Missing Link (LK=ZY)

Missing Link (LK=ZY)
Johnny B. Parks

PS Newsletter Vol. 39, No. 1 (2002), Page 11

Swann Edward Parks #403 has used early census data to try to trace the parents of his ancestor, Johnny B. Parks (b. ca. 1748) of Tennessee and Kentucky. He strongly believes them to be John Parks 1 and Elizabeth Carson Parks of Charleston, South Carolina, but needs more documentation for confirmation. At present we are not sure whether this John Parks is an immigrant founder. The only source of information about him is the South Carolina Marriage Records (1675-1858), which states that he married Elizabeth Carson (widow) on 15th September 1791 at the Circular Congregational Church, Charleston, SC. In 1790 the city of Charleston was located in the Charleston District. There were two parishes in the city, St. Michael’s and St. Phillip’s.

It is believed that Johnny B. Parks was born in South Carolina although not only South Carolina but also Georgia and Tennessee are mentioned as his birthplace in various census records. Such discrepancies are typical, and census records should only be a starting point for research. Sometimes, however, they are the only records available. There is no proof that Johnny B. is the son of John and Elizabeth Carson Parks, but the names, dates and locations of this frequently moving family are consistent with the conclusion. The 1820 census for Sumner County, Tennessee, lists John Parks, age over 45; Jacob Parks, age 26-45; Robert Parks, age 26-45; and Richard Parks. The 1830 census for Todd County, Kentucky, lists John Parks, age between 70 and 80.

For reference, in 1820, Sumner County, TN, was bordered by Kentucky on the north, and the Tennessee counties of Smith (east), Wilson (south), and Davidson and Robertson (west). Sumner is in north central Tennessee, northeast of Nashville. In 1830, Todd County, KY, was bordered by Tennessee on the south, and the Kentucky counties of Logan (east), Muhlenberg (north), and Christian (west). Present day Todd County, KY, is about fifty miles northwest of Sumner County, TN. Calloway County, KY, is another fifty miles west of Todd.

Johnny B. Parks 2 is believed to have married Sarah C. Harper on the 9th of March, 1820, but the Todd County, KY, Marriage Record shows this marriage as taking place on the 6th of February 1821. Johnny and Sarah named their first male child Eli Carson Parks, which supports the suggestion that Johnny’s mother’s surname was Carson.

The Johnny B. Parks family appears to have been living in Todd County, KY, in 1825; in Sumner County, TN, in 1829, and in Calloway County, KY, in 1830. The census records for 1830, 1840, and 1850 list Johnny B. Parks/John Parks/J. Parks with the correct numbers and ages of males and females to identify them as Johnny B’s household. Thus he and his family apparently followed a somewhat different migration path from that of his father.

As recorded in the 1850 Calloway County, KY, census, J. Parks, age 52, stated that he was born in South Carolina and could not read or write. His wife, S. was aged 48 years. All their children are listed except for Monroe, age 12, who was missed in this census. The place of birth for all the listed children is given as Todd County, KY. However, later, son Henderson (b. 1829) stated that he was born in Sumner County, TN; and Monroe gave his place of birth as Illinois?? Johnny B.’s daughters Melinda Ann and Mary Jane should not have been listed as they were married and no longer part of this household. Mary Jane was also listed on the line below as part of the household of her husband J.H. Story; the Storys and the Parks were next door neighbors.

The following deeds of gift – “to have & dispose of as they see fit” – are on record in the Calloway County, KY, Courthouse:

  • November 24, 1856: Johnny B. Parks to son Henderson McFarlin Parks a Negro slave.
  • Johnny B. Parks to daughter Elizabeth & son-in-law Manoah Swann a Negro slave.
  • April 22, 1857: Johnny B. Parks to son John Franklin Parks a Negro slave, Johnny B. Parks to daughter Martha Emaline [Matilda Emeline] a Negro slave.

Calloway County also provides land grant information: Book 1, p. 405

  • John W. (B.) Parks – Grant #1098 – 9 Dec. 1829 – SWQS35 TIR3E
  • Book 3, p. 158 – James Parks – Grant#2000 – 10 Nov. 1831 – NEQS35 TIR3E
  • Book 10, p. 341 – John Parks – Grant#8875 – 4 Jan. 1850 – SEQS27 TIR3E

Mr. Parks wonders if the grantee in the 1850 document could have been John Franklin Parks, son of Johnny B. He would have been 18 years old then. Johnny B.’s possible father, John Parks 1, would have been age 92, so it is not him!

At present, Graves County, KY, borders Calloway County on the west, toward the southwest corner of the state, in the former Jackson Purchase area. Both are bordered on the south by Tennessee. It is important to be aware of changes in county lines as population increased and new counties were organized out of old ones. In 1850, Graves County was also bordered by the Kentucky Counties of Hickman and Ballard (west) and McCracken (north). By 1890 Ballard County had been split into two parts, Carlisle and Ballard. By 1850, Marshall County had been organized from the northern part of Calloway County. These two counties were also bordered by the counties of McCracken, Livingston, Caldwell (from which Lyon was later organized) and Trigg.

Johnny B. Parks 2 Family

John Parks 1 m. (1791, Charleston, SC) Elizabeth Carson. Possible parents of Johnny B. Parks 2.

  1. Johnny B. Parks 2 (b. ca. 1748, SC[?]) m. (1820, KY) Sarah C. Harper. Children of Johnny B. and Sarah Harper Parks:
    1. Melinda Ann Parks 3 (b. 1823) m1. (1844, Calloway Co., KY) Gallant Wilson; m2. (1858) Andrew Morgan Sanders.
    2. Eli Carson Parks 3 (1825-1889) m. (1854, Calloway Co., KY) Margaret Cathron Lawrence. Children:
      1. Violey Santifee Parks 4 (1855-1939) m. (1875) William Carr Nance.
      2. Sarah Alis Parks 4 (1857-1945) m. (1878) John Philip Cook.
      3. Susan Ideller Parks 4 (1859-1935) m. (1890) James L. Waterfield.
      4. Robert Ed. Wane Parks 4 (1861-1863).
      5. Rufus Whitfield Parks 4 (1864-1933) m1. (1906) Amanda Knight Clarke; m2. (1914) Selena Ora Lamb.
      6. John Carson Parks 4 (1867-1894).
      7. Flournoy Painter Parks 4 (1870-1953) (lived at Detroit, MI) m1. (1895) Laura Jane James; m2. (aft 1909) Nellie Graham.
      8. Verdie Evy Lavadie Parks 4 (1874-1921) m. (1912) Tom Paschall Roberts.
      9. Elbert Euin Parks 4 (1878, KY-1921, KY) m. (1912) Lillie Bell Mayer. Elbert and Lillie are the grandparents of Swann Edward Parks #403.
    3. Mary Jane Parks 3 (b. 1827) m. (1845) John H. Story. Children:
      1. J.W. Story 4 (b. ca. 1847).
      2. S.J. Story (b. ca. 1848).
      3. M.E. Story (b. ca. 1849).
    4. Henderson McFarlin Parks 3 (1829-1908) m. (1856, Calloway Co., KY) Pauline D. Mathis. Children:
      1. Albert J. Parks 4 (b. ca. 1859) m. Emma Harris.
      2. William “Bill” J. Parks (b. Oct 1862, KY) m. Roberta -?-.
      3. John Horace Parks 4 (b. ca. 1871, TN).
      4. Vandoler Parks 4 (b. 1880, KY).
    5. John Franklin Parks 3 (b. 1832) m1?. Lurie Cain; m2?. Ellen V. Sanders. (Mr. Swan Parks is not sure which wife was first.) Children:
      1. Leroy Parks 4 (b. ca. 1863, KY).
      2. Wesley B. Parks (b. ca. 1865, KY) m. Josie Miller.
      3. Whit. S. Parks 4 (b. ca. 1868, KY).
    6. Margaret Elizabeth Parks 3 (1836-1874) m1. Manoah Swann d. bef. 1862, Civil War); m2. (aft 1862) William Cook Swann.
    7. Matilda Emeline (Emma) Parks 3 (b. 1840) m. Capt. William J. Mathis.

[Note that child 7. Monroe Parks (b. 1838) as printed in the Newsletter has been removed since Monroe is not a child of Johnny B. Parks.]

Swann Edwards Parks is descended from John 1, through Johnny B. 2, Eli Carson 3, and Elbert Euin Parks 4. Eli Carson Parks was born August 1, 1825, in Todd Co., KY. According to notes in the family Bible for this branch, Eli married Margaret Cathron Lawrence, daughter of John Laurence, on January 11, 1854, in Calloway Co., KY. Their marriage license had been issued on the 30th of December, 1853. Eli gave his age as 27, and Margaret 19.

According to census records, by 1860, Eli was farming at Murray, Calloway Co. KY, with his wife Margaret and three children. A schoolteacher was also listed in the household, probably boarding with them. The family evidently moved sometime between 1870 and 1880, because they were living in Lynnville District #3, Graves Co., KY, as of the census for the latter year.

It is noted in the family Bible that Elbert Euin Parks 4, the youngest child of Eli and Margaret, was baptized in the Methodist Church by a minister in Graves County on the 21st day of October, 1881, when he was three years old. Elbert married Lillie Bell Mayer, the daughter of Jacob and Violet Mayer, on the 24th of March, 1912, in Murray, Kentucky. They were parents of four children: Marvin Wayne Parks (b. 1913), Hattie Catherine Parks (b. 1917), Milton Leon Parks (b. 1918), and Myrtle Idella Parks (b. 1920). About 1920, Elbert was dynamiting stumps and one charge failed to go off. As he approached to check on it, the charge exploded and some of the debris knocked out one of his eyes. On the 4th of October, 1921, Elbert died from pneumonia, aged 43 years, leaving his widow to raise their four children. Elbert Euin Parks is buried at Sinking Springs, KY. His wife did not join him there for another 57 years, dying on February 20, 1979.

Newsletter Vol. 41, No. 1 (2005), Page 7

Swan Parks PS#403 has learned that the records of the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, SC were lost when it was burned during the Civil War. Swann believes that this is where his ancestor John Parks was married to Elizabeth Carson. (References: Newsletter 2002 Vol. 39, No. 1, pp 11-12, 14, and 2003 Vol. 40, No.3, p.41.)


Newsletter Vol. 45, No. 1 (2008), Page 8

Swan E. Parks, PS#403, has used early Census data to try to trace the parents of his ancestor, Johnny B. Parks. He strongly believes them to be John Parks and Elizabeth Carson of Charleston, South Carolina but needs more documentation for firm confirmation.

The only source is from South Carolina Marriage Records (1676-1838) which lists the marriage of John Parks to Elizabeth Carson (widow) on September 15, 1791 in the Circular Congregational Church, Charleston, South Carolina. In 1790 Charleston was located in the Charleston District. There were two parishes in the city: St. Michaels and St. Phillips.

It is believed that Johnny B. Parks was born in South Carolina, although South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee are all mentioned on various Census records. There is no documentary proof that Johnny is the son of John and Elizabeth but the names, dates, and locations fit.

Todd County, Kentucky marriage records show Johnny B. Parks and Sarah C. Harper (Hooper) to have married on February 6, 1821. Their first male child was named Eli Carson Parks, which adds to the belief that Carson was Johnny’s mother’s surname.

Originally, Johnny B. Parks’s date of death was given as 1857, which is the year that he made several gift deeds to his children: Henderson, Elizabeth, John, and Martha. However, both the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census for Calloway County, Kentucky has the household of John Parks (born South Carolina) living next door to his daughter Mary Jane married (1) to J.N. Story, (2) to W.S. Saunders, so Johnny was definately still alive in 1860.

Recent information provides possible connection to Alexander (LK=KY) lineage. A close relative of Marcia Parks Holpuch has contributed to our DNA project and is a close match to others in the Alexander Park DNA group.Marcia’s ancestry can be traced back to John Franklin Parks, born about 1834 in Kentucky, later settling in Illinois. From other Census information on this family group, it strongly appears this is the same John Franklin Parks who is the son of Johny B. Parks, an ancestor of Swann E. Parks, PS#403.

Another DNA participant, George Mack Park, PS#1344 (LK=WP), also appears to be a close match to Marcia’s volunteer. His earlier ancestry settled in Franklin Co., Illinois, just north of Johnson Co., Illinois.

Further research is needed, but there appears to be a distinct possibility that these fragment lines may have a common ancestry back to John Parks/Elizabeth Carson and leading further back to Alexander Park (the founder). Certainly we do know that we have other established Park/e/s lines where early family members chose to move a substantial distance away from their original home. Many more descendants have recently been added to this research document.

Correction: It was formerly thought that John B. and Sarah (Harper) Parks were the parents of Monroe Parks born about 1841 in Illinois – died 1894. Information provided by Charla Schroeder Murphy states that they were NOT. Instead, the parents of Monroe Parks were John C. Parks (born about 1810 Tennessee) and Jerusha “Druchie” Tanner, daughter of James Tanner/Nancy Jernigan. John C. Parks married Jerusha “Drushie” Tanner about 1830. Monroe Parks married (1) Julia Ann Story 1858 in Williamson County, Illinois; married (2) Emma Parks 1873 Williamson County, Illinois.