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January 12, 2010

The Parker and
Vanderford Families

           The Long family of Tulsa has a complex history that goes back to the days of the Revolution.  Its roots are in the Parker and Vanderford families, which were united by marriage about 1835, when James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker (1817-1897), of Pennsylvania, married Elizabeth Vanderford (1818-1888), of Maryland, and they lived in Parker’s Landing, Pennsylvania.  Many generations later, newborn members of the family were still being given “Parker” or “Vanderford” as first or middle names.

        This section includes information on:


McLaughlin Family
McClurg Family
Ralston Family
Clarence Ray Long
Children of Clarence and Odie Long
William George Long
Samuel W. Long
Samuel Parker Long

Neil Boyer's Family History Page

The Parker Family Genealogy

        Much of the information in this section is derived from research undertaken by Rachel Long Misey (1924-2003), of Bethesda, Maryland.  This included extensive correspondence written by Nellie Olive (“Nickie”) Parker Milford, who was a granddaughter of James Wilson Parker and a great-great-granddaughter of the immigrant William Parker.  Nellie lived in the town of Parker.  It appears she learned much of the Parker history through living with her grandfather, James Wilson Parker, although she was only nine when James died.  Nellie was born about 1886 and died about 1971.  She said she was the owner of the last five acres of the Parker property that passed through her line of the family.  

        The Parker family of Parker’s Landing, Pennsylvania, has a genealogical history briefly summarized in this way:  

* Colonel William Parker came to America in 1754, fought in the Revolution and about 1798 settled in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, close to what later became the town of Parker.

* William had two sons, George Parker and John Parker.  They were hired to undertake surveys of western Pennsylvania, and their families were compensated with land that became the basis of the town of Parker.  

* John Parker, second son of William, became a prominent judge in the town and produced an influential family.

* George Parker, the first son of William, drowned at the age of 24 in the Allegheny River en route to Armstrong County, leaving behind one son, William Parker.

* William Parker, son of George, also died young, possibly not older than 23.  His wife died soon afterward, and they left two children, James Wilson and Charlotte, who were raised by their grandmother, William’s mother, the widow of George Parker.

* James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker was the only male child of William.

* Curley Jim married Elizabeth Vanderford, of Maryland, and they had ten children.

* Almira Parker, first child of Elizabeth and Curley Jim, married Samuel W. Long.  Almira died at age 20, shortly after the birth of her only child, Samuel Parker Long.  

* Sarah Agnes (Abbie) Parker, Almira’s sister, married the same Samuel W. Long after Almira died.  Shortly afterward, Sam died while in the army during the Civil War at the age of 32.  Abbie had two children, Elizabeth Long, born before Sam died, and William George Long, born four months after Sam’s death.  

* Samuel Parker Long became a Methodist missionary in Burma and a minister in Duluth.  He had four sons.

* William George Long became an active participant in the oil industry in West Virginia and Oklahoma, and had one child, Clarence Ray Long.

* Clarence Long, an intellectual and muckraking journalist, was also involved in the oil industry in Tulsa, as were at least one of his sons and a grandson.

        If this sequence is correct, the Parker family lineage down to Clarence Long would be as follows:

Colonel William Parker (d. 1808)
George Parker (1774-1798)
William Parker (1798?-1821)
James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker (1817-1897)
Sarah Agnes (Abbie) Parker (1844-1906), who married Samuel W. Long (1833-1865)
William George Long (1865-1926)
Clarence Ray Long (1889-1935)

        Details of the participants in this history are below.

Colonel William Parker (d. 1808)

        The earliest known Parker in this line is Colonel William Parker, who was born in England.  William came to America in 1754 and served in the Continental Army.  Nellie Parker Milford said he was a brigadier general at the end of the war. He died in 1808.  

        Nellie cited the History of Butler County, 1883, page 726, as listing the records of Col. William Parker, who was in the Pennsylvania state militia, 5th Battalion, Washington County, in western Pennsylvania.  She said he was promoted from captain to colonel in 1778, and that he served in the Revolution from 1775 to December 1783.  However, she could not find a birth date for William Parker, and that apparently prevented her from being eligible for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution on the basis of William’s Revolutionary War participation.   

        William Parker was reported in a historical study to have moved with his family from Washington County to Armstrong County, north of Pittsburgh, about 1798.  His son George drowned during the trip.  It is not known if this was his first visit to the area.

        The history said that William built the first grist mill in northern Armstrong County.  It was a log structure with “machinery of the most primitive description,” but it was the main facility for grinding for settlers for many miles around.  

        Nellie Parker Milford said that, after establishing the grist mill, William created a charcoal blast furnace for the reduction of iron ore.  One account said that the Bear Creek Furnace and Iron Works operated on Bear Creek from 1818 to 1847.  The site of the furnace can be found along Route 268, about a mile from the First Presbyterian Church in Parker, on the border between Butler and Armstrong counties.  Apparently, this is the site where William Parker had his home.  Sometime before the furnace closed, Nellie Milford said, William went back to his earlier home in Washington County.  About 1860, this area became prominent for its oil discoveries, and many Parker and Long family members were involved in the business.

        William Parker was married to Mary Guthrie, a daughter of James Guthrie and Jeanette Wilson Guthrie.  Jeanette previously had been married to William Moore, and they had a son, John Moore, who became the presiding judge of Westmoreland County from 1785 to 1791.  The county is just east of Pittsburgh.  After William Moore died, Jeanette married James Guthrie, and Mary Guthrie was a product of that second marriage.  Mary Guthrie was thus a half sister to Judge John Moore.

        Nothing further is known about the Guthrie family. However, Nellie Parker said that the famous Captain John Parker, the Minute Man of Lexington, was married to Mary’s sister Lydia Moore.  Nellie did extensive research attempting to prove the linkage between the Parkers of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and the Parkers of Kentucky, tracking Parker ancestry back to Europe, but she apparently found nothing that was conclusive.  Here is an excerpt from her (undocumented) research, taken from a letter to a descendant in 1965:

The early Parkers came from England.  Three Parkers of the Lexington branch married into the Saltonstalls.  They made the people [come here] in their boats.  Richard (Dick) Saltonstall married Mary Parker.  (Can you figure out our family relation to Senator Saltonstall in Washington?)  

The Parker families were universally prosperous and flourishing.  Prayed often to the Father of us all. They all belonged to the church and supported it.  As early as 1720, there were in Reading [Pennsylvania?] 18 adult persons by name of Parker who were in full communion with church.  Up to 1834, forty-one by name of Parker had graduated from Harvard and 38 from other New England colleges.  The ships Suzan and Ellen, in which our ancestors sailed from London March 11, 1635, were fitted out by Sir Richard Saltonstall with whose family it is a tradition that he was connected by marriage to the Parkers.  They had prayer and communion and were all baptized before entering the ships.

Children of William Parker

        William and Mary Guthrie Parker reportedly had three children, George, John and Mary Parker.  Little is known about Mary.  The family of George is discussed below. (See the genealogical chart on the Parker family.) This section, therefore, focuses on John Parker.

        1.  George Parker was born in 1774.  He drowned in the Allegheny River in 1798 when he was only 24, but he was one of the key ancestors of members of the Long and Parker families.  He had one son, William Parker, who also died in his early twenties.  William had two children, including James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker.  Among the children of Curley Jim were two daughters, Almira and Abbie Parker, both of whom married Samuel W. Long.  See more on George Parker below.  

