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 5 of 47)
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functionary. He kept account and saw that soldiers were supplied with one
pound powder, 20 bullets, one fathom of match, priming wire, worm and
scourers, muskets, sword, bandeleer and rest, and that live coals Avere ready
at all times; he watched after the pikeman's spear, that it was bright, that his
headpiece and corslet were well cared for. Should a man come to his notice
who was without a musket, he would take him to the surveyor-general, where
arms could be procured with a ticket, which the surveyor would turn over to
the town treasurer, who would pay for the purchases and charge them to the
man, and make him work it out. Every man must be ready at the alarm and
should any fail to respond it was his duty to so report and the excuse for the
same, which, if not deemed important, the delinquent was heavily fined."


& Appointed tuesday y* twenty first Day of Octo'"' : Next Insuing to
Be Observed & attended as a training Day in s*^ town & also Pub-
lished & Declared y* Same at y*^ head of his Company.

" Attest JosiAH Parker Claik of y* Company above s**."

He m. in Lexington, Dec. 8, 1718, Anna Stone, one of the
four daughters of John and Rachel (Shepherd) Stone of Lex-
ington. She was b. in Lexington, Nov. 27, 1694. Her
father was a corporal ; was the son of Dea. Samuel and grand-
son of Dea. Gregory Stone of Cambridge, who came from
England in 1635 and was the ancestor of a large issue of his
name in America.*

With which to begin his married life his father, John Parker,
Esq., gave him " towards his portion" 55 acres of land. The
deed of gift also reads : "for diverse causes and considerations
me hereunto moving, and more especially for the good affec-
tion I bear my well beloved son Josiah Parker of Lexington."

They were admitted to the church Aug. 13, 1719. His
first service as assessor of the town of Lexington originated
from the choice of " y*" freeholders in meeting assembled,"
March 6, 1726, they granting him besides the honor and work
of his position a yearly salary of 2 pounds, 8 shillings, 4
pence! Chas. Hudson, Esq., in his History of the Town of
Lexington, says :

" Lt. Parker was one of the most popular men in town for many
years. He filled almost every town office. He filled the office of
town clerk four years. He was an assessor 19 years from 1726 to
175^, with occasional intermissions, and selectman seven years."

He discharged the duties of these offices with ability. He
was an excellent penman and good grammarian, and his
accurately and neatly kept records are of great historical
value. At his old homestead, descended five generations
down, are still in perfect preservation some of Lt. Parker's
interesting papers and in fact some town records besides.
"Josiah Parker's Book, 1738," is worth perusing. Take for

*Dea. Samuel Stone was the fourth child of Dea. Gregory. He m. June 7,
1655, Sarah Stearns of Watertown, dau. of Isaac, an original proprietor of
Watertovvn. They had eight children, the fourth of whom was John Stone as
before named. — Wateriown Genealogies.


instance this specimen, showing the terms used in manual by-
all the fighting men of Lexington, somewhat out of date at
present, but showing the process necessary to wield the flint-
lock orun :

"Joyne your right hand to your F.* Present your F. Rest your
F. Cock your F. Present — Fire. Recover your F. Half cock
your F. Handle your primer. Prime. Shut your pan. Cast
about to charge. Handel your carthrige. Open your caithrige.
Charge with carthrige. Draw your rammers. Shorten your ram-
mers. Put them in the barrels. Ram down your carthridge.
With-draw 3'our rammers. Shorten your rammers. Return your
rammers. Cast ofl' your F. Your right hand under the Lock.
Poise your F. Shoulder your F. Rest your F. Ground your F.
Take up your F. Rest your F. Club your F. Rest your F.
Secure your F. Shoulder your F."

May y^ first, 1744.
Then settled y" Dignity of OflScers in Colonel Phipps Ridgement.
Captains. Lieutenants.

Saml. Green. John Tainter.

Benj. Reed. Saml. Hendly.

Saml. Livermore. Josiah Parker.

