. They were ranchers who settled somewhere nearby some years ago.
The two brothers had emigrated from England, and, according to a popular term of the time, they were called "remittance men."
And remittance men were usually the sons of well-to-do English families. Now often, these sons either had caused some embarrassment in the old country, or were just younger siblings who had a few prospects in the heavily structured society in class-conscious England. Parents would remit them money to help them in their endeavours.
I think both the Parlby brothers were of good character but with few prospects in England. They came to Canada to ranch in the Beaver Lake district. Together they held nearly 1500 acres. Walter, who had been born in 1862, was an Oxford graduate in Classics, so a very well read man.
In 1896, a neighbour of the Parlby's returned from a trip to England and she brought with her a family friend, a young woman by the name of Irene Marriott. Irene also came from an upper-middle-class English family, but at 28 years old and still single, her prospects in the old country were also limited.
Irene and Walter fell in love, and, after a courtship of over a year, they married in November of 1897, and gave birth to Humphrey in March in 1899. Irene Marriott Parlby became one of the Province's and the British Empire's most famous citizens.
On the Heritage Trail,
I'm Cheryl Croucher.