PARKER, Greenberry, of Vigo Co IN

16 December 2017: the day DNA testing results solved our family’s biggest genealogical puzzle. We’ve been looking for the parents of Greenberry Parker of Vigo County, Indiana, since 1970. Five of my fourth-cousin matches at had Austins going back to South Carolina. had one Parker-Austin marriage in 1801, that is, William Parker and Candace Austin, who lived in Morgan Co IN, one county over from where Greenberry first shows up in the records, and died in Putnam Co IN. I was able to list the following seven details that point to the identification.

Reasons William Parker is probably the father of Greenberry and Robert David:

  1. There are at least twenty DNA matches of more than 20 cMs to the Austin family of SC/NC.
  2. The long suspected Indian connection has been found with both William Parker’s mother and the Austin family.
  3. William lived in the next county to Monroe Co IN, where both Greenberry and Robert David were married.
  4. William appears to have moved a lot: at least North Carolina to Tennessee to Indiana, and probably North Carolina to South Carolina toTennessee to Kentucky to Indiana.
  5. William’s mother’s name was Mary Ann, and both Greenberry’s and Robert David’s oldest daughters were named Mary Ann.
  6. It is unlikely William and Candace were married in 1801 and only had one child, born 1815. His 1810 census suggests more children.
  7. Our Parkers had some connections in Putnam Co IN, where William and Candace were buried. How did Reuben Turner from Putnam County meet Margaret Ellen Parker of Vigo County? Was she visiting her grandmother Candace?
  8. Two Sullivan County, Indiana, Parker families [see below] were the only households I could identify as having sons in the 1820 the same ages as Greenberry and Robert David. It is now apparent that William Parker’s household in the 1820 census is missing; that’s why I haven’t located him previously.

Biggest problems:

  1. I can’t locate William’s 1820 census to confirm a total of at least three sons and one daughter.
  2. No known estate for either William or Candace.

Greenberry Parker was born 1810-1815 in South Carolina, the son of William and Candace (Austin) Parker. He died before the 1850 census in Vigo Co IN. He married Monroe Co IN, 11 Dec 1834, Elizabeth Willoughby, daughter of Elijah and Susannah (Leachman) Willoughby. She was born ca 1813 in Tennessee, and died before 12 Jun 1900, Worth Co MO. She married second Christopher Howard, Vigo Co IN, 9 Sep 1851. Christopher was born 1809 in Kentucky and died before 1860 in Vigo Co IN, according to family tradition murdered while taking money to the bank. Elizabeth and Greenberry had the following daughters:

1. Mary Ann PARKER was born in 1840. She married Jacob Power DICKERSON, 13 Feb 1862 in Vigo County, Indiana, as his second wife. He died in 1910 in Knox County, Indiana. See for her only known child: Walter H Dickerson, Jan 1863-18 Feb 1863, “son of J P and M A Dickerson.” See marriage record of this couple:

 2. Rhoda Jane PARKER was born in 1842 in IN. Rhoda Jane died in Worth Co MO, in 1888. Although she has a cemetery marker with that date, she was listed with James in the 1910 census, 67 IN VA VA.[1] On 11 Jul 1867 she married James Francis MORELAND, son of Enoch MORELAND & Irena STEVENS, in Vigo Co IN. Born on 15 Aug 1843 in Irvine, Estill Co KY. James Francis died in Worth Co MO, on 13 Jan 1916. They had the following children:

            i.            Wilson (1868-)

            ii.            Stanley (1870-)

            iii.            Gena (1874-1887)

            iv.            Enoch W (1876-)

            v.            Ora (1880-)

           vi.            Azella Maud (1882-1965)

3. Margaret Ellen PARKER was born on 7 Nov 1843 in Vigo Co IN. Margaret Ellen died in Foss, Washita Co OK. On 20 Dec 1861 Margaret first married Reuben Webster TURNER, son of Greenville Person TURNER & Deborah WEBSTER, in Vigo Co IN. Born on 1 Feb 1829 in Fayette Co IN, Reuben Webster died in Foss, Washita Co OK, on 10 Nov 1905 [or 1915]. They were divorced on 25 Oct 1883 in Worth Co MO. They had the following children:

                        i.            Florence Jane (1862-1938)

                        ii.            Robert Harrison (Died as Child) (1864-1879)

                        iii.            Lillian Iula (1866-1945)

                        iv.            Anna Samantha (1869-1942)

                        v.            Mable Edna (Died as Child) (1872-)

                        vi.            Roza Dell (1874-1901)

                        vii.            Leroy Paul (1877-1944)

                        viii.            Blanche Violet (1880-1970)

On 11 Mar 1893 when Margaret Ellen was 49, she second married Stewart Benjamin McCORD in Worth Co MO. Born on 4 Oct 1831 in TN, McCord died in Denver, Worth Co MO, on 19 Feb 1902/3. They were divorced on 24 Sep 1901 in Grant City MO.

