The Path of the Parrishs by Luther C. Davis


The following below excerpts and information were transcribed from the book entitled "Path of the Parrish's" by: Luther C. Davis (The book is no longer in print.) Some of the words were changed to adapt it to the web page but all information is stated in book.

Let us examine what we know to be the beginning of the Parrish's path of America. The first Parrish of record to come to the New World was Thomas Parrish who was part of the original planters of the Jamestown settlement. He was 26 when he was transported to the Virginia Colony in 1622 aboard a Ship called the CHARITY. On February 16, 1623 Thomas Parrish was living at Bass's Choice in Elizabeth City County, Va. and is listed as a servant of Thomas Spilman. Elizabeth City County was then the area centered on present day Hampton, Virginia. Thomas Parrish and Thomas Spilman next appear on a colony muster in 1624 in Jamestown. Another Thomas Parish Identified as a clothier age 22 was transported from England to the New England Colony in April 1635 on board the ship INCREASE, Capt. Robert Lea, and Master. On June 24th, 1635 Adam Thoroughgood who had been in Virginia since at least 1624 transported an Edward Parrish to Virginia, presumably as a headwright. Family Records indicate that this Edward Parrish was born about 1600 in Yorkshire County, England. A William and Charles Parish may also have come to Virginia from Yorkshire, England around 1635 but again the records are few, this being due to various Virginia County Colonial records being burned during the wars. In May 1648 Edward 1 Parrish, planter of Elizabeth City, Virginia purchased 200 acres of land in the said Elizabeth City County. This tract was part of an original land patent awarded to John Graves. Edward 1 Parrish had several sons that we know of. Edward 2, who married Mary Roberts. William who married Susannah Parsons. Robert, Richard who married Comfort____________. John who married Sarah Franklin. Edward 2 Parrish moved to Anne Arundel Co, Maryland and eventually became a large landowner in the area of present day Baltimore. A 2000-acre patent to Edward 2 Parrish became known as Parrish's Range. Part of these 2000 acres along with part of a 350 acre tract known as Parrish's Fear and owned by Edward 2 Parrish's son Edward 3 now makes up a major part of the municipally owned Druid Hill Park of Baltimore. Edward 2 was drowned in 1680 when his boat capsized in Maryland waters. He was buried at his home place in Maryland. He and his family were members of the Quaker religion in Maryland. Some descendant's of Edward 2 Parrish may have moved back to Virginia and quite a number of them still live in and around the Baltimore area. A John Parrish appears on a Jury in Charles City County, Virginia on Jan 9, 1662 and on July 22, 1662 a right to 350 acres of land in Charles City Co, Va. was assigned to John Parrish by George Noble. At that time Charles City County consisted of the area south and west of the Chickahominy River to Henrico County which began at about present day Richmond. Charles City County also extended south of the James River but very little settlement was then occurring south of the James River.

On July 30th, 1663 John Parish and Margaret Parish assigned a right to the above 350 acres to Thomas Calloway, and on October 22, 1663 Margaret Parish wife of John Parish, confirmed the foregoing. In 1673 presumable this same John was declared in very poor health and was discharged from paying any levies in his church (parish) of Waynoka and was "hereby released from any other public levees for this year". John apparently recovered from his sickly condition however; because on November 20, 1682, John Parish of Charles City County and Waynoka Parish obtained 390 acres on the North side of the James River for the transportation of eight persons to the new world (a compensation for paying the transportation cost of each person from England to America, The sponsor was awarded one headwright which generally entitled him to 50 acres of land). So far a relationship has not been established between this early John Parish and the earlier (1622) Thomas Parish and the (1635) Edward Parrish. Although there is indication that Edward 1 may have had a son named John; there is no evidence that he was the John Parish (1662) of Charles City County. It would appear more likely that this John was descended from either Charles or William Parish, supposedly brothers who came to Virginia in 1635 and settled in Charles City County. Because the given names John, William and Charles are prominent in later generations of this family line. On April 28, 1691 Joseph Parrish of Charles City County married the relict (widow) Of Andrew Atkins. This Joseph could have been the son of John Parrish (1662). The name Humphrey Parrish first appears on September 4th, 1698 when Anne, the daughter of "Humpy Parish and Mary, his wife" was baptized in St. Peter's Parish in New Kent County, Other children of Humphrey Parish Sr. recorded in St Peters were: Jane born Dec 20,1699; and Henry, baptized April 27th, 1701. Also registered was Joseph the son of John Parish baptized on September20, 1713. This would indicate two things that Humphrey was born between the late 1670's and early 1680's. This John cannot be the same 1662 John of Charles City County as he would have been too old to have a son baptized in 1713. This John appears more likely the son of John Parish and brother to Humphrey.

