Missing Link (LK=WR)
Robert and Laban Parks
Within the PS Project (as of July 2005) there is a 12/12 match among the following: PS#1166 (WR), PS#1423 (WQ), PS#1176 (GU).
- PS#1423's ancestor James Parks (1780 CT-1855 NY) is possibly another brother of Robert and Laban, both of whom we are fairly certain are in the same generation.
- PS#1176's ancestor is a Col. Robert Parks (b. unknown - d. C. 1815 Caswell Co, NC) > Robert G. > Levi > Wesley.
PS Newsletter 2001 Vol. 38, No. 2, Page 26
This search for Missing Links again takes us to Ohio where our members' earliest established records of their ancestors date from the first decade of the 1800's. Neither the birth dates nor the place of birth has been documented for these two men; and their earlier ancestry is unknown. There are diverse opinions as to the name of their father. Was it 'Robert' or 'Laban' or perhaps an entirely different given name? Baltimore County Families 1689-17591 states "Robert & Laban are used by the line of Parks during the 18th and early part of the 19th Century. Their land purchases in Ohio as well as the repetition of the given names (Robert, Laban) down through these generations provides strong evidence of their relationship. The two brothers were found to be pioneer settlers who first established homes near Brilliant and Bloomingdale (10 miles apart) in Jefferson County, in eastern Ohio. Robert was then about 42 years old, and Laban two years younger. Robert and Laban are thought to have moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania. A Labin Parks is found in Dublin Twp, Bedford Co, PA in 1773, 1774. 2 In attempting to identify earlier locations of Robert, Curtis has identified a resource which states that a Robert Parks was listed on the tax rolls in Cecil Twp, Washington County, PA in 1784, but was not on the 1793 tax rolls. That Robert was thought to have moved west, and perhaps could have been the Robert found later in Jefferson County, Ohio. County boundary changes later placed Robert's and his brother Laban's property in adjoining counties: Robert in Harrison and Laban in Jefferson. A few years later, Robert moved his family to a section of land, which he patented in 1810, some 20 miles west of Bloomingdale. On the US Census for 1880, Robert3 (Laban2, Robert/Laban1) stated his father was born in New Jersey, his mother born in New York.
Their land purchases in Ohio as well as the repetition of the given names (Robert, Laban) down through these generations provides strong evidence of their relationship. County boundary changes later placed Robert's and his brother Laban's property in adjoining counties: Robert in Harrison and Laban in Jefferson.
PS#1166 Curtis Parks, PS#998 Mrs. Frederick (Ora) Davis, PS#1281 Charlene Ostadal, and Joyce (Parks) Ebert PS#1382 are descendants of the Robert branch. Charlene has agreed to act as the contact person for this Missing Link.
Her address is: Mrs. Charlene Ostadal, 77376 Spinks Rd, Folsom, LA 70437-3612.
Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Curtis may also be contacted or cc'd at: email@example.com
Please remember that these Missing Links articles are 'works in progress'. Read them over carefully. The researchers need help tracing family connections and researching their ancestry as well as collecting documentation to either prove or disprove present findings.
Robert Parks (ca.1758-1840)
Robert Parks (ca. 1758-1840) is believed to be the older brother. He married Mary (?). Much of the early research on Robert is attributed to researcher Lola Nielson. "Robert Parks was living in Section 3 of Washington Twp as early as 1806. He had come to his land 3 miles above Tippecanoe on Brushy Fork from his first Ohio home near Bloomingdale in Jefferson Co.3" Mr. John Campbell told her that Robert had built two houses on his land, and the foundations were yet visible. However, in April 1996, when PS#1166 Curtis Parks contacted Mr. Richard Moore, past president of the Harrison Co. Historical Society, he was told that those foundations were now under Lake Clendening, about a quarter mile west of where Highway 799 crosses the lake. Mrs. Nielson also states: "Robert Park's wife was not well, and in 1840, their son John & his wife Beulah were taking care of her in their home in Perry Twp, Tuscarawas Co, OH. John Parks died in 1844 and his mother went to live with her children, which had to be John Dicks and daughter Rebecca Parks Dicks near Freeport." Robert and Mary Parks had 9 children:
Amelia Parks (b. 1796 Jefferson Co - d. 1871 OH) m. Anthony Asher in 1816 in Harrison Co, OH. They lived on a farm in Washington Twp, Tuscarawas Co, OH. Anthony Asher is listed on the 1812 Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Capt. Joseph Holmes Co, Jefferson Co, OH. He served 23 Aug 1813-28 Feb 1814. Jacob Laning and John Parks are also listed on this roster.
