Nov 5, 2012

Genealogy Surprise

I have received a notification of a 37 of 37 marker match to the Parks DNA project by Carey Parks.  Carey’s oldest proven ancestor is James Parks born about 1796 in Tyrone, Ireland (five years after my James Parks was born in Virginia) who emigrated from Ireland around 1821 to Pennsylvania and died in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1861.  DNA results this close suggest a close relationship within five or fewer generations.  It is possible James Parks 1796 and my James Parks 1790/91 were cousins, but there is a 1-5 generation possibility.  I don't feel it is likely these two James were first cousins, but we will sure try to find out.  There is still much to research, which hopefully will be enhanced by Carey’s plans to travel to Ireland in the spring.  I have a cousin, Sonya, also a Parks genealogist, who is visiting in Washington, D.C.  She will see if she can locate anything on this connection at NARA. 

Following is information sent by Carey on his findings on this ancestor:
From History of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania:
James Parks (William B. Parks father) was born in Tyrone, Ireland, where he was reared and educated, attending the common schools adjacent to his home. When twenty-five years of age he determined to seek a new home for himself amid new surroundings and accordingly emigrated to the United States, settling in Allegheny county Pennsylvania, where he spent the remainder of his days. At the early age of fifteen years he married , and the death of his wife occurred nine months later. He married a second time, this wife dying one year later, survived by one child, and at the age of twenty-five years he married his third wife, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Woods, in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, and they had eight children: Alexander, deceased; Martha, Nancy, Alice, deceased; Ann Jane, William B., mentioned hereafter; Thomas, and James, deceased.  It appears that Carey's James' father was William Parks, born about 1778 in Ireland.

A reference I found on Accessible:
HISTORY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY. Thomas Cushing. A. Warner & Co, 1889, p. 128.
January 16, 1850, Robert Logan, Thomas Davison and Daniel Beeber were appointed by the court to view the boundaries of a new township to be formed from the northern part of Wilkins. July 8, 1850, by decree of court, a division of the latter was confirmed agreeably to their report, and the territory adjoining the Allegheny river erected into Adams township, the other portion retaining the name of Wilkins. August 31, 1850, the action of the court was reconsidered, and the name changed to McNair, but the records are silent as to the time when the present name was adopted. How often the name may have been changed in the meantime is matter of conjecture.  Among the settlers here prior to the Revolution was Thomas Wilson. He secured a patent for four hundred acres under the name of Wilson’s mount in 1788, but had made his first residence here in 1770, removing to Fort Pitt in 1776.

Other early settlers were:
Thomas Sampson and sons John, James, William, Thomas, David and Alexander; John Johnson and son James; John Duff and sons James, William, John, Alexander, David, George and Samuel (the last now living at the age of eighty-one); William Parks and sons James, John, David, William, Robert and Thomas; Alexander Damster and son James; William McQuay and sons John, Samuel and Thomas; Charles Johnson and sons John, James, William and Andrew; Henry Morrow and sons John, James, Henry and Hugh; Robert Donaldson and son Hugh; Samuel Ferguson and sons Enoch, Samuel, Isaac and James; 

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