Author Topic: PARSONS Lawhitton  (Read 2829 times)

Offline Carmela

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PARSONS Lawhitton
« on: Thursday 11 March 10 08:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi All,
For some years, I have been trying off and on, to find the origin of a Robert Parsons who emigrated to the USA in 1853. Robert was a Methodist minister in the US, but may have been a lay preacher prior to his emigration. He married
a gg aunt of mine, but this marriage took place in the US and I cannot find any record of it.
According to two obituaries that I have recently found, he was born in Aug. or Sep 1831 in Cornwall. Cornwall OPC has the following baptismal entry from Lawhitton PR.

Robert Parsons bapt. 04 Nov.1831, Lawhitton, Cornwall
s/o John Parsons and Mary
Residence of parents: Higher Hexworthy
Rank or profession of father: yeoman

I have tried to follow this Robert through census records. In 1841, he is not with his parents, but there were two possible siblings, John 20 and Francis 5.  I did find a Robert Parsons, age 8 boarding with a school mistress. ( can't find my copy at the moment). There were 2 or 3 other children in the house, perhaps a small 'dame school'.

In 1851 there is a Robert Parsons, 19, draper's asst., born Lawhitton, boarding with his employer, a Joseph Geake, linen draper ( HO107/1899  Folio 359  p. 65 ).  I cannot find him in 1861 or later. The name is too common to identify a death.

This Robert born in Lawhitton with father a yeoman farmer looks like a good candidate since the family were probably able to afford to give him some education and he seems to disappear after 1851; however I have no proof. American records are useless as they do not give any information beyond England as birth place. I am hoping that someone else is researching this family and can tell me  if Robeert died or disappeared/emigrated (or I just failed to find him)

There was one other Robert Parsons born 1832 in Stoke Climsland, but I managed to eliminate him.

If anyone feels like searching census records to see if they can find him, it would be good to know if I am right or wrong about his disappearance after 1851.

Carmela

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationararchives.gov.uk

Current obsessions:
OXF: Rose of Wheatley and Holton 1700s
BRK: Stevenson of East Hanney 1600-1880s
BKM: Woodman of Wing
DEV: Youlden of Whimple
SOM: Smith, Gudge, Joy and Tett of Crewkerne

Offline Priscilla

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 13 March 10 13:38 GMT (UK) »
Please Google "Find a Grave" and search for Rev Robert Parsons.
You will find there are four photographs of the headstone at Evergreen Cemetery, Stoughton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.
This Rev Robert Parsons was born 1831 in Cornwall and he was a Methodist Minister at Stoughton Methodist Church.
He died September 2, 1870 aged 39 years and 21 days.
Also on the headstone is presumably his wife (although surname is not very clear) Rhoda R. ???

Priscilla
Eccles (Hoylake / Exeter / Plymouth)
Hicks (Devonport, Plymouth)
Grafton (Exeter, Devon)
Harris (Marazion, Cornwall)
Collard (Yeovil, Somerset)
Johns (Devonport, Plymouth)
Lyle (Bude, Cornwall)

Offline Carmela

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 13 March 10 21:17 GMT (UK) »
Hi Priscilla,
Thanks for finding the grave pics. I knew when he died, from obituaries in church magazines. My problem is in proving that
the Rev. Robert Parsons was the Robert Parsons baptised in Lawhitton. The Nov.4, 1831 baptism date is certainly consistent with his age as stated on the headstone.
His wife was Rhoda R. Dickers. She died shortly before him.

Carmela
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationararchives.gov.uk

Current obsessions:
OXF: Rose of Wheatley and Holton 1700s
BRK: Stevenson of East Hanney 1600-1880s
BKM: Woodman of Wing
DEV: Youlden of Whimple
SOM: Smith, Gudge, Joy and Tett of Crewkerne


Offline johni1592

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #3 on: Friday 24 August 12 00:12 BST (UK) »
More information for you about Rev. Robert Parsons.

Stoughton, Massachusetts Deaths
#78  Died Nov, 2, 1870
Robert Parsons, male, widower, age 39, paralysis, resident of Stoughton, clergyman, born in Cornwall, England

Stoughton, Massachusetts Deaths
Died July 27, 1870, female, married, age 35 years 7 months, died from childbed fever, born Oxfordshire, England, daughter of James Dickers and Jane Hutton

Johni

Offline johni1592

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #4 on: Friday 24 August 12 00:17 BST (UK) »
Marriage of Rev. Robert Parsons and Rhoda Dickers on Oct 27, 1855 in New Haven, Connecticut.  (New Haven Record Book Page: 1046)

Marriage notice in the New Haven Palladium (newspaper) on Nov 5, 1855.