Laban Parks III (b. 1797 Jefferson Co - d. 1870 LaGrange Co, IN) m.(1) Rachel Dicks on 20 Feb. 1819 in Harrison Co, OH, where their first six children were born. "There came in the spring of 1832, Laban Parks with his family including an eight year old son Harlan. Before his settlement, Laban Parks & Anthony Nelson had come over from Elkhart Prarie, IN, where Parks has been since 1830, and viewed this country before there were any marks of the presence of white men." 4 Children:
Sarah Parks (b. 1819 Harrison Co, OH) m. John McDevitt abt. 1858 LaGrange,IN
Solomon Parks (b. 1822 Harrison Co, OH)
Nathan Parks (b. 1824 Harrison Co, OH - 1850 CA
Harlan Parks (b. 1826 Harrison Co, OH - d. 1882 LaGrange, IN) m. Eleanor Collett. (ancestry of Scott & Brian McCoy)
Limerick Parks (b. 1828 Harrison Co, OH) m. Margaret Roy 29 Dec 1853 LaGrange Co.
James Parks (b. 1830 Harrison Co) m. Sofia ? abt.1852 LaGange Co, IN.
William P. Parks (1832-1833)
Matilda Parks (b.1834 LaGrange Co - d. 1905 NE) m. Joseph Whipple Eldridge
William Parks (b.1837 LaGrange Co) 1m. Lucretia McConnell 2m. Cornelia White
Angeline Parks (b.1839 LaGrange Co - d. 1883 Greene Co,IO) m. William Henry Curtis on 15 Mar 1863 Polk Co., Iowa. She was William's second wife. Prior to her marriage, Angeline attended Des Moines College and taught school. They settled at Butterick Creek, Greene Co, Iowa, 5 miles east of Jefferson, where their children were born. (ancestry of PS#1281)
Lafayette F. Parks (b. 1842 LaGrange Co - d. 1863 KY) unmarried, Civil War casualty
Cordelia Parks (b. 1844 LaGrange Co) m. Ezekiel S. Jones 30 Jan. 1865 Washington Co, IN. The family moved to CA Laban's 2m. Mary Jay Duree Gillman. Children:
Mahitabel B. Parks (1858) m. Martin Brown. "Noble Co IN Marriages 1830-1930" gives Mahitabel's name as Hattie B. Parks.
May Estelle Parks (1859)
Solomon Parks (1861)
John B. Parks (b. 1798 Jefferson Co - d. 1844 Tuscarawas Co) m. Beulah Messenger. Family was a farm in Perry Twp. near the small town of Gilmore & near Fallen Timber Creek, OH. This John Parks is thought to be the soldier listed on the 1812 Ohio Roster with Anthony Asher. Children:
John Madison Parks (b. 1821 Harrison Co - d. 1909 Oswego, KS) 1m. Mary Milliken 12 Dec 1847. She was the dau. of Samuel & Clementine Milliken. 2m. Lusinah I. Treakle 1 Sep 1867 in Tuscarawas Co, OH. John M. Parks moved his family to central KS in 1878. John M. Parks was Lola Nielson's grandfather who states he & Mary had 5 children, and after Mary's death he married Lusinah and had 3 more children.
Robert Parks (b. 1822) supposed to have gone to CA abt. 1848, married and had a family.
George Washington Parks (b.1824 Harrison Co, OH - d. 1854 Astoria, Fulton Co, IL) Abt. 1845 George m. (1) Mary Carpenter & they had one child before her death. On 11 June 1847 he 2m. Mary A. Milliken dau. of James Milliken/Elizabeth Haver. They had 3 children in Ohio before moving to IL.
William Harrison Parks (1825) m. Mary Wilson
Mary Emmaline Parks (1826) m. Dr. John Norman Steele 1847 Tuscarawas Co, OH
Caroline Parks (1830) m. Summerfield Shaw (name may be reversed) Other sources say "unknown Dix."
