Parshall Terry

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Parshall Terry

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: New London, New London County, Connecticut Colony
Death: May 15, 1811 (76)
East Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Terry and Jemimah Wells
Husband of Deborah Terry; Joanna Terry and Sarah Lee Terry
Father of Parshall Adam Terry; Jonathan Terry; William Nathan Terry; Elizabeth Terry; Deborah Horton and 7 others
Brother of Nathaniel Terry; Jeremiah Terry; Remittance Hallock; Elizabeth Terry; Mary Terry and 3 others

Managed by: Kristal Amber Fawcett
Last Updated:

About Parshall Terry

Alternate birth recorded: Mattituck, Suffolk, NY, USA

PARSHALL TERRY (JONATHAN5, NATHANIEL4, NATHANIEL3, RICHARD2, THOMAS1) was born August 08, 1734 in Mattituck, Suffolk, Long Island, New York, and died May 15, 1811 in East Palmyra, New York, NY.

He married DEBORAH CLARK May 15, 1735 in East Palymra, Ontario, New York, daughter of WILLIAM CLARK and MARY REEVES. She was born June 22, 1736 in Mattituck, Suffolk, New York, and died July 27, 1778 in Shorfsborugh, PA.


Burial: May 1811, ,,NY

Source: (

Parshall Terry - Son of Jonathan Terry and Jemimah Parshall Born August 8, 1734, near New London, Conn.; died at East Palmyra, New York, May 15, 1811,(Harvey's History of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) The date of death seems to be wrong by one year, as in 1810 hisson, Nathan, applied for administration 'papers at Ganandaiqua, New York, to settle the estate. The placeof birth is in doubt, as there is evidence in family histories that, Jemimah Parshall Terry resided all her lifein the vicinity of Southold, Long Island. The place of death has been questioned because of a sworn statement made at Terrytown, Pennsylvania, by Captain Jonathan Terry, son of Parshall, that his father"died among his friends in this place in a good old age." However, Jonathan was not talking especiallyabout the place where his father died, but was denying false rumors which had found their way into print,to the effect that Parshall Terry was killed by his son, Parshall, jr. during the massacre of Forty Fort in July, 1778. Under these conditions, the term "this place" may have been loosely used. Terrytown may ormay not have been definitely meant.Parshall Terry was a tailor. It is said that he could make a coat for a man in a day and that heoften did it for one dollar.He was one of the proprietors and directors in the Connecticut-Susquehanna Purchase Company, whose object it was to settle the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. In 1762, he and ninety-threeothers went into the Wyoming Valley, but they remained there only ten days. They returned to WyomingValley in May, 1763; their activities in this valley were opposed both by Indians and by the followers ofWilliam Penn, referred to as Pennanites. On October 15, 1763, the colony was attacked by the Indians and about twenty of the settlers were killed. This attack was a complete surprise as they had shortlybefore made a treaty with the Indians in which they had agreed to purchase the country. The attack was really a part of the Pontiac War of United States History.It is related that Parshall Terry and his brother Nathaniel were in the field together when theywere suddenly attacked by the Indians. Nathaniel was the first to observe the Indians and warned his brother. At the same time he was shot dead by an approaching Indian. Parshall who was unarmed,secreted himself by a fallen log where he was concealed in a patch of tall grass or nettles and remainedsecurely hidden, although the Indians passed several times within a few feet of him. Some yearsafterwards at a conference, Parshall met an Indian who told him that he was in the Wyoming attack, thathe saw two men near each other, that he shot and killed one of them but the other one must have falleninto the river and drowned himself, or the Devil took him, for he (the Indian) had watched a long while andwould have seen the other man had he been alive.After this attack, the settlers left the Valley temporarily, but returned in 1769. This time they metwith serious opposition from the Pennanites, which lasted several years before the Connecticut colonywas finally settled in the Valley. During all of these struggles, Parshall Terry took active, energetic, go-ahead part and was especially hated by the Pennanites. Twice they seized him and carried him to Eastonwhere they threw him into jail, but he managed to escape both times.Parshall Terry built the first grist mills at Terrytown, Wyoming Valley. It is related that his son,Jonathan, drove rails in the hoofs of the family mare, and crossed the river on the ice to Wilkes-Barre.Here he had his mare shod, purchased millstones, packed them on a "jumper" and drove home on theice. The trip required three days. Years afterwards this mill was known as "Grandpa Terry's little mill."Parshall Terry I, is said to be the first to discover coal in Wyoming Valley. It is said that one dayhe was using a camp fire and had made a crude fire box out of some black stones which he gathered up.Later, after going to bed he got up to find that the "stones" were also burning. He sold his farm which contained one of the richest deposits of coal in the Valley, for a bull and a barrel of eels.Parshall was one of the first settlers of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He resided inKingston township until about 1790, when he removed to Wyalusing, later to Terrvtown in what is now Bradford County; Pennsylvania. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church at

Wyalusing. Services were held alternately at Wyalusing and Terrytown. In April, 1794, he made affidavit in a law case in Circuit. Court giving a brief account of the settlement in Wyoming Valley,Parshall Terry was a private in the 24th Regiment, Connecticut Militia in 1778; and is named among the refugees at Forty Fort. He subsequently served as militiaman at Continental post in Wilkes-Barre under Col. Zebulon Butler. (Harvy's History of Wilkes-Barre -- note Vol. II, page 902).

