That is complicated to answer. An abusive stepfather complicated my life and my mother’s life. My mom left him several times. One of those times, we left him in Minneapolis and went west to Denver, Colorado. He convinced her that he had “changed,” and we returned to him in Minneapolis.
A few months later, I had had enough and ran away, this time by myself. I hopped on a bus by myself and headed for Denver. I had learned there was a circus operating there and intended to join it. (Yes, I really did “run away to join the circus.” On the bus, I fortuitously encountered a man that was returning to the circus. He had been a clown with the circus. He dissuaded me from joining that life. So, once I got to Denver, I didn’t join the circus. Instead, I got a room at a rooming house and a job at a nearby store. It was summer, but I registered for school in the fall and intended to live independently, go to school, and work enough to pay for food and a place to live. I was 14, living just off East Colfax, and working at a Safeway (I lied about my age) just a few blocks away from my rooming house. I was in Denver for about four weeks.
Then, one evening, I was walking home quite late and the police stopped me. I didn’t have any ID and they suspected I was underage, so they brought me in for a “curfew violation.” I didn’t want to give them my address, but after a few hours, I finally gave them 2419 Bryant. A few minutes later, a furious policeman came back to inform me they sent a car there, but there was no 2419 on Bryant. I thought I had been so cute, but they didn’t think it was funny. It was then I told them it was 2419 Bryant, Minneapolis (not Denver).
Apparently, they contacted the Minneapolis Police Department, because the next day, the police informed me that my “parents” were informed where I was, and they were going to have me fly back to Minneapolis. I don’t recall if it was the third or fourth day being in custody in Denver, but I was eventually taken to the Denver airport and put on a non-stop flight to Minneapolis. The social worker person told the flight crew I wasn’t to be allowed to slip out of the plane. The plane was met in Minneapolis by my mom and my stepfather.
I learned to not be cute, clever, or difficult with the police. I also learned making a life for yourself is difficult.
Things with my stepfather improved for a while. First, my stepfather didn’t get on me for a couple of months, then my parents bought a new house, and we moved to a temporary home for a few months while the new house was being built. While in that temporary house, one of my step-sisters lived with us. My stepfather was always “good” when she was around. Anyway, she returned to her mother’s about when we moved to the new house in the suburbs. It was several months before I ran away again, but that is another story.
In my research for Mary (Wolcott) Parsons, I speculated Mary was living with Albert Parsons during the 1830 Census. I also wanted to determine just who Albert was in relationship to Mary and if made sense for Mary to be the female 50 to 59 in his household.[i]
Albert Parson’s entry on Find-a-Grave showed his relationship. He was born in 1795 in Sheffield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts to Timothy and Huldah (Porter) Parsons. Timothy Parsons and John Parsons were brothers. Thus, Albert was Mary Parsons’ husbands nephew. Albert Parsons’ profile on family search is 9KBZ-FLK. The other key fact to note is that Albert’s mother, Huldah (Porter) Parsons died in 1817, so the female 50 to 59 in his household couldn’t be Albert’s mother.
So, it does make sense that Mary was living with Albert Parsons during the 1830 Census.
Different researchers seem to disagree about where Mary Wolcott was born, but all seem to agree she was born 20 May 1767 to Samuel and Prudence (Robbins) Wolcott. I’ll know more when I research Mary’s parents. Chandler Wolcott, in Wolcott Genealogy, indicates that Samuel Wolcott located to Sandisfield, MA, in 1764, three years before Mary was born, so it is my current opinion that Mary was born in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Mary was the third of seven children. Her siblings included
Prudence Born 1763 Married John Baxter
Samuel Born 1765 (the 4th generation named Samuel Wolcott)
Mary Born 1767 Married John Parsons, Jr.
Thomas Born 1769
Abiathar Born 1772
William Born 1774
Abigail Born 1781 Married John Chapel.
Her father was a patriot, serving in the revolutionary war when Mary was only 9-years-old. It hat to have been an exciting time for a kid to grow up.
Mary married John Parsons, Jr., in 1788 in Sandisfield, and the couple had their first child, Samuel, the following year. Their first five children were born in Sandisfield.