Wesley Parks (1833)
Elizabeth Lucinda Parks (1835) m. Robert Wilson
Rebecca Matilda Parks (1835) m. Joe Baker
Laban Parks (b. 1838 OH - d. 1920 Pocatella, ID) m. Rachel Anne Grenell
Nancy Ann Parks m. Samuel Clifford
Pemelia Millicent Parks m. John VanDorn
James Parks (1840-1840)
Rebecca Parks (b. 1799 Jefferson Co - d. aft.1840 OH) m. John Dicks. Were in Tuscarawas Co in 1852 according to deed.
William Parks (b. 1801 Jefferson Co - d. Eden Twp, LaGrange Co, IN) m. Eliza Grose. "In this same year, 1834, came William Parks and entered the land in the very heart of Haw Patch. Some of this land is still in the family name and belongs to William Parks' granddaughter, Miss Lilly Parks, of Topeka." 5 (ancestry of PS#1166)
Children: (Note: there is some confusion with this family listing. We have 3 daughters with very similar names but different birth dates: MARIE b. 1832 OH; MARIAH b. 28 Jan 1835 Tuscarawas/Harrison Co, OH; and MARIA F. b. 1849 LaGrange Co IN. Using the Census data Marie b. 1832 fits the best and there is only one letter difference between Marie and Maria. Mariah is not listed with this family on the 1850 Census but perhaps she was away?)
Hiram J. Parks (b. 1824 Harrison Co - d. 1859 LaGrange Co, IN) m. Eliza Ramsby
Eliza A. Parks (b. 1826 OH)
William Taylor Parks (b.1827 OH - d. 1905 IN) m. Lydia A. ? in 1847
Laban Parks (b.1830 OH)
Marie Parks (b. 1832 OH)
Mariah Parks (b. 1835 OH - d. 1908 Holt Co, MO) m. John M. Reynolds in 1880
Salathiel Parks (b.1836 LaGrange - d. 1909 Marion, IN) 1m. Sarah Saloma Zook 2m. Carlina Snider. Salathiel was a Civil War Veteran [Co. B, 12th Indiana Vol. Cavalry]. On US Census for 1880, he stated that his father was born in PA and his mother was born in MD.
Wesley Parks (b. 1840 LaGrange Co)
Madison Parks (b. 1842 LaGrange Co)
Maria F. Parks (b. 1849 LaGrange Co)
Elizabeth M. Parks (b. 1850 LaGrange Co)
Sarah Parks (b. 1803 OH - d. 1872 Fulton Co, IL) m. James Strode in 1825 in Harrison Co, OH. They settled in Astoria, Fulton Co, IL.
Jesse B. Strode
Lydia Ann Parks (b. 1805 OH - d. bef.1840 Fulton Co, IL) m. John Fordyce 28 Nov 1826 in Harrison Co, OH.
Hiram I. Parks (b. 1809 OH) m. Mary May 29 Jun 1830 in Harrison Co, OH. 1832/35 Hiram Parks emigrated to LaGrange Co, IN where in 1850 he was Parish Trustee.
Rezin Parks (b. 1810 OH - d. Fulton Co, IL) m. Nancy ? (Craig??). Rezin & wife were in Tuscarawas Co, OH in 1852, moved to Fulton Co, IL.
Ruth Parks m. Stephen Easley
Laban Parks (ca.1760-1812)
Laban Parks (ca.1760-1812) is the other brother. He married Catharine Coleman (1776-1846). Some researchers give Laban's early history as follows: "Laban Parks was married to Catharine Coleman while crossing the Ohio River from VA. They settled in Brilliant, OH where their first child was born. Laban Parks, a Virginian, first came to Ohio as a soldier, later to Steubenville in 1797, and to Wayne Twp. in 1798. Laban was said to have been stationed at Ft. Carpenter. There was a Carpenter's Station south of Ft. Steuben and north of Short Creek. Carpenter's Station was located at the mouth of McKim's Run at the northern edge of the present town of Brilliant, Jefferson Co, OH."
