Category Archives: Parker

Maternal Branches in the Family Tree: Sarah Ann Parker (1817-1900)

Today’s sketch subject is my 3X great grandmother, Sarah Ann Parker. Although much is known about Sarah and her family, there are no known surviving photos of her.

What is becoming quite evident as I write up my maternal ancestors with a special focus on how events would have affected their lives, it is apparent that, until the 20th century, almost all of them suffered several (or many) losses throughout their lifetimes.

Sarah Ann Parker was born on 24 January 1817 on Campobello Island, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada, the second child but first daughter born to Benjamin Parker and Maria Wilson.

Sarah suffered two great losses as a young girl. First, her mother, Maria, died in October 1828, when Sarah was only 11 years old.

Several years later, there was an accident in the waters between Campobello Island and Casco Bay Island. A group of mostly young people, based on ages in the news article, were sailing to Casco Bay Island as a social get together. The boat capsized and four people drowned. One was Thankful Wilson, 16, a cousin of Sarah (who would have been 18 years old in July 1835), the second, a young man named Alexander Tinker, also 16, while the third victim was Sarah’s 16 year old sister, Hannah Parker. The fourth was Sally Ann Chaplin of Digby, Nova Scotia, no age given, but she undoubtedly would have been visiting friends or family on Campobello Island.

Survivors included Benjamin Parker, but no age is stated so it is unsure whether this Benjamin was Sarah’s father, a brother or a cousin.

Campobello Island is not home to a huge resident population and, in 1835, everyone knew everyone else and was related to many. This boating accident would have been a very somber event for all.

Most Campobello men were fishermen or possibly mariners. Sarah’s father was a fisherman who lived both on Campobello Island and, for a short time, on nearby Deer Island.

A year after the boating tragedy, Sarah Ann Parker married Daniel Adams, a fisherman like her father who lived on Adams Island, on 15 September 1836 on Deer Island.

Daniel and Sarah settled into married life, welcoming their first child just 14 months after they married. Sarah gave birth to nine children in all, born between 1837 and 1861.

Fishing was a difficult way to make a living and opportunities were limited on tiny Adams Island. By 1851, Daniel had moved his family to Deer Island, which offered more social life and easier access to fisheries.

However, the family spent but a few years on Deer Island before Daniel decided on two drastic life changes. First, he moved his family to Calais, Washington, Maine. By the Civil War era, Calais was a thriving city, home to a variety of trades and businesses.

Daniel must have possessed some good carpentry skills, as he took on the new occupation of boat builder.

Whether or not Sarah had any input or influence into her husband’s decisions, she accepted family moves from her birthplace of Campobello Island to Adams Island to Deer Island, all in Canada and, lastly, across the border to Calais, Maine.

Sarah made a home for her family and gave birth to seven known children on Adams Island, no doubt with the help of a midwife.

Her two youngest children were born in Calais.

There is a five-year gap in births during the time in which she lived on Deer Island – 1852-1857 – and it’s possible that she might have lost an infant or two during those years.

Children (births on Adams Island unless noted otherwise):

1. Benjamin William, born November 1837; died 2 June 1914, Lubec, Washington, Maine; married Mary Ellen Thayer, 21 January 1861, Lubec, Washington, Maine
2. Emeline M., born 6 May 1840; died 11 July 1917, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married Loring Benoni Bill, 22 November 1866, Calais, Washington, Maine
3. Calvin Segee, born 15 March 1843; died 15 jJanuary 1921, St. Stephen, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada; married (1) Martha Maria Tillinghast, 12 December 1869, Bristol, Bristol, Rhode Island (2) Nellie F. Tarbox, 1 February 1875, Calais, Washington, Maine
4. Charles Edward, born c1846; died c1865; unmarried
5. Nelson James, born 2 June 1850; died 2 December 1918, Calais, Washington, Maine; married (1) Annie Stickney, c1879 (2) Hannah Elizaabeth (?Graham) Olive, 21 September 1904, Calais, Washington, Maine
6. Frances Caroline, born 27 August 1851; died c1933, probably Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married James George Cragen, 13 February 1889, Calais, Washington, Maine. They had no children.
7. Angeline Jane, born c1852; died after 1930, probably Los Angeles, California; married (1) Sturgis A. Thomas, 23 August 1866, Calais, Washington, Maine (2) Samuel Henry Conroy, 22 April 1906, Somerville, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Annie had no children.
8. Bertha M., born c1857, Calais, Washington, Maine; died after 1870; no further record
9. Lowell Robert, born September 1861, Calais, Washington, Maine; died 23 March 1954, Everett, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married (1) Charlotte May Ward, 5 April 1887, St. Stephen, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada (2) Grace Lillian Barnes, 29 June 1908, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire

Long before vital records were available online, I was ecstatic to find Sarah’s death printed in the Calais City Directory and I obtained a abstract of her death record from the Calais City Clerk in 1980:

According to these records, she died on 24 January 1900. This is definitely a lesson in pursuing original records because I found a discrepancy caused by careless abstracting when the “original” death record appeared online:

Date of Death: 7 February 1900
Date of Birth: 24 January 1817

Someone blended her month and day of birth with the year of her death!

Lengthy obituaries were uncommon at the turn of the 20th century, but Sarah did have a short death notice in The Bangor Daily News:

It’s peculiar that eldest son, Benjamin, isn’t mentioned, nor are any of the surviving daughters. Perhaps it’s because Calvin, Nelson and Lowell were the only ones living in Calais.

Sarah lived a typical life for women of her times, marrying young, raising a large family and moving three times in during her married life.

However, Daniel did well as a boat builder and the Adams clan lived a comfortable life in Maine.







Finding a Place for Rachel Throop in My Loyalist Parker Family

Jonathan Parker of New Jersey, one of my 5X great grandparents, and a Loyalist who gave up home and friends to sail to Canada in the fleet of Fall 1783, left only a small paper trail.

Because of that, and maybe because he has hundreds, if not thousands of descendants today, online family trees in which he is found contain a LOT of undocumented information, suppositions and plain old fantasy.

My last Parker update was almost four years ago.

Since that time, I’ve seen the creation of a mythical person – Jonathan Benjamin Parker, who never existed.

My line of descent from Jonathan goes through his son Benjamin, born c1788 and Benjamin’s daughter, Sarah Ann Parker, who married Daniel Adams.

The Parkers sailed to New Brunswick on the Camel with three adult Parker men and their families on the passenger list:

  1. Jonathan Parker (Sr.) – He appeared alone on the 1783 ship’s list for the Camel. I surmised that he could possibly be the father of Benjamin. If he was the father of Benjamin, he likely was born before 1720.
  2. Benjamin Parker – with a wife, 3 children over the age of 10 and 2 under the age of 10. If his children were, say, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15, then he could possibly be the father of Jonathan Parker Jr. He might or might not be the father of other Parkers on the list, but if he is the father of Jonathan, then Benjamin was probably born not later than 1743 and possibly quite a bit before then.
  3. Jonathan Parker Jr., born c1764, based on his age on the 1811 militia list of Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada.

Of these three men, Jonathan Parker Jr. is my ancestor. He was apparently unmarried and left New Jersey with a probable brother and either his father, an uncle or an adult cousin, also Jonathan Parker, but called Senior.

I don’t know what became of Jonathan Sr. but Jonathan Jr.’s movements around New Brunswick have been fairly well tracked by descendants, given the time period.

However, Benjamin Parker is the man who has recently caught my attention for two reasons.

First, a Parker from Campobello Island, part of the West Isles of New Brunswick, Canada where my Parker family settled, contacted me, hoping to share information about her Elizabeth Parker who married William McLellan and lived on Campobello.

Elizabeth was baptized as an adult and her birthday is entered in the church record as 10 May 1776, likely in New Jersey, as that was the Parker home before the American Revolution.

There is also a marriage record for Elizabeth and William – 6 August 1795 on Campobello Island.

Now, William McLellan is from Colchester, Nova Scotia, Canada, born c1768. This is important for more than one reason.

My Parker cousin has her Elizabeth as part of the tree of my Jonathan Parker. I am quite positive that is a mistake, as Jonathan is found on a West Isles militia list with his age, which makes him born in 1764. Not likely that a boy born in 1764 would be having a daughter born in 1776.

I believe her Elizabeth was the daughter of Benjamin Parker, found on the 1783 passenger list with the two Jonathans. Benjamin had six children in his family at that time, including two under the age of 10. Elizabeth would have been about 8 years old in 1783.

More importantly, I think I have finally discovered the source of the conflated, non-existent “Jonathan Benjamin Parker.”

Look what has turn up in the indexed FamilySearch Canadian records – one single record, but which may answer more than one nagging question:

Thomas Parker, 93, Widower, born NJ,
Parents – Benjamin Parker, Rachel Thropp Parker
died 4 September 1868, Halls Harbour

Thomas Parker was reported to be 93 years old when he died in 1868. That puts his birth year c1775.

Furthermore, his parents are named!

Benjamin Parker and Rachel Throop!!!

At some point, I think the mythical Jonathan Benjamin Parker was created to account for the unknown wife of Jonathan Parker.

Note, too, that Thomas Parker died in Kings County, Nova Scotia and that Elizabeth’s husband, William McLellan, was from Nova Scotia.

The Isles families were all fishermen. It wasn’t unusual for them to move from the mainland to islands and back again. My family lived on Deer Island and Adams Island as well as in Eastport, Lubec and Calais, Maine.

It appears that Benjamin and Rachel might have settled in the area that stayed Nova Scotia after New Brunswick was formed. I don’t think they were ever known to have lived on Campobello Island.

I think I will be digging around Nova Scotia records once more to see if I can piece together some of Benjamin’s and Rachel’s other children.

Benjamin Parker of Campobello Island: 3rd Generation, Part 4

Today’s post will cover the youngest set of children of Benjamin Parker and wife Susan Herson. Three of the four children married and had children.

James A., born about 1848 on Campobello Island; died 1934. He married Susan E. Beaney on 3 November 1874 in Eastport, Washington, Maine. She was born 23 January 1852; died 1926. In 1881, the family was 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.  However, none of the family has been found after 1881, except for the gravestone of James and Susan in Eastport, Washington, Maine. NOTE: This is not the James, close in age, who married Adelia Boyd and had a large family.

Child (Parker):

1. Arthur I., born 1874; died after 1881 census; no further information.

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.

Child (Parker):

1. Lindon, born 12 December 1877; died 1967; married Agnes Ethel Gardner, c1903. They were the parents of five children – Davada, Florence Lillian, Edward Cecil, Elbert and Horace A.

Thomas, born c1853. He may have died young as he is not found after the 1861 census. There are no known descendants.

Owen Waters/Walters/Wellington, 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.

Children (Parker):

1. James Robert, born 8 December 1881; married Lottie G. Maloney, 27 May 1904, Portland, Cumberland, Maine; no further information.
2. Nelson, born 17 November 1884; died after 1901 census; no further information.
3. Martin Luther, born 15 July 1887; married Mabel Claire Smith, 30 April 1919, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. They were the parents of at least one child – Nina Mae.
5. Cranmer Latimer, born 12 June 1890; married Florence Barry Parker, 29 July 1916, York, New Brunswick, Canada. They were the parents of two children – Jessie Jean and Jack Malvin Gilbert Hay.
6. George Skiffington, born 7 July 1893 or 8 July 1894; married Nora L. Griffin, 19 January 1918, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada. They were the parents of at least one child – George Owen.

This completes the families of the grandchildren of Benjamin Parker (1787-1870) of Campobello Island.

If you are a cousin and can add any additional details, please leave a comment.