Capt. Hayes. John Beal.

Capt. Codman. Thom, Symms.

Capt. Fuller. Wm. Hide.

Capt. Kendrick. Jos. Bryant.

Capt. Brooks. Robert Mordock.

Capt. Dana. Benj. Blany.

Stephen Hall.

This was the year previous to the Louisburg Expedition of
1745. It is very probable that he and his company saw
service in this war, and perhaps accompanied his son John,
who went all through this expedition. And here is a note
made by the painstaking captain, ambitious of perfecting his
company drill :

" Reare half files, double the depth of your right flank. Left half
files of left flank face to the left about. Front half files of left flank
face to the left. Reare half flies of right flank face to the right —
march 10 paces — the whole face to the right — march 10 paces — face
to the rig^ht."

*ln the corner of the page is written : " N. B. — that F. stands for firelock.'


Such matter as this lies mixed with charges made for
mechanical labor and farm produce, for all the family knew
how to wield a good many kinds of tools :

" 1752. To a harrow and axeltreeing your cart — to mending your
Cvder-mill — to a chees mill — to making 3 keelers and a churn — to
making a coffin — to 6 pair of Bed Screws at JE7-10S a pair old tenor
—to a beetel and how handle and sithe snath — to my oxen to Cam-
bridge and 3 Cartouch Boxes. — to my oxen to plough in your Rie."

Lit. Josiah Parker must have possessed a strong constitution,
physically as well as mentally, which enabled him to victorious-
ly combat as he did the many obstructions in the road of pro-
gress of his day. In addition to his varied abilities, he was a
successful farmer and the honored father of a large and noble
family of children. He d. in Lexington, Oct. 9, 1756, aged
62. His widow Anna, who survived him four years, made
her will May i, 1760. She d. Sept. 8 of the same year. She
bequeathed a part of her estate to each surviving child, men-
tioning "My Beloved Sons Josiah, John, Thaddeus & Joseph
Parker," and "My Beloved Daughters Anna Smith and
Deliverance Monroe," and made her sons John and Joseph
Parker executors.

ycrftcUh JcmJl

Their children were :

14. Anna Parker, b. Sept. 9, 1719 ; m. Benjamin Smith of Lex-

15. Deliverance Parker, b. May 28, 1721 ; m. Marrett Monroe
of Lexington.

Mary Parkeh, b. July 3, 1723; was living March 2, 1738, when
she placed her signature on her uncle John Parker's bond. But as
no family records exist which give any further mention of her il is
practically certain that she died in early life.

16. Josiah Parker, b. April 11, 1725 ; m. Mary Monroe, then of

Lois Parker, b. Aug. 20, 1727; d. July, 1735.

17. JoHNT Parker, b. July 13, 1729 ; m. Lydia Moore of Lexington.

18. Thaddeus Parker, b. Sept. 2, 1731 ; m. Mary Reed of Lex-

19. Joseph Parker, b. Nov. 28, 1733; m. Eunice Hobbs of


6. John Parker CJohn^^ Hananiah,^ Tkofnas^), son and
last child of John and Deliverance (Dodge) Parker, b. in Read-
ing, Nov. 8, 1703, removed in 1712 with family to Lexington ;
removed about 1730 to Shrewsbury; m. in Shrewsbury, Feb.
18, 1731, Experience Clayes of Framingham, dau. of Peter and
Mary (Preston) Clay es. Her parents came from Salem. She
was b. in Framingham, Nov. 19, 1702. John and Experience
Parker were admitted to the Church in Shrewsbury 1732.

" The only surviving brother of Mrs. Parker, Peter Claves, d. in

1736, and her father desired them to return to Framingham and take

the home place (the Col. David Brewer place, now James Fenton's),

and Jan. 6, 1737, gave them a deed of the same, conditioned that

said John and Experience should support said Clayes and wife dur-

insf their lives and give them christian burial. The estate corn-
to o

prised the home lot of 8| acres and buildings and 55 acres lying on
both sides of the road from Caleb Bridges to the meeting-bouse.
Peter Claves d. 1739, and John Parker sold part of the home lot and
buildings to James and John Clayes and built where is now the
house of the late Dr. Peter Parker." — Temple.