In 1818 he deeded his holdings in Pennsylvania to his son Jonathan and daughter, Deborah, who had married John Horton, and went to East Palmyra, New York. It seems that all his family except Jonathan, and Deborah, had moved to Palmyra. Records of deeds show that he had considerable land holdings in and around East Palmyra, One purchase made was 950 acres, the deed to which was signed July 3, 1789. He was perhaps a land speculator.

Married (1) at Matituck, Long Island, May 15, 1755, Deborah Clark, born June 7, 1736, at Matituck; died at Stroudsbourgh, Pennsylvania, in July, 1778, during the flight from the battle and massacre of Wyoming Valley; daughter of William Clark of Matituck, and Brookhaven, Long Island, and his wife, Mary Reeves (maiden name) widow of John Benjamin. Married (2) Sarah Lee Horton, widow of Lieutenant Isreal Horton. She had eleven children, Their combined familes numbered twenty--two. They had a private school in their home. Married (3) Bethia Wells, according to James P. Terry's record. Stuart T. Terry first records it thus, but later interlined a note which says "His third wife was Joana Moore of Southold. She married a Parshall who moved to Morriston, New Jersey, where he died. She moved to Orange County, New York, where they were married."

  • Source - AGBI American Genealogical Birth Index

He, along with his brother, Nathaniel, were "proprietors" in the Connecticut-Susquehanna Purchase, which included land in what is now northern Pennsylvania. So, in the year 1762, about the last of August, as he "recollects," he, with 93 others, including his brother Nathaniel, went to Wyoming (Valley), Pennsylvania. "For the purpose of carrying on farming." They remained only 10 days, finding it too late in the season to begin operations and returned to their homes until the following spring. Early in the month of May, 1763, he, with others, returned to Wyoming and began work in earnest, making large improvements in what is now Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Plymouth and Hanover. In the fall of 1763 Indians raided the pioneers, killing Parshall's brother, Nathaniel. Parshall, with his family, went back to New York. The last of April or the first of May, 1769, they returned to Pennsylvania. But during the period of their absence, things had been happening in the Valley. In Februrary, 1769, 40 Connecticut farmers came down into the valley of Wyoming to build a block house, which, from their numbers they called the "Forty-Fort." History has it that Parshall Terry was among the "first forty" men to return to the Wyoming settlement in February, 1769. According to Parshall's diary, he and his family "returned in April or May, 1769." It is possible that he was one of the reinforcements who came in May. See Eleazer Cary for an early connection between the Cary and Terry family.

According to Parshall Terry Family History by Lund, page 10

- - - -He was one of the proprietors and directors in the Connecticut-Susquehana Purchase Company, whose object it was to settle the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. In 1762, he and 93 others went into the Wyoming Valley, but they remained only 10 days. They returned in May, 1763. Their activities in this valley were opposed both by Indians and by the followers of Willliam Penn, referred to as Pennanites. On October 15, 1763, the colony was attacked by the indians and about 20 of the settlers were killed. This attack was a complete surprise and they had shortly before made a treaty with the Indians in which they had agreed to purchase the country. The attack was really a part of the "Pontiac War" of United States History.

About 1794, Parshall Terry built a small gristmill on a very small stream on the farm now owned by Major U. Terry, and occupied by J. W. Van Auken. Jonathan Terry took his fine brown mare, drove nails in her hoofs, and went to Wilkes-Barre on the ice with a jumper constructed for the purpose, and there bought the mill-stones, and, after getting his mare shod, loaded them upon the jumper, and came home upon the ice, making the trip in a little over three days. This mill was long known as Grandfather Terry’s "little mill," and it was a fine acquisition to the comforts of Terrytown.

Parshall Terry and Uriah Terry were the two great men of Terrytown. The former was a tailor, and he could make a coat for a man in a day, and would often do it for one dollar. He was an enterprising, go-ahead man, and he was hated by the Pennamites with almost perfect hatred. Once they had him in jail in Easton, but by his genial disposition and blandishments he soon won the good will of the jailer, and was granted the freedom of the premises around the jail. After remaining there for some weeks, one day, whilst enjoying his freedom in the presence of the jailer and several other persons, all at once he discovered that the jail was on fire, and he ran and cried "Fire! Fire!" and then made his way with more than double-quick to the woods and before the jailer and others found out the ruse he was out of their reach. He lay in the woods two nights. An Indian woman gave him a loaf of bread, and then he made his way to Wyoming and his family. He was not taken back though it was soon known that he was with his family.

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Parshall Terry's Timeline

August 8, 1734
New London, New London County, Connecticut Colony
February 22, 1756
Age 21
Mattituck, Suffolk County, Province of New York
June 17, 1758
Age 23
Near Southold, Suffolk, New York
Age 25
Little Britain, Orange, New York
Age 30
May 17, 1766
Age 31
Little Britain, Orange County, Province of New York
March 1768
Age 33
Little Britain, Orange, New York
December 31, 1769
Age 35
Goshen,Orange,New York,USA
Age 35
Little Britain, Orange County, Province of New York