These documents are known for Greenberry:

1. His 11 Dec 1834 marriage license in Monroe Co IN, to Elizabeth Willoughby.[2]

2. The 1835 estate settlement for his father-in-law, Eliijah Willoughby of Monroe County.[3]

3. 1838 and 1839 land grants in Clay Co IN.[4]

4. Sales of land in Clay and Vigo Counties, Indiana, in 1837.[5]

5. His 1840 census: Vigo Co IN, Nevins Twp, p 793: Green Parker, 00001/10001.[6] The couple’s first child was Mary Ann Parker. This indicates he was born between 1810 and 1820.

6. His widow’s 1850 census, Vigo Co IN, Lost Creek Twp, 157-162. Elisabeth Parker 37 TN cannot read & write; Mary A 10 IN in school; Rhoda 9 IN in school; Margaret Parker 6 IN in school.

7. His widow’s remarriage on 9 Sep 1851, Vigo Co IN.[7]

8. One daughter, Rhoda (Parker) Moreland said in her 1880 census that he was born in South Carolina.[8] Another daughter, Margaret Ellen (Parker) Turner, later McCord, said Indiana in 1880, unknown in 1900, US in 1910, and Indiana again in 1920. The other daughter, Mary Ann, has not been located in 1880 or later.

9. A 1975 letter from one of his descendants said his family came to Indiana from Kentucky and that he died of tuberculosis.[9] This has not been verified.

            Certain coincidences[10] in their lives lead me to believe that Greenberry had a brother, Robert David Parker, as follows:

Robert David PARKER was born on 25 Oct 1811 in SC[11] and died in Vigo Co IN, on 30 Nov 1860. On 31 Dec 1836, he married Mary RITCHEY in Vigo Co IN,[12] a niece of Elizabeth (Willoughby) Parker. Born on 19 Feb 1817, Mary died in Vigo Co IN, on 17 Apr 1867.[13] They had the following children:

i. James A (1837-1838)

ii. Mary Ann (1840-)

iii. Lucretia D (1842-1914)

iv. Elizabeth E (1844-1900)

v. Nancy J (1846-1873)

vi. George W (1848-1922)

vii. Susan Olive (1855-1920)

viii. William Green (1859-1925)

Greenberry’s and Robert’s coinciding biographies include residence in the same Vigo Co IN township in 1840, births possibly in SC about the same time, first appearing in Indiana records about the same time, obtaining land grants on the same date, naming their first daughters Mary Ann, the name Green for one of Robert’s sons, and a Willoughby/Ritchey family connection.[14] Also, one of my grandfather’s cousins knew that someone in the Parker family was connected with the Mewhinney family; this was Robert’s daughter Mary Ann. Robert and his wife are buried in the Mewhinney Cemetery in Vigo Co IN.[15]

Robert’s 1850 census is probably correct, since he was alive to state South Carolina as the place of birth, yet by 1880 his surviving children gave the following places: Lucretia said NC, George W and Susan were together and said Indiana, and William also said Indiana.

For years, I have traced as many 1830 Indiana residents as possible, hunting a family with two sons 15 to 20 years old, from South Carolina. Nothing has proven definitive. There was a group of Parker Quakers who moved from SC to Indiana about the right time, but there aren’t any missing sons in their families, and there are no hints that Greenberry or Robert had Quaker traits. It is a persistent thought in my family that the daughters of Greenberry were part Native American.[16]

            Although I no longer suspect these were Greenberry’s family, clues in land grant records led me to focus on two men who were in Sullivan Co IN in 1820 and 1830, just south of Vigo Co. Both Lemuel Parker and Isaac Parker had large families. Lemuel was there in 1820 (210001/33110) and 1830 (00101001/0012201); these two censuses indicate he was born 1770-1775. Isaac was in Sullivan County in 1820 (221210/02021) and 1830 (00100001/00021001); Isaac was therefore born about 1775-1780. A brother and sister in the same county, Archibald and Letitia, were born in the Carolinas in the 1790s. Archibald was in the Sullivan Co IN 1820 census with his first wife, Elizabeth Patton: 200100/10100; and there were Pattons on the same page of the census as Isaac Parker. Archibald and Letitia were in eastern Indiana in the mid-1810s, then Archibald was in Sullivan County slightly later. They appear connected to Isaac, possibly children of a first marriage or younger siblings. In favor of the first theory, there is a tradition in Archibald’s family that their father had five sons by his second wife.

