Theodore Parker.

Genealogy and biographical notes of John Parker of Lexington and his descendants: Showing his earlier ancestry in America from Dea. Thomas Parker of Reading, Mass., from 1635 to 1893 online

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Online LibraryTheodore ParkerGenealogy and biographical notes of John Parker of Lexington and his descendants: Showing his earlier ancestry in America from Dea. Thomas Parker of Reading, Mass., from 1635 to 1893 → online text (page 11 of 47)
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licensed to preach in June, 1787 ; m. Nov. 25, 1793, Susanna
Foster, dau. of Dea. Asa Foster and Hannah Simonds of
Canterbury, N. H. She was a niece of the Hon. Abiel
Foster, a member of Congress when the United States Gov-
ernment was at Philadelphia.

He was ordained in the pastoral office of the Congregational
Church in Canterbury by a unanimous vote of the Church
and town, Jan. 5, 1791, and suddenly died there April 21,
1802, in the fortieth year of his age.

In 1795 he came to visit my father at Fitzwilliam. I was
but a small boy then, but I remember his personal appearance
very well. He came on horseback and was dressed in the usual
style of the ministers of that day, cocked up hat, small-clothes,
knee buckles and fair top boots. He talked pleasantly to us
boys, preached on Sunday for Rev. Priest Brigham, and left
after a few days' visit. That was the only time I ever saw
him, but he corresponded with my father till the day of his
death in 1802. Many letters of his to my father, as well as a
diary, are in my possession at the present time.

I find by his diary that he began preaching in June, 1787,
and for four years he preached at various places before he
was ordained at Canterbury in 1791- He made a list of the
various places he preached, and the number of times in each
place, which is now before me. It appears that he preached
at the following places, to wit : Falmouth, Casco Bay, now
Portland, Black Point, Kennebunk, Biddeford, Me. ; Charles-
ton, Hampton Falls, Plaistow, N. H. ; Westminster, Prince-
town, Grafton, Andover, Haverhill, Amesbury, Newbury,
Methuen, Hopkinton, Shrewsbury, Hardwick, Braintree,
Greenage Lock, East Hampton, Chesterfield and Middlefield.

On hearing that a vacancy had occurred in Canterbury, N.
H., by the resignation of the Rev. Abial Foster, he went there
to preach as a candidate. In due time, he had a call to settle,
cordial and unanimous. He was thereupon ordained January

5, 1 791, and as he died April 21, 1802, he was the pastor for


a few months more than ii years. He was then not quite 40
years old, but in the full vigor of life and usefulness. But at
midnight, in his bed, without warning, he suddenly started for
eternity, and left many relatives and friends in tears I

As a preacher, he was fervent and interesting. No one
could sleep within the sound of his voice when he was in the
pulpit. It is said that his sermons were unequal ; sometimes
dry and uninteresting ; yet at times he would truly "be in the
spirit of the Lord's day,"' his face would glow with emotion,
and he would burst forth with such a flow of eloquence that
would seemingly wake the dead and leave the audience
drenched in tears.

I had in my possession perhaps 500 sermons of his writing,
and spent much time in trying to read any one of them in
vain. He wrote in cipher, hieroglyphics, marks, lines and
dots. No one could read them but himself, and, therefore, I
have put them all into the fire. But after preaching awhile he
did not write his sermons as a rule, but only on some particu-
lar occasion. Some of his most powerful sermons were
delivered without notes.

After he graduated he spent some of his time in teaching
school and in that was very successful. In one of his letters
to my father he says :

"I am tolerably happy, have got the best school-house I ever saw.
I have kept in it 5 weeks, supported good government and order,
have not corrected one scholar — and have the satisfaction to see the
scholars make daily progress in learning — and to have the approba-
tion of the inhabitants beyond my expectations. The methods of
discipline are various — some of them perhaps droll, but all tended to
the reformation of the boys. I have never but once appeared to
have been angry in school ; and tliis is one valuable method, among
many others, to make a school love and obey. I have 60 to 70
scholars, some girls."

A model teacher and a model neighborhood, surely.

He seems to have been very much attached, to his kindred,
father, mother, brothers and sisters. Although it is apparent
from his writings that he had a preference, it seems he sadly
lamented the death of his father in 1790. He attended upon
him in his last sickness, and noted what was done and said.


