Thomas Parker - Unknown Wife Family Group

Parents   Parents
  John Parker Mary Crocome      
  bp. 20 Apr 1601 in Georgeham, England b. 28 Jan 1600 in Georgeham, England      
  d. bf Jun 1661 in Georgetown, Maine d. aft. 28 Jun 1661 in Georgetown, Maine      
Thomas Parker Immigrant Ancestor Mary (Surname Unknown)
bp. 9 Feb 1629 in Georgeham, Devon, England  
d. Bet. 1684 and 1690 in Georgetown, Sagadahoc, Maine  
Relationship Events
Marriage Abt 1650 Thomas Parker to Mary (Surname Unknown)
Grace Parker b. 1650 Georgetown; m. David Oliver; two children: Thomas and David Oliver Jr.; d. 1718 in Georgetown
Sarah Parker b. 1656 in Georgetown, m. 1) Matthew Salter 1689, five children: Thomas and four others 2) Samuel Smith 21 May 1703 in Boston; d. ?
Mary Parker b. 1660 in Georgetown m. John Harrad of Marblehead, two children: Mary and Elizabeth Harrad; d. bef. 27 Apr 1730
Remember Parker, b. abt. 1663 in Georgetown, m. Moses Pitman in Marblehead; three children: Ruth, Moses, and Remember Pitman; d. bef. Nov 1732 in Marblehead
John Parker, b. abt. 1665 in Georgetown; m. 1) Sarah Verring (d. 9 Nov 1711 in Boston) in Boston; seven children: Remember, Mary, Sarah, James, Verin, Thomas and John Parker; 2) Sarah Guille 13 Nov 1712; d. Arrowsic, Maine; 27 Sep 1744 in Boston
Jacob Parker b. abt. 1766 in Georgetown; m. Anna Randall 13 Feb 1695 in Boston; one child: Jacob; d. 18 Sep 1735 Groton, Suffolk, Massachusetts
  Margaret Parker b. abt. 1668 Georgetown, m. 23 Oct 1864 in Marblehead Samuel Dixey (b. 20 Mar 1663 in Salem, d. aft, 1686); six children: Thomas, Sarah, William, Margaret, Samuel, and Grace Dixey; d. after Nov 1732 in Marblehead

What We Know About This Family

An Overview of Their Lives

What little we know of Thomas Parker and his family is gleaned from deeds of transfer of property. He and his wife may have had more than the seven children of whom we have knowledge, but these seven or their children are mentioned in the deed of division. We know the first name of his wife was Mary. Many user trees give her surname as Shaw, and her paternity as Roger Shaw in the Boston area. Roger Shaw had two daughters named Mary. The first died young and his younger was not of the right age or circumstances to be the wife of Thomas Parker. It's possible her surname was Shaw, but not the daughter of Roger.

Thomas's mother, Mary, widowed by 1671, deeded him 1/3 of the land owned by his father. The deed in November 1732 that divides that property among the seven children or their heirs of Thomas names all seven of his children with the married names of his daughters. Thomas himself may have escaped the violence of the Indian wars, but his brother, John, and his son, James, were killed when they fled to Fort Loyal, and it was destroyed in an attack that caused the nearly complete withdrawal of European settlers until the wars had ceased. His sons and daughters fled the island for Massachusetts. Grace and her husband, David Oliver, returned from Marblehead when the violence ceased, and are buried at Georgetown. Some of their descendants remained for several generations. A copy of the 1732 deed is included in the documents section. The article excerpted below gives an excellent history of Georgetown, Maine, and the role the Parkers played in its settlement.


