Read the ebook Genealogy of the Parke families of Connecticut, including Robert Parke, of New London, Edward Parks, of Guilford, and others,
by Frank Sylvester Parks
First Generation - the Immigrant
/ 1. ROBERT' PARKE, (or Sir Robert Parke, as he has been sometimes called), was born in Preston, Eng land, in 1580. He was a personal friend of John Winthrop, to whom he addressed a letter relative to his proposed journey to New England, in February, 1629-30. Following is a copy, preserving all the quaint old orthography:
ROBERT PARKE TO JOHN WINTHROP, 1629-30.
"To the Right Worshipfull Maigr. John Winthrop Esquier in Gratton in Suffolke give this with speede I pray you.
"To the Right Worshfull, Sir: — I vnderstand by some of my frendes that you are suddenly to goe into New England. If it be not to laite for me, to provide my selfe with cattell and shiping, I doe porpose to goe with you, and all my company, if please God to permit vs life and health. I have sente to my sonne and to Mathewe Harrison, to by for me six coues, and three mayers, and a horse ; soe, I beseech you, giue them directions to take the beste coures for me that you shall thinke fit for to be done, hoping you will do the beste that you can to fordere my jurny. Furder, I woulde desire you to giue me directiones what househould I shall take with me, and for howe longe we shalbe vittle vs, and what day we shall set forwardes from London ; but as for our selfes, we wilbe at Stratford the laste weke in February : and thus with my loue and serius remembred, in haiste, I reste, com'iting you vnto the Almightie,
" Your assured frend to commande.
" From Easterkeale in Lincolnshire, this xxvith day of Febru- ary, 1629." (1629-30.)
From the above, it will be seen that he was a man of some means. He did not come to the new world through dire necessity or to better his condition, but rather through a desire to have more religious liberty. Ho vv-as of that large number of emigrants mentioned in Green's "History of the English People:"
"They were in great part of the professional and middle classes; some of 'them men of large landed estates; some zealous clergymen
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like Cotton, Hooker and Roger Williams; some shrewd London lawyers or young scholars from Oxford. The bulk were God-fear- ing farmers from lyincolnshire and the eastern counties. They de- sired in fact ' only the best ' as sharers in their enterprise, men driven forth from their fatherland not by earthly want or by the greed for gold, or by the lust of adventure, but by the fear of God and the zeal for a Godly worship."
He and his family sailed from Cowes, Isle of Wight, for America, on board the "Arabella," with seventy- six passengers, March 29, 1630, and landed in Boston, Mass., June 17, 1630; making the voyage in seventy- eight days. He lived for a time at Roxbury, Mass.
" Robert Parke, of Wethersfield, came in 1630; went back same year carrying an order by our Governer to his son John, in England to pay money, probably the first bill of exchange drawn in America. ' ' — Savage's Genealogical Dictionary.
In 1639 he went, with his son Thomas, through the wilderness to Wethersfield, Conn., with the first settlers there.
He resided at Wethersfield about ten years, and in 1649 removed to Pequot, (now New London,) Conn. He was a resident of the town plot of New London for about six years, and then removed to lands which he owned on the Mystic river.
In the first book of the town records of New London, the two Winthrops, John and Deane, are uniformly entitled "Mr." as are also Jonathan Brewster and Robert Parke, when they appear in the records of the plantation; but all others are styled "Goodman," or mentioned by Christian and surname, without any prefix.
When Mr. Blinman, (the first minister of the Gos- pel who preached regularly in New London), came in 1650, there was no meeting house. During the first years of his ministry he preached in the barn meeting house which stood on the corner of Hempstead and Granite streets. It belonged to Mr. Robert Parke.
OF CONNECTICUT. 27
August 29, 1651, the following vote of the town is recorded: "For Mr. Parke's barne the Towne doe agree for the use of it until midsummer next to give him a day's work a peace for a meeting house, to be the Saboth come amoneth." In 1652 Mr. Parke sold his house lot to Mr. William Rogers, of Boston.
Martha daughter of William of Semer can be identified as the wife of Robert Parke because her stepmother Ann Chaplin mentions Ann Parke and William Parke, children of Robert Parke in her will. In addition a pedigree from Candler’s MS quoted by Muskett shows this Martha as wife of Robert Parke who went to New England. Unfortunately Muskett does not give a date for this MS. Still further evidence comes from the will of Martha’s brother Clement. He mentions his kinsman William Parke of Roxbury in New England. In the Muskett version of this will is Parke is wrongly transcribed as Clarke [TAG].
Thus Martha daughter of William can be positively identified as the wife of Robert Parke
He was elected a Freeman of the colony in April, 1640, a Representative or Deputy to the General Court, September, 1641, and again in August, 1642. He was a Selectman in 1651, and again a Representa- tive in 1652. In 1658 he was a Selectman of Souther- town, (afterwards nam.ed Mystic and now known as Stonington,) Conn.
Robert Parke married 1st, Martha, a daughter of Capt. Robert and Elizabeth Chaplin, of Bury, England. Her father gave her portion of 300 acres. It is probable that she died in England before the family came to this Country, as no mention has been found of her here.
He married 2nd, at Wethersfield, about
1644, Mrs. Alice Thompson. She was the widow of John Thompson, of Preston, England, and the mother of Dorothy Thompson, who became the wife of Thomas Parke. There is upon record a curious order of the General Court of Massachusetts, dated May 30, 1644, in favor of Robert Parke, to the effect: " That he may proceed in marriage with Alice Thompson without further publishment."