I give an extract from his diary under date of December 20,
1790, in the evening :

" Father, we think you are dying.

" What makes you think so?

" Because you grow weaker and don't speak so plainly as you did.

" Are you willing to die?

" In some measure.

" Do you hope to be happy hereafter?

" He squeezed my hand.

" Do you know me?

" Yes, T know you all.

" You have prayed for us and we thank you, and we all pray fur

"I have prayed for you with all my ability and used my best

Dec. 21. He said "Anna." His oldest daughter.

23. At ten oclock in the evening he died — breathing his last, and
a mortal paleness came over his face. Aged 67 yrs. 4 m. 16 days.

Dec. 24. Friday — Uncle Thomas expected here.

25. Isaac here — Saturday.

26. Sunday, at night came Amos, HoUis, Ephraim, Nahum.

27. Isaac and Elisha ; and uncles Andrew and Thomas.

" Attended funeral in sleighs reaching this side causeway to Mr.
Goddard's — and committed the remains of our de})arted friend to the
cold prison of the grave." More than a mile.

Mrs. Susan (Foster) Parker survived her husband 44 years.
About the first half of it was at the homestead at Canterbury,
but owing to the early death of her youngest and very promis-
ing son, Cyrus Parker, she removed to Lowell, and the other
half was spent in keeping a boarding-house for the factory
girls in that city. She, with her only dau. Harriet, managed
it with great success. Everything was done in such a neat
and tidy manner, and the girls were treated more like rela-
tives and friends than boarders, that their house was eagerly
sought for and always full. The daughter was well educated,
of fine personal appearance, of great intelligence and ladylike
in all her movements. She had great conversational powers,
and no one could chat with her, even for a short time, without
feeling interested, highly entertained, and pronounce her at
once very good company. Although she lived almost half a


century, and would have made a first-rate housekeeper and a
model wife, she never married, and for two reasons, first, she
did not like to part with her widowed mother, and second, the
fear of not finding a suitable companion. Any one who
visited them would at once see that an unusual afl:ection
existed between mother and daughter, and that they were
intimate companions as well as relatives.

Aunt Susan Parker came to visit my father at Fitzwilliam
on horseback in 1807. They were intellectual, enjoyed books
and had many. Many an interesting chat we had, and in
time I was able in some good measure to appreciate their real

After the death of Harriet at Lowell, the mother went back
to Canterbury and lived with her father's family until her
death, Feb. 24, 1846, aged 70 years.

The children were all b. in Canterbury, N. H. :
Harriet Parker, b. Aug. 21, 1794; d. at Lowell, 1842, aged 48.
HoLLis Parker, b. Aug. 15, 1796, and while a boy went to live
with his aunt Elizabeth at Worcester, who was the wife of Amos
Whitney. He stayed there until he was 21, when he in April,
1818, bought a farm of 45 acres in the south part of Holden. His
cousin, Amos A., who knew him well, says: "He was a very
promising young man, of perfect habits and much intellectual
power." He kept a diary from which is copied the following :
It describes his attempt to find a school to teach in his journey
west in 1817. It well illustrates the effect of modern inventions
regarding travel. He required two days and two nights for his
trip to Albany, and the use of many horses. Now, by the tourist's
power alone, this journey is easily made in less time with the
" noiseless steed."

'' March 27, 1817, started from Worcester in the stage for Albany
about 3 o'clock P. M. ; Ariv'd in Leicester at | past 5 and at
Spencer at ^ past 6 & at Brookfield at ^ past 8.

"March 28, started from Brookfield and Ariv'd at Northampton
not till 4 o'clock P. M. ; started from N. H. about ^ past 11 in the
stage. After we left Northampton about 10 miles we were forced
to take sleigliing in consideration of their being so much snow on
the mountain that it was impassable in any other way. We
arrived at Pittsfield on the 29th at 4 o'clock ; started again at 6,
changed sleigh for carriage at Lebanon, in which we arrived at
Albany about 2 o'clock, stopping on the E. side of the River.