A Brief Historical Perspective by Carolyn F. "Billie" Todd (Excerpts)

Many scenes and dramas have passed within the purview of Georgetown Island, situated at the mouth of the Kennebec River.  In pre-history, Native Americans of the Abenaki Confederacy were the first identifiable tribes to use the island, coming down from Norridgewock and the Penobscot region to gourmandize on oysters, fish and clams, and to hunt in winter for ducks and beaver. Originally it was believed that the area was mostly frequented in the summer. However, more recent scientific analysis of growth rings on shells in middens suggests year-round habitation

It is established that Viking ships visited the shores in the 10th century, perhaps landing, and it may be surmised that the Phoenicians could have appeared even a thousand years earlier.  Word of the teeming fishing grounds passed from one culture to another and, before the days of Columbus, French, English, Italian, and Portuguese ships made forays into the area.  Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) and George Weymouth sailed into the Sheepscot and the Kennebec Rivers and reported back to their British sovereign.  It was Weymouth who kidnapped six Indians from Monhegan and took them back to England as curiosities. There they received V.I.P. treatment and learned some English. One of these was Squanto, which turned out to be a good thing for him as during his absence, his fellow Indians back home were decimated by disease, probably smallpox.

As far as is known, there were no permanent European communities in the “New World” until the Spaniards founded St. Augustine in Florida in 1565.  This was followed by the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, coincidentally the same year as the Popham Colony was established in Phippsburg at the mouth of the Kennebec. The Pilgrims at Plymouth, (enjoying better public relations via Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Felicia Hemans), were really Johnny-come-latelies, and avoided starvation through the generosity of the people of Damariscove. The rigors of Maine's winters put an end to the Popham Colony in 1608, the survivors returning to England, but not before they had made a contribution to history with the building of the 30-ton ship "Virginia", reputedly the first English colonial ship built on these shores.

The Popham Colony sat on the west bank of the Kennebec, at the mouth of the river. On the east bank was the island of Roscohegan, which belonged to an Indian tribe headed by Chief Mowhatawormit. Colonists having difficulty with his tribal name called him Robert Hood or Robin Hood. The reference was to the Lord of Misrule who dominated the X-rated revels in the Middle Ages, rather than to the engaging freebooter of Sherwood Forest. In 1616 Captain John Webber, with mate and brother-in-law, John Parker, sailed in the Mayflower (not the Pilgrim ship) and established a trading post with the Indians.  He must have discovered Roscohegan early in his travels and found it fair, for the Plymouth Colony was trading here no later than 1625. Parker himself came annually. The Indian name for the mouth of the Kennebec was "Sagadahoc", descriptive of the turbulent tidal water. Stage Island was known as "Sagadahoc Island".

In 1649 John Parker purchased Roscohegan Island (later renamed as Parker Island) from Chief Mowhatawormit, who signed the deed with his mark, and his name was given as Robert Hood (Whood). The land involved was described as lying to the eastward side of "Sacittihock River's mouth" running northeast to the "Shipscut River".

The Plymouth Company, formed from the Plymouth Colony, in 1630 had procured a grant on the Kennebec that guaranteed them the river trade in fish and furs as they dealt with the Indians. They were succeeded by the firm of Clark and Lake. In 1654, all the territory on the lower Kennebec, as far up as the Chops on Merrymeeting Bay, was called New Plymouth, and was governed by Old Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first John Parker built a home on the lower end of Parker's Island facing the sea, and until his death prior to Nov. 20, 1661, lived there with his wife Mary.

In a deed of June 29, 1671, the widow Mary conveyed to her son Thomas Parker and his heirs "the house and field and a parcel of Marsh bounded by the Creek lying upon the westward side (Little River)". Sarah Parker, daughter of Thomas, and her husband Matthew Salter, also lived on the lower end of Parker's Island until driven off by Indians.

John Parker, Jr., the younger son of John Sr., lived on Arrowsic and was in the fishing trade until Indian raids drove him to the west bank of the Kennebec. He later returned to Stage (Sagadahoc) Island, where others from Parker's Island found refuge from King Philip's depredations. The fort there was evacuated in 1689 and no further attempts were made to settle Parker's Island and Arrowsic until 1710. At Indian Point (then Sagadahoc Point) there had been an Indian raid in 1662. (A 1748 deed transfers ownership of land on Indian Point out of the Parker family line to George Rogers on the site of the Sadie Drake house on what is now Indian Point Road.)