The ancestral line of John Parker is clearly proved b}'^ two
weather-stained sheets at the homestead in Lexington of Mr.
John Parker, "'joiner of Lexington," in which he makes men-
tion "My dutiful son John Parker of Framingham, yeoman."
K treatise on religion, in book form, is now in preservation and
contains on the inside cover sheet these words: "From John
Parker of Lexington to John Parker of Framingham."*

He and his wife Experience were admitted to the Church in
Framingham 1738; he was selectman; was a member of the
Framingham company of alarm soldiers, commanded by Capt.
Henry Fames ; was an overseer of the workhouse and of the
poor ; d. in Framingham, Feb. 23, 1783. His wife Experience
d. Oct. 13, 1780. He was unfortunate with his family, as it
seems onlv two out of seven children survived. His will is
preserved among the Cambridge Probate records. In it he
mentions son Peter Parker and dau. Submit Bent.

^ ^ofi/n. joi/yxt


* '■ Mrs. Fay of Framingham has a Bible which once belonged to John Parker
of Lexington. It bears his name and the date 1709." — Barry s History of


Their children were :

John Parjcer, b. in Shrewsbury, Jan. 28, 1732.
Experience Parker, b. in Shrewsbury, Oct. S, 1733.
Hananiah Parker, bap. in Shrewsbury, Sept. 21, 1735.
Abigail Parker, b. in Shrewsbury, Dec. i, 1736.

20. Peter Parker, b. in Framingham, Oct. 3, 1738; m. Ruth
Eaton of Framingham.

21. Submit Parker, b. in Framingham, Dec. 3, 1742 ; m. Thomas
Bent, Jr., of Framingham.

Nathan Parker, bap. in Framingham, March 2, 1746.

7. Sarah Parker (Andrew,^ yokn,^ Hananiah^^
Thomas^), dau. of Andrew and Sarah (Whitney) Parker, b.
Feb. 9, 1721, m. June 21, 1739, Jabez Kendall of Woburn,
b. Nov. 26, 1717, son of Jabez and Rebecca Kendall of that
town, but who later removed to Framingham.

The first ancestors of this family in America were Francis
and Mary (Tidd) Kendall, to whom 19 births are recorded on
the Woburn records. Their son Thomas had son Jabez, who
with wife Rebecca were the parents of the above Jabez.
Thomas, son of Thomas, removed to Lexington, and his
family, living there at this time, doubtless introduced the
Parker family to the Kendalls of Woburn. Thomas Kendall
later removed to Framingham, whither John Parker, Jr., had
settled. She was 17 years the elder of her brother Andrew
Parker, who lived in Barre, and in whose pocket diary we
find these words : " Sister Kendall Departed this life the 12 of
March 1774." He does not tell us, however, where she had
resided. She thus died at the age of 53. Few records have
been found regarding this branch of the Kendall family.

8. Jonas Parker f^^lw^r^^zy ,4 yohn,^ Hanamak^^ Thomas^ ),
son of Andrew and Sarah (Whitney) Parker, b. Feb. 6, 1722,
m. in the summer of 1743 Lucy Monroe of Lexington. At
the Lexington homestead there is a large record book contain-
ing a portion of the old town records in Lt. Josiah Parker's
handwriting. It is therein entered: "Jonas Parker and Lucy
Monroe, both of Lex. were published June 30, 1745." This
is all that has been found concerning his marriage. Being
one of this worthy Monroe family, it may be taken for granted



that she was a lady of ability and independence, and that she
probably assisted him at a later period in his remarkable de-
votion to the American cause. They made their peace with
the Church Sept. 15, 1745^ which must have shortly followed
their marriage. They removed to Holden, where he pur-
chased a farm and saw-mill, but returned to Lexington after a
few years. It is very fitting to state and very creditable to the
physical standing of the Parker family, that Jonas is credited
b}' tradition as being the strongest wrestler in the town. He
was a woodworker and farmer.