" * * * I have had the chance of 6 schools but no more than
ten dollars per month. Not until this afternoon did I ever realize
the blessings of a good home. On this first of April how diflerent
do things appear to what they usually have. I almost envy the
birds their happiness, for they are pouring forth their notes of
gratitude while I can scarce keep from despair. — The weather is
most delightful but I would rather be following the plow than in
such business that I am now. Knowing that I can do better than
ten dollars per month at home, I presume that unless 'Bhos' has
had better luck than myself, one week more will find us both in

" B is to start tomorrow on foot and myself on Monday next to
start in the stage until I overtake him, then he will take the stage
and I shall walk the remainder of the way back to Albany, and
then I think we shall not turn back until we get as far as Worcester."

Honest boy ! We can easily sympathize with him in this his
first experience with the outside world.

In Holden he was a farmer eight years. For several years before
his death he was partially blind, so he could not see near objects
but could discern time three miles distant on the town clock.
He d. at Holden, Jan. 2, 1827, aged 31 years, and unmarried.
Susanna Foster Parker, b. Jan. 23, 1799; d. Dec. 6, 1799.
perishing by her clothes taking fire. She lived but a few hours
after the accident in great distress. A very promising child and
the idol of her parents. Her death in that awful manner so sadly
aflflicted them that they gave way to their grief and refused to be
Cyrus Parker, b. Dec. 4, 1800; graduated at Dartmouth College
in 1824; then went to Georgia as a teacher in a planter's family,
and d. there Sept. 23, 1835, aged nearly 25 years.
None of these children married and this branch of the
Parker family became extinct.

33. Dea. Ebenezer Parker (Thomas,^ Andrew,'^
John,^ Hananiah,^ Thomas^), son of Thomas and Jane
(Parrott) Parker, b. in Lexincrton, Aug. 13, 1750, and bap.
Aug. 19, 1750. He m. in Lexington, Dec. 3, 1772, Dorcas,
b. in Lexington, Nov. 14, 1750, dau. of William and Tabitha
(Hobbs-Jones) Monroe. Her mother's original name was
Hobbs, dau. of Josiah Hobbs who settled in Weston. She m.

(i) Jones, and (2) William Monroe, as above stated.

Dorcas was the tenth of a family of 11 children. Mr. Monroe


was a blacksmith, and son of Lieut. John Monroe of Lexing-
ton, who with others had 900 acres of land granted to them in
1735 for services in the Indian fight at Lamprey River, June
6, 1690, besides tilling nearly every public office of the town.
The Monroe family of Lexington, with whom the Parkers
intermarried more frequently than with any other, have always
been one of the foremost families of the town. They were
always remarkable for bravery, coolness, strength of body and
of mind, and were always active and prominent in military
affairs. Their genealogy is easily traced to 1300, in connec-
tion with the history of Scotland.

Ebenezer Parker was an active member of Capt. John
Parker's company of minute-men, having the duty of corporal.
At the time of the fight he showed much coolness in remain-
ing upon the field while the company were dispersing, in an
attempt to dissuade his uncle Jonas Parker from his vow, that
under no circumstances would he run from the British. The
enemy were approaching and surrounding them, and as he
was unable to change his uncle's determination he had to
leave him to the enemy and flee for his own life. This must
have been very disheartening for young Ebenezer, who would
have been glad to have carried his uncle bodily from the field.
In addition to participating in the affairs of the morning he
joined in the march to Concord, the return and the lively work
which ensued during the enemy's retreat. He was with his
company when they marched to Cambridge, May 6, 1775,
remaining there some time to prevent any further excursions
of the British into the country. Again, at the time of the
battle of Bunker Hill a detachment of 60 was made up, and
with Capt. John Parker he proceeded to Cambridge, where
they were ordered to guard the "Neck," at Charlestown,
much against their wishes, as they preferred to be in the
thickest of the fight.

He removed from Lexington with his father to Princeton in
1777. He and his wife were dismissed from the Church in Lex-
ington to the Church in Princeton, Nov. 9, 1788. His father
in the year 1795 transferred his estate to Ebenezer, as follows :

" I Thomas Parker of Princeton in Co. of W. and Com. of Mass.
Gentleman, for and in consideration of the love and affection which



Dea. Ebenezer Parker.