            Local and family histories at and the 1850 census enabled me to fill in, speculatively, some of the children of Isaac and Lemuel and the states of their birth. The two do not appear to be brothers. Lemuel was possibly in Indiana as early as the Battle of Tippecanoe, 1811. Sullivan Co IN Genweb pages have this cemetery information:

·      Lemuel Parker d Aug 4, 1834 63y 6m

·      Sarah Parker w/o L d Mar 17, 1848 64y 7m 5d

·      Deborah Parker d/o L & S d May 11, 1843 30y 8m 5d

·      Sarah Parker d/o L & S d Dec 30, 1849 28y 6m 20d

            History of Ogle Co IL lists Elizabeth Parker, daughter of Lemuel, born in Grayson Co VA in 1809; she married Pearson Shoemaker, 1833 in Sullivan Co IN. A Shoemaker family was two houses away from Lemuel’s family in 1830. Lemuel’s seven daughters in 1820 would have included the three clearly identified, plus possibly Nancy Parker who married John Frakes in 1828 in Sullivan Co IN.

·      Nancy (Frakes), 1806

·      Elizabeth (Shoemaker), 1809 VA

·      Deborah, 1812

·      Sarah, 1820

            There was also a Mary Parker who married Isaac Voorhies[17]; their first child was born in Sullivan Co IN in 1831. Since Mary (Parker) Voorhies was born 1800-1810 KY, it seems likely she was not a sister of Elizabeth’s. Isaac had at least three daughters, but their birth dates are inconsistent between 1820 and 1830.

            There were only three Parkers in 1820 in Sullivan Co IN: Isaac on page 112, Archibald on page 110, and Lemuel on page 104.[18] Isaac was nine houses away from Philip Frakes Jr, and a Daniel Frakes was a few houses further on. As stated above, there was an Isaac Patton a few houses from Isaac Parker. In 1830 Lemuel and Isaac were only a page apart. Lemuel Parker, John Shoemaker and Henry Frakes were all on page 184, while Isaac Parker is on page 183. Isaac Voorhies was in Sullivan Co IN on page 178 (11001/200001).

            In 1828, a Jacob Parker was “of Sullivan Co IN” when he received a land grant in Vigo Co IN. Jacob Parker later received five more land grants in Vigo County. He was probably the Jacob Parker in nearby Vermillion Co IN in 1830 (010001/21001) and possibly in Parke Co IN in 1840 (1201001/003001). These censuses indicate he was 30-40 in 1830 and 40-50 in 1840, that is, born 1790-1800. Lemuel had no sons that old in 1820; Isaac did.

            As seen above, Lemuel died in 1834. The only Parkers in Sullivan Co IN in 1840 were Langdon (000011/00000101), on page 117, probably with his mother, aged 50-60, near three Boatman families; and Joseph (000001/00012001), on page 167, born 1800-1810, probably with his mother, aged 50-60, and next door to Miles Patton and near a Langdon Dodd. There is room in Joseph’s household for an unmarried 19-year-old sister Sarah. Unless he was with a married daughter, Isaac was probably also deceased by this census year. Isaac Voorhies’s family was listed on page 139. John Frakes was in Prairie Creek Township, Vigo Co IN. Pearson Shoemaker was already in Ogle Co IL.

            In 1850, Joseph Parker was on page 309, age 40, place of birth unknown, living alone; in 1860, still unmarried, he gave his age as 55 and birthplace as NC.[19] George W Parker, age 40 TN, was on page 285 with wife Mary and three children, Asher,[20] John W and Sarah Ann. In 1860 Asher Parker, 22 IN, was living in the same township in Ogle Co IL as Elizabeth (Parker) Shoemaker. Landon Parker, 44 NC, was on page 232, with a wife Nancy, six children, and Nancy’s mother, Sarah Boatman. In 1860 Landon’s children were called “orphans.”