        2.  John Parker was born in 1776, two years after his brother, George Parker. John became a judge and was a prominent developer and citizen of Parker, Pennsylvania.  He died on July 17, 1842, at the age of 66, and was buried in Parker Cemetery. As indicated above, John was key to the survey of the northern part of Armstrong County and the southern part of Butler County, and several records of the county indicate that Parker Township and Parker’s Landing and Parker City were all named after John.

        Nevertheless, there is confusion about the dates of the settlement of Parker.  One history said that John settled in 1797 on 600 acres of land in Butler County, adjoining the site of the future Parker City, which he afterwards purchased, and on which he laid out the village of Lawrenceburg in 1815.  However, it is not clear when John actually arrived in the area. (See more on the 600 acres below.)  

 Judge John Parker “was one of the most prominent public men and highly respected citizens of his day,” the history said.  The obituary of John’s son Fullerton Parker, referring to the property of his father, said that Fullerton was born in 1806 on “the old Parker homestead,” on the hill above Parker City, in Parker Township, Butler County.”  (Descendants of George Parker also referred to “the old Parker homestead,” but it is possible that was a different building.)  John served for 35 years as one of the first associate judges of Butler County.  

        John Parker married Jane Woods of Greensburg, which is about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, in 1797, and they had eight sons and one daughter, according to one obituary.  The children were James W. (“Black Jim”), born 1799, John W. 1800, Julietta (who married John Gilchrist) 1802, William 1805, Fullerton 1806, Washington 1809, George 1812, Thomas 1815 and Wilson 1821. (More detail on the descendants in John Parker's line can be found in the report on Venango County (1919), by Charles A. Babcock) on pages 461-464.)

        Fullerton Parker, one of the nine children of John and Jane Parker, born on December 15, 1806, was one of the principal stockholders of the Parker and Karns City Railroad, which was built in 1873 during the development of the Butler oil field.  He was also a leader in construction of the Parker Bridge in 1872.  A report on the family said that he ran a tannery and owned the farm on which Parker City was principally built.  The report made this special note:

Mr. Parker was a man of undoubted moral character and courage. He was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, and a man of decided convictions in regard to intemperance and Sabbath desecration.  Many a time, in the balmy days of Parker, when the town was overrun by gamblers, Uncle Fullerton did the work of a half-dozen policemen, and he had the respect as well as the fear of the lower classes.  

        In 1832, Fullerton Parker married Amelia Harris, born about 1816, daughter of Ephraim Harris, of Harrisville, Butler County.  The 1850 census said Fullerton was a tanner. In 1860, he was listed as a farmer.  Fullerton died on December 26, 1883, at the age of 77.  He and Amelia were reported in newspaper accounts as having two sons and six daughters, (although more children appear in the census).  The children were:
Ephraim H. Parker, b. 1837
William John Parker, b. 1847 of Parker City
Jane M. Parker, b. 1826, wife of A. J. Haldeman
Mary A. Parker, b. 1842, wife of P. M. Hollister
Juliet Parker, b. 1836, wife of J. M. Agnew
Ella P. Parker, b. 1852, wife of W. H. Spain
Lizzie Parker, b. 1844, wife of W. C. Mobley
Amelia Parker, b. 1850, wife of S. M. McGough

        Census reports suggested there were other children, as well:

Margaret Parker, b. 1841
Adela Parker, b. 1858
Ava Parker, b. 1860
John Parker, b. 1846

        By 1850, the Parker family had proliferated.  For example, the census for that year showed these neighbors in Perry Township:

J. M. Parker, 36, b. 1824, innkeeper, possibly a brother of Fullerton
Sarah J. Parker, 22, b. 1828
Margaret, 25
J. P. Parker, 25, b. 1825
Emmy, 20,
Mary J., 1
Clara, 3 months

        3.  Mary Parker was the third child of William and Mary Parker.  All that is known of her is that she married Thomas McKee.  Mary was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Parker.

The Story of Parker’s Landing

        Although histories of the area have numerous references to the Parker family, there is no definitive information on how the town got its name.  The only Parkers mentioned in relation to this area are those of the family of Colonel William Parker, and in particular his sons, George and John Parker.  

        Since William Parker, appears to have devoted his activity to a grist mill and a blast furnace before he returned to his earlier home, and since his son George died while on his way to the area, the primary credit for the name of the town has been given to George’s brother, John Parker.  One historical account put it this way:

In the early years of the settlement of this part of the country, Parker’s landing was an unimportant station, occasionally visited by the canoes and keel-boats flying upon the river. Subsequently, it became a steamboat landing and a lumber station. A store was kept at the landing many years, but no village ever sprang up around it. In 1824, Judge [John] Parker erected a large building which was used as a warehouse. It is still standing [1883] and is the oldest house in this part of the city. It has been converted into a hotel, and is now known as the Parker House.

        Tragedy on the Allegheny.  The family story is that Colonel William Parker, his family and several other families were beginning their trip up the Allegheny River in 1798 to make their new home when tragedy struck.  The families and their goods were on keelboats.  One of the boats overturned "opposite the garrison,” Fort Pitt, at the intersection of the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela Rivers.   

        Nellie Parker Milford reported that several children in the party saved their lives by getting upon feather beds, which kept them afloat until they could be rescued.  But several people were drowned, including young George Parker, 24.  Nellie Milford said she learned that a woman named Polly Parker of Cincinnati (a relative?  George’s wife?) identified George when he was pulled from the water.

        Payment for the Survey.  It appears from accounts of the area that the major work on the survey of this part of western Pennsylvania was done, or at least was intended to be done, by William Parker’s sons, George and John.  It is not clear that George actually worked on the project before he died.  Books give the brothers the primary credit for the work, although they were only 22 and 24 years old at the time.  This seems somewhat young in relation to the task the young men were given, but in those times, young people took on significant responsibility.  No other Parkers appear to have lived in the area before their arrival, and thus there seems no reason to doubt the story.

        Some historical accounts say that George and his brother John Parker were working on the survey of Western Pennsylvania under the direction of Judge John Moore, who was an uncle of George and John, a half-brother of their mother, Mary Guthrie Parker.  For their services, the two young men were offered, apparently in advance, a grant of land of about 600 acres in the area of what later was called Parker.  

        However, there is confusion about the sequence of events.  One account said that, “about the year 1786, acting as a deputy under John Moore, John Parker left his home in Washington County and came into the wilds of Western Pennsylvania in the capacity of a surveyor.”  However, John was only 10 years old in 1786, and this account seems to have some degree of error.

        Another account said that John Parker went from Westmoreland County to Butler county “before his marriage, in 1794” in the employ of Mr. Moore.  (John would have been 18 at that time.)  The account said that, as surveyor, John “gained a fair acquaintance with the various sections open to settlement in 1794.”  A different account said that John Parker moved to the area in 1794, and some time after he made the survey, “his father came, bringing his family and household goods up the river in canoes.  One of the sons, George, was drowned while running Parker Falls.”

        While John may have visited the area before the boating trip, it seems more likely that John, at age 22 in 1798, was with his family on his way to the area to begin the survey along with his brother George, and that when George drowned, John undertook the work and received the credit for it.  

        Nevertheless, it appears that a total of 600 acres of land promised for the land survey was given to John Parker and to the widow of George Parker, John’s brother.  One account said that, “with others in his family,” John acquired 600 acres, 400 for himself, in Parker Township, and that John’s father, William Parker, and George Parker, his brother, each owned large tracts.  One report said that John Parker acquired 400 acres of the property and suggested that the remainder of the 600 acres went to descendants of his late brother, George Parker.  George didn’t make it to the area in the boat trip of 1798, but perhaps he had come earlier, with John, and the land had been given to him then.  The record is unclear.  