Jonas Parker was a typical Lexington minute-man. He
was tall, well built and possessed great strength. In the cele-
brated painting, "The Battle of Lexington," which hangs in
the Lexington town hall, he appears as the central figure.
As he there stands in an erect position awaiting the British
charge, the look of determination is well depicted on his
handsome face.

He lived in the centre, next house to that historic residence
where lived Rev. Jonas Clark, the patriot minister, and which
was the destination of the ride of Paul Revere. Mr. Parker,
had evidently imbibed a double portion of the Doctor's lofty
spirit. When war with England was imminent he was often
heard to say that be the consequences what they might and
let others do what they pleased, he would never run from the
enemy. He was as good as his word, — better. On the
morning of the 17th of June, 1775, having loaded his musket,
he placed his hat containing powder, wadding and bullets
between his feet in readiness for his second charge. As the
first fire from the British was harmless the Americans did not
reply. At the second volley he was wounded, and sunk upon
his knees ; in this condition he discharged his gun. The
company of patriots dispersing, his nephew, Ebenezer, who
later removed to Princeton, approached Jonas that he might
assist his uncle in retreating, but whom he saw was fulfilling
his pledge. He insisted that he better retreat with him and
thus save his life. But Jonas very forcibly replied that he
would never run from the "redcoats." Thus badly wounded,
but striving to reload his gun, he was the next moment trans-
fixed by a bayonet upon the spot where he first stood and fell.


Too much pluck had caused his death, but what an example
he set for his fellow-citizens I

"History, Roman history," said Edward Everett, "does
not furnish an example of bravery that outshines that of Jonas
Parker." It was his most sacred wish that America should
be free and like brave Arnold of Wilkenried, history will
never forget him. The names of the eight martyrs for Ameri-
can Independence are cut deep in the granite monument which
stands upon the green ; and still deeper in the admiration of
the American people. He thus died at the age of 53. April
20, 1835, t^^ remains of these eight soldiers were removed
from their former resting-place in the grave-yard and deposited
in a vault prepared for the purpose near the base of the monu-

Their children were :

Lucy Parker, b. in Holden, Oct. 9, 1745. She was both deaf and
dumb. After the decase of her father, she chose Joshua Mead of
Waltham guardian, but soon afterwards her uncle, Thomas Parker,
Esq., of Princeton, took her into his family and providec her a
home. She lived in Princeton until her death, which occurred
Sept. 16, 1813, aged 68. She was buried at the head of the row
in the family burying-ground.

Jonas Parker, b. in Holden, March 29, 1747; d. young.

Sarah Parker, b. in Holden, Aug. 29, 1748; bap. Sept. 4, 1748;
m. Jan. 4, 1768, Ebenezei Morse of Newton ; residence unknown.
They had one son, Ebenezer Morse, Jr., of Randolph, Vt. — Morse

Nathan Parker, m., had dau. Abigail, and it seems he d. soon
after, as in the settlement of Mr. Jonas Parker's estate we find
these words: "Abigail, only dau. of Nathan, the eldest son," for
whom Simon Blanchard became guardian. It is not known what
became of her, but she probably removed to Billerica, and may
have been the Abigail Parker who m. in Woburn, Sept. 23, 1795,
Wm. Barnes of Woburn.

22. Eunice Parker, m. June 9, 1772, Asa Morse of Newton.

23. Jonas Parker, b. July 10, 1753; m. Aug. 15, 1776, Martha
Hosley of Billerica.

24. Philemon Parker, b. 1755; m. Su/.an Stone, and removed
to Princeton and later to Vermont.

Prudence Parker, bap. April 37, 1757; was living in 1778, but
no more is known of her.


