Parsons – Surname Saturday

Brown-Sanford-Parsons Line
By Don Taylor

Origin of the Parsons Surname

Ancestry indicates Parsons is an occupational name for the servant of a parish priest or parson, or possibly, the parson’s son. I ignored other meanings for Parsons, from Irish and Scottish origins, because my Parsons immigrant ancestor came from Dorset in the 1600s. According to Forebears, the surname is most common in Wiltshire, while it is also numerous in counties around Wiltshire, including Dorset.

Geographical

In World: Today, Parsons has the greatest incident in the United States, with over 86,000 people having the surname.

In Dorset, England, where my earliest ancestors lived, there are 881 people with the surname.

In the US, there is a greater incidence of Parsons living in California and Texas. In the 1880 Census, the most incidences of Parsons were in New York and Massachusetts. My Parson ancestors left New York in the 1820s and were in Michigan during the 1880 Census.

Direct Parsons Ancestors

51 – Mary Electa Parsons(1828-1888) – 3rd Great Grandmother
102 – Chester Parsons(1799-1887) – 4th Great-Grandfather
204 – John Parsons(1764-1813) – 5th Great-Grandfather
408 – John Parsons Sr. (1737/38-1821) – 6th Great-Grandfather
816 – Timothy Parsons (1695-1772) – 7th Great-Grandfather*
1632 – Samuel Parsons (1653-1734) – 8th Great-Grandfather*
3264 – Joseph Parsons (1620-1683) – 9th Great-Grandfather*
6528 – William Parsons (___-___) – 10th Great-Grandfather*

* Note: I have not fully reviewed or recearched ancestors #816 or higher.

Historical

In 1840, Chester Parsons was living in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. His household included himself, his wife Deborah, and six children. There were eight Parsons families in Washtenaw County during the census. Chester and his brother lived in Saline.

In 1880, Chester’s father, John Parsons Jr,  was the head of the household in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. His household included a wife and one child.  Chester’s Grandfather, John Parsons Sr., was also the head of a household. John’s household consisted of himself, five females and three males. They were two of the nine Parsons households in the county.

My earliest known Parsons immigrant ancestor is Joseph Parsons. He came to the colonies between 1629 and 1646. It isn’t clear whether he first came to Massachusetts (where he died) or Connecticut (where he married Mary Bliss in 1646).

Photographic History

Chester Parsons

A drawing of Chester Parsons was printed in the History of Washtenaw County, Michigan. His is one of the earliest ancestor images I have.

There is a copyrighted drawing of his home in: York, Saline, Ypsilanti, Lyndon, Sharon (Mich.) Township residences, ca. 1874; 1874. Page 105. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed: April 02, 2018.

There are photos of the Parsons family marker and Chester’s individual marker via Find-a-Grave.

Likewise, there is a photo of the marker of John Parsons, Jr., on Find-a-Grave.

Direct Parsons Descendants

My earliest known ancestor, William Parsons, married Margaret Hoskins sometime before 1620, probably in Beaminster, Dorset, England.  My records have identified 868 direct-line descendants of William and Margaret.

My most recent, known Parsons cousins are children of Alfred David Parsons (1830-1908) and Percia Tallmage (___-___). They had five children between 1861 and 1873, all were born in Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan. They are 1st cousins, 4x removed.

Sources:

  • Ancestry Surname Page: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts
  • Forebears Surnames Page: https://forebears.io/surnames
  • Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown 2021 tree (Private) accessed 23 July 2021.

Becker – Surname Saturday

Glarus
Switzerland
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry indicates that Becker is a Dutch, German, Danish, and Ashkenazic Jewish occupation name for a baker of bread or baker of bricks and tiles, which comes from the German word backen “to bake.” Ancestry mentions a couple of English meanings; however, this is one of those cases where knowing where your ancestors come from helps to understand the surname. In this case, there were nine generations of Beckers who all lived in Glarus, Switzerland, from 1624 to 1801. As such, I am completely ignoring the English origins and staying with the German heritage.

Geographical

Today, in the Canton of Glarus, there are 71 instances of people with the Becker surname. That is 1 in 548 people.[i]

In Switzerland, there are 1,520 incidents of Becker, making it one in just over 5,000 people in Switzerland who have the surname.

It is most prevalent in Germany and most frequent in Luxembourg, where one in 228 people have the surname.