        Rachel Long Misey, who did extensive research on the Parker and Long families, obtained a map showing three pieces of land that were reported to have been deeded to the Parker family.  Each of the three contiguous parcels, north to south, bordered the Allegheny River on the east.  The southern-most parcel was bisected by Bear Creek, connecting to the Allegheny.  That was where Col. William Parker established his grist mill about 1798 and later a blast furnace.  The map had been drawn up on August 11, 1869, and was certified by the Pennsylvania Surveyor General.  (In 2007, the map was in the possession of Rachel’s daughter, Johanna Misey Boyer.)

        Two of the three patents were certified as warranted on March 1, 1794, and surveyed on May 2 and 3, 1795.  The third patent had been warranted on October 18, 1847, and surveyed on October 27, 1847.  It is not clear whether the patents were granted to the Parker family on those dates or earlier.  The names of Parker family members were not mentioned on the map, but Rachel Misey was assured that this was the land given to the Parker family in exchange for their work on the land survey.  This suggests the possibility that the land was actually granted in 1794, prior to the fateful boat trip of 1798.

        Rachel also discovered a survey showing that William Parker, on November 25, 1803, acquired 130 acres and 148 perches on the east side of the Allegheny River, in Toby Township, Armstrong County, basically across the river from Parker.  Toby Township was then part of Armstrong County but in 1839 it became part of Clarion County.

        Settlement on the Property.  It is clear that George Parker’s family received at least some of the property promised for the survey.  George’s widow (name unknown) had papers establishing her husband’s share of the property and, according to Nellie Parker Milford, she passed the land to her two grandchildren, James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker and Charlotte Parker, since their father, William Parker, had died when they were young.  

        James was raised in the Parker area but then moved away.  According to Nellie Milford, James and his wife and their first three children moved from Westmoreland County to the area that was then known as Parker’s Landing about 1845, when Jim was about 28.  Nellie said that Jim located his plot of land and built a log house, and his sister Charlotte went to live with him.  

        Nellie Milford said that after a short time, Charlotte Parker decided to “go West,” and she sold her share.  No further information has been developed on Charlotte.  Nellie said Charlotte sold her property to a family named Farren, who named the area “Farrentown.”  Nellie said that the “schoolhouse on my grandfather’s plot [James Wilson Parker] was called Farrentown School.  It was in this schoolhouse that Uncle Sam [Samuel Parker Long] practiced his sermons.”  Nellie added:

Bye and bye the Farrens sold their property to Standard Oil, and they still own it [in 1965].  Grandfather [James Wilson Parker] sold much of his land, and I own the remaining 5 acres he had when he died.  

        Nellie lived on the property with her grandfather, James Wilson, and then by herself.  In 1965, to settle a dispute over the property, Nellie described how she once had to go to the county seat at Kittanning to obtain a record of the deed for property that Jim sold to one man.  She needed it in order to prove that there was a reserved right of way from her property to the road along the length of the man’s property.  

So a good memory and a piece of legal paper provides handy sometimes – a trick I learned from my grandfather [Jim Parker].  He told of the law suits and of a man who took a squatter’s right and tried to take part of this property, but the court found the land grant and registered it anew and settled all disputes.   

Parker City and the Oil Boom

        The town of Parker was an outgrowth of the discovery of oil in western Pennsylvania.  In a 1914 book on Armstrong County, Pennsylvania: Her People, Past and Present, the authors noted that the oil rush started in 1858 when a well was dug by J. M. Williams of Oil Creek, in Verango County.  This was some 60 years after George Parker was swept off the boat.   The drilling for oil stopped during the Civil War but resumed about 1869.  As the book put it (on page 50):

From this beginning rose the forest of derricks that soon dotted the country around Parker City.  In July 1869, there were 25 wells, producing 310 barrels a day.  In November there were 1,058 wells in the Parker and Lawrenceburg field.

        Another account, the History of Armstrong County, said that the first oil discovered in the county was the Clarion Well No. 1, on the Robinson farm one mile north of Parker City, on October 10, 1865.  This site may have been related to the Robinson Packer Company, formed years later by Dwight Parker and William Long, to provide oil equipment in Oklahoma.  

        In time, almost all of the people named Parker who lived in the area – and those named Long as well – became involved in the oil business, and many of them continued this involvement in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and elsewhere.  The Parker family maintained its roots at Parker’s Landing for a number of generations, as did members of the Long family, who married into the Parker family.  A number of Parkers and Longs were born at Parker’s Landing, and many were involved in the oil and gas business, first at Parker and later in Oil City, in West Virginia, and in Oklahoma.  Many families stayed involved for generations.

        A history of “Parker, Pennsylvania,” said the community was incorporated as a “city” on March 1, 1873, by special state legislation in the midst of the northwestern Pennsylvania oil boom.  This was at the time when Fullerton Parker, son of Judge John Parker, was active in the town’s affairs.  

        The “Wikipedia” encyclopedia said that “the new municipality was called “Parker City” and was made up of the earlier villages of Parker’s Landing (on the Allegheny River) and Lawrenceburg (on the bluff above the river).  Parker is on the border with Butler County, about 30 miles northeast of the town of Butler, and about 30 miles northwest of Kittanning.  One account described it this way:  “Parker City is situated on the western bank of the Allegheny river, eighty-two miles above Pittsburgh, and about three miles from the most northern limit of Armstrong County.  It takes its name from Hon. John Parker, who originally owned nearly all the land now included within its limits and was the first settler of the neighborhood.”

        Residents assumed that Parker would quickly become a major population center.  A History of the Standard Oil Company, found on the internet, shows in several instances how Parker’s Landing played an important role in negotiations over the oil business in Butler county around 1872.  At the height of the boom, according to the History of Armstrong County, “there were probably 15,000 to 20,000 residents and a floating population of 5,000 more.  Many large business establishments catered to the wants of this mushroom populace, and every other house was either a saloon or an eating house.”  

As vultures are attracted by the carnage of battlefields, so there came to Parker in her boom days all the scum of the cities and for a time crime flourished.  Among the noted characters of those days, the most conspicuous, not only for his crimes but from his remarkable personality, was Ben Hogan.  Prize fighter, bounty jumper and blockade runner during the Civil War, he combined versatility in crime with great physical strength and courage.

In partnership with the notorious “French Kate,” he bought several flatboats and moored them in front of the town.  On one he kept a series of weekly prize fights, and the third he kept a large “maison de joie,” filled with women of evil character and great physical attractiveness.  When business slackened, he paraded the water front with his “stock” to attract the spendthrifts.

        However, the boom quickly went bust.  By 1878 the wells were beginning to be exhausted and the price had not increased to a paying level.  In 1879 almost the entire river front was fire-swept and the depression was so great that little attempt was made to rebuild.  The lowest point of the scale was reached in 1880, when homes that cost thousands were sold for hundreds and the population was less than a thousand souls.  So in the brief space of ten years, Parker had seen the heights and depths of existence and had grown from a simple landing place to a city and descended again to a minor village.

        In the 2000 census, Parker had a population of only 799. Because it had been incorporated as a “city,” the encyclopedia said that Parker was sometimes referred to as the “Smallest City in America.”  It can be found along Route 268, about 10 miles south of Interstate Route 80.  

        For more information on Parker’s development, see the chapter on Parker City, written in 1883, in History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, by Robert Walker Smith, Esq., Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., pages 13-59.  This was transcribed in January 1999 by Jeffrey Bish for the Armstrong County Smith Project and published in 1999 by the Armstrong County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project.  See the History of Butler County, chapter on Parker Township, 1883-44,, for interesting accounts of development of the town and anecdotes about the Parker family and encounters with Indians and wild animals.  See also for another account of the town of Parker.

