NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
Many authorities state that the name of Parsons is derived from a church parson, which originally was Person, as he was the chief person in the church. Others claim this was originally the same as Peirson or Pearson. In England the name has been common for many centuries, and among the notable members of the family were Sir John Parsons, Lord Mayor of London in 1704, and Sir Humphrey Parsons, Lord Mayor London in 1731 and again in1740. Many gallant soldiers have borne the name and made it noteworthy in the history of our own country, and they have also held other positions of honor and trust.
(I) Cornet Joseph Parsons, by his own statement born in England in 1618, was the first of the name to be found in New England. He appeared in 1636 in Springfield, Mass., as witness of a deed from the Indians of the lands of that place and vicinity to William Pyncheon and others. According to tradition, and also some of the best authorities, Joseph was a brother of Benjamin Parsons, born in Great Torrington, Devonshire, England; the two are supposed to have accompanied their father to New England about 1630. It is thought they came the same time as William Pyncheon, and Joseph Parsons was closely associated with William Pyncheon and his son John.
Cornet Joseph Parsons became the chief founder of Northampton, Mass., where he removed in Nov. 1655. His name was found on the list of land owneres of Springfield in 1647, of whom there were forty-two; he served in that town as surveyor and also as selectman. In 1655 Mr. Parsons purchased a monopoly of the fur and beaver trade of the Connecticut River, and from this trade became quite wealthy for the times, becoming the second, probably, in the colony, to point of wordly possessions. He also owned two valuable lots in Boston, a residence and a storehouse on the harbor, which his family sold for a large sum after his death. In 1668 Joseph Parsons purchased and conducted a sawmill, and in 1671 he went on an exploring tour with others, and was instrumental in concluding a bargain with the Indians for a tract of land to the amount of ten thousand five hunderd and sixty acres. He was several times sent on surveying expeditions, and had considerable influence with the Indians, as shown by the frequent bargains he was able to conclude with them for the purchase of land and closing of treaties.
Cornet Joseph Parsons was a member of Captain John Pyncheon's Hampshire county troop, Oct. 7, 1678, also a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery of Boston in 1679, and served in the early Indian wars. Savage says he was the "most enterprising man in the Connecticut Valley, for a quarter of a century."
He died in Springfield, Mass., Oct. 9, 1683. He married, Nov. 26, 1646, Mary, daughter of Thomas Bliss, of Hartford, afterwards of Northampton. They lived at Northampton until 1679, in which year they returned to Springfield, where both died, she Jan. 29, 1712.
Joseph, John, Samuel, Ebenezer, Jonathan, David, Mary, Hannah, Abigail and Hester.
(II) Joseph (2) oldest son of Cornet Joseph (1) and Mary (Bliss) Parsons, was born in 1647, and died at Northampton, Mass., Nov. 29, 1729. He was a justice of the peace under the English forms, and in 1711 was commissioned by Governor Dudley as captain of a foot company of a Hampshire regiment, becoming active in the military service. He served several different times as selectman, and was judge of the county court more than twenty-three years, and served fourteen years as deputy to the general court at Boston. He was a man of considerable property, and owned grist and sawmills in Deerfield, and was also interested in the iron business in Suffield and Southfield. He served in King Philip's war, and was one of the very earliest lawyers in Massachusetts.
He married, March 17, 1669, Elizabeth, daughter of Elder John and Abigail (Ford) Strong; John Strong and his wife were ancestors of Caleb Strong, who became governor of Massachusetts. She was born in Windsor, Conn., Feb. 24, 1648, and died in Northampton, May 11, 1736, after having lived with her husband sixty years.
Rev. Joseph (first of the name to graduate from Harvard College).
(III) Lieut. John, second son of Joseph (2) and Elizabeth (Strong) Parsons, was born Jan. 11, 1673-74, died Sept. 4, 1746. He married (first) Dec. 23, 1696, Sarah Atherton, born Oct. 26, 1676, daughter of Rev. Hope and Sarah (Hollister) Atherton. She died Feb. 12, 1729, and he married (second) June 12, 1729, Mrs. Hannah Miller, widow of Abraham Miller, and daughter of Preserved and Sarah (Newberry) Clapp, who was born May 5, 1681, died Nov. 9, 1758. His estate was appraised at three thousand, six hundred and three pounds.
Children, all by first wife:
Atherton, born Feb. 15, 1698.
John, July 15, 1700.
Eunice, July 26, 1701; died young.
Gideon, Dec. 7, 1702.
Sarah, Sept. 30, 1705, died Nov. 7, 1705.
Moses, see forward.
Eunice, Feb. 3, 1711.
Ephraim, Feb. 14, 1713.