Many of their descendants remained in this area of Ohio. Laban & Catharine Parks had seven children:
James Parks (b. 1798 Brilliant, OH - d. 1879 Jefferson Co, OH) and Mary Copeland were married by Samuel McNary, Jr. on 15 Feb. 1821 in Wayne Twp, Jefferson Co, Ohio. They had 8 children: Laban Parks (b. ca.1821)
Mary Parks (b. ca.1822) m. ? Hoobler
Samuel Parks (b. ca.1825)
Sarah Parks (b. ca.1827)
Catherine Parks (b. ca.1830) m. ? Dodds
Susan Parks (b. ca.1832)
James C. Parks (b. ca.1834)
William H. Parks (b. 1835 Ashland, OH) m. Anna C. Naylor on 19 Sep 1872
Robert Parks (b. 1800 Wayne Twp, Jefferson Co, OH - d. 1883 Wayne Twp) married Mary Margaret Hedges in Jefferson County on 31 Dec.1829. There were 8 children of this marriage: John Parks (b.1832 Jefferson Co - d. 1893 Jefferson Co) m. Elizabeth Margaret Scott 16 Feb 1865, Jefferson Co, OH (ancestry of Joyce Parks)
Catherine Parks (b.1833) m. James Ewing 18 Mar 1851, Jefferson Co, OH
William Parks (b. 1835) 1m. Eliza Ann Thompson 22 May 1867, Jefferson Co, OH 2m. Sarah N. Merryman 13 Mar. 1895 Jefferson Co.
Laban David Parks (b. 1835 - d. 1876)
Amelia Parks (1837 - 1926)
Sarah J. Parks (b. 1840) m. John Bell 21 Jan 1864, Jefferson Co, OH
Mary Parks (b. 1842) m. David Hicks 26 Sep 1865, Jefferson Co, OH
Susan Parks (b. 1844) m. Jeff Johnston
Elizabeth Parks (b.1803 Jefferson Co - d. 1893 Jefferson Co) m. Elias Ford. Family lived in Richland Co, OH in 1832.
Amelia Millie Parks (b. 1805 Jefferson Co - d. 1893 Jefferson Co,) m. Edward Moore (More)
Laban Moore (b. 1831)
William Moore (b. 1837)
Mary B. Moore (b. 1841) m. Samuel Bell
Ellis Moore (b. 1843 Wayne Twp, Jefferson Co) m. Martha M. Naylor
Sarah J. Moore (b. 1845) m. Robert Bell (Sarah also spelled Sara)
Nancy E. Moore (b. 1848)
William Parks (b. 1807 Jefferson Co) Did Not Marry
Mary Parks (b. 1810 Jefferson Co) m. Hawkins (some sources say she did not marry)
Sarah Parks (b. 1812 Jefferson Co - d. 1901 Jefferson Co) m. James Tipton 27 Apr 1843 Jefferson Co, OH
Catharine Ann Tipton (1844)
Baltimore County Families 1689-1759 by Robert Barnes pp. 491, 492
"Pennsylvania Archives Tax Lists"
"Harrison News-Herald" Cadiz, OH., article by John Campbell
The History of LaGrange Co, IN 1882 LaGrange County Centennial 1828-1928 p.90
Curtis Parks, Charlene Ostadal, Lola Spohn Nielson, Scott & Brian McCoy, Joyce Parks, Fred Blackburn, Elizabeth Mansfield Johnson.
United States Census data for Ohio and Indiana
Wills, Deeds, Tax Lists, Cemetery Records, Marriage Records, other court records for Ohio & Indiana.
A Hedges Family John Hedges-Ohio Pioneer compiled by E.M. Johnson
History of LaGrange, IN pub. 1882
History of Belmont & Jefferson Co's, Ohio
Historical Collections of Harrison Co, OH by Hanna
Ohio Archaeological & Historical Pub. of OH Vol. 8
History of Tuscarawas Co, OH 1884 by J.B. Mansfield
"The Kalamazoo Valley Family Newsletter" Vol. 7, #4, June 1978
"Our Harrison Heritage" Vol.XIV No.2, Summer 1996
PS Newsletter 2003 Vol, 40, No. 3, page 40
PS Newsletter 2006 Vol 42, No. 2, Page 27
Robert Parks/Laban Parks (LK=WR) - additional information and a breakthrough!