George Parker (1774-1798)

        George Parker, the first child of Colonel William Parker, was born in 1774 and died in 1798.  He was intending to work with his younger brother, John Parker, to survey the land in western Pennsylvania. He drowned at the age of 24 while the family was moving up the Allegheny River to settle in Armstrong County.  This was the year, 1798, that his father settled along Bear Creek and opened a grist mill.  

        Family members said George was buried in Westmoreland County.  When he died in the boating accident, George had one son, William Parker.  The name of George’s wife is not known.  

William Parker (1798?-1821?)

        Little is known of William Parker, except that his father was George Parker and that he had two children, Charlotte Parker and James Wilson Parker.  William reportedly died when Jim was only four, which would have been about 1821.  William must have been born in or before 1798, when his father died at the age of 24.  William himself died 23 years after the death of his father, leaving the two children.  William’s wife (name unknown) died four years after William died, thus about 1825.  The family history is that the two children were raised by their grandmother, the widow of George Parker.  

        More information on Curley Jim is below.  Charlotte Parker is known only through a family historian’s note that “she sold her share of the land and went west.”

James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker (1817-1897)

        James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker was born at Parker’s Landing in 1817 and was an orphan at age eight.  Jim’s father, William Parker, had died about 1821, when Jim was only four years old, and his mother (name unknown) died about 1825, when Jim was only eight.  The family history, mostly provided by Nellie Parker Milford, a granddaughter of Jim, said that Jim’s grandmother, the widow of  George Parker, raised Jim until he was 19 years old, which was about 1836.  

        At that age, according to the family history, Jim moved to Pittsburgh to learn the trade of a wagon builder.  It was in 1838 in Pittsburgh, when Jim was 21, that he met and married Elizabeth Vanderford (1818-1888).  Elizabeth was from Queen Anne’s County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but she was visiting her aunt, a Mrs. Little, in Pittsburgh.  After they married, they moved to Westmoreland County, and then to Pittsburgh, and that is where their first three children – Almira, Leanna, and Sarah – were born in 1840, 1842 and 1844.  

        Subsequently, Jim and his family went north to the area of Parker’s Landing, along the Allegheny River. Nellie Parker Milford said that her father, George W. Parker, was the next child born in Jim’s family, in 1846, and that it occurred “in this spot,” in Parker.

        Jim and his sister Charlotte inherited the land that had been promised to their grandfather, George Parker, in 1798.  Charlotte sold her share to “go West,” and Jim sold off various parcels during his lifetime.  It is not clear how the property was distributed or how it may have been passed down through Jim’s family, but Nellie Parker Milford, daughter of George W. Parker and granddaughter of Jim, said that there were only five acres remaining at the time Jim died in 1897, and that she owned it.  

        The Peripatetic Parkers.  The census reports for the area show how the Parker family and its neighbors moved about to stay close to the oil production.

        The 1850 census for Perry Township showed James W. Parker, 38, a wagon maker, with his wife Elizabeth, 28, and children Elmira, 10; Leana, 8; Sarah A., 6; George, 4; Susannah, 2; and William, 1.

        In 1860, the census for Miller’s Eddy in Perry Township showed James W. Parker, 45, a farmer; Elizabeth Parker, 34; George, 13; Susannah, 11; William, 9; Charlotte, 7; Elizabeth, 6; James P., 4; and Samuel S. Parker, 2.

        In the 1870 census, the family was in oil-boom country in the northern end of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, living at a place called Brady’s Bend.  This little town is a small village on Route 68 near the bridge that crosses into East Brady.  It is located along the Allegheny River, about 20 miles from Clarion, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.  This is a link to a map of Brady’s Bend. See a brief history of Brady’s Bend from the 1883 Armstrong County Historical Project.

        In the 1870 census, this was the Parker family in Brady’s Bend (estimated birth years are in brackets):

* James W. Parker, 55 [1815], wagon maker, owning real estate valued at $80,000, with personal property worth $1,000, born in Pennsylvania
* Elizabeth Parker, 52 [1818], wife, housekeeper, born in Maryland
* Susan Parker, 20 [1850], daughter, born in Pennsylvania
* James Parker, 17 [1853], son, born in Pennsylvania
* Sarah (Abbie) Parker Long, 25 [1845], housekeeper, widow of Samuel W. Parker, born in Pennsylvania
* Lizzie Long, 7 [1863], daughter of Abbie, born in Ohio
* William Long, 6 [1864], son of Abbie, born in Pennsylvania
* Samuel Parker Long, 10 [1860], son of Abbie’s late sister Almira, born in Ohio

    Also on the property were:

* James Isaac, 30, oil pumper
* David H., 28, laborer,
* Morris Massy, 28, oil operator

        Nearby, in a separate property, was another child of Curley Jim and Elizabeth Parker:

* George Parker, 24, engineer
* Sallie A. Parker, 19, wife, housekeeper
* William Parker, 1
        And in another house, there was still another Parker, but this one appears not to be Curley Jim’s son James P. Parker, who was then only 17, but perhaps a descendant of Judge John Parker:

* James P. Parker, 45 [1825], oil producer, born in Pennsylvania, owning real estate worth $500 and personal property worth $40,000
* Emma Parker, 40 [1830], housekeeper
* Mary Jane Parker, 22
* Clara Parker, 20
* Samuel Parker, 17 [1853]
* Reuben Parker, 14 [1856]
* Elizabeth Parker, 12
* William Parker, 9 [1861]
* Keziah Parker, 7
* Phoebe Parker, 3

        The occupations of the Brady’s Bend neighbors were clearly related to the oil business: engineer, oil operator, oil pumper, oil producer, and many of them had come from other states to work in the Pennsylvania oil fields.  

        In 1880, ten years later, the census showed that the entire Parker family had moved about 10 miles up the river to Parker’s Landing (the census said the nearest post office was Parker City, Armstrong County).  Oil workers again dominated the neighborhood.  Below are maps to the oil fields in Parker Township in both Armstrong and Butler counties.  Note the oil wells, strip mines and related sites:

        The Parkers in the 1880 census for Parker City included Curley Jim, his son George Parker, his son James P. Parker (not the same James P. as had been living nearby in Brady’s Bend), his daughter Susan Parker, his daughter Sarah (Abbie) Parker Long, and Samuel Parker Long, the son of Jim’s late daughter Almira and Samuel W. Long.  Also on the same page in this census were James Wilson Parker and two of his sons:

J. W. Parker, 60, laborer
Elizabeth Parker, 56, storekeeper
Susan Parker, 25, daughter
Sarah (Abbie) Parker Long, 34, daughter, widowed
Samuel Long, 20, grandson of J. W., son of Almira, at school
Lizzie Long, 16, granddaughter, daughter of Abbie
William Long, 14, grandson, son of Abbie [later to be the father of Clarence Long, who would marry Odie Deetta McLaughlin]

J. P. Parker, 25, laborer (son of James Wilson Parker)
Alice Parker, 22, wife, housekeeper
Ira Parker, 4, son
Emma Parker, 2, daughter

George Parker, 32, laborer (son of James Wilson Parker)
Sarah Parker, 28, wife, housekeeper
William Parker, 10, son
Sadie Parker, 8, daughter
Harry Parker, 6, son

        The Aging Curley Jim.  As he aged and moved into retirement, Jim was described by his granddaughter Nellie Milford in this way:

Grandfather was a fine old man – tall, blue eyes, curly blonde gray hair. Our Jim (Nellie’s son, James P. Parker] has his physique.  In youth he was called Curley Jim.  The church was his greatest enjoyment and chief care.  I’ve seen him come in, walk down the center aisle – shaking hands with his old friends on either side – clear down to his seat in the front row.  Everyone loved him.  He wrote to father almost every week.  Usually the letters were nearly duplicates.  

