Capt. James Parker

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James Parker

Also Known As: "Captain James Parker"
Birthplace: Great Burstead, Essex, England
Death: Died in Groton, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Parker of Great Burstead, Essex, England and Anne Gelley
Husband of Elizabeth Parker and Eunice Parker
Father of Elizabeth Gerry; John Parker; Sarah Parker; Joseph Parker, III; James Parker and 8 others
Brother of Abraham Parker; Sgt. John Parker of Billerica; Mary Chamberlin; Joseph Parker; Joshua Parker and 2 others

Occupation: Captain
Managed by: Ben M. Angel, still catching up
Last Updated:

About Capt. James Parker

  • Capt James Parker
  • Birth: 1617 Essex, England
  • Death: May, 1700 Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • James was one of five known brothers to have emigrated from Great Burstead, Essex, England to the colony of Massachusetts. Where previously these brothers John, James, Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob could be connected through documentary evidence, Y-DNA analysis from the four who had children (all but John), now verifies the connection. The baptism of James was not recorded in the church records at Great Burstead like was his aforementioned brothers along with two more siblings Anne and Joshua. He is the only one of these siblings, however, whose age is referenced in Massachusetts records.
  • James will was written on 25 May 1700 and proved in Aug 1700, while an inventory of his estate was recorded on 12 Jul 1700. It can be assumed he died between 25 May and 12 Jul, but the specific date is not known. He gave his age as 83 in his will, which correlates with the age he gave of 81 in a deposition from 1698. Based on these two documents, his birth year has been estimated as 1617.
  • In his will James named, "Elizabeth Parker, the daughter of my son, Zachariah Parker, deceased" and later named "my sons, James, Joseph,. Samuel, Zachariah and Eleazer Parker, my natural sons." The latter section was likely written prior to 1694 and not amended later, as his sons James and Zachariah were killed that year in the Oyster Bay Raid [aka Abenaki Indian raid], and Zachariah was identify as deceased in his first reference.
  • -- Gar Watson
  • Keepers of the Old Burying Ground suspect that the tomb of William Parker (83960485) was erected over the plots of his ancestors - thus wiping out their headstones. That tomb was collapsed, by the town - for safety and aesthetic reasons, in the mid 19th century. The best they can offer is that they were buried in Quadrant 1 - the oldest quadrant of the cemetery. Jack Parker is in the process of documenting the 91 Parkers that are probably buried here (42 are on FAG). He hopes to place a small marker at some point to these vanished Parkers.
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • John Parker (1588 - 1640)
  • Spouses:
  • Elizabeth Long Parker (1621 - ____)
  • Eunice Brooks Kendall (1655 - 1730)*
  • Children:
    • James Parker (1652 - 1694)*
    • Samuel Parker (1656 - 1712)*
    • Joshua Parker (1658 - 1691)*
  • Siblings:
  • James Parker (1617 - 1700)
  • Abraham Parker (1619 - 1685)*
  • Jacob Parker (1626 - 1668)*
  • Burial: Old Burying Ground, Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 119423907
  • From:


  • LONG, Elizabeth
  • b. ABT NOV 1621 England
  • Parents:
  • Father: Long, Robert
  • Mother: Taylor, Sarah
  • Family:
  • Spouse: TAYLOR, James
  • Family:
  • Marriage: 23 MAY 1643 Woburn, Middlesex, Mass.
  • Spouse: PARKER, James
  • b. 1628 England
  • d. BEF 12 JUL 1700 Groton, Middlesex, Mass.
  • Children:
    • PARKER, Elizabeth b. 12 MAR 1645/6 Woburn, Middlesex, Mass.
    • PARKER, Ann
    • PARKER, John b. 18 FEB 1648/9 Woburn, Middlesex, Mass.
    • PARKER, Sarah b. 29 AUG 1650 Woburn, Middlesex, Mass.
    • PARKER, Joseph
    • PARKER, James
    • PARKER, Samuel
    • PARKER, Joshua
    • PARKER, Zachariah b. 14 JAN 1658/9 Chelmsford, Middlesex, Mass.
    • PARKER, Eleazer
    • PARKER, Josiah
  • From:


Generation No. 1

  • 1. JAMES1 PARKER was born 1617, and died 1700.
    • He married (1) ELIZABETH LONG 28 May 1644,
      • daughter of ROBERT LONG and ELIZABETH TAYLOR.
      • She was born Abt. 1623.
    • He married (2) EUNICE Abt. 1696.
'''Notes for JAMES PARKER:'''
  • --Captain;
  • --came from England 1634;
  • --settled at Woburn, Massachusetts;
  • --probably related to some of the numerous other pioneers of this surname, who located in that section of the Bay colony, Abraham Parker at Woburn, John Parker, of Woburn and Billerica, who were brothers, and perhaps others.
  • James Parker moved to Billerica about 1654, to Chelmsford, Massachusetts, in 1658, and to Groton in 1660;
  • --Children of JAMES PARKER and ELIZABETH LONG are:
    • i. ELIZABETH2 PARKER, b. 12 Apr 1645, Woburn.
    • ii. ANNA PARKER, b. 05 Jan 1647.
    • iii. JOHN PARKER, b. 18 Jan 1649.
    • iv. SARAH PARKER, b. 29 Aug 1650; d. Died young.
    • v. JOSEPH PARKER, b. 1651, Woburn.
    • 2. vi. JAMES PARKER, b. 15 Apr 1652; d. 27 Jul 1694, Billerica.
    • vii. JOSIAH PARKER, b. 1655.
    • viii. SAMUEL PARKER, b. Abt. 1657.
    • ix. JOSHUA PARKER, b. 03 Mar 1658, Chelmsford.
    • x. ZACHARIAH PARKER, b. 14 Jan 1659.
    • 3. xi. ELEAZER PARKER, b. 09 Nov 1667, Groton; d. 26 Jun 1705, Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  • Child of JAMES PARKER and EUNICE is:
    • xii. SARAH2 PARKER, b. 12 Dec 1697.

Spouse: 2652. Elizabeth Long.

  • Born ca 1621 in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
  • Elizabeth was baptized in St Albans Abbey, on 14 Nov 1621.[14]
  • On 23 May 1643 Elizabeth married Capt. James Parker,
    • son of John Parker (ca 1585/1690-) & Ann [Parker], in Woburn, MA.[24]
    • Born ca 1617 in Great Burstead, Essex.
    • James died in 1701 in Groton, MA.[24]
  • James was in Woburn by 1640.
  • He was freeman 1644, and a grantee of Billerica.
  • He removed to Chelmsford by 1655.
  • Later he removed to Groton, and perhaps, by a second wife Eunice, had, very late in life, Sarah, again, 12 Dec. 1697. Butler, Hist. 282, refers to the will in proof.[24]

Their children include:

  • 7328 i. Elizabeth Parker (12 Mar 1645-)
  • 7329 ii. Ann Parker (5 Mar 1647-14 Jan 1728)
  • 7330 iii. John Parker (18 Feb 1649-)
  • 7331 iv. Sarah Parker (Died soon) (29 Aug 1650-15 Oct 1651)
  • 7332 v. Joseph Parker (ca 1651-)
  • 7333 vi. James Parker (15 Apr 1652-27 Jul 1694)
  • 7334 vii. Capt. Josiah Parker (1652-1731)
  • 7335 viii. Samuel Parker (1 Feb 1656-ca 1712)
  • 7336 ix. Joshua Parker (13 Mar 1658-1691)
  • 7337 x. Zechariah Parker (14 Jan 1659-)
  • 7338 xi. Eleazer Parker (9 Nov 1660-ca 1704/5)

In 1673, James Parker was promoted to lieutenant and then captain of the local militia – or pikemen, as they were called – indicating that worries over possible war with the native tribes were rising. Then in 1675, town records begin to show Groton’s particular concern, being, along with Lancaster and Marlborough to the south, the western-most settlements of the Bay Colony and the most exposed to attack.

Dr. Samuel Green records in his Groton During the Indian Wars that when Capt. Parker and his fellow selectmen met on July 22 that year, they set a tax levy “for the defraying of the charg of the ware.” In August, Parker followed up with a letter to the colonial governor noting that the townspeople “are in very great strait” and “much discouraged in their spirits,” and he requested ammunition and muskets “for their pikemen.”

Also in the letter, Parker notes that “the Indians are aproaching near to us our scouts hav discovered severall tracks very near the habitable parts of the town and one Indian they discovered but escapt from them by skulking amongst the bushes and som of the Inhabitants of our town have heard them in the night singing and hallowing.”