In 1649 he went to New London, CT to rejoin the Denisons at the new settlement. Robert Park was one of the first to settle the Groton side of Mystic in 1654, and later, the town of Preston east of Norwich. (Robert Parke owned land in Preston and Voluntown nearby.His last move was to Mystic, CT.
He died at Mystic, February 4, 1664-5, aged 84 years. The diary of Thomas Minor, under date of Feb 1664, has the following: "The 4th of ffebruarie mr perke departed this life and was buried the 7th day being Tuseday in the yeare 1664." His grave is in the White Hall graveyard, at White Hall, Mystic, Connexticut. His house was east of the present road and southeast
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of the burial ground, and stood just south of a small knoll, somewhat rocky.
His will is dated May 14, 1660, and was admitted to probate March 14, 1664-5. This will mentions only three children, William, the oldest; Samuel and Thomas. One authority has stated that his oldest son, named Robert, stayed in England and had the homestead; others have said that he may have had other children, possibly Joseph, Richard, Edward and Ann.
Children of Robert and Martha Parke:
i. MARTHA PARKE, b. 1603. m. WILLIAM PARKE Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, England ii. ROBERT PARKE, b. 1605. iii. WILLIAM PARKE, b. 1607; d. 1685; m. MARTHA HOLGRAVE. iv. RICHARD PARKE b. 1609 d. 1664 m. MARGERY CRANE v. JOHN PARKE, b. 1610. vi. JANE PARKE, b. 1613. vii. THOMAS PARKE, b. February 13, 1614/15, Hitcham, Suffolk, England; d. July 30, 1709, Preston, New London, CT. m DOROTHY THOMPSON viii. ANNE PARKE, b. 1618; m. EDWARD PAYSON. ix. SAMUEL PARKE, b. Abt. June 20, 1621; m. HANNAH
Anne^, b " lived at Roxbury, Mass., where she married Edward Payson, August 20, 1640, and died Sept. 10, 1641. She had one child who died young.
Sources: Park Society; History of the Town of Stonington by Wheeler; The New England Ancestry of HRH the Princess of Wales" by Gary Boyd Roberts and William A. Reitwiesner; NEHGR, April 1972; The Ancestors and Descendants of Horace Thaddeus Perkins 1812-1951 on Film 1,036,644; A. Roots 29A; Boston Evening Transcript; History of New London, Conn., by Frances Manwaring Caulkins; The First Church of Christ in New London, 974.65/N2, K2l; American Ancestors and Cousins of the Princess of Wales (Diana) by Gary Boyd Roberts and William Addams Reitwiesner; The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 by Charles Edward Banks; Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England; TAG 16/16; Saturday's Children--A History of the Babcock Family in America by C. Merton Babcock; Potter-Richardson Memorial; Saturday's Children, A History of the Babcock Family in America; Founders of Early American Families; The Great Migration Begins, v3, pages 1389 and 1390; Magna Charta Sureties 163-10.
Migrations: William Parke, son of Robert and Martha Chaplin Parke, was baptized in Semer, Suffolk, England - 21 April 1607, so the Parkes apparently resided there at that time. Page 1390 says only that Robert followed William to New England, arriving by 1639. Evidence that Robert Parke was in New England as early as 1630 seems quite slight. [Founders of Early American Families says he came to New England in 1630 and returned to England.]
Winthrop: Probably from Bures, co. Suffolk, or vicinity. Born about 1585. Came on Arbella. May have been related to Edward Parke, who called Winthrop "cousin." Married (1) Martha Chaplin. She and son Thomas Parke accompanied him.
Caulkins: His will is on the town book, dated 14 May 1660. Proved in March 1664/5. It names William, Samuel and Thomas. He was in Wethersfield in 1640 and made a freeman of CT Colony in April 1640 and deputy to the General Court in September 1641 and September 1642. Moved to Pequot in 1649; resided in the town plot about six years and then "established himself on the banks of the Mystic River.
Memorial The family removed to Stonington, CT, where Robert bought 2,000 acres from Winthrop and was the 13th signer of the Covenant.
Children of ROBERT PARKE and MARTHA CHAPLIN are: i. MARTHA7 PARKE, b. 1603. ii. ROBERT PARKE, b. 1605. iii. WILLIAM PARKE, b. 1607; d. 1685; m. MARTHA HOLGRAVE. iv. JOHN PARKE, b. 1610. v. JANE PARKE, b. 1613. 9. vi. THOMAS PARKE, b. February 13, 1614/15, Hitcham, Suffolk, England; d. July 30, 1709, Preston, NewLondon, CT. vii. ANNE PARKE, b. 1618; m. EDWARD PAYSON. viii. SAMUEL PARKE, b. Abt. June 20, 1621; m. HANNAH
|Samuel Parke b.20 Jun 1621 Bildestone Eng d.22 Mar 1709 Stonington CT Samuel had remained in England after his father sailed to the colonies. He came to America after his father's death to collect his inheritance as stipulated in his father's will. "To son Samuell Parke 50 pounds sterling to be paid by said Executor in good merchantable goods at price current at time of payment--in case he my said son Samuell shall first come and demand the same in Roxbury within the time and place of seven years next and immediately after the date hereof."