        A family photograph, probably taken near the end of Curley Jim’s life, showed Jim in an elaborate suitJames Wilson Parker with vest, an apparently tall man with soft, kind eyes, gray hair and a full white beard coming about five inches below his chin.  It appears to have been taken near the end of his life, probably around 1895.

        Nellie Milford wrote in 1966 that she was eight or nine when her grandfather, James Wilson Parker, died (actually she was eleven), and she regretted not asking him more about his family. (“Kids didn’t ask too many questions.”)

        Nellie she said she “liked to hear him tell when he was a pilot on steamboat from Freeport to New Orleans.”  It seems improbable for Jim to have done this, given that he was raised in Parker’s Landing until 1836, when he was 19, then went to Pittsburgh and got married and returned to Parker’s Landing, and had many children, the last one in 1858.  Deeds signed in 1872 and 1873 show that Jim Parker acquired rights to an oil well that another person had established on his property, indicating that he was actively involved in the oil business in Armstrong County.  And he appears in census reports for Parker City regularly through 1880.  If at some point he went off to Louisiana to pilot a steamboat, it likely would have been between 1858, when he was 40, and his death in 1897.  This is possible but it seems unlikely, given all the other family connections in Parker’s Landing.

        Elizabeth Vanderford Parker died in May 1888 at the age of 70.  James Wilson Parker died on December 20, 1897, at the age of 80.  See the genealogical chart on Curley Jim Parker and his descendants.

Children of Elizabeth Vanderford
and James Wilson Parker

        It was reported in the family that were nine children and that three of them died of diphtheria at a young age.  However, ten children appear in various census reports:

Almira Parker Long (1840-1860)
Leanna Mary Parker McGee (1842-1883)
Sarah Agnes (Abbie) Parker Long (1844-1906)
George W. Parker (1846-1923)
Susanna Moore Parker (1848-1916)
William Parker (b. 1849)
Charlotte Parker (b. 1853)
Elizabeth Parker (b. 1854)
James P. Parker (1855-)
Samuel S. Parker (b. 1858)
        Details are as follows:

        1.  Almira Parker was born in Pittsburgh on May 15, 1840.  She married Samuel W. Long on December 23, 1859, and she had one child, Samuel Parker Long, born on September 26, 1860.  Ten months after her marriage, and one month after the birth of her son, Almira Parker Long died, on October 23, 1860.  She was 20.  See the sections on Samuel W. Long and Samuel Parker Long.

        2.  Leanna Mary Parker was born in Pittsburgh on October 31, 1842.  She was in Ohio when her sister Almira died in 1860, and she carried Almira’s newborn son, Samuel Parker Long, on horseback from Ohio to Parker’s Landing, Pennsylvania.  She married William McGee, and they had five children:  William, Maggie (who married a man named Newton, an oil man in California), Jenny (who lived in Ohio), Blanche, and Thomas Stanley McGee (who lived in California).  Leannah Parker McGee died on August 16, 1883.  There is a headstone for her in Parker Presbyterian Cemetery.

        3.  Sarah Agnes (Abbie) Parker was born in Pittsburgh on April 28, 1844, and died on March 14, 1906, at the age of 62.  Abbie married Samuel W. Long on February 4, 1863, in Lawrenceburg, part of the town of Parker, about two and a half years after the death of Samuel’s first wife, Almira Parker, Abbie’s sister.  Two years later, in 1865, Samuel died at the age of 32 of disease contracted while a soldier in the Civil War.  

* Abbie and Samuel had two children: Elizabeth (Lizzie) Long (1864-1886) and William George Long (1865-1926).  William’s father, Samuel W. Long, died four months before William was born.  William married Mattie Thompson (1864-1915), and they became the parents of Clarence Ray Long (1889-1935).  Both William and his son, Clarence, were born at Parker’s Landing.  See the sections on William George Long and Clarence Ray Long.

        4.  George Washington Parker was born in Parker’s Landing on February 4, 1846, the fourth child of James Wilson and Elizabeth Parker.  It appears that he became the de facto head of the family after his father died.  

        At the age of 4, George was shown in the 1850 census in Perry Township, Armstrong County, living with his parents and siblings (see the listing above). George served in the 177th Ohio Volunteers in Tullahoma, the same unit that his brother-in-law, Samuel W. Long, husband of George’s sister Abbie Parker Long, joined in 1864.  It is possible that George was in the Union army when his parents, James and Elizabeth Parker, wrote him on September 29, 1862.  Writing from “Lawrenceburgh,” they addressed the letter “Dear Sons.”  The actual addressee of the letter is not clear, since it refers to other families (the “old folks”?) and asks for messages to be sent to George.  After reporting on the fragile health of their grandchild, Samuel Parker Long, only two years old, they wrote:

Now tell George that his mother thinks long to hear from him and to know if he is well.  We hope that these few lines may find you all in good health.  I am still at home.  We have not got our buc wheat cut yet.  Tell George that his mother wishes him to send her a black dress if he can.  Tell the old folks that we would be glad to hear from them and that we send our respects to them.  We are verry lonesome here this fall.  

Good night from your affectionate F and M.

E and J. W. Parker

        On October 8, 1867, George Parker married Sally Austin, who had been born on April 26, 1851, in Warren, Ohio. In an undated note, George wrote to his father from Ashtabula, Ohio, to make an announcement:

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I tell you that I am well at present and hope you are the Same.  Well, father, I will be married . . . that will be Tuesday and will Start for Home on the 16 of the Month and it will take 3 days. . . .

So Remember your Son, George W. Parker, and soon your daughter.

        George’s house was clearly open to members of his family, as evidenced by the census reports.  

* The 1910 census showed him living on Bluff Avenue Extension in Parker’s Landing.  In the household were George, 64, his wife Sarah, 59, Howard E. Parker, 12, son of George’s son Harry, and Warren L. Parker, 2, son of George’s daughter Nellie.  

* In 1920, the household consisted of George, 73, Sarah, 67, Nellie Milford, 33, and her children, Roy Parker, 11; Sarah Milford, 6; Mildred Milford, 4; and John P. Milford, 1.

        George was an active supporter of members of his family when they had legal problems.  He submitted affidavits to support a pension application by his sister Abbie, certifying where his nephew, Samuel Parker Long, had been born.  He also filed an affidavit attesting that he knew Samuel W. Long, the father of Samuel P. Long, and that he was an American citizen.  This was in support of a passport application of Samuel P. Long’s son, Haniel Long.  

        Sally died at Parker on January 17, 1923.  George died in Undercliff, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, on April 23, 1927, at the age of 81.  

        George and Sally had four children:  

A.  William W. Parker, also known as “Fiddler Bill,” was born about 1869.

B.  Sadie Parker was born about 1872.

C.  Harry George Parker was born on September 9, 1873, at Parker.  He died on May 28, 1941, in Pittsburgh.  He married Emma Ida Held, who had been born in Saxony, Germany, on September 25, 1870.  They had two children:  

(1) Howard Parker was born about 1898.  At the age of 12, he was living with his grandfather, George Parker, in Parker’s Landing.  He married Margaret (Peggie), who had been born on January 1, 1903.  She died on January 29, 1970.  Howard and Peggie had a son:

-- James Parker

(2) Helen May Parker, a niece of Nickie Parker Milford, was born about 1901.  In 1920, she married Edward G. Wetzel, a salesman for a heating company, also born about 1901, and they lived near Pittsburgh. Edward died in 1970 and Helen in 1977.  Helen joined the DAR on the basis of her connection to John Austin, an ancestor of her grandmother, Sally Austin Parker. A daughter, Emma Wetzel, born about 1921, married James Simpson and then a man named Fedonyek. Other children were Helen Wetzel, born about 1923, and Edward Wetzel, born about 1928.  

