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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 270-272 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 honorable family of Parsons have been advanced to the dignity of viscounts, and more lately earls of Ross." (Bishop Gibson A.D. 1725 in "Camden's Britannia").

"It does not appear that there has ever been any attempt to collect even the materials for a history of the English family of Parsons, notwithstanding there have been many individuals among them of great distinction, as knights, baronets and noblemen." (New England Gen. Reg. 1847). Guppy's Homes of English Names, says, "Parsons is a striking example of a purely south of England name. It is represented in most of the southern counties, but its great home is in Wilts, and is numerous in most of the counties around this centre, Somerset, Dorset, Hants, Oxford and Monmouth." In America the name is early found. The English family bore arms. Those of Sir Thomas Parsons, of Great Milton, 1636, are those claimed by the American family. Gules: Two chevronels, ermine between three eagles displayed or. Crest: an eagle's leg erased at the high or, standing on a leopard's face, gules.

The family herein recorded is that of Deacon Benjamin Parsons, an early settler of Springfield, Massachusetts. From that state they went to Enfield, Connecticut, settling in Kingsboro, Fulton county, in 1792. The present is the eleventh generation from Thomas Parsons, of Great Milton, England, and the ninth in America beginning with Deacon Benjamin.

(I) Thomas Parsons, of Great Milton, Oxfordshire, England, was buried May 23, 1597. He married Catherine Hester, and had five children.

(II) Hugh, son of Thomas and Catherine (Hester) Parsons, was born November 27, 1563, in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, England. He married Elizabeth (Bagshaw) Thompkins, who died January 24, 1642. They were the parents of ten children.

(III) Deacon Benjamin, son of Hugh and Elizabeth Parsons, was born and baptized at Sanford Farms, Oxford, England, March 17, 1627, and died Springfield, Massachusetts, August 24, 1689. He came to America, and was among the early settlers of Springfield, Massachusetts. He was a chief instrument in the formation of the Springfield church, as appears from his correspondence with Rev. Increase Mather. He was a deacon, and a prominent citizen of exemplary moral character. In the civil affairs of the town he held many responsible offices which he discharged with strict fidelity. From the time of marriage to that of his death, Deacon Parsons, with the exception of four years, held some office of public trust in Springfield. He married (first) November 6, 1653, Sarah, daughter of Richard Vore, of Windsor. She was a member of Rev. John Warham's church in Dorchester, and accompanied him to Windsor. She died at Springfield, Massachusetts, January 1, 1676. He married (second) February 21, 1677, Sarah Heald, widow of John Leonard, who settled in Springfield in 1639. He was killed by the Indians. She died in 1690, after a second marriage to Peter Tilton. Children by first marriage, all born in Springfield:

  1. Sarah, August 18, 1656; married James Dorchester.
  2. Benjamin (2), September 15, 1658; died at Enfield, Connecticut, December 28, 1728; he married Sarah Keep; her mother was Sarah, daughter of John Leonard. Her father, John Keep, was killed by the Indians at Long Meadow in 1676.
  3. Mary, December 10, 1660, died at Springfield, January 27, 1662.
  4. Abigail, January 6, 1662; married (first) John Mun; (second) John Richards.
  5. Samuel, see forward.
  6. Ebenezer, born November 17, 1668; married Margaret Marshfield; he was deacon of the Congregational church of West Springfield fifty-two years.
  7. Mary, December 17, 1670; married Thomas Richards, October 21, 1691.
  8. Hezekiah, November 24, 1673; married Hannah Cooley, February 20, 1701.
  9. Joseph, December, 1675; married Abigail Phelps, September 15, 1697.

(IV) Samuel, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Vore) Parsons, was born at Springfield, Massachusetts, October 10, 1666, died February 17, 1735. He married, March 18, 1683, Hannah, born September 10, 1668, daughter of John and Hannah (Chapin) Hitchcock. Children:

  1. Samuel, November 23, 1690; married December 4, 1713, Abigail Randall.
  2. John, see forward.
  3. Luke, born January 4, 1696; married, September 13, 1716, Sarah Osborn.
  4. Hezekiah, April 13, 1698; married November 15, 1723, Rebecca Burt.
  5. Hannah, August 2, 1700; married Nathaniel Horton, March 3, 1720.
  6. Nathaniel, December 28, 1703; married, December 18, 1725, Mary Pease.
  7. Sarah, November 10, 1704; married, June 10, 1742, Thomas Jones.
  8. Moses, June 10, 1707; married, January 13, 1736, Hannah Stebbins.
  9. Miriam, April 9, 1710; married, November 10, 1730, Caleb Jones.
  10. Daniel.

