My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

SAMUEL L. PARSONS, whose portrait appears on the adjoining page, is the owner of a fine agricultural estate in Northampton, and has long been a conspicuous factor of the farming community, but is now, owing to ill health, living somewhat retired from active pursuits. He is the worthy representative of one of the very earliest pioneer families of this part of Hampshire County, the first birth recorded in Northampton being that of Ebenezer Parsons, who was born May 1, 1655, and was the fifth child of Joseph and Mary (Bliss) Parsons. This couple were wedded in November, 1646, at Hartford, Conn. They are further mentioned elsewhere in these pages in connection with others of their name and lineage. Their eldest son bore the name of Joseph, and was known as “Esquire Joseph,” or Judge Parsons, the father being “Cornet Joseph.”

Phineas Parsons, born January 9, 1750, a great-grandson of Esquire Joseph and Elizabeth (Strong) Parsons — as we learn from the Rev. Solomon Clark’s interesting work on “Northampton Antiquities, Historicals, and Graduates” — was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. In 1772 Phineas Parsons married Mary Baker, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Lanckton) Baker, settling on the estate conveyed to him by his father-in-law, his house standing within a few rods of what is now 58 West Street, and here engaged in general farming until his death, in 1825. He and his wife reared three daughters and four sons, of whom Samuel, born September 17, 1793, was the youngest.

Samuel Parsons became one of the leading farmers of this part of the county. He was a man of good judgment and sterling integrity, and prominent in public affairs, serving as Selectman several years, and as a Representative in the General Court in 1832 and 1833. His wife, to whom he was united November 20, 1821, was Caroline Russell, a native of this town. They became the parents of eight children, all of whom, with the exception of Sydenham Clark Parsons, formerly a druggist in Northampton, are now living, the father’s namesake being the eldest child.

Samuel L. Parsons was born November 20, 1823, on the old Parsons homestead, above mentioned, and was there reared and educated. He remained beneath the parental roof-tree until his marriage, gaining a practical knowledge of various branches of agriculture. He inherited a portion of his father’s estate, and now owns a valuable farm of two hundred acres, one of the very best in the vicinity. He has here carried on general farming with eminent success, raising about a thousand bushels of corn annually on the uplands; and on the bottom lands he cuts about two hundred tons of hay each season. He makes a specialty of fattening cattle, keeping twenty or more, and turns to good account each acre of his fertile land.

On November 20, 1844, Mr. Parsons was united in wedlock with Sarah A. Kingsley, a daughter of Edwin and Mary B. Kingsley, of Northampton, the place of her birth being the site now occupied by the Academy of Music. Of this union two children have been born: a daughter, Harriet; and a son, Samuel Baker Parsons. Harriet married Hubbard M. Abbott, present Register of Probate for Hampshire County; and they have two sons and a daughter, Edwin Kingsley Abbott being a clerk in the Northampton Bank, and James Trumbull and Harriet P. being yet in school. Samuel Baker Parsons, who resides near his parents, married Ella B. Gorham, and succeeds his father in business. An active member of the Republican party in politics, ever deeply interested in the public weal, Mr. Parsons has served as Selectman eight years; and during two terms he represented his district in the State legislature. He is a gentleman of pleasing address, his cordiality inviting acquaintance, and his intelligence and evident sincerity winning respect and confidence.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.