Benjamin, March 27, 1716.
Joseph, May 16, 1722.
(IV) Moses, fourth son of Lieut. John and Sarah (Atherton) Parsons, was born July 6, 1708, died Jan. 3, 1746. He married (first) Nov. 5, 1730, Wait, forn July 16, 1711, died Sept. 9, 1731, daughter of Abraham and Hannah (Clapp) Miller; (seond) Nov. 20, 1734, Sarah, born May 9, 1703, daughter of Samuel and Sarah Janes; she married, in 1753, Ithamar Clark.
Child by first wife:
Childern of second wife:
Oliver, born Sept. 27, 1735.
Eunice, May 7, 1737.
Joel, May 18, 1739.
Bela, Dec. 9, 1741.
Sarah, May 7, 1744.
(V) Moses (2), son of Moses (1) and Wait (Miller) Parsons, was born Sept. 1, 1731. He married, June 15, 1758, Mehitable, daughter of Noah and Mehitable (Warner) Bridgman; he was a farmer of Northampton.
Eunice, born March 24, 1759.
Seth, see forward.
Rhoda, March 8, 1763.
Moses, June 26, 1765.
Daniel, Nov. 11, 1767.
Justin, March 11, 1770.
(VI) Seth, eldest son of Moses (2) and Mehitable (Bridgman) Parsons, was born Feb. 5, 1761, died July 19, 1826. He married, Oct. 25, 1787, Rachel Wales, born Oct. 14, 1768, at Westhamtpon, died Nov. 9, 1829.
Anselen, born July 25, 1789.
Eunice, Jan. 20, 1791.
George, see forward.
Seth, Jan. 10, 1796, died April 3, 1851.
At Saranac, Clinton county, N.Y.:
Jonathan, Oct. 16, 1797.
Nathaniel H., April 19, 1801, died May 14, 1826.
Henry, April 16, 1805.
Rachel, April 13, 1806.
Frances, Aug. 17, 1809.
Daniel L., Feb. 5, 1812.
(VII) George, second son of Seth and Rachel (Wales) Parsons, was born at Northampton, Mass. May 3, 1793, died Dec. 30, 1874. He became a merchant and a manufacturer of iron and lumber in Saranac, N.Y. Previous to settling in Saranac he had been engaged in various mercantile enterprises and had been engaged, among other things, in buying horses for the Boston market. His brother Anselen had located at Plattsburgh, N.Y., and in 1823 George Parsons went to Plattsburgh and Saranac, and a year later, a change of air was considered necessary for the health of his wife, removed with his family to Saranac, locating near the river. He removed by team to Burlington, Vermont, thence by boat to Plattsburgh, by team to Cadyville, and up the Saranac river seven miles in a rowboat to his new home in the wilderness.
He began clearing land, manufacturing potash, and also sent logs down the river to Cadyville to be made into lumber.
From 1837 until 1867 he was engaged in farming, lumbering, and mercantile business, and from 1844 until 1867 was identified with the iron industry along the Saranac river. In 1867 he retired from active life and many of his interests were turned over to his son David H., who had been associated with his father for more than twenty years. He was held in high esteem by all who knew him, and held several public positions of trust and responsibility. He was much interested in public affairs, and was a strong adherent of the Democratic party from 1837 until his death.
Mr. Parsons married (first) March 15, 1815, Sarah, born Dec. 7, 1795, died Oct. 17, 1830, daughter of Bela and Sarah (Parsons) Strong, and they had seven children. He married (second), June 16, 1831, Mary E. Hoyt, who died Feb. 2, 1841, and they had five children. He married (third), Adeline H. Tunnicliffe, Sept. 7, 1842, and they had two children, she died June 6, 1872.
Children by first wife:
1. Sally Maria, born Nov. 4, 1815, died Dec. 2, 1837; married Bissell C. Hopper.
2. George Henry, Aug. 4, 1817, died Aug. 12, 1858; married Sarah B. Robertson, May 29, 1849.
3. A son, unnamed, born April 21, died June 9, 1819.
4. William Strong, July 11, 1820, died April 4, 1821.
5. David Hunt, see forward.
6. Eliza Strong, Nov. 3, 1826, died Aug. 4, 1828.
7. Aaron Wales, Jan. 16, 1822, died Aug. 23, 1829.
Children of second wife:
1. Frances Eliza, born April 12, 1832, died Aug. 9, 1859; married, Jan. 4, 1853, Melvin B. Patchen.
2. Susan Harriet, March 18, 1834, died Feb. 19, 1853; married June 24, 1852, Shepard Pike Bowen; they had one child, Susie Parsons, born Feb. 6, 1853; married, Feb. 14, 1872, Henry C. Jillson, born Oct. 4, 1848; children: i. Frank Bowen Jillson, born Sept. 15, 1873; married Aug. 9, 1905, Gertrude B. Hunter, and had one child, Ruth Bowen Jillson, born May 10, 1910. ii. Bessie Louise Jillson, born May 20, 1875, died July 21, 1878.