Samuel Born 1789
Polly Born 1792 Later married Jeremiah Miller.
Orrin Born 1794
John Born 1796
Chester Born 1799 My 4th Great-grandfather.
The Columbia Turnpike opened up in 1799 from Berkshire County to Catskill, in Greene County, New York. In the spring of 1802, the Parsons located to Windham, Greene County, New York, probably using the Columbia Turnpike. Consequently, their next two children were born in New York.
Permelia (?) Born 1805 Married (FNU) Clark.
Prudence Born 1811 Possibly married Benjamin Miller.
Mary’s husband John died on 7 April 1813 in Windham, Greene County, New York.
I have not been successful in finding Mary in the 1820 Census. (See: Mary Parsons & the 1820 Census.) However, I am pretty sure that Mary was living with Albert Parsons during the 1830 Census. I am still hoping to determine precisely who Albert is.
In 1840, Mary was the head of the household comprising of her and a male 50 to 60 years old. I believe this male to be her son, Samuel.
In 1850, Mary was living in the household of Samuel Parsons (her eldest son).
In 1855, Mary is still living with Samuel in Greene County, New York.
Mary (Wilcott) Parsons died on 26 Marth 1857 at the age of 89 years, ten months, and six days old. She is buried with John at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, Greene, New York.
Events by Location
Massachusetts, Berkshire County, Sandisfield – Birth, 1790, 1800
New York, Greene County, Windham – 1802, 1830, 1840, 1855, Death
Further Actions / Follow-up
Determine who Albert Parsons is
Find John & Mary Parsons in the 1810 Census.
Find Mary Parsons in the 1820 Census.
1790 Census, 1790 Census – Page 34 – John Parsons, Jr. & John Parsons (Sr.) – Sandisfield Town, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. “Heads of Families – 1790 Census – Massachusetts – Page 34, Column 1, Persons 3 & 4. – Accessed 2 August 2020. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1907/dec/heads-of-families.html.
1800 Census (FS), Family Search, 1800 – John Parsons Jr. – Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts (3rd from bottom). “United States Census, 1800,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRZ-J6J : accessed 31 March 2018), John Parsons Jr, Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts, United States; citing p. 175, NARA microfilm publication M32, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 13; FHL microfilm 205,611. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRZ-J6J.
1830 Census (FS), Family Search, 1830 – Albert Persons – Windham, Greene, New York. “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 20 February 2021), Albert Persons, Windham, Greene, New York, United States; citing 99, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 110; FHL microfilm 17,170. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHP7-SGK.
1840 Census (NARA), 1840 Census – Mary Parsons, Southern, Greene, New York. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRP-CWF : 8 December 2020), Mary Parsons, Greene, New York, United States; citing p. 149, NARA microfilm publication , (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRP-CWF.
1850 Census (NARA), 1850 – Samuel Persons – Windham, Greene, New York. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCYF-ZJR : 23 December 2020), Samuel Persons, Windham, Greene, New York, United States; citing family , NARA microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCYF-ZJR.
1855 New York Census, Family Search, Samuel Parsons – New York, Greene, Windham. “New York State Census, 1855,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6S5-GCD : 3 March 2021), Samuel Persons, Windham, Greene, New York, United States; citing p. , line #7, family #130, county clerk offices, New York; FHL microfilm 480,076. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6S5-GCD.
Daughters of the American Revolution, “Ancestor Search”, DAR, Parsons, John – Ancestor # A088240. Accessed 31 July 2020. . https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_adb/default.cfm?p_id=A088240.
Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr – Nat’l #: 445593 – Ancestor #: A016639.
Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr – Nat’l #: 445593 – Ancestor #: A088240. Accessed 31 July 2020.
Find a Grave, Internet, Mary “Polly” Wolcott Parsons – Memorial 118318771. Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/118318771/mary-parsons : accessed 28 April 2021), memorial page for Mary “Polly” Wolcott Parsons (20 May 1767–26 March 1857), Find a Grave Memorial ID 118318771, citing Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, Greene County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mookie (contributor 47515129). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/118318771/mary-parsons.
