Looking for Canadian Descendants of Benjamin Parker,
Son of Loyalist Jonathan Parker
Benjamin Parker is the son of another of my Loyalist ancestors, my 5x great grandfather, Jonathan Parker, probably from New York and who sailed to New Brunswick in the Fall of 1783 at the end of the American Revolution.
Absolutely nothing is known about Benjamin’s mother, but it is thought that Jonathan probably married in New Brunswick within a few years of arrival.
The Parkers, and there are quite a few of them, settled on Campobello and Deer Islands, in the West Isles of New Brunswick, Canada. Campobello is best known as the summer home of President Franklin Roosevelt.
Benjamin Parker and Maria Wilson, my 4x great grandparents, married exactly 194 years ago today on 12 April 1812 on Campobello Island. Benjamin was born about 1788 and, although there is no documentation of Maria’s birth year, some suspect that she was several years younger than he was and married him when she was around 16 years old. I have my doubts about that because few New England or Canadian girls seem to marry that young.
Besides that, their marriage record, above, says nothing about permission given for her to marry. I believe she was at least 18 years old when she married and perhaps even 21. For those reasons, I would estimate she she was born no later than 1794.
The death of “Mrs. Parker,” wife of Benjamin Parker was reported in the Eastport Sentinel newspaper on 25 October 1828, but it doesn’t give her first name, nor does it say exactly when she died. Researchers have assumed for years that this was Maria Wilson Parker and I’ve found nothing to dispute that claim.
Due to a lack of records, exactly how many children Benjamin and Maria had is not known, but probably more than three daughters attributed to them.
Sarah, born 1817 in New Brunswick, Canada. Sarah married Daniel Adams on 15 September 1836 on Deer Island. Daniel and Sarah moved to Calais, Maine before 1860, where they lived the remainder of their lives. Daniel and Sarah are my 3x great grandparents. Sarah died in Calais on 24 January 1900.
Susan, born about 1820 and reportedly died about 1889 on Deer Island. She reportedly married a Mr. Lear, but no marriage has been found. However, nothing else is known about her and Benjamin had a daughter, Susan, with his second wife, Susan Herson, who was born about 1835. I don’t know if he had two daughters living at the same time with the same given name.
Frances (Fannie), born about 1823. Fannie married Thomas Mathews about 1847, probably on Deer Island. He was born in 1824 and died in 1889. She reportedly survived him.
However, researchers have stated that Benjamin married Susan Herson as his second wife on 19 December 1848, on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada.
He did indeed marry her on that day, but the 1851 census includes two Parker children born in the 1830s. That means there is a third, unknown, wife of Benjamin who he married between Maria and Susan. At least two children were born to them:
George Edwin, born May 1833, probably on Campobello Island and died after 1911 when he was living in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada with his son Patrick. George married Eliza Ann Morrison about 1858.
Susanna, born about 1835/37, also probably on Campobello Island and died between 1900, when her family lived in South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine and 1911, when her widower husband was living in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. Susannah married William Lewis Carr about 1862, but no record has been found. They might have married in Maine, where marriage records in that time period are spotty.
There is also a daughter Maria said to be the child of Benjamin Parker, but he has no daughter Maria at home in the 1851 census, when she would have only been about 11 years old.
Maria was born about 1840. She is attributed as a daughter of Benjamin and Maria, but I’m not sure she was a child of either of them. She married (1) Luther Brown, 2 January 1856, on Campobello Island. HER GUARDIAN, not named, gave consent for her marriage. Luther died by 1861, when their son, Martin Luther Brown, was living with his grandparents. Maria married (2) John Mathews on 22 November 1864, also on Campobello Island.
I also have to question why the marriage record to Luther Brown would say her guardian, and not her father, gave permission for the marriage. Furthermore, Benjamin Parker has no daughter in his household in 1851 named Maria or Mary. I can’t even find a Maria or Mary in the West Isles so who might be her. I think because she was a Parker and John Mathews was a brother of Thomas Mathews who married Fannie Parker, the assumption was made that Maria was Benjamin’s daughter.
Benjamin Parker married (3) Susan Herson on 19 December 1848, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. They had three known children:
James A., born about 1848 on Campobello Island. He married Susan E. Beaney on 3 November 1874 in Eastport, Washington, Maine. In 1881, the family was all living on Deer Island. His half sister, Susan Carr, and her family lived two doors from him. Next door was his newlywed brother, Owen, Owen’s wife Catherine, and their mother, Susan Parker.
Benjamin, reportedly born 25 July 1852, probably on Campobello Island. His death date has been given as 7 February 1941. He married Jane Adaline Leslie about 1877, as they have a 3 year old son in 1881. They also lived on Deer Island, but not next door to the rest of the Parker family.
Owen Waters, reportedly born 12 March 1858 on Campobello Island. His death date has been reported as 23 May 1944 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. He married Catherine Anne Kelly about 1880, reportedly in Chamcook, New Brunswick. They were newlyweds with no children at the time of the 1881 census.