Elizabeth Parker, b. 1758; bap. March iS, 1759; chose, 1778,

Joseph Farmer of Billerica as her guardian.
Polly Parker, b. Jan. 4, 1761 ; chose, 1778, Dr. Joseph Fisk of

Lexington as her guardian.

Owing to the premature death of Mr. Parker, the lamily,
largely of girls as it was, were taken into different families,
and probably some removed from tow^n, making it extremely
difficult to follow them. May future research bring to light
the history and descendants of these missing connections.

9. Amos Parker (Andrew,^ 'John^^ Hananiah,^ Thomas')^
second son of Andrew and Sarah (Whitne}') Parker, b. in
Lexington, July 24, 1723, was the first of the family to bear
the name Amos, which has since been common among all the
descendents of Andrew Parker. From the town records of
marriage intentions kept by Josiah Parker, we find that
"Amos Parker and Anna Stone were Posted December y*" 16,
1744." This shortly preceded their marriage, for they made
their peace with the church Jan. 27. 1745. A romance is
connected with Anna, which is thus preserved for us by her
grandson, Amos A. Parker, Esq., who is still living:

"Before the Revolution an Englishman came to Boston and en-
gaged in trade. He belonged to an aristocratic family in England
and was successful in business. In time he married a widow with
three children. Two children, a boy and a girl, were born unto
them. When these two children, who were named Christopher and
Anna,* wei'e eight or ten years of age, the Englishman, whose name
was Curwen, fell heir to a large estate in England by the death of an
elder brother. Thereupon he sold out in Boston, took the three
children of his wife, and left the two children of his own and returned
to England. Why he abandoned any of the children, or took those
of his wife, does not appear. What became of the boy Christopher
I know not, but the girl Anna has a history.

"A man in Lexington by the name of Isaac Stone, a well-to-do
farmer, took much of his produce to market at Boston, especially
milk. In his rounds he saw this girl Anna, and as she was a bright,
intelligent girl about 13 years old, and he having no cljikhen, infor-
mally adopted her as his daughter. She then was called Anna
Stone. She soon became a favorite in the family. In process of

* Born Oct. 21, 1726.



time my grandfather, Amos Parker, married her, and after three
children were born unto them, came to Shrewsbury. This was about
1750. She died in 1799. I remember seeing her once at my father's.
She was then rather under size, but a brisk, bright, intelligent
woinan. She talked with me much and I long remembered what
she said. This visit was when she was a widow and not long before
her death. I remember when my father went to her funeral at
Shrewsbury and quite a number of things he brought home with him.

"It is said that Curwen had no children in England, and why he
left his own children and heirs and took those ot his wife who were
not his heirs is a mystery. It would seem he did not wish to have
any heirs in England ; and how a mother could consent to abandon
any of her children when abundantly able to support them, for they
were all hers, is a problem difficult to solve. Perhaps our familv
are heirs to a large estate in England, but I shall not trouble myself
about it. These facts I learn by tradition in our family, and also by
a diary kept by my uncle Frederick, which has lately fallen into my
hands, and which is now before me. In it I find these words :

"■'Widow Kent, born in Boston, married an Englishman who
died leaving her 3 children — after which by Mr. Curwen she had
Christopher and Anna, then left these 3 children and went with the
3 to England to heir a large estate — Curwen of high extraction.'

"This extract is under the date of January, 1791."

He was aged 12 and she 10 when adopted by them. She
was a charming girl, naturally attractive, and modest and
graceful in her manner. She and Amos became well ac-
quainted at school, and as her home was not far from his
he learned to appreciate her worth. She had a most charm-
ing voice, and would sing to the great delight of the family
and friends. But when urged to sing in the choir it was to
no avail, as she felt it would make jealousy in the end, and
she closely guarded against it when at Church. The Stones
had no children of iheir own and so at first they opposed the
marriage, as in this arrangement their rainbow of sunshine,
that she was, would be gone trom them. But as Anna insisted
they joined Mr. John Parker and gave them a grand wedding
for the time.

