Missing Link (LK=XQ)

Missing Link (LK=XQ)
Johnny Russell Parks

PS Newsletter, Vol. 42, No. 1, Page 14 (2006)

For several years, I have been trying to discover more about the ancestry of my great grandfather, John E. Parkes, who was born in 1826 and died 27 Feb., 1899. He is buried in Flint Cemetery, Belle Rive, Jefferson Co, Illinois. My searches on the internet put me in touch with a distant cousin, Sandy Streitberger, a teacher in Florida. She had been looking for the same John Parkes, who was her great great grandfather. Upon comparing notes, I recalled that when I was a child, her grandmother, Nellie Iona Parks Davis, visited my father, Douglas Parkes Wilbanks, when we lived in El Paso, Texas. I remember she and I spent some time playing old phonograph records on my dad’s wind-up Victrola.

Sandy and I have visited county libraries and courthouses in Clinton County and Jefferson County Illinois, finding records pertaining to our common ancestors. We have reached back one more generation from John E. to John Russel Parks, but have not been able to trace any father back than that. The following data was put together using resources contributed by both of us.

John Russel Parks was born about 1790-1800; we established his age according to the 1840 Clinton Co. census. He was probably born in Pennsylvania or North Carolina; no date exists to prove either one, but family tradition says it was Pennsylvania. He lived in North Carolina in 1825 when his son Charles was born. His son, John E. was born in 1826 in either North Carolina or Illinois (Census data varies on this). He was not listed in the 1830 Clinton Co. census. His remaining 3 known children were born in Illinois according to the 1850 census. They are Mary, born 1836; Elizabeth, born 1839; and James born 1841. He purchased land in Clinton Co., in 1837 and 1839; records of these land purchases are clearly documented in the Archives in the Clinton Co. Courthouse, under Public Domain Land Tract Sales. The county seat of Clinton Co, is Carlyle. According to Clinton Co. probate records, he died Dec. 7, 1844 in Clinton Co., leaving his widow, Sarah, and five children, as listed above. We have not found his burial site, nor that of his wife.

John Russel Parks’s listing in the 1840 census states that he was employed in agriculture, and the household contained one male, between 40 and 50 (John R.), one female between 30 and 40 (his wife Sarah), two males between 10 and 15 (Charles and John E.), one female between 5 and 10 (Mary), and one female between 0 and 5 (Elizabeth). James had not been born yet. A probate case was filed on 3 or 5 January 1845, by his son Charles. Later additions to the probate record, dated Jan. 28, 1847, list a subpoena to Charles Parks, which is crossed out and replaced with Mrs. Mary Parks. She is not listed in any further documents. We wondered whether Charles had moved away and perhaps Mary was his wife, but we have no other information on this. The final settlement of the probate was dated 1 Mar., 1847, received by John’s widow, Sarah. In the 1850 census, the mother, Sarah, 47, born in North Carolina, was listed as head of household, and living with her were her son, Charles, farmer, 25, born in North Carolina, and daughters Mary, 14, and Elizabeth 11, and son James, 9, all three born in Illinois. John E. and his wife Sarah and child were listed separately.

Our only information on John R. Parks’ wife Sarah is that she was born in 1803 in North Carolina, from the 1850 census, and died between 1857 and 1860 in Clinton Co. She was not listed in the 1860 census, but was listed in a land sales record in 1857. There have been some family rumors as to Sarah’s maiden name, but no verification has been found so that information is not included here. Various land records in the Clinton County Courthouse show transfers of land among the various heirs of John R. Parks. In 1857, the persons involved were Sarah, John E. Mary, and Elizabeth. Between 1859 and 1871, the named parties are John E., Sarah C. (John E.’s wife), Elizabeth and Jacob Phillips, and Mary Parkes and later Mary and Thomas Herrin. From this I conclude that Sarah, John R.’s wife, died between 1857 and 1861. None of these transfers mention the younger son, James L., although and 1862 Civil War Census of Clinton County lists James L. Parkes, 21 and John E. Parkes, 36, both farmers living on the same piece of land in East Fork township, as having no Civil War service. Perhaps James was not listed in the land transfers as he was a minor at the time. I have no further data on what happened to Charles, Elizabeth, Mary, or James after this period. This about covers the information I have regarding the elder John Parks, listed here as John Russel Parks and his wife Sarah.

The next generation, John E. Parks/Parkes is better documented, although his place of birth is still uncertain. I have the family Bible of John E. and Sarah Caroline Parks/Parkes, which has a detailed listing of the births and deaths of them and their children, except for deaths of those who survived to later years.

Entries in the Parkes family Bible, owned by Nancy Wilbanks Sorensen:


  • John Parks born 1826
  • Sarah C. Parks born Feb. 22, 1826
  • Mary Elizabeth Parks born 1849
  • John Rusel Parks born Apr. 13, 1852
  • Luisa Catherine Parks born May 19, 1854
  • Charles Calvin Parkes born June 5, 1857
  • Agnes Josephine Parkes born Dec. 26, 1859
  • John H. Parkes born July 15, 1862
  • Susan Arminta Parkes born Nov. 20, 1868
  • Allies M. Parkes born May 10, 1866
  • John A. Parkes born Dec. 14, 1872

John A. and Ella's family:

  • Burrel Rubin Parkes born Mar. 21, 1895
  • John Calvin Parkes born June 31, 1899


