PARKER, William, of Wilkes Co NC and Putnam Co IN

William Parker was born 12 Aug 1778 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and died 30 Jan 1851 in Putnam County, Indiana,[1] the son of John and Mary Ann (Coons?) Parker.[2] He was married 27 Oct 1801[3] in Wilkes County, North Carolina, to Candace Austin, born 23 Feb 1781 in Wilkes County and died 26 May 1869 in Putnam County.[4]

Several online posts state that Mary Ann was full blood Cherokee. This corresponds with family tradition that Greenberry Parker was Native American.

The abstract of John Austin’s 1791 will reads “PARKER, JOHN, Mary Ann (wife); James, John, William and Diana. The will also mentions a stepdaughter, Mary Ann Coons. John’s 1790 census in Wilkes County shows three males under 16, one over 16, and two females.[5] He is found on land records in Surry County,[6] North Carolina, in 1771 and 1772.[7]  He also filed for a land grant on 19 Oct 1778, which was issued on 24 Oct 1782, in Surry County.[8]

In 1800, John Parker Jr was living with his wife and two sons in Wilkes County.[9] This writer has not located Mary Ann, her sons James and William, nor daughter Diana in 1800. Diana married Isham Aldridge 1 Dec 1792 in Wilkes County.[10] Mary Ann Coons married Isham’s brother, Prince William Aldridge in 1793 in Wilkes County.

William Parker was in the Wilkes County census for 1810 as follows: one male and one female under 10, one male and one female 26-44, and one female over 45.[11] The older female was likely Mary Ann (–) Parker, William’s mother.

Soon after, the family may have moved to South Carolina, as sons Greenberry and Robert David both are listed in later censuses with a birthplace of South Carolina. In 1815, they were living in Tazewell, Claiborne County, Tennessee, when son William Henley Parker was born, according to statements made by descendants or others.[12]

Based on his 1810 census and later family, I have not been able to determine the location of William Parker in the 1820 census, either in North or South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky or Indiana.

In 1830, William and Candace were living in Morgan County, Indiana, he aged 50-59, and she aged 40-49, with one son, 15-19.[13]

Welk’s History of Putnam County, Indiana,[14] states:

The immigrant ancestor of the Parker family was John Parker, who was born and reared in England, but who, because he accidentally injured the wife of a nobleman, was banished from his native land. His coming to America was sometime prior to the War of the Revolution and relics of this ancestor are now in the hands of his great-grandson, Benjamin A. Parker, of this township. Among the children of this John Parker was a son William, who was born in South Carolina about 1790 [sic]. Upon reaching mature years, the latter married Candace Austin, and to them was born a son, William Henley Parker. On November 27, 1827, William and Candace Austin [Parker] arrived in Putnam County, Indiana, and located on section 17 of Mill Creek township,[15] of which they were the third settlers, their pioneer home being located in the heart of the forest. Here William Parker entered eighty acres of land, and this tract of land has remained in the family ever since, being now the property of his grandson, Benjamin A. Parker. The log cabin which they built there served as their home for many years and remained standing as late as 1906.

William Henley Parker was reared on the parental homestead in Mill Creek township and lived practically all his life there. He devoted himself to farming pursuits and was rewarded with a fair measure of success. About 1847 he and his cousin, Joel Wright,[16] started a general store on the farm…

William and Candace have not been found on the 1840 census. The household of William Parker in the same township is probably William Jr.[17]

In 1850, the two households are next door to each other.[18] William and Candace have two young girls, Cintha Ann, 15, and Patsy, 10, living with them. William Henley Parker’s daughters Candace, 14, and Martha, 10, are living next door. It is questionable the census taker would have listed them twice or copied the name Cintha Ann right below her grandmother’s name Candace, if these were the same girls. No surname is written for the girls except for ditto marks. Therefore, it is likely these two girls were daughters of the son or daughter listed in William’s 1810 census.

Candace has not been located in the 1860 census.

William and Candace had at least one daughter and three or four sons:

Daughter, born before 1810, unknown after 1810 census.

Son, born before 1810, unknown unless he was Greenberry or Robert David, and a few years older than previously thought.

*Either the son or the daughter was probably the parent of Cyntha Ann, born ca 1835, and Patsy, born ca 1840, living with William and Candace in 1850.