Maritime History of Bath by William Avery Baker states that Thomas Webber settled on the northern end of Parker's Island by 1650.  Before 1661 he married Mary Parker, daughter of John Parker the First. Thomas Webber had 300 acres of farmland on Webber Point, and also had a farm on Webber Island where he raised sheep.  The first David Oliver came to Georgetown from Boston to fish at Pemaquid.  Around 1670 he married Grace Parker, granddaughter of John Parker the First. When David and Grace were living at Stage Island during the Indian raids between 1677 and 1679, Indians destroyed their home and about 60 others. They fled from the island and petitioned Sir Edmund Andros for land in the southern part of Arrowsic.  David and the other settlers were granted land in Newtowne where they lived for 10 years or less. During this time the Indians had burned Newtowne.  By 1680 King William's War was well under way and in 1703 it became Queen Anne's War, lasting through 1713. By this time the island was deserted as settlers fled from the area.  David and Grace Oliver took refuge in Marblehead, Massachusetts. In May, David is listed as Capt. Rowden's Company of the Massachusetts Militia for service in the Indian Wars.  David's two sons, Thomas and David Jr., both received land opposite Long Island in the Kennebec: Lot #4 in the division of the estate of their grandfather Thomas Parker, on land which is now Bay Point.

What had begun as a fishing community in the 1600's was expanding into mills, which produced shingles, lumber and flour. There were carding mills to prepare wool for spinning, because sheep raising was a big industry on the island.  In the 1700's, tidewater mills could be found wherever there was power to activate them. The eastern and western mill ponds (branches) at the southern end of Robinhood Cove were ideal. The lumber mill on the western branch, which was built by David Oliver and Thomas Trafton, continued to be operated into the first decade of the 20th century, and the mill dam can still be seen.  David Oliver, Jr. had a son David of the 3rd generation (grandson of David and Grace). He and his wife, Hannah Stacy, came to Georgetown from Lynn, Massachusetts.  He and his father, David Jr., and Thomas Trafton, built their first lumber mill on the eastern branch of the Cove on what is now the Indian Point Road.  Later they built a second lumber mill on the west branch of the Cove Thomas Trafton also had a gristmill on the west bank of the western branch, near the former old Post Office at the bottom of the hill in Georgetown Center. According to the 1759 map, Trafton had Lot #19 and Oliver Lot #20. Both built log cabins nearby. Oliver's cabin was on the road and Tafton’s was farther down the slope nearer the water. The fourth generation David Oliver (son of David and Hannah Stacy) "lived in a log cabin near the marsh."  David 4 and his wife Agnes Campbell are buried on the Trafton farm at Georgetown Center (site of the Georgetown Central School), their graves marked by small black slate stones.


About the Children

From the 1732 deed, we learn the following things:

  • Grace had married (David) Oliver, had died before 1732, and had two sons, David and Thomas Oliver;
  • Sarah had married Thomas Salter and then (Samuel) Smith and had a son Matthew Salter;
  • Mary had married Harrad (an earlier deed revealed his first name, John) of Marblehead, and in 1732, her daughter Elizabeth Harrad was single and living in Boston. Her daughter, Mary had been married to Joseph Clewly, had children, and had died before 1732;
  • Remember had married Moses Pitman of Marblehead, and had died by 1732;
  • John was a shipwright in Boston;
  • Jacob was a coaster in Boston; and
  • Margaret had married (Samuel) Dixey in Marblehead.

The first names of Thomas's sons-in-law were obtained from the marriage records of his daughters, and some grandchildren not included by name on the deed have baptism or birth records.

Proof of Relationship

The deed drawn in 1732 proves the relationship of Thomas to his seven named children.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is not complete, but the missing information about the identity of Thomas' wife may never be discovered.


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