D.  Nellie Olive “Nickie” Parker was born at Parker, Pennsylvania, on September 12, 1886, and died in 1971.  At age 14, she was shown in the 1900 census living with her parents, George and Sarah Parker, in the town of Parker in Armstrong County.  By her first marriage, Nickie had a child named Warren L. (Roy) Parker, born about 1908.  But the marriage did not work out.  She wrote that her father, George Parker, straightened out the affairs, apparently arranging a divorce, and ensured that she could keep the name Parker.  She wanted Roy’s name to be Parker as well, but she was then living in Allegheny County, and Roy was registered there.  So George took guardianship of Roy and registered him in Armstrong County.  Later, Nickie obtained a birth certificate for Roy through the Census Bureau, she said.  

Nickie Parker was married at Butler on January 23, 1912, to John D. Milford.  He had been born on January 14, 1890, and he died on December 4, 1957.  Nickie Milford did extensive genealogical research into the Parker family, and results of much of that research are included here.  

Nickie was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and participated in their genealogical activities.   After extensive research into the family, she found that she could not the DAR on the basis of Col. William Parker’s participation in the Revolution because she could not prove his date of birth.  However, she was able to join the DAR in 1963 (Member Number 499403) as a descendant of John Austin, of Sheffield, Massachusetts (1738-1833), an ancestor of her mother. Many of the dates and facts relating to George Parker were presented in Nickie’s application for DAR membership.  She apparently lived in Parker all her life, with her parents as well as with her grandfather, James Wilson Parker.

Of the initial 600 acres given to the Parker family in the area of what became Parker, Pennsylvania, Nickie said that she held the last remaining five acres.  She died in 1971.  Nellie and John had four children.  

The children of Nellie Olive “Nickie” Parker Milford were:

(1)  Warren L. (Roy) Parker was born about 1908.  The 1910 census showed him living with his grandfather, George Parker, in Parker’s Landing.  Roy and his wife, Esther, lived in Russelton, Pennsylvania, in 1978.  They had three children:  Warren L. (Roy Jr.) Parker, Jr., Sylvia Parker and Charles Parker.

-- Roy Parker Jr., born about 1933, graduated from West Deer High School in Pennsylvania in 1950 and attended the University of Pittsburgh.  An extensive newspaper article about him in 1978 told how he had entered in Army in 1953 and retired in 1973 as a lieutenant colonel.  He had extensive experience with explosives in the military, and began working with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, in Washington, D.C.  He told the newspaper that he was director of a testing program for tracing explosives, intended to help police identify the maker and even the user of explosives.  He said it was a promising new weapon against terrorism.  A two-column photograph of Roy, at work in the BATF, appeared in the Washington Post on July 2, 1982.

(2)  Sarah Milford was born about 1914.

(3)  Mildred Milford was born about 1915.
(4)  John Pershing Milford was born on August 7, 1918, obviously named after the U.S. Army general in World War I.  His wife was known as “Dude.”  He died in Parker in April 1987.  They had a son, Jack Milford, who married Maxine.
(5)  James Parker Milford was born about 1924 and died on June 23, 1970.

        5.  Susanna (Susan) Moore Parker was born about 1848.  She was an invalid and did not marry.  She died in 1916.

        6.  William Parker was one year old at the time of the 1850 census, and was thus born in 1849.  No other information is available on him.  He was still living in 1860, but he may have been one of the children who died young.   

        7.  Charlotte Parker was shown in the 1860 census as seven years old, thus born about 1853.  She was not included in the 1870 census and may have died young.

        8.  Elizabeth Parker was shown as six years old in the 1860 census, thus born about 1854.  Like Charlotte, she did not appear in the 1870 census and may have died young.

        9.  James P. Parker was five years old in the 1860 census.  Thus, his date of birth was probably 1855, although a later census suggested he was born in 1853.  He married Alice McNutt, who had been born about 1858.  Alice was the daughter of Elizabeth B. (Grannie) McNutt, who lived in Parker Township and died in 1913.  Alice died in 1936.  

        In the 1900 census, Jim was listed as a contractor, age 44, living in Parker, with Alice, 41, and their four children.  Jim was later a superintendent for the Philadelphia Company, a rail line, and in the view of one family member, he killed himself while “overdoing,” showing “hunkies” how to load a car.  As Wendell Long described it, James Parker was “disgusted with his gang, loaded a rail on a flat car by himself.  The effort killed him, but a lesser man would not have even attempted it.”  

        In the 1910 census, Alice, a widow, was living in West Virginia with her son Ira, and thus Jim must have died between 1900 and 1910. In 1930, Alice, age 71, was living in Coffeyville, Kansas, with her sons Dwight and Ira.  Jim and Alice had five children:

A.  Ira J. Parker was born about May 1876.  Ira was involved in the oil business and apparently moved frequently.  In 1900, the census showed him as an oil well driller in Parker, living with his parents.  In 1910, he was living with his wife, Cora, born about 1890, in Harrison County, West Virginia, where he was a foreman for an oil company.  His mother, Alice Parker, was with him.

In 1920, Ira was in Tulsa, where he was listed as assistant superintendent for an oil and gas company.  In 1930, Ira was in Coffeyville, Kansas, living with his brother Dwight (Dove) Parker and working as superintendent of production for an oil field for the Packer Company, which Dwight ran.  Ira and Alice had four children:

(1) James H. Parker was born about 1908.

(2) Alice V. Parker was born about 1911.  In 1930, when she was 19, she was living with her father and Uncle Dwight in Coffeyville, Kansas.  She married James Whited.

(3) Helen P. Parker was born about 1913.

(4) William D. Parker was born about 1917.

B.  Emma Parker, born about April 1878, was a teacher in Parker in the 1900 census.  She married Harry M. McCabe, and they had three children:

(1) Alice R. McCabe

(2) Jeanne McCabe married a man named Hartley and had a son, Robert Hartley.

(3) Harry M. (“Red”) McCabe, Jr., was married and had a son, Lawrence McCabe.

C.  Herbert Dwight “Dove” Parker was born in Parker, Pennsylvania, on August 22, 1887, and died in Coffeyville, Kansas, on July 2, 1970.  He was 82.  He was known as Dwight or Dove. In some instances, his name is given as “Dwight H. Parker.”

Dwight lived in Parker in the early part of his life, and he wrote in 1965 his recollections about the Longs and the Parkers getting together for reunions in the town of Parker.  “Of course, every time the Family came home to the Old Parker homestead, I saw them.  We lived 75 feet from the Homestead.  When Uncle Sam Long [Samuel Parker Long] was in camp – chaplain of the 18th Regiment, Spanish American War – I took the cakes from Aunt Abbie at the Homestead and expressed ‘em to Uncle Sam.”

Dwight moved to Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1913, and entered into a partnership with his cousin, William George (Bill) Long (1865-1926), who moved to Tulsa about the same time, to supply equipment for the oil business around Tulsa.  Coffeyville is about 75 miles directly north of Tulsa. Dwight registered for the draft for World War I in June 1917, saying he was 30 years old, tall and stout, with blue eyes and light hair, and he lived in Coffeyville.