The Indian King

Metacom, known in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies as King Philip, was the son of Wampanoag sachem Massasoit. Although the father had become an ally of the Pilgrims, the son waged war against the Europeans who were increasingly usurping the Indians' ancestral lands.

Assisting Capt. Parker in preparing defenses against Indian attacks was Major Simon Willard of the Nonacoicus section of Groton (now Ayer). He was the father of town minister Samuel Willard. Simon Willard, one of the original founders of Concord, served in various important capacities throughout the colony. He was a member of the Massachusetts Court of Assistants, and he led a 1652 expedition in the name of Governor John Endicott to the headwaters of the Merrimack River at present-day Weirs Beach, N.H., then considered to be the northern boundary of Massachusetts .

Major Willard and Capt. Parker led a contingent that marched in August 1675 to the rescue of the new western community of Brookfield “and just in the nick of time saved that town from massacre,” according to Dr. Green.

A lull in the conflict late in 1675 brought to the forefront the issue of who should pay the expenses of protecting the Colony and the towns. A September 1675 edict came down from the Governor and Council that they “do expect their bee meet provisions of victual made for the garrison soldiers herby ordered, at the charge of towne; whch is not to bee brought unto the accot of the publicke.”

According to Green, Groton was assessed 11 pounds, 10 shillings for its share of war costs, whereupon Capt. Parker was selected to head up a committee in November “chosen to treat with Mr. Willard about sending down to the generall court to Enforme and supplicat to them that we may have payd to us what is our due from the countrey and also that the Billit [upkeep] of the souldiers may be upon the countreys account.”

However, as Indian threats increased once again a month later, town residents were a little more agreeable to pay. “At a Generall Towne meeting held Decem 9 75 It was this day agreed upon and by vot declared that the soldiers that are still remaining in the town shalbe continued in the towne at the town charg till such tim as we hear a returne from the army goei[ng] against the naroganset.” On March 13, a contingent of an estimated 400 Indians set about burning all the fields and buildings in Groton, including about 40 dwellings, the meeting house and Samuel Willard’s garrison house.

Looking West Toward Wachusetts

During King Philip’s War, the Nipmuck chief Monoco, also known as One-Eyed John, gathered an estimated 400 Native American warriors in the Wachusetts hills. From here, he staged attacks against such communities as Lancaster and Groton.

Those inside the destroyed garrison, according to Green, were able to escape and crowd into Capt. Parker’s. When the smoke cleared, all that remained in Groton were the other four fortified garrison houses.

An account of King Philip’s War written by the famed Puritan Increase Mather shortly after the attack and cited in Green’s history reads: “March 13, The Indians assaulted Groton, and left but few houses standing. So that this day also another Candlestick was removed out of its place. One of the first houses that the Enemy destroyed in this place, was the House of God, h.e. whice was built, and set apart for the celebration of the publick Worship of God.”

Another account of the attack on Groton was written by the Rev. William Hubbard, who, along with Mather, shares responsibility for the Puritan-justified bias toward the war following the death of King Philip. Hubbard writes that One-Eyed John, buoyed by his success, called out to Capt. Parker the night after the attack, and the chief “entertained a great deal of Discourse with him, whom he called his old Neighbour; dilating upon the cause of the War, and putting an end to it by a friendly peace.”

In retrospect, this meeting must have taken a great deal of courage on behalf of the defeated town leader. Monoco’s sincerity in offering peace was questionable, however, as he reportedly boasted to Capt. Parker that “he burnt Medfield,… Lancaster, and that now he would burn the Town of Groton, and the next time he would burn Chlemsford, Concord, Watertown, Cambridge, Charlestown, Roxbury, Boston, adding at last in their Dialect, What Me will, Me do.” This parley between Monoco and Capt. Parker is the subject of a historic marker on modern day Main Street in Groton.

Hubbard goes into more gruesome detail describing the events of the day after the attack. After “making themselves merry” over night, he reported, the Indians “stript the body of him whom they had slain in the first onset, and then cutting off his head, fixed it upon a pole looking towards his own land. The corpse of the man slain the week before, they dug up out of his grave, they cut off his head and one leg, and set them upon poles, and stript off his winding-sheet. An infant which they found dead in the house first surprised, they cut in pieces, which afterward they cast to the swine.”

