Missing Link (LK=5T52)

Missing Link (LK=5T52)
Another Look at Josiah Parke

For the past several months, I have been attempting to compile a research manuscript for this branch of the Robert (MA 1630) lineage. As with almost every genealogy, there are still missing pieces and I hope to hear from other descendants of this line. Descendants have used Park-Parks-Parke variations of the surname. To avoid confusion, I have simply used Park in my FTM Index, however my notes contain the spelling as found in the source records. There are numerous variations in birth and death dates. FTM has flagged at least two births. It is possible that some children are with the wrong parents. Census data is not always clear as to the relationship of the household members.

Josiah Parke is the fifth generation descendant from Robert (MA 1630). DNA results from a descendant of his son's Thomas line provides one of the benchmarks of the Robert Parke lineage. It is worthwhile to take a second look at this particular group for possible connecting information to one of our missing links. Josiah and Sarah Benjamin, both of Preston, CT were married on 5 Nov. 1731 in Preston, CTa. Sarah was born 17 January, 1707, in Preston, CT, the daughter of Joseph Benjamin/Elizabeth Cooke. They had nine known children.

Josiah Park was a Preston Surveyor, 1739-1754, 1755, and Collector, 1744-5. It is believed that he came to Wyoming Valley, PA in 1770 with his son Thomas (6T344) Park. According to Elizabeth (7T283) Park Wolcott, "in the year 1788, my parents with their four young children (aged 6 weeks to 6 yrs.) and my aged Grandfather Park (Josiah Park - age 75) moved up the north branch of the Susquehanna River and settled upon its eastern banks in which is now the township of Litchfi eld, Bradford Co, PA."b I think we can conclude that Sarah Benjamin Park died before 1788, since Elizabeth clearly mentions her grandfather but not her grandmother. Josiah cleared the land for the Park Cemetery located on River Road along the Susquehanna River at the NY/PA state line where he and other Park and related ancestors are buried, but again, there is no mention of or monument for his wife. Thus far, I have been unable to find Sarah's date or place of death. However, it is possible that she died before 30 November 1748 when the last of their documented children (Sarah) was baptized since only the father Josiah Parke is named in the Connecticut records.a

We lack information as to where Josiah (5T52) was living from late 1748 until he is mentioned with his son Thomas in 1788. Thomas Park and Elizabeth Back were married at Preston, CT, on 10 July 1770 by Samuel Mott, J.P.a It is thought that Thomas settled his young family at Forty Fort and it is believed that Elizabeth and their son died there. As a soldier, Thomas took part in Sullivan's campaign, was wounded at Huntingdon, and also served as a scout. Thomas married his second wife, Abigail Nesbit, in 1781 at Plymouth (now Luzerne Co, PA)c. What is interesting and also puzzling is that neither Thomas nor his father are mentioned in any of the research materials I have found on the Wyoming Valley area of PA during the hostilities both with the Pennamites and during the Revolutionary War.

My other family lines living in the Wyoming Valley area during the Revolutionary War all provided some type of service, both sons and fathers who were as old as Josiah. If he had been living there, it would have been unusual for him not to have taken some active part. During the Pennamite hostilities and later the Wyoming Massacre, many of the Wyoming settlers fled to along the Delaware River where it was safer. It might be worthwhile to take a closer look along the Delaware from north of present day Easton, PA, Orange Co, NY, or northern New Jersey. The Parke Society has three other children listed after the birth of Sarah Parke: Ebenezer Parke (6T346), Silas Parke (6T347), and George Parke (6T348). I have not been able to find any CT record for these three children. I am not sure where the Society information came from - it may be an error. Josiah's wife Sarah would have been considered past child-bearing age (about 48 yrs old) when their daughter, Sarah was baptized.

Lola Spohn, a very diligent researcher of the Robert Parks/Laban Parks (LK=WR) line, definitely believed that this was a branch leading back to Josiah Park. She corresponded with several of our Society members including Ruby Parke Anderson and I have followed her trail from Orange Co, NY to Honesdale, PA, and on to Ohio. She believed that there was a second marriage and this is a possibility. She also believed that it was with an Indian lady which I think is unlikely. Unfortunately, none of the three above are named either Robert or Laban!

Looking through the available materials, it is obvious that Josiah's children did not appear to keep in contact with one another, although they were not living that far apart. Josiah Bo'son's (6T343) last days were spent near Fish's Eddy in the Town of Hancock, NYd, Thomas (6T344) lived at Litchfield, Bradford Co, PA, and Amos (6T341) settled in Salem, Luzerne Co, PA. There are NSDAR records for these three as well as many Parke Society members.