Greenberry Parker, born 1810-1815, per 1840 census, in South Carolina, according to his daughters’ 1880 censuses, married 11 Dec 1834 Elizabeth Willoughby in Monroe Co IN, resided 1840 in Vigo Co IN, died before 1850. Three daughters, oldest one Mary Ann.

Robert David Parker, born 25 Oct 1811 in South Carolina, according to his 1850 census and his gravestone, married 31 Dec 1836 Polly Ritchey in Monroe Co IN, a niece of his brother Greenberry’s wife, resided 1840 in Clay Co IN, died 30 Nov 1860. Eight children, oldest daughter Mary Ann.

William Henley Parker, born 31 Mar 1815 in Claiborne County, Tennessee, married Birthena[19] Posey Dobbs 17 Dec 1833 in Morgan Co IN, died 10 Sep 1875 in Putnam County, Indiana.  Nine children.

© 2017, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Dates are from his gravestone, Mill Creek Cemetery. Photo at, Memorial #20059691. Birthplace is given at that site without documentation, probably based on his marriage.

[2]North Carolina, Will Abstracts, 1760-1800,, Provo, UT: 1999.  See It has been suggested that Mary Ann’s maiden name was Henley, based on her son William Henley Parker’s middle name, but this is not convincing. Some family trees call her Mary Jane Baldwin, but that lady married a different John Parker in England!

[3] North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868, Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.Original data – State of North Carolina. An Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives. Raleigh, NC, USA: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1977.O. Image at Bondsman was John Parker, and witness was Thomas Lenoir.

[4] Dates are from her gravestone, Mill Creek Cemetery. Photo at, Memorial #20059732. Birthplace is given at that site without documentation, probably based on her marriage.

[5] 1790; Census Place: Wilkes, North Carolina; Series: M637; Roll: 7; Page: 150; Image: 94; Family History Library Film: 0568147.

[6] Wilkes County was formed in 1777 from parts of Surry County.

[7] North Carolina Census, 1790-1890, Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. North Carolina Census, 1790-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.


[9]  1800; Census Place: Morgan, Wilkes, North Carolina; Series: M32; Roll: 33; Page: 58; Image: 505; Family History Library Film: 337909.

[10] North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868, loc. cit. . Bondsman was Isaac Walker, and witness was William Johnson. This couple was in Person County, North Carolina in 1800, with eight children, indicating a likely earlier marriage for Isham. He married a second or third time Anna Kilgore, on 16 Nov 1822 in Limestone County, Alabama. .

[11] 1810; Census Place: Wilkesborough, Wilkes, North Carolina; Roll: 43; Page: 881; Image: 00530; Family History Library Film: 0337916.

[12] The only online source for the birthplace this writer has located is the memorial cited above, that was created by Jon Rice. Mr Rice has added over 51,000 memorials and uploaded almost as many photos. The memorial is now maintained by Larry Parker, relationship to William Henley Parker not known. William Henley Parker’s censuses and most of his children’s death certificates say birthplace was Tennessee.

[13] 1830; Census Place: Morgan, Indiana; Series: M19; Roll: 30; Page: 260; Family History Library Film: 0007719.

[14] Jesse William Welk, B.F. Bowen: 1910, pp.370-371. Among the demonstrable mistakes in this biography is the implication that William Henry Parker was the only son of this couple; the 1810 census disproves this.

[15] Mill Creek Township was annexed by Putnam County in 1861. Welk, op. cit, pp. 191-192. Welk does not state what county it belonged to previously, but censuses show the family living in Adams Township, Morgan County, Indiana as late as 1850.

[16] The identity of this man is unclear. There was a Joel Wright, born 1835 in Ohio, who was a farmer in Morgan County according to the 1860 census. His parents were Quakers, named Joab Wright and Ruth Griffith. According to online family trees, neither Joel nor Joab was a cousin of William Henley Parker nor were they related to his wife, Birthena Posey Dobbs.

[17] 1840; Census Place: Morgan, Indiana; Roll: 100; Page: 125; Family History Library Film: 0007732.

[18] 1850; Census Place: Adams, Morgan, Indiana; Roll: M432_162; Page: 170B; Image: 348, and page: 171A; Image: 349.

[19] I have seen her name spelled at least seven different ways. This is from her gravestone.

Published on December 18, 2017 at 7:15 pm  Comments Off on PARKER, William, of Wilkes Co NC and Putnam Co IN  
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