I bear to Ebenezer Parker, being my only son do give by these
presents unto him the s*^ Ebenezer Parker a certain tract or Messuage
of hind lying and being in Princeton afores*^ containing about 300

He mentioned also the "Pond and Saw Mill Darn," also
"the Grist Mill and Saw Mill and all the privileges of the
stream." Two hundred acres had already been set off from
the large "Black Grove Farm" : 100 to Philemon Parker, his
cousin, and 100 to Mrs. Jonas Smith, Thomas Parker's only-
daughter, and her family. But in 1794 Ebenezer bought out
Mr. Smith, arid soon increased his estate to 600 acres, besides
owning farms in Stamford, Vt., Rindge and Fitzwilliam, N.
H., and in Barre, Mass.

He was actively associated with Church and town affairs.
He was a deacon of the Church, and was familiarly known as
Deacon Parker. When he came to Princeton he with Jonas
Smith were signers of the Princeton Declaration of Indepen-
dence, probably drawn up about 1775. He was made assessor
of the town in 1782, in which capacity he served almost contin-
uously for 20 years. Beginning with 1786 he was selectman
almost constantly until 1805. He was a true, generous friend
and a very valuable citizen. All matters, whether political,
theological or intellectual, pertaining to the benefit of his towns-
men, received his active and influential support. During
1796, '97 and 1800, he was elected representative from the
district of Princeton, Rutland and Oakham. He was adminis-
trator of estates and guardian. His tavern business was con-
siderable, as he kept as many as ten ridable horses, which at
that time the business demanded. He was an energetic and
successful farmer, keeping his stock at 30 cattle and 40 sheep.
He was gifted with a strong physique, was stout in stature,
although less so, it is said, than his father Thomas Parker.
He was a man of mind ; was noted for his firm decision, and
his strong, though pleasant, expression of countenance.

He believed in discipline and practised it with good govern-
ment in his family. His words bespoke a sturdy, thoughtful
character, and when he had anything to say everybody listened.
Thus highly respected, his last years were, however, passed
in feeble health. On this account he was unable to respond


to the invitation of his native town on her sixtieth anniversary
of the battle of Lexington. This was celebrated April 20,
1835, with eleven surviving actors present. At the commence-
ment of the exercises it was announced with regret that Dea.
Parker was absent, and the cause was duly stated that it was
"on account of the infirmities of age." For a few years previ-
ous to the Deacon's decease his delight was to read the Bible
constantly. He was able also to pick out any passage in it.

Mrs. Dorcas Parker d. "suddenly" (as is stated in the
town records), Nov. 28, 1798. She was a most worthy lady
and her loss was very widely lamented. He m. (2) Mrs. Mary
(Binney) Rice, widow of Solomon Rice, who d. in Princeton,
Sept. 25, 1794. He thus became stepfather of two children,
Betsey and John P. Rice. The latter became a well known
merchant in Boston. The wife, Mary, d. March 22, 1816.
He d. Oct. 19, 1839, ^^^s living to the ripe, old age of 89.
They were both interred, as was Mrs. Dorcas Parker, in the
family row at the homestead burying-gound. The first three
children were b. and bap. in Lexington. All were by first
wife, Dorcas, save the last born, A. Dwight Parker.

Their children were :

Abijah Parker, b. in Lexincyton, May 28, 1773 ; d. Aug. 21, 1775.

103. QuiNCY Parker,* b. in Lexington, April 28, 1775; m.
Patience Brooks of Princeton.

104. l^ETSEY Parker, b. in Princeton, June 8, 1777 ; m. Benjamin
Gould of Princeton.

105. PoLLv Parker, b. in Princeton, May 4, 1779; m. (i) Riifus
Dodds of Princeton, (2) Dr. Isaac Warren of Princeton.

106. Lucv Parker, b. in Princeton, March 11, 1781 ; m. (i)
Jonas Beaman of Princeton, (2) Edward Hanford of Camden, Me.

107. Ebenezer Parker, Jr., b. in Princeton, June 4, 1784; m.
Hannah B. Merriam, then of Princeton.

108. BiTHA Parker, b. in Princeton, July 26, 17S6; m. Charles
Folger of Camden, Me.

AuRELius Dwight Parker, b. in Princeton, April 23, 1803. He
was admitted to the bar in Boston, where he figured prominently