3. Rachel W., April 1, 1836, died April 12, 1875; married, Dec. 27, 1859, R. Morgan.
4. Sarah Maria, March 15, 1838, died Aug. 14, 1840.
5. Jeanette Eunice, Aug. 9, 1840, died Jan. 26, 1841.
Children of third wife:
1. Sarah Holt, born Nov. 12, 1844, died Nov. 26, 1905; married (first) Feb. 14, 1864, B. Frank Davis; (second) Dec. 31, 1865, George D. Dunham, M.D., who died Nov. 20, 1891.
2. Wales, Dec. 11, 1848, died Feb. 21, 1894; married Louisa E. Jackson, Oct. 24, 1870, and their six children were: Ernest H., born Oct. 4, 1871, married Blanche Embree March 12, 1897; Charles Edward, July 14, 1873, married June 18, 1901, Isabella Beattie; Adelaide Maria, Jan. 5, 1875; Roy Wales, May 7, 1877, died Dec. 14, 1879; Lance Maurice, April 6, 1879, married Sept. 23, 1902, Bertha Neals Wilcox; Mabel Irene, April 13, 1883.
(VIII) David Hunt, fourth son of George and Sarah (Strong) Parsons, was born Dec. 20, 1823, died June 2, 1895.
He became a dealer in general merchandise, and, like his father, whose interests he largely inherited, a manufacturer of lumber and iron. He paid close attention to his business interests, and made the most of his opportunities to better himself, becoming the owner of large business enterprises.
He married, Jan. 21, 1846, Ruth Pardy, of Beekmantown, N.Y., born Nov. 28, 1826, daughter of James Barnes and Rebecca Pardy, and they became parents of four children:
1. Charles Henry, born Dec. 8, 1846, at Saranac, N.Y., died Jan. 2, 1895, at Biloxi, Mississippi; married June 22, 1869, Jeanette Thomas, and their children are: Ida Louise, born Aug. 4, 1870; Ruby, born in 1883, died in infancy; Ruth, Oct. 15, 1885.
2. George, see forward.
3. James B., born May 17, 1857; married June 15, 1881, Hattie F. Jackson, and their three children are: Ethel, David, Moss and Myra. James B. resides on the old homestead where George Parsons landed when he came to this part of the world, and which property has been in the family since; a farmer, merchant and lumber manufacurer; member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, past noble grand.
4. William Augustus, born Feb. 15, 1859, died Feb. 16, 1859.
(IX) George (2), second son of David Hunt and Ruth (Pardy) Parsons, was born Oct. 17, 1855, at Saranac, N.Y. He inherited the business ability of his father and grandfather, and became an influential and prominent citizen. He resides at Plattsburgh, N.Y.
He engaged first with his father in the lumber business in Tinbrook, and in 1883 he entered the lumber business with David H. and Wales Parsons, at Elsinore, N.Y., under firm name D. H. & W. Parsons, which business was sold to Wales Parsons in 1887.
He then for five years was forman in the river, driving for various concerns. In Sept., 1893, he was appointed deputy collector of customs for Plattsburgh District. After the death of his father he resigned from the customs department and turned his attention to the lumber interests in pulp wood, etc., and wild and forest land, which he has since made his business. He held various offices at Saranac and was one of the first supervisors of city of Plattsburgh after its incorporation in 1902, and chairman of board of public works.
Politically he is a Democrat, and he is a prominent member of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, in which order he is now fourth past commander of De Soto Commandery, and a member of Oriental Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Troy, N.Y.
Mr. Parsons married, Jan. 1, 1877, Addie E., born June 29, 1856, daughter of Captain John S. and Eveline E. (Barnes) Stone, in Clinton county, N.Y. Her mother was daughter of Deacon Henry Barnes, of Beekmantown, Clinton county.
Children, born in Saranac, N.Y.:
1. Orrel Hunt, born Oct. 18, 1877, died in infancy.
2. George Russell, Nov. 5, 1878; clothing salesman; married April 23, 1905, Sadie E. Leonard, born April 14, 1880, and they have one child, Ruth Elizabeth, born April 26, 1906, in Albany, N.Y.
3. Earl Stone, Aug. 30, 1880, died March 20, 1899.
4. Edgar Ellsworth, Jan. 20, 1882, died March 19, 1882.
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