History of Washtenaw County, Michigan (Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881), Google, Pg 1371. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (2012). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history ; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan : embracing accounts of the pre-historic races, aborigines, French, English and American conquests, and a general review of its civil, political and military history. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company.
History of Washtenaw County, Michigan (Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881), Google, Pg 1405. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (2012). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history ; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan : embracing accounts of the pre-historic races, aborigines, French, English and American conquests, and a general review of its civil, political and military history. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company.
Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001, Family Search, PAGE 335 – 4TH SECTION (After Manley, Crane, & Spelman) – PARSONS (John Parsons, Jr. and Mary, his wife.
New York, US., State Census, 1855, Ancestry, Greene County, Windham, Image 8 of 34, Lines 7 – Samuel Parsons.
Chandler Wolcott, Wolcott Genealogy – The Family of Henry Wolcott (, 1912), Internet Archive, Page 119 – LXXIII – Samuel Wolcott.
By Don Taylor
I try to find my ancestors in each of the Census records. Women are tough to find in Censuses before 1850 because they are often not named. As is always the case, try to figure out what I think I know so I’ll know what I might expect before I start searching.
Mary Wolcott was born on 20 May 1787 in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. She married John Parsons, Jr., in 1788 and was enumerated in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, during the 1790 and 1800 Censuses. In the Spring of 1802, John Parsons, Jr., and Mary moved to Windham, Greene County, New York.
I have not been successful in finding them in the 1810 Census. John died in 1813. Mary died in 1857, so she should appear somewhere in 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 Censuses.
John and Mary had at least seven children. In 1820 they should appear as:
Samuel Parsons Age 31
Orrin Parsons Age 26
John Parsons Age 24
Chester Parsons Age 20
Polly, who married Jeremiah Miller Age 28
Permelia probably married FNU Clark after 1820 because she would have been only 15 years old in 1920.
Prudence would have been about 12-years-old in 1820.
Do any of the children appear in the 1820 Census, and do any of them seem to have a 53-year-old woman living with them?
As search for Parsons in Windham, Green County yielded.
Neither 20-year-old Chester nor his mother, 53-year-old Mary, appear to be living with any of them in Windham. It is not clear who Albert Parsons is. His household seems to include him, 16 to 26 years old, his apparent wife, also 16 to 26 years old. And three apparent children, one boy, under 10, and a boy and a girl ages 10 to 16.
There were two Miller families in Windham. Abraham and Eleazer. Abraham’s household did not include a woman over 45. Eleazer’s household did have a woman over 45, but it appears that Eleazer was over 45, and thus his wife is likely to be over 45. Additionally, there is no male 16 to 26 in the household so that that household couldn’t include Chester.
Expanding my search to all of Green County, there was no Jeremiah Miller enumerated during the 1820 Census.
It seems weird that I’m unable to find Mary (Wolcott) Parsons in any of the Census records. I’ll try another approach.
[i] The 1820 Census is unique in that it has an extra, overlapping, age group. The third column is for males 16 to 18 and the fourth column is for males 16 to 26. There is no similar column for females.
This week for Montran Monday[i], I found the following article:
This week’s entry is from the Evening Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) dated 11 September 1953[ii].
O’BRIENS SWORN INTO SERVICE
Lieut. Alerbert C. Montran swears in twin brothers Ed and Johnny O’Brien, both of the Pittsburgh Pirates, at the army induction center a Newark, N. J. The O’Briens made basketball headlines last winter with the University of Seattle. During the past few months they’ve been with the Pittsburgh Pirates.—(UP Telephoto.)
I had not heard of an Alerbert C. Montran previously. So, there might be an error in the name. That idea aside I learned four (possible) facts:
There was an Alerbert C. Montran.
He was a Lieutenant in the Army.
He was stationed in or near Newark, N. J. in 1953.
Search further for Lt. Alerbert C. Montran.
[i] Montran Monday – My grandmother’s father was John Montran. She used the surname, as a young child and again when she began in show business. The name is uncommon and most of the Montrans I see in the newspapers are my grandmother during her early vaudeville career. However, with the constant flow of newly digitized material, I often learn of new articles which contain the Montran name. I pay attention to the finding and try to determine a possible relationship of any Montrans to Donna’s father, John Montran.