Offline Carmela

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #5 on: Friday 24 August 12 05:56 BST (UK) »
Hi Johni,
Thanks for the additional information. It was very kind of you to go to so much trouble.
At least there now seems to be no doubt that the Rev Robert Parsons was born in Cornwall. I am inclined to think that I am correct in identifying him as the one born in Lawhitton. Just wish the death record had named his parents; that would have proved it.

Thanks again,
Carmela
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationararchives.gov.uk

Current obsessions:
OXF: Rose of Wheatley and Holton 1700s
BRK: Stevenson of East Hanney 1600-1880s
BKM: Woodman of Wing
DEV: Youlden of Whimple
SOM: Smith, Gudge, Joy and Tett of Crewkerne

Offline JaneyCanuck

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #6 on: Friday 24 August 12 17:45 BST (UK) »
Just a bit more info about the surmised siblings in case it helps some day.


Searching for Parsons births in Lawhitton, children of John and Mary:
http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/baptisms/

1812 Edward - father John, mother Mary?nn
1817 Thomas - father John (yeoman), mother Mary?nn, residence Wishworthy
1831 Robert - father John (yeoman), mother Mary, residence Higher Hexworthy
1834 Francis - father John (yeoman), mother Mary, residence Hexworthy Farm
edit: and aha, have found son John now:
1819 John Brendon, father John, yeoman, mother Marianne
(private baptism: usually, child not expected to live)
- so that clinches the first marrage below.

The two pairs of births are quite widely spaced and the mother's name may be different,
so I would tend to think they are separate -- but could well be children of the same father
with first and second wives.

Searching for John Parsons marriages to Mary:
http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/marriages/

There is a marriage of a John Parsons Jr to Mary Anne Brendon in 1811 in Lawhitton.
There are marriages of John Parsons-s to Mary-s in other places in 1819, 1819 and 1829.
In the 1819 marriages, the groom is a bachelor.
The 1829 marriage to Mary Ann Knight in Altarnun identifies the bride as widow
but does not give a condition for the groom, and both spouses are identified as "sojourner"
i.e. not "of this parish".

Lawhitton and Altarnun look to be only about 6-7 miles apart.

A Mary Anne Parsons aged 37 died 1823 Lawhitton.
http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/burials/
HILL, HOARE, BOND, SIBLY, Cornwall (Devon); DENNIS, PAGE, WHITBREAD, Essex; BARNARD, CASTLE, PONTON, Wiltshire; SANKEY, HORNE, YOUNG, Kent; COWDELL, Bermondsey; COOPER, SMITH, FALLOWELL, WILLEY, Notts; CAMPION, CARTER, CRADDOCK, KENNY, Northants; LITTLER, CORNER, Leicestershire; RUSHLAND, Lincolnshire; MORRISON, Ireland; COLLINS, ?; ... MONCK?

Offline JaneyCanuck

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #7 on: Friday 24 August 12 19:24 BST (UK) »
And just another thought -- do you have a male-line descendant of Robert who could do YDNA testing?

I'm in the process of having my uncle do this for our Cornwall surname Hill (which may or may not
have been my gr-grfather's real surname).

My interest is in finding out what the heck our ancestral male-line surname really is. The project's
interest is in getting some pedigreed English DNA into the project (if such ours is), hopefully for the
benefit of at least some of the Hill waifs and strays in the US, who have no other way of identifying
their English origins before the arrival in the new world, and sometimes even before the US Civil War
because of lost and destroyed records, orphaned children, etc.

These are the current results in the Parsons surname project associated with the company I am using
for my families:
http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/parsons/results
You might find a match there. If Robert's family in the US is accounted for in your own records, you
might not end up with matches in the US (which wouldn't help much anyway unless they had traced
back to England), but there might someday be a match with someone with a verified English ancestor.