They removed from Lexington in 1745, in which year
"Amos Parker of Lexington, joiner," bought of "William
Nichols of Holden, tanner, a tract in Holden of 65 acres with
the buildings thereon." Thus he and brother Jonas were to-


gether again for a few years. It seems that they remained
here until 1750, when he purchased an estate in Shrewsbury
of Mr. Isaac Stone of Lexington. This deed dated 20 of
Decem. 1750, granted Mr. Parker a farm of 100 acres, in
part the same place later owned by Dr. Amos Parker. The
amount paid was £206. To the deed are also attached the
signatures of John Hancock* and Benjamin Muzz3\ Jr., both
of Lexington. Again, by a deed dated " in the twenty-second
year of our Reign of George y® Second,'' he purchased seven
acres of Nahum Ward of Shrewsbury. They were admitted
to the Church at Shrewsbury in 1753. His brother, Andrew
Parker, Jr., although living at different times in Lexington,
Weston and Barre, visited frequently, and we find his signa-
ture attached to his brother's deeds, In addition to rearing his
large family he accumulated a goodly estate, very creditable
to his characteristic industry and prudence. At his decease
his personal estate alone was appraised at £129.

He was a man of mind, ver}^ energetic and of strong phy-
sique. Very conscientious, with a strong firm mind of his
own, and a moral, unimpeachable character, he well repre-
sented the type of the Parker family of Lexington at and
before his time. He gave his children a careful and sturdy
bringing up and they followed in his paths. While at work
he allowed no talk except such as pertained to the work itself,
for he said "Work and play cannot go together, — one spoils

Although there is not a Parker resident of Shrewstury at the present time,
there were others of the family who settled in the town much earlier than
Amos. His uncle, .John Parker, was settled in 1730; later removed to Fram-
ingham. He was followed by a distant relative, Stephen Parker, a native of
Reading, who in 1735 bought the Robins farm of 71 acres, which adjoined the
land of John Parker. Stephen remained in Shrewsbury, and of his children,
Nehemiah Parker graduated at Harvard University, and in 1770 accepted a
call as pastor from the first settlers of Hubbardston. Stephen and Amos
Parker were aware of their relationship and were also intimate friends. Amos
in 1770 purchased of Edward Parsons of Berwick, Me., 295 acres of land in
Hubbardston, and two years later he, with Mr. Nathan How of Shrewsbury,
purchased Great Farm, No. i, in Hubbardston, which made him an exceed-
ingly large landholder there. He thus provided farms for his sons.

* He must have been Rev. John Hancock, the second minister of Lexington,
a minister of high ability and influence, and the grandfather of Gov. John
Hancock, of Revolutionary fame.


the other. There is time enough for each." Thus, when
not engaged, the boys joined all the more hearty in their
sports, much to the satisfaction of Mr. Parker.

Amos Parker was a home man, quiet and undemonstrative.
She, however, was not only an angel in her family, industri-
ous, careful and attentive, but was a blessing to her neighbors
and the town. She was here and there, assisting, helping or
comforting all who were needy or afflicted. She was rever-
enced by every person in Shrewsbury, and when her funeral
occurred in December, on a warm Indian Summer's day, the
church held only a part of the great assemblage. A multitude
escorted the body from the homestead to the church.

Shortly before her death she travelled horseback from Shrews-
bury to Fitzwilliam, 60 miles, when at the age of 72 ! She
Stopped one night with her son Amos Parker in Hubbardston.
Her grandson, of Fitzwilliam, who is now living, remembers
her, and well recalls her visit. What a grand satisfaction it
must have been to her to take into her lap the children of her
many children and sing to them the sweet songs of her child-
hood ! Her grandson also states that she had then the best

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 5 of 47)