This Missing Links first appeared in 2001 Vol. 38 #2, pp. 26-28, followed by an update in 2003 Vol. 40 #3, pp.40-41. I took a fairly active interest in this lineage because I mistakenly thought that it would be easy to trace Laban, which is not a common given name. I visited several historical societies in north- eastern PA and eastern Ohio and everywhere I went, I found letters from Lola Spohn Nielsen, an early researcher, in their Park/e/s files. She was sure this lineage went back to Robert MA 1630, but she could not find the connection.
The Parke Society has been encouraging members, including those of an established lineage, to consider providing DNA. DNA has established a 12/12 match for those of the Robert Parks/Laban Parks group and additionally they match with PS# 1176 with LK=GU, and with PS#1423 whose LK=WQ. Two Parke Society members, Robert Parke #755 and David Parke #13, from the established Robert (MA1630) lineage, have been tested and their results seem to indicate a common ancestry with the above group. However, at this point relationships are still not clear among the group nor do we know the linking ancestry. We need to remember that Robert Parke (MA1630), William (VA1633) and William (VA1650) all have a common ancestor William Parke (c1503-1551). More in-depth testing is underway which should help pinpoint the lineage, but we also need more participation from those members (or their relatives) within these lineage groups.
PS Newsletter 2010 Vol. 47, No. 2, Page 17
Richard Neil Parks, PS# 1468, began corresponding with Lola Spohn Nielsen in the early 1960s. Through sharing a common interest in their lineage, they developed a deep friendship. He saved her correspondence and now has given it to the Parke Society for safekeeping. It is under Richard's sponsorship that each year since 2005 the "Lola Parks Spohn Nielsen Award" plaque has been given out honoring those who have done genealogical research on the Park/e/s family tree or related families. It also honors volunteers in the field of genealogy and those who have worked to preserve our cultural and family history. The intent of this profile is to let our readers know more about Lola and why her memory is treasured by the WR lineage. Today, this is a very large lineage with several excellent researchers including Curtis Parks, PS#1166, our present Parke Society President.
Lola Isabel Spohn was born on July 2, 1910 in Garnett, Kansas. Her parents were Clarence Victor Spohn and Julia Rosetta (04WR81) Parks. She had one older sister, Opal Genevieve born April 22, 1900. Lola married George C. Nielsen December 24, 1960. She was left a widow in 1986. She kept active with her research until her death on October 3, 2001 at Maryville, Missouri. Neither she nor her sister had children.
The family moved to Missouri when Lola was seven. In her letters, Lola makes a point of saying how different she and her sister were. Opal was a tomboy, loved sports and majored in physical education at college while Lola was a very quiet child enjoying her dolls and books.
In 1917, the family moved to Whitesville, Kansas where her father was proprietor of the General Store until his death in 1946. Because of growing up "behind the counter," she learned at an early age to talk to everyone. Their store resembled that of the time period with a pot-bellied stove in the center of the room surrounded by wooden benches for the comfort of customers and village loafers. The store provided a place for neighbors to exchange news as well as shop. In one corner of the store was the Village Post Office—her mother was Postmistress from 1918 until her retirement in 1940. Here is Lola's description, written in 1964:
There's something about life in a village that gets in your blood,... the friendliness of the people—the air so fresh and sweet scented in springtime with flowers and fruit trees in bloom—and—fragrance of wild grape blooms being wafted down—Birdsong is everywhere. So many birds: Robins, Wrens, Mocking Birds, Blue Jays, Cardinal, Oriole, Thrush, Woodpeckers, Sapsucker, Meadow Lark, Turtle Dove, Wild Canaries, Red Wind Blackbird, Flickers, Bluebirds, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Raincrows, Junco's, Chickadee, Martins, Swallows—frogs sing along the riverbanks and crickets conduct a symphony on summer nights. Then—there's Mosquitoes, grass fleas, humidity, cyclones, and hail big enough to bash a hole in your head!
In Autumn, there is color everywhere. The Elms and Hickorys turn golden; the Oaks bronze; Maples and Sumac are crimson. Thistles are purple among the tawny Goldenrod—and if you're lucky you can find the orange-red Bittersweet berries in hedgerows along the few remaining country lanes... Wild ducks and geese can be heard and seen as they fly in formation across deep blue October sky toward the deep South.
In winter—the blanket of snow is white and clean. Hoar frost makes trees, shrubs, and clotheslines into fluffy things of beauty. All sound is muffled, making everything unreal—like walking through a cloud.