Direct Becker Ancestors

    • Grandmother – 7. Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)
    • 1st great – 15.  Bertha Barbara Trümpi Huber (1884-1968)
    • 2nd great – 30.  Bernhead Trumpi (1844-1913)
    • 3nd great – 360.  Bernhart Trumpi (1817-1879)
    • 4th great – 3120. Bernhard Trümpi (1776-1848)*
    • 5th great – 241. Anne Magdalena Becker (1745-1801)*
    • 6th great – 482. Johannes Becker (1698-1750)*
    • 7th great – 964. Johannes Becker (1665-1743)*
    • 8th great – 1928. Hans Becker (1624-1694)*
    • 9th great – 3856. Fridli Becker (1591-1673)*
    • 10th great – 7712. Hans Becker (1550-1610)*
    • 11th great – 15424. Fridolin Becker (1525-___)*

Note: Ancestors identified with “*” have NOT been confirmed and verified by my independent research. Their names and dates rely upon the work compiled by Patrick A. Wild.[ii]

Historical

All of the Becker ancestors in this line were born, lived, and died in Glarus, Switzerland.

The Alemanni (German) settled this area in the 8th century.

In 1531, following the Second War of Kappel, both Catholic and Protestant residents gained the right to worship. Both religious groups used the same town church, which created many problems over the centuries.[iii]

It is an area where the predominant language is the “Highest” dialect of Alemannic German (Swiss German).

Today

Glarus (town) is the picturesque capital of the Canton of Glarus. It is a small town of about 12,500 people nestled in a valley of the Linth River amongst the Glarus Alps, which rise 10,000 feet above the valley.[iv]

Glarus, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Photo Credits: Samuel Trümpy Photography[v]

Direct Becker Descendants

Anna Magdalena Becker (1745-1801) married Fridolin Trümpy on 30 October 1767. I have not researched Anna and Fridolin in-depth to determine their children, other than Bernhard (see above).

Sources:


Endnotes

[i] Forebears – 2014 data for surname Becker in Switzerland.

[ii] Patrick A. Wild, Descent of Mary-Alice Darling Howell from Charlemangne (Zurich, Switzerland, , 2021) and Patrick A. Wild, Pedigree Chart for Shirley Elizabeth Darling:  Following the Trümpy line in Glarus (2021). Contact Glarnus Families Worldwide (https://www.glarusfamilytree.com/).

[iii] Internet: Family Search Wiki – “Canton Glarus,  Switzerland Genealogy” https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Canton_Glarus,_Switzerland_Genealogy

[iv] Internet: Wikipedia – “Glarus” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glarus

[v] Because I know there were at least four generations of Trümpy’s in Glarus related to my wife, and the photographer of this photo is a Trümpy, I suspect this photographer might be a cousin. It would be fun to make the connection.

When I first left home

My History, My Memories
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I was reading Randy Seaver’s Blog “Genea-Musings,” (http://www.geneamusings.com) where, in his blog, he asked, “When [did] You First Left Home.” He had five questions,

    1. When did you first leave your parents’ home? 
    2. Why did you leave? 
    3. Where did you move to? 
    4. What was it like? 
    5. What did you learn?

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.

Rose – Surname Saturday

By Don Taylor

Surname Origin

The surname Rose can be of English, Scottish, Irish, French, Danish, and German origin. It could relate to a physical place where wild roses grew, a hereditary sign, or even the nickname for a person with a Rosy complexion.

I am yet to determine an immigrant Rose ancestor, so it is unclear which of the many Rose origins relate to my wife’s Rose ancestors.

Geographical

The United States includes the most people with the Rose surname, with England and Germany distant second and third. In terms of frequency, Jamaica has the highest proportion of the Rose surname globally, with 1 in 338 having the surname.

In the United States, California has the greatest number of people, over 21,000, with the Rose surname. West Virginia has the greatest proportion, with one in 673 people having the Rose surname.

Direct Rose Ancestors

According to Ancestry, in 1840, the greatest number of Roses lived in New York. There were only 91 Rose heads of households in North Carolina in 1840. Elizabeth had married long before then, so she wouldn’t have been counted as a Rose then.

All of our known Rose ancestors were born in North Carolina. Elizabeth and William senior died in North Carolina. William Rose, Jr. appears to have died in Georgia.

