Parsons Family Association
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All Things Parsons
This image was sent by a friend who found it in the book, Stage-Coach and Tavern Days by Alice Morse Earle. The tavern was located in Springfield, MA. Our ancestors settled Springfield in the 17th century. 
Parsons Memorial Bench
The Parson's Memorial Bench is located in the garden of the Nathaniel Parsons House in Northampton, MA.

At our annual reunion on July 28, 2006 it was decided to purchase a "Parsons Bench" to be placed at The Parsons House on the grounds of Historic Northampton on Bridge Street in Northampton, Mass. 

As written on the seat of the bench, it was "Dedicated for Outstanding Achievement in Preserving the Parsons Family History". The first three persons to be so honored were Josiah Waite ParsonsEarle P. Parsons and Gerald James Parsons whose names were engraved on the back rest of the bench below the PARSONS name. There is ample space on the back rest for additional persons who attain this level of achievement.

Parsons Family Association  All Rights Reserved 2011

"On our web site you have a picture of the Parsons tavern in Springfield, Mass. I have done a brief search concerning the tavern. It may have belonged to Aaron Parsons a Grandson of Cornet Joseph who lived in Springfield and was called an Innkeeper on several occasions. He moved to downtown Springfield Circa 1745 and was called an Innkeeper at that time. I got this information from Gerald's [Parsons] book. Henry Parsons in his book called Aaron's father Daniel an Innkeeper but, Gerald says that he did not find any reference to Daniel being an Innkeeper. There is no mention of the Parsons Tavern being owned by Aaron. However, it does seem logical and Aaron was an Innkeeper in the mid 18th century. 1750ish. It is also said that George Washington stayed at the Inn on more then one occasion.

After having said all of that after reading further Gerald states, on page 569 of his book, that Aaron's son Zenas bought property in 1773 in Springfield and this property became known as "Parsons Tavern". Gerald also states that indeed GW did stop there on occasions.

If you have Gerald's book check out page 569".
The Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America by Aaron Tyler Bliss states that, "According to a Salt Lake City, Utah newspaper (1979), Mary Bliss Parsons was a seventh great-grandmother to the late Hollywood screen actor, John Wayne, who was b. Marion Michael Morrison May 26, 1907 at Winterset, IA and d. in 1979." (page 31)

More at the link below:
Estelle Parsons, film and TV actress, writer and director is a Parsons cousin. She began her career as a singer before she established herself on Broadway.

For the role of Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. 

She was born Nov. 20, 1927 in Lynn, MA, the daughter of Eben Parsons and Elinor Matttson.
Plans are in the works to add two more names to the bench this year. Those so honored will be The Rev'd Frank Eugene Miller and Dr. Stuart "Stu" Overton Parsons Jr. Both took great interest in the Parsons Family Association and did much to earn mention on our family bench.
A brief biography of "Stu" Parsons can be found on the In Memoriam page on this website.

The Rev'd Frank Eugene Miller was born in February 1865 the son of Brayton 
Bela Miller and Ellen Marie Parsons. His grandfather was Deacon Stanford Parsons. He married Bertha Emelia Erhardt. He was an evangelist and lived in Lowville, NY. Rev'd Miller was the founder of our family organization, first called the Parsons Family of America. In 1923, the first meeting was held in Lowville with 75 people in attendance. The second and third meetings were also held in Lowville. He was descended from Cornet Joseph Parsons through his son Samuel and Rhoda Taylor. Samuel and Rhoda are buried in the Old Cemetery at Durham, CT.
Archaeological Dig at the Parsons House
Coming Next Spring

Before the bulldozers come to dig a basement under the Parsons House—a procedure that will solve once and for all the rotting sill and sagging roof problems—Historic Northampton has to retrieve whatever treasures might be hidden in the earth that is about to be disturbed.

What archaeologists hope to find in situations like this is a “midden,” an old garbage heap turned treasure trove by the passage of time. Before the days of modern garbage collection, people very often just threw their trash out a back door or window. In the Parsons House, which began as a “two-over-two”-room house but later had a lean-to added across the entire back, there are at least two areas to be investigated. The first lies “just out the back window” of the hall of the original 1719 house. This area is now actually INDOORS under the floor of the lean-to kitchen that was built in the late 18th century, and any artifacts discovered would almost certainly have belonged to the family of Nathaniel Parsons. The second area is just “out the back window (or door)” of the lean-to kitchen – an area now outdoors and partially under the back porch. Artifacts found here could have belonged to either the Parsons family or the Wrights, who lived in the house in the 19th century.

Historic Northampton has engaged Linda Ziegenbein, a professional archaeologist, to oversee a “community dig” which is scheduled for May and June 2015. This means that there will be opportunities for school children, neighbors, and Parsons family descendants to all lend a hand. And who knows what you might find?

But before the work can get started, the museum needs to find funding for supplies and professional oversight so that the dig can be done in a disciplined way and ensure that the critical historical context is preserved. Therefore the museum is making the Parsons archaeological dig the focus of its 2014 Valley Gives campaign, a major annual regional fundraising event scheduled for December 10.

If you’re interested in learning more about these early Parsonses, please help fund this project by giving on December 10th through the museum’s Valley Gives webpage: When you make a gift to Historic Northampton between 12 AM and 11:59 PM on December 10th through Valley Gives, the museum becomes eligible for a number of special prizes and grants, which can add anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to the donation total. More detail about Valley Gives is available at