♦Ebenezer Parker and John Quincy Adams were boys together in Lexing-
ton, and were, it is said, intimately associated. At the birth of Mr. Parker's
second child both he and Mr. Adams felt honored that .'^uiucy should be his


as a lawyer for many years. He showed remarkable perception
on points of law, his contemporaries learning to regard his opin-
ion as one of the very best. He was perhaps more of a con-
sultation lawyer than a declaimer. It was considered that he was
one of the most learned lawyers in Boston. Ofttimes long prac-
tised members of the bar referred difficult technical points of law
to Mr. Parker for his decision. He died unmarried.

34. Mary Parker (Tho7nas,^ Andrew,"^ 'John^^ Hana-
niah^^ Thomas^), dau. of Thomas and Jane (Parrott) Parker,
b. in Lexington, Dec. 25, 1758; bap. in Lexington, July 13,
1760; m. in Waltham, Oct. 5, 1775, Jonas Smith, b. in
Waltham, Dec. 21, 1748, son of Jonas and Thankful (Fiske)
Smith. This date of birth is as the family have it, the Wal-
tham record says Nov. 21, 1747. He had brothers Elijah and
Zachariah, whose families resided in Waltham, but their
descendants are now scattered. Some are living in Lexing-
ton. Jonas Smith, the father, was b. June 7, 1719, the son of
Zachariah, who was son of Jonathan. Jonathan was son of
Thomas, who was born in England and came to this country
1635, with his father John. In this way we see that the
ancestors of the Smith-Parker family branch which follows,
and of the Smith-Parker lamily found on pages 68-73, were
in a good measure the same.

At about 1777 Jonas and Mary Parker Smith removed to
Princeton, took up 100 acres of her father's large estate of 600
acres, and they became his nearest neighbors. They lived
upon that spot where Mrs. Stacia Harrington now resides.
Their farm was transferred to Dea. Ebenezer Parker in 1794.

He was known as Lieutenant Smith. He d. May 9, 1814,
"aged 66" thus he was born in the latter part of 1747. She
d. Dec. 27, 1817, aged 59.

Their children were :

1. Sally Smith, b. Dec. 13, 1775 ; d. July 25, 1815.

2. Abijah Parker Smith, b. March 6, 1777; d. Sept. 29, 1778.

3. Abijah Parker Smith, b. Jan. 22 (or 12 as Princeton

Records have it), 1779; m. 1802, Submit Howe, b. in
Wilton, N. H., dau. of Israel and Submit (Keyes) Howe,
later of Princeton. Mr, Smith was a shoemaker in Prince-


ton, where all his family were born. He afterwards removed
to Waltham. Their children were :

I. Abijah Smith, m. and lived in Waltham.

II. Jonas Smith, lived in Rutland, d. by drowning, and

left no issue.

III. Charles Smith, drowned in Rutland. Children :

1. Henry Smith.

2. Dana Smith.

3. Lucy Smith.

4. Thomas Smith.

5. Israel Smith.

IV. Elinor Smith, m. Batcheldcr, and lived in


V. George Smith, a farmer of Warwick.
VI. Phebe Smith, m. Garfield.

vii. Sarah Smith, m. French, a lawyer of Waltham.

VIII. William Smith.

William Smith, b. May 37 (Princeton Records read 23),

1781 ; m. Sept. 13, 1804, Lois Mirick, b. in Princeton, Oct.

24, 1785, dau. of John and Lois (Hobbs) Mirick of Princeton.

He lived in Boston ; kept a shoe store ; d. in Sterling, July

18, 1855. Their children were:

1. Harriett Smith, b. Jan. 30, 1S05 ; m. at Boston,

Oct. 37, 1833, John G., b. in Sterling, March 32,

1804, son of Timothy and Sally (Smith) Hosmer.

He was a chairmaker, and lived in Waltham. She

still (1893) resides in Waltham in the 88th year of

her age.

II. Lois Smith, b. Nov. 30, 1806; m. Wellington.

She lived in Waltham and d. there several years since.
She had four children.

III. Moses Mirick Smith, b. May 27, 1809 ; d. in Bing-

hamton, N. Y. He left three sons.