Direct William Rose Descendants

William Rose was born in 1733. He married Mary (LNU) on 27 January 1758 in Halifax County, North Carolina. They had at least two children, including 4th great-grandfather William Rose. William died in 1785 in Halifax County, North Carolina.

Both William Rose, Sr., and his son, William Rose, Jr., were patriots during the Revolutionary War. DAR Ancestor Numbers A206187 and A206765.

I have 176 known descendants of William Rose in my Howell-Darling research.

Surnames include:

      • Boseman
      • Capel
      • Clement
      • Cuthrell
      • Fizur
      • Hallmark
      • Hockaday
      • Howell
      • Johnson
      • Powell
      • Rose
      • Vincent
      • Welch

I only have three photographs of William Rose’s descendants. All are from his Howell descendants.

Peter Fletcher Howell (1842-1924)
James Dallas Howell (1879-1964)
Photo of Clarence Fletcher Howell
Clarence Fletcher Howell (1918-1999)

Sources:

  • Ancestry Surname Page: Rose.
  • Forebears Surnames Page: Rose.
  • Genealogy Bank Page: Rose.
  • Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Howell-Darling-2020 tree on Ancestry, accessed 5 February 2021.
  • DAR Genealogical Research Databases – Descendants List, DAR, DAR – Nat’l #: 986074 – Ancestor #: A206765 – William Rose, Sr., William Rose, Jr.

  • DAR Genealogical Research Databases – Descendants List, DAR, DAR – Nat’l #: 874114 – Ancestor #: A206187 – William Rose, Jr.

Lister – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

The surname “Lister” is an occupational name coming from the term “to dye” or a “dyer.”  It was used principally in East Anglia and northern and eastern England.

There is an alternate source of the name as meaning “son of the arrow maker” taken from the Gaelic, “Mac an Fhleisdeir” and being Anglicized. I haven’t determined an immigrant ancestor yet, so the source of our Lister surname is still not definitive.

Variations of “Lister” include Laster, Lidster, Litster, Leister, and Lester.

Geographical

Lister is most common in England, where nearly 12,000 individuals have the Lister surname, while it is most frequent in Bermuda, where one in 1,280 people have the surname.

In the US, Lister is most common in Utah (one in 8,812) and has the greatest number of Listers live in Texas (over 1,500).

Direct Lister Ancestors

  • 1st Great-Grandmother: Marada Mae Lister(1867-1932) Born in Indiana.
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather: 22. Nimrod Lister(c. 1826-c. 1890) Born in Ohio.
  • 3rd Great-Grandfather: William Lister (1802-?) Born in Maryland.

Historical

1920

In 1920, Marada Alice Lister had been married for 27 years and lived on her farm in Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana, with her husband Joel Clinton Barnes and three of her six children. Her father, Nimrod, died in 1888.

1880

In 1880. Marada Alice Lister was 13 years old and was living in Gill Township, Sullivan County, Indiana. In the household are her parents, Nimrod and Melinda, plus three of her eight siblings. I haven’t had a chance to research her grandfather’s life yet. (He’s number five on my Roberts Research list.)

39 individuals lived in Indiana during the 1880 Census with the surname Lister; 9 of them lived in Gill Township. All nine were related to Marada and Nimrod.

1840

Nimrod Lister was born in 1824 in Ohio and lived in Ohio until he located to Indiana in 1859, so I presume he was living in Ohio with his parents in 1840. The 1840 Census included 12 households headed by Listers and two Williams, both in Ross County. I anticipate that I’ll know more about Nimrod’s youth and his father when I research William Lister.

Lister Descendants

My 3rd great-grandfather, William Lister (1802-?) married (??) about 1826 in Pickaway County, Ohio.

They had four known children

  •                         Nimrod – Researched somewhat.
  •                         Sarah – Not researched.
  •                         William M- Not researched.
  •                         James – Not researched yet.

Nimrod Lister has 162 known descendants that I know of, including individuals with the surnames  Lister, Roberts, Childers, Adkins, Barnes, Gerow, Perry, Burton, Smith, Taylor, and others.

Sources:

Followup:

William Lister is currently number 5 on my Roberts Research plan.

  1. Joel Barnes (1790-___) – Beginning to feel a bit like a brick wall.
  2. Lucy Wilson Taft (___-1939)
  3. Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
  4. Fanny Southerland (1796-1864)
  5. William Lister (c. 1802-___)