That's what the benefit to the project of my uncle's cheek scrapings will be, if we're lucky: we are all in
Canada, but the immigration was only a century ago, so I can trace to a marriage in Cornwall c1815.
So anyone in the US who matched with my family's DNA would have the connection to Cornwall established.
You might strike it similarly lucky.


edit - the only problem is, in 1841, the John who seems to be the father of Robert (in Lawhitton with
wife Mary and children John and Francis) is identified as not born in Cornwall ... and seems to be gone
by the 1851 census when his place of birth would be given. Ditto for the spare Mary Parsons in the
1841 household (a sister or widowed sister-in-law maybe?) also shown as not born in county, and for
a Christopher Parsons and wife Mary in Lawhitton in 1841 -- not born in county and not present in 1851.
Rats, eh?

There is one more older Parsons couple in Lawhitton in 1841 and 1851: Samuel and wife Susanna.
He says born in Lawhitton c1807, in 1851, but there is no such birth. However, there is a birth in Egloskerry
(again just a couple of miles in the other direction from Launceston) in 1805, to John and Elizabeth.
If he were younger brother to John father of Robert, it could be that he was born after that couple
relocated to Cornwall, with the older children, John and Christopher, born elsewhere. That would make
John the father of Robert a "John Jr" as in the first marriage in my post above.

Hang on, I didn't look far enough. I was looking for baptisms, but FamilySearch has found me the
censuses for 1861 (in Lawhitton) and 1871 (in St Giles, Devon) for Christopher 1785/6, shown as
born in St Giles in the Heath, Devon.  His son Thomas 1823/6 also states born in St Giles in the Heath
in later censuses, and in fact there are absolute gazillions of Parsons-s in the censuses born there,
some living in Cornwall in Launceston, i..e a couple of miles from Lawhitton.

In fact, there are John and Mary in Launceston in 1851: he is a farmer born St Giles, Devon; Mary was
born South Petherwin, Cornwall. And there is another senior St Giles Parsons in Launceston as well
in 1851: Richard, 1789, late farmer, wife Elizabeth born Plymouth, and children.

So if all these hypotheses were correct, that would be where Robert's Parsons family came from, at least
in the late 1700s. If they were like my Hills, whether they really came from Devon or Cornwall
would be an open question still. ;)

... Oh duh. St Giles on the Heath is itself about 5 miles north and slightly east of Launceston. So we
aren't actually talking about much of a "relocation"! All of the place names I've mentioned here are
within a 5-mile or less radius of Launceston.
HILL, HOARE, BOND, SIBLY, Cornwall (Devon); DENNIS, PAGE, WHITBREAD, Essex; BARNARD, CASTLE, PONTON, Wiltshire; SANKEY, HORNE, YOUNG, Kent; COWDELL, Bermondsey; COOPER, SMITH, FALLOWELL, WILLEY, Notts; CAMPION, CARTER, CRADDOCK, KENNY, Northants; LITTLER, CORNER, Leicestershire; RUSHLAND, Lincolnshire; MORRISON, Ireland; COLLINS, ?; ... MONCK?

Offline Carmela

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Re: PARSONS Lawhitton
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 26 August 12 04:31 BST (UK) »
Thanks for finding that record of the burial of Mary Anne Parsons. The age matches perfectly with the birth date of Mary Anne Brendon. It did not seem to be there when I last checked the OPC site. I had a strong suspicion that she had died and John had married another Mary. The marriage to Mary Ann Knight looks quite possible, but it is difficult to be sure about that. It is possible that "wid" was attached to the wrong person and it was John who was a widower. I have seen that mistake  before;
 sometimes it was the vicar or clerk who put "wid" in the wrong place and sometimes the transcriber.

As far as I know, there are no descendants in the male line. Robert and Rhoda had only one son (who survived to adulthood). He was a deaf mute and oral history and records
indicate that he did not marry.

I am not a descendant, but related Robert's wife, Rhoda Dickers. The Dickers family tree is very small, so I am tracing descendants of siblings. One thing led to another and I decided to help American cousins with their Parsons line. Some very remotely connected people have made a mess of it and have Robert as an American-born descendant of very early colonists. I was not intending to follow the Parsons line very far, just enough to give them a start. I also followed the trail to St.Giles in the Heath, but no further.

Thanks again,
Carmela
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationararchives.gov.uk

Current obsessions:
OXF: Rose of Wheatley and Holton 1700s
BRK: Stevenson of East Hanney 1600-1880s
BKM: Woodman of Wing
DEV: Youlden of Whimple
SOM: Smith, Gudge, Joy and Tett of Crewkerne