  • Mary Elizabeth Parkes died Feb. 11, 1852
  • Luisa C. Parkes died June 2, 1867
  • Allies M. Parkes died Aug. 29, 1870
  • Susan Arminta Parkes died May 9, 1886
  • James H. Parkes died May 26, 1889
  • Burrel Rubin Parkes died Aug. 8, 1897
  • John E. Parkes died Feb. 27, 1899
  • Ella Parkes died Mar. 19, 1900
  • John A. Parkes died Nov. 12, 1900
  • Sarah C. Parkes died Aug. 31, 1907

Including the information to follow, thus, we have death dates for all of the nine children of John E. Parkes and Sarah Caroline Brewster Parkes, except for John Russel, born April 13, 1852. The 1860 Clinton Co. census lists John Parks, M, 35, farmer, NC; Sarah, F, 34, NC; Louiza, F, 6, IL; Charles, M, 3, IL; Josephine, F, 3 mo., IL. (I assume from this that John Rusel Parks born Apr. 13, 1852, from family Bible listing, had died before 1860, since he would have been 8 years old and still living at home.) Since this census lists John (E.) as born in North Carolina, but the 1850 census lists him as born in Illinois, we are uncertain which is correct. I tend to think the North Carolina location is correct; however his son Charles’ obituary states that he was born in Pennsylvania.

John E. Parkes wife was Sarah Caroline Brewster; her maiden name has been listed in several family sources. However, a reprinted Clinton County Marriages, 1825 to 1907 lists John Parks and Sarah "Green" as married 16 Nov., 1848 by T. L. Nichols, J.P. and the date that our John E. and Sarah were married, according to the Bible was 16 Nov., 1848. I can find no trace of any Greens in county archives, but there are a number of Brewster/Brusters listed, some of whom owned land close to the Parks land. Apparently, the original handwritten marriage listing is held at the Southern Illinois University library, but we have not had an opportunity to go there to see whether the writing is clear. It seemed to us that if the "Brew..." were scrawled, it could have been interpreted "Gree..." by a transcriber who then just finished it into a known word. Another, more remote possibility, is that Sarah might have had a previous marriage that lasted only a short time, but no one seems to have ever hear of such a thing.

In trying to discover whether any of the Parkes fought in the Civil War, I found an 1862 Civil War Census stating that John Parkes, 36 and James L. Parkes, 21, both of the same land description in East Fork Township, Clinton Co, IL, both farmers, were listed as having no service record. Another John Parks listed in the same census in Clinton Co, was John C., single, born about 1838. We have no record of such a person in our family records. He might have been from an entirely different family or he might have been some distant relation.

PS Newsletter, Vol. 43, No. 2, Page 23 (2007)

Nancy Sorensen (PS# 1415) has provided information on John Russel1 Parks (LK=XQ), who was born between 1790 and 1800 in either Pennsylvania or North Carolina. His wife Sarah -?- was born in 1803 in North Carolina and died between 1857 and 1861 in Clinton Co., IL. They had five children:

  1. Charles2 Parks (1825 NC - bef. 1857)
  2. John E. 2 Parks/Parks (1816 NC or IL - 1899)
  3. Mary 2 Parks (1836 IL -? ) m. Thomas J. Herrin
  4. Elizabeth2 Parks (1839 IL - ?) m. Jacob Phillips
  5. James2 Parks (1841 IL -? )
John E. 2 Parks/Parkes married Sarah Caroline Brewster on November 16, 1848, in Illinois. Sarah was born February 22, 1826 in McMinville, Warren Co, TN and died Aug. 31, 1907 in Jefferson Co, Illinois. John died February 27, 1899 in Jefferson Co., IL. John and Sarah had nine children, of whom five died without issue. The four remaining are:
  1. John Russel3 Parks/Parkes (b. 13 Apr. 1852 -? ) Does not appear on 1860 census with family
  2. Charles Calvin3 Parks/Parkes (1857 Centralia, IL - 1933 Pratt, KS) m. 1880 in Jefferson Co, IL to Effie Mae Boudinot (1862 IL - 1941 Hooker, OK) Four of their seven children married:
    1. Clark4 Parkes (1882 - bet. 1933 and 1976) m. in Dodge City, KS to Jessie -?- (b. 1884)
    2. Frederick4 Parkes (1889 Stonington, CO - 1967 Dodge City, KS) m. Daisy -?- (b. 1891)
    3. Frank4 Parkes (1894 Stonington, CO - 1976 Hooker, OK) m. Fern -?-
    4. Nellie Iona4 Parkes (1896 Pratt, KS - 1980 Hugoton, KS) m. 1914 Pratt, KS to Henry Lewis Davis (b. 1892)
  3. Agnes Josephine3 Parkes (1859 Clinton Co, IL - 1926 El Paso, TX) m. 15 Oct. 1878 Jefferson Co, IL to William Henry Wilbanks (1851 IL - 1925 El Paso, TX). Three of their four children married:
    1. Pearl4 Wilbanks (1880 Raymond, IL - 1965 National City, CA) m. Gottlieb James Frick (b. 1881 -?)
    2. Bess Mabel4 Wilbanks (1884 El Paso, TX - 1914 El Paso, TX) m. Frank Gurney
    3. Douglas Parkes4 Wilbanks (1886 El Paso, TX - 1978 El Paso, TX) m. 15 Apr. 1922 El Paso, TX to Helen Rives Lucas (1892 Salisbury, MO - 1982 El Paso, TX)
  4. John A. 3 Parkes (b. 1872 - d. 1900 Jefferson Co, IL) m. 24 Mar. 1897 Bluford, IL to Ella Crews (b. ? Ð1900). One surviving child:
    1. John Calvin4 Parkes (b. 1899)

The contact person for this lineage is

Nancy Sorensen #1415 .
8311 Elizabeth Drive
Lincoln, NE 68505.