IV. William Smith, b. Feb. 24, 181 1. Baptist minister

in Chelsea. He d. soon after his ordination.
V. Thomas Parker Smith, b. Oct. 13, 181 2. Dry goods
merchant in Boston. Removed to West Medford,
where he d., and left an issue.

VI. Sally Smith, b. June 22, 1815 ; m. Horace A. Breed

of Boston. They settled in West Medford, where
they have both deceased. They left three children.
vn. SopiiRONA Mirick Smith, b. May 39, 1817; d. in
Sterling, unm.


5. Jonas Smith, b. Aug. 3, 1783 ; d. Sept. 27, 1783.

6. Jonas Smith, b. Nov. 32, 1784; d. May 22, 17S6.

7. Cyrus Smith, b. Aug. 3 (Princeton Records read 5), 1787;

m. June 17, 1812, Prudence Wilder of Sterling, b. in Prince-
ton ; built the Estabrook House, kept the Wachusett House
and was afterwards a farmer. He d. Oct. 3, 1861. She d.
Dec. 12, 1871, aged 78. All their children were b. in
Princeton :
I. Foster Smith, b. Jan. 12, 1815 ; d. unm.
II. Adalaide Bowman Smith, b. March 9, 1817; m.
James F. Barnes, a native of London ; removed to
Wheeling, W. Va., where she d. about 1847. Their
children were :

1. Adalaide Barnes, resides in Wheeling, W. Va.

2. Thjrza Barnes, m. Herman Schockey, and resides in Wheel-

ing, W. Va.

III. Mary Ann Smith, b. Nov. 9, 1S18; m. Oct. 15,

1840, Eli, son of Seth and Polly (Hastings) Banister
of Boylston, was a farmer and miller. He d. 1S74.
She resides at the homestead in Boylston. Their
children were :

1. Linden Banister, b. Nov. 21, 1841 ; m. Elizabeth Maynard of

Northborough. No issue.

2. Seth Banister, b. Oct. 23, 1845; m. Harriett Flagg of Boyl-

ston. He is a farmer in Boylston and has three sons.

IV. Catharine Smith, b. May i, 182 1 ; d. in Princeton,

aged about 45, unm.
V. Leonard Smith, b. June 23, 1822 ; m. Betsey, dau.
of Nathan Farnsworth of Templeton. They lived in
Templeton. Both are now deceased. He d. 1865.
Their children were :

1. Leonard Farnsworth, removed to New Hampshire.

2. Lucy Farnsworth, d. Feb., 1866.

3. Adalaide Farnsworth, school-teacher in Boston.

4. Henry Marshall Farnsworth, resides at Templeton.

VI. Jane Parker Smith, b. Sept. 6, 1824; m. James S.

Pinkham of Worcester, as his second wife. He was

well known as an extensive carpet merchant. vShe

resides in Worcester. No issue.
VII. Fi.aville Wilder Smith, b. June 23, 1826; m.

Martha Pierce of Princeton. He d. without issue.

She resides in Princeton,
viii. Lydia Babcock Smith, b. March 9, 1832. Resides

with her niece in Wheeling, W. Va., unm.


8. Jonas Smith, b. Aug. 5, 1790; m. (i) Oct. 24, 1S14, Salome,

b. in Princeton, April 8, 1796, dau. of Dr. Ephraim and
Clarissa (Gale) Wilson of Princeton. They lived in Barre.
He m. (2) Widow Mead, sister of his first wife, and had by
both wives 12 children. The eldest child was Bradford
Smith, who lived in Louisville, Ky.

9. Amos Smith, b. Dec. 29, 1791 ; m. Aug. 23, 1818, Betsey

Gregory. He lived in Penfield, N. Y. ; d. March 8, 1S65.
Their children were :

I. Amos Smith, served in the Civil War, and is deceased.

II. Eliza Smith, d. in girlhood.

III. Dana Smith, lived in Webster, N. Y.

IV. Charles Smith, d. in Chicago.

Online LibraryTheodore ParkerGenealogy and biographical notes of John Parker of Lexington and his descendants: Showing his earlier ancestry in America from Dea. Thomas Parker of Reading, Mass., from 1635 to 1893 → online text (page 11 of 47)