The following are the documented children of Josiah (5T52) and Sarah Park:

  1. Benjamin (6T337) Park born 3 Sep. 1732, Preston.a Bap. May 25, 1737e (Preston Town Records) Error: The following Internet Information linking Benjamin to Josiah (5T52) is incorrect: "Meech Family Tree": Benjamin b. 3 Sep. 1732 Preston, CT - died 5 Aug. 1805 New York, NY. Buried at Old Trinity Churchyard Cemetery, New York, NY. Benjamin mar. Hannah Stanton York (b. 1735). Correct ancestry: NSDAR Ancestor # AO87035 Benjamin Park was born in 1735 Westerly, RI - died 17 June 1775 at Bunker Hill, MA, mar. Hannah Stanton York.
  2. Joseph (6T338) Park b. 17 Jan. 1734, Preston.a Bap. 25 May 1737e. Joseph mar. Sarah Killam on 29 Nov. 1761 at Preston, CT.a Note: if the following Internet records are correct, it seems unlikely that Joseph and Sarah had any children before he died. "Suddath and Freeman Ancestors" give a baptism date for Joseph of 25 May 1737. Their birth and death dates for Sarah are: 1742-1843. "Bolin Family Tree" Sarah Killam born 1 May 1742 at Canterbury, Windham, CT - died 7 June 1843 at Pawlet, Rutland, VT. Sarah married (2) Moses Porter on 12 May 1765
  3. Sybil (6T339) Park was born 26 Feb. 1736a Bap. May 25 1737.f Sybil of Preston mar. Daniel Avery of Groton 22 April 1779 by Rev. Paul Park.e No other information. [See "Error" printed in Vol. 47, No. 1, Page 6.]
  4. Dorothy (6T340) Park was baptized 21 May 1738.f Not found in CT Birth Records using Barbour Collection from Internet. No other information.
  5. Amos (6T3341) Park was born 19 Jan. 1739 at Preston.a We have PS members and also NSDAR ancestry from this branch. Amos married at Preston, CT to Grace Herrick, daughter of Edward Herrick/Margaret Childs. Both died in Luzerne Co, PA. They had nine children:
    1. Prudence (7T240) Park b. 1766 CT mar. Joseph Alvin Corey. Both died in Almond, Allegany Co, NY. One child listed but probably there are others.
    2. Experience (7T241) Park b. 1769 CT mar. Nicholas VanLoon bef. 1787. No other information.
    3. Joseph (7T242) Park b. 1771 CT - d. bef. 1774
    4. Lucy (7T243) Park b. 1772 CT mar. Unknown Holloway. No other information.
    5. Edward (7T244) Park b. 1774 CT - d. 1856 NY. No other information
    6. Sarah Sally (7T245) Park b. 1778 PA - 1858 Groveland, NY, mar. Eli Johnson. Two known children, probably others.
    7. Amos (7T246) Park b. 1780 NY - d. Mifflin, Franklin Co, OH; mar. Sarah Chestnor. NSDAR lineage gives different date of birth for Amos. Five children.
    8. Silas (7T247) Park b. abt 1786 CT - d.1854; married Mary A. Hamaker. No other information.
    9. Moses (7T248) Park b. abt. 1784 CT; mar. Polley Unknown b. CT. Two children listed.
  6. Susanna (6T342) Park b. 11 Apr. 1742 Prestona; married 5 Apr. 1770 Preston to Christopher Reynolds (Renolds) by Samuel Mott, J.P.a No other information found.
  7. Josiah (6T343) Parks b. 15 Aug. 1744a; bap. 7 Oct. 1744e; married to Anna Weekly abt. 1773 probably at Ulster Co, NY.d Josiah was engaged as boatswain's mate on a British ship at the taking of Havana in 1762. The Commander was pleased with his strategy during this time and promoted him to Boatswain - thereafter he was usually known as Bo'son Parks. After his discharge from the British service, he joined other Connecticut settlers in the Pennamite War in Wyoming, PA. From there he took up a 150 acre tract of land on the west side of the Delaware River at Stockport, two miles below Shehocken Point, including Preston's Flats. He built a cabin on Equinunk Island. Before this he had lived at Shawangunk about 20 miles west of the Hudson in Ulster Co, NY, then briefly in Goshen, NY and Minisink (Port Jervis). Josiah's last days were spent near Fish's Eddy in the Town of Hancock, NY. He was buried without a monument in the Partridge Island Cemetery at Fish's Eddyg. Josiah and Anna had 7 children.

    PS# 169 Bess Hope's book, Josiah Bo'son Parks, provides excellent genealogical research on this lineage. This is available from our Society Library. NSDAR descendants.

  8. Thomas (6T344) Park b. 8 Dec.1745a; bap. Jan. 26, 1748e; mar. (1) 10 Jul 1770 Preston, CT to Elizabeth Backa; mar. (2) 1781 Shawnee Barracks to Abigail Nesbitc. Thomas and Abigail are buried in State Line Cemetery, Litchfield, Bradford, PA. NSDAR descendants.

    Thomas Park served as a Corporal in the Revolutionary War in the CT Regiment under Captain Spalding. In the spring of 1781, he was severely wounded in an encounter with the Indians who were making a raid upon the settlers. The Shepard Collection at the Historical Museum in Athens, Bradford Co, PA has the paper Thomas wrote giving "power of attorney' to draw his pension which also states his office in the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, Thomas Park was one of the Connecticut claimants who lost his property and so moved to Litchfield Township, Bradford County, PA with his family and his father, Josiah. Thomas was the first settler in Litchfield Township and owned a tract of four hundred acres. He was forced to purchase title to this land twice. Thomas taught the first school here, holding classes in his log house. This was a wilderness which meant a long trip by water to Wilkes-Barre to get supplies for his growing family. Times were hard for the family and Thomas earned money by building and selling canoes or doing day-labor in the Wyoming or Wilkes-Barre settlements. In his free time, which was limited, he cleared the soil and planted crops, eventually he was able to afford a team of horses which made his life much easier. Thomas and Abigail had ten children (birthdatesc):

    1. Daniel (7T281) Parke b.1782 Wyoming,PA, married (1) Patty Martha Saunders; (2) Nancy Ellis. Eleven children listed from first marriage and three children from second marriage. Mary (7T282) Park b.1784 Wyoming; mar. John Moore. 3 children, given names unknown.
    2. Elizabeth (7T283) Park b.1786 Wyo- ming; mar. Elijah Wolcott (my direct line). Twelve children.
    3. Susanna (7T284) Park b. 1789 Wyoming; mar. John R. Wolcott. One child, given name unknown.
    4. Samuel (7T285) Park b. 1791 Tioga Co, NY; mar. Margaret Wolcott. Six children listed.
    5. James Nesbit (7T286) Parks b. 1793 Litchfield, PA; mar. (1) Margaret McKinney; (2) Sybil Franklin; (3) Julia Ann Bronson. One child from first marriage; seven from second marriage; and two from third marriage.
    6. Thomas (7T287) Park b. 1796 Litchfield; mar. Margaret Wolcott Park (wid. of Samuel). Six children listed.
    7. Joseph (7T288) Park b. 1798 Litchfi eld; mar. Mary Stewart (Steward). Four children.
    8. Elijah Park b. 12 July 1801, listed in Family Bible excerpt; evidently died young.
    9. Amos P. (7T289) Park b.1805 Litchfield; mar. Arletta Griffin. Amos was a physician in Sheshequin, died at age 32. Two daughters listed but no given names. Sarah (6T345) Park was baptized 30 November 1748.a

      Error: the Internet Family Finder has Sarah Parke (daughter of Josiah) died 1804 Sheshequin, Bradford, PA married to Obadiah Gore.

      "History of Albany, Monroe, Sheshequin, and Overton Townships" (Bradford Co, PA) by C. Heverly, pub. 1885, (History of Sheshequin 1777-1902) Burial Record Gore Cemetery: Hannah Park, mother of Judge Gore 83 yr 1 mth 11 da. This publication is correct because Hannah Park (b.1721) who married Obadiah Gore, Sr. was the daughter of Thomas [04T11] Park (1674-1732) and his wife Hannah Witter (1680-1757).


  1. Barbour Collection (CT records)
  2. Athens Gleaner (Bradford Co, PA)
  3. Revolutionary War Pension microfilm record, David Library, Washington Crossing, PA
  4. PS# 169 states that the marriage to Anna Weekly was about 1773 probably in Ulster Co, NY
  5. Preston Town Records, Preston, CT
  6. Parke Society materials
  7. PS#169 Parke Society Newsletter V.16, p.4.

For additions, corrections or for more complete information, please wobens1899@gmail.com to me, or snail mail at P.O. Box 4854, Youngstown, OH 44515.

PS Newsletter, Vol. 47, No. 1, page 6 (2010)

Errors and corrections: 6T339 On p. 43 of Vol. 46, No. 3 of the Newsletter, Sybil Park (6T339), born 26 Feb. 1736, was reported as having been married to Daniel Avery of Groton. There is no information regarding a marriage for this Sybil. Thank you to PS#755 for noticing this error.