Dove and Bill were associated with the Robinson Packer Company from 1913 to 1955, and Dove was president of the company at the time he retired.  In the section on Bill Long, see the recollections of another cousin, Wendell Partridge Long, of Dove Parker and Bill Long in Tulsa.  Dove later lived in Coffeyville, Kansas, and died in the hospital there.  He was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Coffeyville.  Dove’s wife was Hazel Sandon.  They had one child:

(1) Alice Victoria (Vicki) Parker, born in 1938, married Dr. Richard Larry Meuli in Coffeyville in 1960.  When her father died in 1970, they were living in Tulsa and had three children.

D.  Ethelyn (or Ethyline) Parker was born about May 1891. In 1910, when she was 18, she was living with her brother Dwight Parker and her mother in Harrison County, West Virginia.  In 1930, she and her mother were in Coffeyville, Kansas, with Dwight.  “Ethel” was working as stenographer for the Packer Company that Dwight ran.

        10. Samuel S. Parker is known only through his inclusion in the 1860 census, when he was listed as two years old, thus born about 1858. He apparently died young.  He should not be confused with his nephew, Samuel Parker Long, who was born in 1860, the son of Almira and Samuel W. Long.

The Vanderford Family

        The wife of James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker was Elizabeth Vanderford, who came from the Vanderford family of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  She was visiting an aunt in Pittsburgh in 1838 when she met Curley Jim, who was working there as a wagon builder.

        Much information on the Vanderfords has been developed by the Vanderford family website at  The introduction to that site contains this information:

The Vanderfords settled in America in the 1600s. As a basis for the site, we will use The Vanderfords: Early Settlers of America, a genealogy and history of the Vanderford family. This large 472-page paperback book contains family members from the first Vanderford to settle in America to the present, a total of over 1800 individuals.

The book is divided into eight geographical areas; each representing the general locale settled by Vanderfords prior to the mid-1800s. Beginning in New York they moved to Maryland. From Maryland they spread to Salem, Massachusetts, and the Carolinas. From the Carolinas they moved into Georgia and Ohio and from Ohio into Missouri and Iowa. Each area chapter provides a general history and the part played in its development by the Vanderfords and a comprehensive genealogy of those families. There are also chapters on the Revolutionary War and the Civil War describing the many actions in which Vanderfords participated during those wars.

We have the entire contents of the book plus a lot of updated material uploaded. However, a few books are available for purchase.  This document is maintained by

The Vanderford Ancestry

        While the website on the Vanderfords goes into extensive detail, one curiosity is that it entirely omits the Elizabeth Vanderford who married James Wilson Parker.  What follows is a summary of the Vanderfords from the family website, as well as other sources, as the history appears to lead from the first family immigrant to Elizabeth and to her interaction with the Parker family.  (See the genealogical chart on the Vanderford family.) The family lineage runs as follows:

Michael Paul Vanderford (1615-1692)
George Paul Vanderford (1656-1715)
Charles Vanderford (d. 1737)
John Vanderford (1697-1783)
Charles Wrench Vanderford (1753-1788)
William Vanderford (1787-1836)
Elizabeth Vanderford Parker (1818-1888)
Sarah Agnes (Abbie) Parker (1844-1906)
William George Long (1865-1926)
Clarence Ray Long (1889-1935)

        Michael Paul Vanderford (Michael Pauluszen Vanderford-Vanervoot) was born in Dermont, Flanders, about 1615. It is not clear if this part of Flanders was in the Netherlands or in Belgium. One descendant said Michael came to America from Amsterdam, Holland, with a group of French and Walloon Protestants of Leyden.  They traveled aboard the ship Unity in March 1624, when Michael would have been nine.

        He was married to Maria Rapalje in New York on November 18, 1640, when he would have been 25.  She was born in Manhattan in 1627, the daughter of George Rapalje, born in Paris, and Catalina Trico.  Michael moved his family from New York to the Eastern Shore of Maryland about 1660. Their property was then in Talbot County, later Queen Anne’s County, at the head of what is now Corsica Creek, near Centreville. On July 30, 1661, Michael, identified as a “subject of the State of Holland,” was granted citizenship in the Province of Maryland. Michael Paul died in Talbot County on September 20, 1692. It appears they had nine children, of which one was George (Joris) Paul Vanderford.

        George Paul Vanderford was baptized on October 18, 1656, in the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church.  George bought 150 acres called Astor, on Hambleton’s Branch in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1687.  The price was 6,000 pounds of tobacco. He wife was Elenor.  George died in 1715.  Among his four children was Charles Vanderford.  

        Charles Vanderford was born in the late 1670s, and he died in 1737 in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland.  In 1713, Charles bought 100 acres called “Fortune” adjoining the lands originally laid out for his grandfather, Michael Paul Vanderford in Talbot County.  The cost was 3,888 pounds of tobacco.  Charles was involved in numerous land transactions as he bought and sold property in Talbot County.  His wife was Hester, and they had six children, of which one was John Vanderford.  

        John Vanderford was born about 1697 and died in January 1783.  In 1713, when he was 16, John was admonished by St. Paul’s Church for his “inconfinent living” with Comfort Sipple.  Later in life, he was given 200 acres of Wrench Farm in Queen Anne’s County by his father-in-law, William Wrench, and in 1755 he bought 200 additional acres of Wrench’s Farm for 100 pounds and 5,000 pounds of tobacco.  John’s first wife was Mary Wrench, and his second wife was Rachel.  One report said that the Wrench family was from Wales.  John apparently had seven children, of which one was Charles Wrench Vanderford.  When John died, he left his estate on the north side of Robotham’s ranch to his wife Rachel, and on her death to his son Charles Wrench Vanderford.   

Charles Wrench Vanderford (1753-1788)

        Charles Wrench Vanderford, a son of John Vanderford, was a farmer and possibly a Revolutionary War soldier.  A descendant, Gladys Vanderford Bond (see below), drew upon the family Bible and reported that he was born in Queen Anne’s County in 1753, although this would mean his father was 56 when Charles was born if the dates are correct. The will of Charles indicated that he died in 1788, when he would have been only 35.  

        Charles Wrench Vanderford was a farmer on his family's land (see below).  Land records of Queen Anne's County, Maryland, showed a tract of 1,000 acres, subsequently divided into three farms of an equal number of acres, in the neighborhood of Hall's Crossroads.  At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1776, according to both Gladys Bond and the Vanderford website, he joined the American Army and was part of the Maryland Line.  

        Details of Charles’ participation in the Revolution are not known.  There is one woman who joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1929 on the basis of the patriot service of Charles Vanderford of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, and she cited his pension as evidence of his involvement in the army.  However, it turned out that the pension had been awarded to a different “Charles Vanderford,” born in 1757 in Salem, Massachusetts.  That Charles enlisted in the army in Walden, Massachusetts, participated in a campaign that extended into Canada, and eventually settled in Baltimore.  His wife was Sarah English.  He died in Baltimore in March (or May) 1852.

        There are two people who joined the DAR on the basis of this second Charles Vanderford, and when they did, the DAR suspended membership applications on the one from Queen Anne’s County unless the applicants could prove correct military service.  By the end of 2006, no one had done so.  Thus, there is no direct evidence of the Charles Vanderford from Queen Anne’s County having been in the Revolution.

        The woman who was accepted for DAR membership in 1929, Gladys Vanderford Bond (Member Number 253700), who lived in Baltimore, claimed that “Charles Vanderford” was born in Queen Anne’s County in 1753, as written in her family Bible, and said he died in Baltimore on March 9 (or May 18 – both dates are given), 1822.  This appears to be the birth date for one Charles and the death date for another one.     