            This study concludes these were likely family groups:

A. Lemuel PARKER was born on 4 Feb 1771 in VA.[21] He died in Sullivan Co IN, on 4 Aug 1834. About 1801 Lemuel married Sarah SCOVILLE in VA. Born on 12 Oct 1773 in Orange Co SC, Sarah died in Sullivan Co IN on 17 Mar 1848. Some records place them in Grayson Co VA, while others say Sarah was born and married in Orange Co SC. Children’s censuses indicate they were in VA through 1809, Tennessee ca 1810, and Indiana as early as 1811. Lemuel Parker may have served in the Battle of Tippecanoe. They had the following children:

1. (poss.) Joseph PARKER was born ca 1805 in North Carolina; this is tentative and may be mistaken.

2. (prob.) Nancy PARKER was born in 1806 in VA. Nancy died in Sullivan Co IN, on 13 Nov 1833. In 1828, she married John FRAKES in Sullivan Co IN. Born ca 1805 in Butler Co OH, John died in Porter Co IN, on 28 Feb 1878.

3. Elizabeth PARKER was born on 18 Feb 1809 in Grayson Co VA. Elizabeth died in Polo, Ogle Co IL, on 18 Oct 1892 at the age of 83. On 30 Nov 1833 Elizabeth married Pearson SHOEMAKER in Sullivan Co IN. Born on 15 Jan 1809 in Butler Co OH, Pearson died in Polo, Ogle Co IL, on 3 Jul 1890. They had one child:

                        i.            Lemuel P (ca1847-)

4. (poss.) George W PARKER was born in 1810 in TN. He married Mary –?—ca 1837. They were living in Sullivan Co IN in 1830 with three children. One son moved to the same county in Illinois where Elizabeth lived.

5. Deborah PARKER was born on 3 Sep 1812 and died in Sullivan Co IN, on 11 May 1843.

6. Sarah PARKER was born on 10 Jun 1820 probably in Sullivan Co IN and died in there on 30 Dec 1849.

7-11. There were also one son born 1810-1815 and as many as three additional daughters.

B. Isaac PARKER was born in 1775-1780 possibly in NC. He probably had older children, Archibald, born ca 1795 NC, and Letitia, born 1796 SC. Archibald and Letitia’s family moved from North Carolina to South Carolina, and they moved to eastern Indiana in 1811. Isaac’s wife or wives are unknown. By 1810, although their census has not been identified, they had at least two daughters and three sons.  Landon’s 1850 census said he was born in NC, and Mary’s said she was born in KY. Robert David and Greenberry, possibly sons, may have been born in SC. Isaac’s children may have been:

1. (poss.) Archibald PARKER was born in 1795 in NC and died 18 Jun 1877 in Madison Co IA. He was married five times, #1 Elizabeth Patton, #2 Anne “Sdkerson,” #3 a widow, name unknown, #4 Dolly Langley, #5 Kissiah Sutton. He had three children by the first wife, and four by the third.

2. (poss.) Jacob PARKER was born ca 1790-1800. He probably married Mary –?–, resided in Vermillion Co IN in 1830: 010001/21001; and Parke Co IN in 1840: 1201001/003001, and died before 1850.

3. (poss.) Letitia PARKER was born 1796 in SC. And died 9 Sep 1855 in Delaware Co IN. She married Samuel Darter in Franklin Co IN, 23 Nov 1815. They had ten children.

 4. (poss.) Mary PARKER. Born ca 1795-1800 in KY. About 1830 in Sullivan Co IN, she married Isaac VOORHIES who was born ca 1800 in KY. They had one child:

                        i.            Mary Jane (1831-1916) 

5. (prob.) Lan[g]don PARKER was born in 1804 in NC. Landon died in Sullivan Co IN, in the 1850s. About 1840 when Landon was 36, he married Nancy BOATMAN, daughter of Jesse BOATMAN & Sarah HUNTER, in Indiana. Born ca 1820 in KY, Nancy died in Sullivan Co IN, also in the 1850s. They had the following children:

                        i.            Eliza (ca1840-)

                        ii.            John (ca1841-)

                        iii.            James (ca1844-)

                        iv.            Sarah (ca1846-)

                        v.            George (ca1847-)

                        vi.            Ann (ca1849-)

                        vii.            Martha J (ca1850-)

                        viii.            Emoline (ca1854-)

6-15. There were as many as three additional sons and two daughters.

© 2008, 2017 Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] I assume whoever gave the information to the censustaker responded as though Rhoda were still living, when she had been dead for years.

[2] Monroe County IN Marriage record, in Shirley Barnet Spetman, Our Tree and Its Branches.

[3] Monroe Co IN Probate record for Elijah Willoughby, 5 Sep 1835, with signature of Greenberry Parker made in Clay Co on 30 Sep 1835. Clay Co IN Deeds, 23 Feb 1839.