Returning to the Village now (1964) it is no longer busy or picturesque. The old mill was torn down several years ago and the lovely winding tree shaded river was dredged into a straight and ugly channel (to alleviate flooding on the low-lands) But—a River seems to have a Will! Man nor machines can conquer it completely, for it is beginning to gradually curve again, seeking its original bed. All the old store buildings have been torn down along Main Street—there are just 2 small stores up on the highway—that is all.
But we still keep the homeplace. The small white house nestles cozily among tall trees on two acres where in Spring the yard is carpeted with purple river Violets. I am a sentimentalist. I see the Village not as it really is. There are many memories there for me—all of them beautiful.
In this same letter, she tells Richard her reason for researching genealogy. "My reason for taking up Genealogy? Largely sentiment, I think. You see I was born too late to get to see any of my Grandparents (and too few Aunts and Uncles). By finding records, I can better visualize my long ago loved ones." In 1955, she wrote in her Ancestry Book:
I was thinking today about the Past, to me it is never "dead" or "musty," but mellowed, like old Stone and is the fi rm foundation of everything we know today. The Future—particularly in the field of Science is fascinating, too, for the strides of advancement are great, and possibilities open in the unexplored sky promise exciting discoveries! But the Past is mauve with the brocade of Memory—and sweet with the lingering fragrance of lavender... Sweet and dear like the Oldsters we love so very much.
Lola's mother and her grandparents were very musical as was Lola. She played the piano for a dance band from 1932 until 1960. It was a small band playing for enjoyment. Although she couldn't read music, she could play by ear once she heard the song. At times she would have to be very creative fitting her music to the rhythm when she wasn't familiar with a particular song request.
She and her mother were very close and it was her mother's influence that encouraged Lola in her quest for information. Her early knowledge of her Parks ancestry also came from her mother so she knew about her own history from John Madison (03WR18) Parks. She was the first active researcher of this lineage who was interested in tracing all of the descendants of the Robert and Laban Parks. Her income was limited so she did not do much traveling but relied on correspondence. She wrote numerous letters requesting information from various courthouses, historical societies, etc. She sent for census data, deeds, and wills. Her interest became well known resulting in her name being given to others searching the Parks surname and often she received mail from strangers who had been referred to her. An example of her perseverance in tracing elusive descendants was when she wrote to everyone of the Parks surname living in Stockton, California. She was trying to locate descendants of Robert Findley (3WR19) Parks who left Ohio in 1848 for California's Gold Rush. She also occasionally received surprising phone calls. One such was from Dr. Henderson of Omaha, NE whose great gr.grandmother was Mary Emeline (03WR22) Parks. In 1990, she was delighted to be able to write Richard that she was finally successful in finding more family members of Rezin (02WR8) Parks who left Ohio about 1840 for Illinois.
When I first became interested in writing a Missing Links article on this lineage, I visited several historical societies in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. It became obvious that I was following Lola's trail because each of them had her beautiful handwritten notes in the Park/e/s file. Lola was able to document her research to Ohio but then could not discover any definite clues leading further back. She found several Robert Parks in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio but soon realized that they did not belong in her line. She corresponded with Ruby Parke Anderson who agreed with her that Robert must belong with the Robert Parke MA1630 lineage.
We all tend to have a closed mind about some facets of our family history even though we know it is not wise. Lola was positive that the Robert/Laban Parks line descended from Josiah Bo'son (06T343) Parks and she insisted that Josiah had an Indian wife. She was sure that there was Indian blood within her family line. Bessie Hammond Hope (a direct descendant) author of Descendants of Bo'son Parks strongly disputed this. I think that this attitude of Lola's might have caused her some problems in receiving information. Not everyone was interested in having Indian heritage.
After Lola's death, Richard Parks offered to purchase any historical or genealogical documents and artwork from her executor but met with a definite refusal. This is particularly sad because Lola was positive that this lineage was part of the Robert MA1630 and the DNA results have proven her to have been correct. Was there something among her records that gave her a hint, or was it just ESP? This is a wakeup call for all of us who have compiled our family genealogies, hopefully with documentation. We need to make a definite written plan as to where this material should eventually go so our history is not lost to future generations.