        A record of Caroline County, Maryland, showed a marriage on January 29, 1781, between Charles Vanderford and “Sarah Moodsley.”  This is probably the same as the “Sarah Mosely” cited by Gladys Bond as the wife of Charles Wrench Vanderford.  The Vanderford website said her name was “Sarah Mondsley.”

        A deed in Queen Anne’s County showed that on July 26, 1785, Charles paid 108 pounds for “one negro girl named Sarah about 11 years of age, one grey mare called Cato, one bay horse called Fox, and about 2,000 pounds of tobacco.”  In his will, written in 1785, his two Negro slaves were to be freed after eight years.  The will was filed in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, for Charles W. Vanderford on August 30, 1788, and the date probably is close to the date of his death.  He apparently was only 35.  

        On the website for the Vanderford Family, the page on Charles Wrench Vanderford can be found at The website said that Charles and Sarah had five children:

Thomas Vanderford
George Vanderford, d. 1789
William Vanderford, b. Feb. 6, 1787
Charles Wrench Vanderford, 1788-1811
Mary Vanderford

        Of these five, the key ancestor of Elizabeth Vanderford who married James Wilson Parker is William Vanderford.

William Vanderford (1787-1836)

        William Vanderford, a son of Charles Wrench Vanderford, lived first at Hillsborough in Queen Anne's County and later bought land in Talbot County.  The DAR application of Gladys Vanderford Bond said that William was born on February 6, 1787, and died on November 14, 1836.  He married Elizabeth Frampton (other research said her name was Elizabeth Hampton), whose family came from Talbot County.  According to Gladys Bond, Elizabeth was born in England and married William on January 6, 1811, when William was 24.  She died on April 25, 1829, eleven years after their marriage. Six months later, on October 28, 1829, William married Margaret Ann Watts (or Wales).

        One family member said that 
William and Elizabeth Frampton Vanderford had three children, although the Vanderford family website mentioned only Henry and an unnamed boy.  Curiously, it did not mention Elizabeth, although other historians have cited her as the first child.  

        Deeds show that William was a blacksmith living in Caroline County.  Records show at least three reports by William that his young apprentices had run away.  In 1817, he was offering a reward for the return of a 150-year-old blacksmith apprentice.

Elizabeth Vanderford Parker (1818-1888)

        Elizabeth Vanderford, one of the children of William and Elizabeth Frampton Vanderford, probably was born in 1818 and died in May 1888 at the age of 70.  Her date of birth is the subject of numerous different reports, resulting from either very faulty census takers or the fact that Elizabeth didn’t know when she had been born.  The 1850 census said she was 26, and thus born in 1824.  The 1860 census said she was 34, and thus born in 1826.  The 1870 census said she was 52, thus born in 1818. The 1880 census said she was 56, thus born in 1824.  There is also one report that Elizabeth was born in 1822.  However, the answer may be that she testified under oath in 1867 that she was 49 years old, and thus she was born in 1818.

        In Pittsburgh in 1838, Elizabeth met and married James Wilson (Curley Jim) Parker, who had been born in 1817 and was a wagon builder in that city. It appears that they had ten children.  Details are provided in the Parker section, above, but two deserve mention here in the history of the Long family, for descendants in the Long family continued for generations to use “Vanderford” in the naming of their children.

* Almira Parker, the first child of Elizabeth Vanderford and Curley Jim Parker, was born on May 14, 1840, and died on October 23, 1860, at the age of only 20.  She had been married in Ohio on December 23, 1859, when she was 19, to Samuel W. Long, and she had a child, Samuel Parker Long, on September 26, 1860.  Almira died only ten months after her marriage and just one month after the birth of Samuel.  

* Sarah Agnes (Abbie) Parker, the third child, was born on April 28, 1844.  She married the same Samuel W. Long, and two years later, Samuel died in the Civil War, at age 32.  See more on the Long family.  Her children were Elizabeth Long (1864-1886) and William George Long (1865-1926).  Abbie died on March 14, 1906.

Henry Vanderford (1811-1894)

        Henry Vanderford, also a child of William and Elizabeth Frampton Vanderford and a brother of Elizabeth Vanderford, became a well-known publisher. His history is well-documented and can provide additional background on the early life of his sister Elizabeth.  

        An entry for Henry Vanderford in the Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Maryland and the District of Columbia (1879) traced the family history.  Henry was born in Hillsborough, Caroline County, Maryland, on December 23, 1811.  After his father moved from Hillsborough to Talbot County, Henry continued his education there.  In 1825, he acquired knowledge of the printing business in the office of Thomas Perin Smith, at Easton, Maryland.  Smith was the publisher of the Easton Star.  When Smith died in 1832, Henry went to Baltimore, then to Philadelphia.  Later he returned and was employed in printing the Easton Whig.

        Henry Vanderford founded the Centerville, Maryland, Sentinel, which began publication on January 1, 1838.  In 1842, he sold the Sentinel and moved to Baltimore, where he started The Ray, a weekly literary and educational journal, as well as the Daily News and weekly Statesman.  The publications were short-lived, and Henry began a printing business at the corner of North and Baltimore Streets in Baltimore, which he continued until February 1848.  He then bought the Cecil Democrat, at Elkton, Maryland, and ran it very successfully for 17 years, until the close of the Civil War in 1865.  The newspaper had been opposed to secession, but it also opposed the Administration, and thus the Union considered it to be a secession journal.

        In 1865, Henry sold the newspaper and bought a farm in St. Mary's County, on the Patuxent River.  After three years, he found himself in ill health, and in January 1868 he moved to Middletown, Delaware, and founded the Middletown Transcript.  In March 1868, Henry's eldest son, William H. Vanderford, bought the Democratic Advocate, at Westminster, Maryland, and persuaded his father to move to Westminster to aid in the publication.  The Democratic Advocate became one of the largest and widely circulated journals in Maryland outside of Baltimore.  William was still publishing the newspaper in 1878.  In 1873, Henry was elected to the House of Delegates from Carroll County.

        It was apparently in Centerville, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, about 1838 that Henry met Angelina Vanderford, who had grown up in the area near that town.  They were married on June 6, 1839.  Angelina’s father, Henry Vanderford, Sr., was a distant relative of the younger Henry’s  father, William Vanderford, and Henry and Angelina were third cousins (according to Gladys Bond).  (A land record in 1826 showed a transfer to Angelina Vanderford from Henry Vanderford, probably father to daughter.)  

        Angelina and her husband Henry had 12 children -- 8 sons and 4 daughters.  This account is drawn from a published history of the Vanderford family.  In 1878, when it was written, both Henry and his wife were still living, but only three of their sons.   The youngest son, name not known, was publisher of the Old Commonwealth, at Harrisonburg, Virginia.   Henry’s son Charles Hamilton Vanderford (1847-1906) married Mary Eloise Wills, born in 1862, and they were the parents of Gladys Vanderford Bond.  Henry died on January 27, 1894, at the age of 82.

        Henry and his wife were communicants of the Protestant Episcopal Church.  In 1878, he was a Mason, and formerly a member of the Order of Odd Fellows.

        Besides William H. Vanderford, another son of Henry was Dr. Julien J. Vanderford, a dentist who reportedly practiced in Frankfort-am-Main, Germany.


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McLaughlin Family
McClurg Family
Ralston Family
Clarence Ray Long
Children of Clarence and Odie Long
William George Long
Samuel W. Long
Samuel Parker Long
Parkers and Vanderfords
Genealogical Charts

Neil Boyer's Family History Page