[4] Parker, Green B IN, Clay 9/1/1838 Vincennes NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 31, 13 N, 7 W.

Parker, Greenberry IN, Clay 8/1/1839 Vincennes NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 of Sect 28, twp13N, R7W.

Parker, David IN, Clay 8/1/1839 Vincennes  E 1/2 of NW 1/4 of Section 31, twp12 N, R 5 W.

Compare IN, Vigo 5/5/1828 Vincennes, “of Sullivan Co IN,” W1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 20, twp 11 N, R 9 W.

Parker, Jacob IN, Vigo 12/31/1831 Vincennes, W1/2 of SW 1/4 of Section 20, twp 10 N, R 10 W.

Parker, Jacob IN, Vigo 4/10/1832 Vincennes, E1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 30, twp 11 N, R 9 W.

Parker, Jacob IN, Vigo 3/18/1837 Vincennes N1/2 of SW 1/4 Efract’l Section5, twp10N, R10W.

Parker, Jacob IN, Vigo 3/20/1837 Vincennes W1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 15, twp 10 N, R 10 W.

Parker, Jacob IN, Vigo 3/20/1837 Vincennes E1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 15, twp 10 N, R 10 W.

[5] Both deeds I have in which Greenberry Parker sold land in Clay and Vigo Co IN reflect the land grants he recorded per the Bureau of Land Management images: Vigo Co IN Deeds, 29 Apr 1837. NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 31, 13 N, 7 W. He also sold NW 1/2 of Section 28, 13 N, 7 W.

[6] Throughout this study, I am assuming all census data is correct as recorded.

[7] Marriage record, Vigo Co IN, 9 Sep 1851. Also, Vigo County, IndianaIndex to Marriage Record 1840-1920, WPA. Original Record Located: County Clerk’s O; Book: C-B;Page: 223.

[8] Rhoda J (Parker) Moreland was in Worth Co MO, age 38, IN SC TN. Margaret (Parker) Turner was in Livingston Co MO, age 34 IN IN TN. Rhoda died in 1888.

[9] Pansy (Phillips) Peters, Mar 1975, letter to Evelynne Alvis. Pansy wrote that Greenberry had tuberculosis. “The doctor in Kentucky advised him to seek another climate. They went by wagon to Indiana. There was no road. The father and older brothers were observing Indians, close by, among the trees.” If this is an accurate relation of the family’s move to IN, it must have been before 1834, and does give some indication of Greenberry’ family. Pansy wrote that Margaret Ellen was a child at the time and told to lie flat in the wagon, to avoid being hit by arrows. Actually, Margaret was born in Vigo Co, so a sister of Greenberry’s might have been indicated.

[10] Recently recovered Willoughby family Bible fragments include the marriage of Robert and Mary (Richey) Parker as well as that of Mary Willoughby and James Richey. This strongly supports my theory that Robert was a brother of Greenberry Parker, who married Elizabeth Willoughby. Unless there is a still unknown connection between the Parkers or the Richeys and the Willoughbys, this relationship is the best reason for the inclusion of that marriage record.

[11] According to his 1850 census. His 1860 census has not been located. In 1880 his children either said he was from NC or IN.

[12] Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

[13] All the dates in Robert’s family came from Wilbur Allen Parker (1917-2202) of Roswell GA. There appear to be many mistakes. I have been unable to find Robert or Mary in 1860.

[14] According to estate documents for Elijah Willoughby, Elizabeth (Willoughby) Parker’s sister Polly married James Ritchey. Mary was their daughter, with her marriage being written in Polly’s parents’ Bible, next to the marriage of another granddaughter.

[15] Since Greenberry Parker had only daughters, a male descendant of one of Robert David Parker’s two sons would be our only chance for a DNA search.

[16] Spetman, op cit.

[17] There were several Voorhies families in 1820 in Mercer Co KY, including an Isaac Voorhies.

[18] Pages 110 and 112 were consecutive.

[19] With Joseph was William Whitlock, 45 KY, “Insane-hereditary.” Was Joseph a caregiver?

[20] Called Ashner in this census, but seen in 1860 and later to be Asher.

[21] Calculated from cemetery.

Published on September 22, 2008 at 9:03 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Kathy, My name is Joy Evans. I found where you had a William Parker and wife Arie (Gaither) Parker. This family is my line also. Would like to go over info. you have on this line. Please get back with me. This is our E-mail

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