(It should be noted that Pilgrim and Puritan soldiers in some instances engaged in equally barbarous treatment of slain Indians. For example, the severed head of King Philip was displayed at Plymouth for more than twenty years following his death in 1676.)

About five days after the final destructive attack on Groton, the remaining residents effected an escape to the east, and the charred town, in Green’s words, “was abandoned altogether by the settlers.” As for One-Eyed John, he partially carried out his threat by burning some of the buildings at Chelmsford, but he was eventually captured and hanged in Boston on September 26, 1676.

“Fortunately the loss of life or limb on the part of the inhabitants of the town was small,” writes Dr. Green, “and it is not known that more than three persons were killed.” He adds, “two were made prisoners, of whom one escaped from the savages.” The other captive was ransomed.

In describing the impact of Indian wars, Caleb Butler poignantly asks in his Groton history, “(H)ad our Puritan forefathers the… right to dispossess the aborigines of this country, and utterly annihilate the race...? They seem so to have believed, and so to have conducted.”

In the 2000 documentary film The History of King Philip’s War, commentator Michael Tongias puts it even more bluntly, calling the treatment of Indians after the war of 1675-76 an example of “ethnic cleansing.”

  • Soon after arriving VA from Gravesend, England he became partner of Thomas Chamberlain in land purchases.
  • Parkers were from Billericay, County Essex, England and from nearby Rayleigh.

James Parker, Capt.1 

  • • b. abt. 1617 in England and
  • • died bef. 12 July 1700 in Groton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. 
  • • He married (1) Elizabeth Long  23 May 1643 in Woburn, Massachusetts. 
    • • Elizabeth was born abt. 14 November 1621 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England;
  • he married (2) Eunice Brooks abt. 1695
    • she was born 10 October 1655 in Woburn, Massachusetts.  
  • James Parker Capt. served in King Philip's War and his home was used as a garrison.
  • "In the name of God, Amen, I, James Parker, of Groton in the county of Middlesex, province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England 25th May, 1700 being weak of body, but of good and perfect memory..."  Names his children in his will.

Children of James and Elizabeth (Long) Parker:

  • i. Elizabeth Parker , b. 12 April 1645/46 in Woburn, Massachusetts;
    • married Samuel Geary of Roxbury..
  • ii. Anna/Hannah Parker, b. 5 January 1646/47 in Woburn, Massachusetts;
    • she married Nathaniel Blood 13 June 1670 in Groton.
  • iii. John Parker, b. 18 February 1648/49 in Woburn, Massachusetts.
  • iv. Sarah Parker, b. 29 August 1650 in Woburn, Massachusetts; d.15 Oct. 1651.
  • v. Joseph Parker, b. 1651 in Woburn.
  • vi. James Parker, b. 15 April 1652 in Woburn, Massachusetts;
    • married Mary Parker 14 December 1678 in Groton. 
      • She was born 15 November 1655 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
  • vii. Josiah Parker, Capt., b. 15 April 1655 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts;
    • married Elizabeth Saxton 8 May 1678..
  • viii. Samuel Parker, b. 1 Febuary 1656 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
  • ix. Joshua Parker, b. 13 March 1657/58 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts;
    • married Abigail Shattuck.
  • x. Zachariah Parker, b. 14 January 1758/59 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts;
    • killed by Indians 27 July 1694.
    • He married Elizabeth Page.
  • xi. Eleazer Parker, b. 9 November 1660/61 in Groton, Massachusetts;
    • married 1) Mehitable Barron ,
    • married 2) Mary Woods, she was born 2 August 1670 in Groton.

Children of James and Eunice (Brooks) Parker:

  • i. Sarah Parker, b. 12 December 1697.


view all 39

Capt. James Parker's Timeline

December 12, 1615
Grantham, Lincoln, England
May 18, 1617
May 18, 1617
St. Nicholas, Colchester, Ess, Eng
May 18, 1617
St. Nicholas, Colchester, Ess, Eng
May 18, 1617
St. Nicholas, Colchester, Ess, Eng
May 18, 1617
St. Nicholas, Colchester, Ess, Eng
May 18, 1617
St. Nicholas, Colchester, Ess, Eng
September 1, 1617
Great Burstead, Essex, England
March 12, 1645
Age 27
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
February 18, 1649
Age 31
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony