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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1503-1504 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The surname Parker is derived from the Latin "parcarius," parkkeeper, or shepherd. Danes, Saxons and Normans all seem to have had the name at an early date. Parcum and de Parco are found in Domesday Book. As early as 900-925, in the reign of Edward I, a Geoffrey Parker is mentioned even before the common use of surnames in England. The family bore arms, that of the Brownsholme family of Parker, the pedigree of which is traced to William le Parker, of Wiztwistle, Lancashire, before 1400 is: Vert, a chevron between three stags' heads cabossed or; crest: a leopard head affrontee erased or, ducally gorged gules; motto: Sepre Ande (dare to be just). This coat-of-arms descended through the Park Hall and Staffordshire lines, and is that used by Sir Thomas Parker, Earl of Macclesfield,, England. A Parker branch that settled in Dutchess county, New York, descended from James Parker, a taxpayer in Woburn, Massachusetts, in 1645.

(I) John Parker was born in 1799, died November 30, 1848, aged forty-eight years, ten months and sixteen days. He had a brother, Samuel, who had children: Philip and Philo, twins, who were of Shelbyville, Illinois. John Parker settled at an early date in Saratoga county, New York, where he engaged in farming and lumbering. He married Nancy McQueen, who died December 26, 1888, aged eighty-four years, four months, six days, daughter of Robert and Betsey McQueen. Robert McQueen died July 6, 1834, aged seventy-five years; Betsey McQueen died November 14, 1840, aged seventy-seven years.

(II) Robert, son of John and Nancy (McQueen) Parker, was born in the town of Galway, Saratoga county, New York. He engaged there in the lumber business and operated a farm. In 1888 he removed to Michigan, where he yet resides (1910). He married Margaret Timeson, who died in 1860. Their only child was John Nicholas, see forward.

(III) John Nicholas, only son of Robert and Margaret (Timeson) Parker, was born in the town of Providence, Saratoga county, New York, September 20, 1854, died in Schenectady, New York, February 23, 1907. His mother died when he was a lad of six years, and his early training devolved upon an aunt, who cared for him until he was ready to go out into the world and make his own way. This time came all too soon. He attended the winter schools, and in summer worked on a farm, receiving, at first, six dollars a month, working at this wage for two years, when he was raised to eight dollars. After two years more on the farm he yielded to the charm the Erie canal had for the farmer boy, and secured a job as water boy, where he earned a good round dollar every day. His uncle, Hiram Parker, was proprietor of a hotel at Acqueduct, and for eleven years John N. lived with him. He was treasuring his dollars, and after eleven years had sufficient capital to engage in business on his own account. For the next seven years he conducted the hotel at Rexford Flats, at the same time operating in all kinds of farm produce, under the firm name of John N. Parker & Company. He shipped large quantities of hay, grain and kindred products, and conducted a profitable business, which he continued until his death. After disposing of his Rexford Flats' property he operated the hotel at Acqueduct for four years. He built a fine residence at that place, which was his home ever after. He sold his hotel interest, and henceforth devoted himself to his produce business, the public service in the state of New York, and to business interests in the city of Schenectady. He was treasurer of the Schenectady Paving and Contracting Company, a concern that carried on the largest business of the kind in northern New York. He also had an interest in the Niskayuna Ice Company, and was a director of the Schenectady Trust Company. He continued his successful business career up to the time of his death. In public life Mr. Parker was well known and prominent. He was a local leader in the Republican party, and influential in state party councils. He was honored and respected as a leader in Schenectady county, and always proved a formidable opponent at the polls. He held many public offices in the county; was road commissioner; for two terms represented his town on the board of supervisors, being elected without opposition. In 1894 he was appointed by Governor Levi P. Morton division superintendent of the eastern division of the Erie canal, going back in authority to the scene of his boyhood labor, and held this position twelve years. He was a capable official, and served his state well. At the time of his death he was assistant superintendent of public works of the state of New York. He was a familiar figure at party state conventions, and frequently was a delegate to Republican national conventions. His public life was clean, and he always made it his boast that he never had a dollar which he did not earn. He spent a life of active effort, and earned a deserved success. He was prominent in the Masonic order, belonging to St. George Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and was a noble of Oriental Temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine. He was a charter member of Schaughnaugh-ta-da Tribe of Red Men, and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He married, October 14, 1881, Katherine, daughter of John Blair, of Schenectady, and Julia Blair, of St. Johnsville, New York, who survives her husband. Children:

  1. John Robert, see forward.
  2. Ethel B., born July 21, 1884; married George G. Schieffelin; child: Richard G.
  3. James C., July 20, 1887; educated at Phillips Exeter Academy; now a real estate dealer of Schenectady; married Grace Gilbert.

(IV) John Robert, eldest son of John Nicholas and Katherine (Blair) Parker, was born at Rexford Flats, Saratoga county, New York, October 14, 1882. He was educated in the public school, Schenectady high school, Union Classical Institute, Albany Business College, Mt. Beacon Military Academy, Fishkill, New York, and was graduated LL.B. from Cornell University, class of 1907. He was admitted to the Kentucky bar, and in 1907 to the New York bar, and at once began the practice of his profession in Schenectady, as a partner of the law firm of Wemple & Parker. In 1909 this partnership was dissolved, and he is now conducting a general law practice alone. He has always taken an active part in politics, following in the footsteps of his father. In 1909 he was the Republican candidate for the state legislature from Schenectady, being beaten by the slender majority of two hundred and eighty-seven votes. He is a member of the Episcopal church; Sigma Chi (Cornell); Phi Delta Phi, a legal fraternity; Phi Psi, a preparatory school fraternity; Schenectady County Bar Association; Schenectady Board of Trade; Mohawk Club; Mohawk Golf Club, and the Press, Republican and Boat clubs of Schenectady. He married, July 3, 1907, at Newcastle, Kentucky, Fannie Symes, born February 21, 1883, daughter of Major Sanford, of an old Kentucky family, and Fannie (Smith) Sanford, and granddaughter of Charles Sanford. Mr. and Mrs. Parker have a son,

  1. John Robert (2), born September 12, 1908.

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