(V) John, son of Samuel and Hannah (Hitchcock) Parsons, was born in Enfield, Connecticut, July 23, 1693, died in Somers, Connecticut, July 4, 1739. He married, June 20, 1716, Thankful, born November 12, 1693, died July 4, 1739, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Dumbleton) Root. They were the parents of seven children, among whom were John, Moses and Thomas.

(VI) John (2), son of John (1) and Thankful (Root) Parsons, was born at Enfield, Connecticut, April 22, 1724, died at Windsor, Connecticut, March 14, 1769. He married, April 30, 1747, Elizabeth Barrett, who died March 6, 1758. They had six children.

(VII) James, son of John (2) and Elizabeth (Barrett) Parsons, was born in Windsor, Connecticut, October 9, 1748, died January 22, 1810. He settled in Kingsboro, Fulton county, New York, in 1792, and was the ancestor of judge Levi Parsons. He was a farmer of Fulton county until his death. He married, January 25, 1770, Hannah Phelps, born September 2, 1748, died March 25, 1837. They were the parents of eight children.

(VIII) Gurdon, son of James and Hannah (Phelps) Parsons, was born July 4, 1780, at Windsor, Connecticut, died October 5, 1848, in Fulton county, New York. He was twelve years old when his parents settled in Fulton county, two miles north of Gloversville. He was reared a farmer, an occupation he followed all his life. He married (first) March 11, 1801, Sally Permelia Leavenworth, born May 20, 1783, died December 30, 1824; (second), Helen Demarest, died October 3, 1863; no issue. There were five sons and three daughters by first marriage. Parents and children were active and original members of the Congregational church of Kingsboro.

(IX) Tallmadge Leavenworth, son of Gurdon and Sally P. (Leavenworth) Parsons, was born on the Parsons' homestead farm in Kingsboro, Fulton county, New York, January 13, 1813, died on the farm where his life was spent, January 13, 1847. He was an active Whig, and a faithful member of the Congregational church. He married Jane MacGregor, born August 8, 1814, died December 9, 1883. They had one child.

(X) Tallmadge Lester, only child of Tallmadge Leavenworth, and Jane (MacGregor) Parsons, was born July 2, 1843, at Kingsboro, on the Parsons' homestead farm. His father died when he was about three and one-half years of age, and his early life was spent under the care of an uncle. He was educated in the common schools and at the academy. About April 1, 1878, he came into possession of the Parsons farm, first settled by his great-grandfather, James Parsons, he being the fourth generation to own and cultivate the property. The original tract contained one hundred acres, to which has since been added by Mr. Parsons' father and himself one hundred and fifty acres. He is a successful modern farmer, and a capable business man. He is active in town affairs, and has served three terms as supervisor. He is a member and an elder of the Presbyterian church. He is a Republican in politics. He married, June 5, 1878, Juliette, born July 1, 1850, daughter of George and granddaughter of Charles Musgrave, of England. George Musgrave was born in England, February 2, 1810, died January, 1881. He came to the United States in 1830. and settled in Johnstown, Fulton county, New York. He was a farmer, a Republican, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He married Elizabeth, born June 13, 1815, died December 24, 1886, daughter of William, born January 7, 1776, died May 18, 1856, and his wife Mary Potter, born February 11, 1778, died November 18, 1859. Children of George and Elizabeth (Potter) Musgrave:

  1. William;
  2. Ann Sarah;
  3. Margaret Jane, married Peter Stewart;
  4. Charles, married Julia Van Arnum;
  5. Matthew, married Jennie Brownell;
  6. Mary Elizabeth, married Calvin R. Jackson;
  7. Emily; Juliette, married Tallmadge Lester Parsons;
  8. James, married Jennie Van Deusen;
  9. George Henry, married Janette Stewart.

Children of Tallmadge L. and Juliette (Musgrave) Parsons:

  1. Jennie, born April 20, 1879;
  2. Elizabeth, February 25, 1881;
  3. Levi, August 9, 1883;
  4. Duncan MacGregor, March 30, 1885;
  5. Margaret K., April 4, 1889.

The Parsons family from time immemorial have been successful tillers of the soil. One notable exception must be made to this statement, however, Judge Levi Parsons, founder of the Levi Parsons Library of Gloversville. He was a native of Kingsboro, and spent the greater part of his working years in successful business enterprises in California. He was one of the founders of the Whig party in that state in 1849, and was the first judge appointed in San Francisco. He not only gave the first large contribution that made the library possible, but he gave to Union College $50,000, the interest of which is mainly applied to the education of young men from Fulton county. Thirteen scholarships are provided by this fund, the directors of the Levi Parsons Library having the sole right to nominate the candidates for these scholarships. Judge Parsons' early desire for a collegiate education inclined him to make this wise provision for the young men of his native county. He was also greatly interested in the preservation of the Parsons genealogy, and it is to his generosity that so much has been done to preserve the Parsons' records. He died October 23, 1887.

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