In 1708 Humphrey Parish was living in St. Pauls Parish, New Kent Co, and in obedience to an order of the county court took part in clearing a "Bridle Road from Major Merewether’s Mill to the three runs of Chickahominy Swamp. In the same year Humphrey Parish was mentioned as one of three to procession land boundaries in the precinct where he was landowner. Humphrey was probably named after Humphrey Belt who was living in Virginia in 1635. According to family records he had a granddaughter who married a Parish and they named one of their sons Humphrey. There is no record of the given names of the parents of Humphrey Parish; however there is a good possibility the father was John Parish (1662) who wife was named Elizabeth. In the 1720's and 1730's the Parish's of Charles City County, James City, and New Kent Counties began to migrate westward and on September 28th, 1728 John Parrish of James City County patented 400 acres on the North side of the James River on both sides of Ready Branch. A branch of the Tuckahoe Creek, in Henrico Co. This was near the then Henrico-Hanover County line and just northwest of the frontier settlement of Richmond.

The western part of Henrico became Goochland County in 1728 and Louisa County was created from Hanover in 1742. In June of 1733 William Atkinson of Hanover County sold four tracts of land "on the north side of the James River" in Goochland; (1) 100 acres on branches of Licking Hole Creek to William Parrish; (2) 200 acres on East branch of Licking Hole Creek to Thomas Parish and Wife Elizabeth of Goochland. (3) 200 acres on eastern branch of Licking Hole Creek to Humphrey Parrish JR. and (4) 300 acres to John Parish of Goochland on branches of Licking Hole Creek. Humphrey Parrish was witness to the first and fourth of these deeds. And Humphrey Jr. witnessed the livery and seizing for the first deed, that to William Parrish. On August 20, 1734 John Parrish patented 400 aces in Goochland County on Wild Boar a branch of Treasurer's Run. And on October 3, 1734 Humphrey Parrish patented 400 acres near the Hanover Co line" on the north side of the James River on branches of Treasurer's Run. In 1739 William Parrish patented 104 acres and Henry Parrish400 acres, both tracts on Little Byrd Creek in Goochland. This William Parrish was probably a son of the John Parrish who died in Goochland in 1751 and Henry the son of Humphrey Parrish who was baptized in St Peter's Parish in New Kent Co on April 27, 1701. Humphrey Parrish Sr. of St. James Parish of Goochland Co Va., died in 1743 and his will (See Wills) prepared in 1740 named his wife Mary, son David and daughter Mary. Henry Martin, John Parrish and Bessie Parrish witnessed the will. Brissy (Bressie, Brissie) pronounced Bracey was the oldest son of John Parrish and John was no doubt a younger brother of Humphrey Sr. The 1740 will of Humphrey Parrish Sr. was somewhat vehement in that he disavowed any and all former wills and settlements probably resulting from some family disagreement. It is almost certain that the Humphrey Parrish Jr. who witnessed the land transaction of William Parrish in Goochland in 1733 and the Henry Parrish who patented 400 acres in Goochland in 1739 were sons of Humphrey Parrish Sr. and for some reason were not included in his will of 1740. It is possible that both already owned vast amounts of land or were already given their share of Humphrey's Estate and that this is why they were not mentioned in the will. The fact that he left all his land to his son David and daughter Mary indicates that they were both his younger children and still living with their mother Mary. This could have also been the second family of Humphrey Sr. including a second wife also named Mary because David was born about 1725 based on a assumption from his will dated 1789. And from his Military muster record dated 1753. Thus he was about 17 when his father died and his sister Mary was also young and unmarried at the time. Although we know Humphrey Sr. and his wife Mary were having children at least as early as 1698 in St Peter's Parish in New Kent Co, it does not seem likely this same Mary would be having children 25 to 30 years later in Goochland thus the conclusion is that there was a 2nd wife.

Virginia to North Carolina

Bressie (Brissy) Parrish the Oldest son of John Parrish who died in Goochland County in 1751 and his descendants came to North Carolina. Bressie (Brissy) Parrish was born sometime around 1715-1720 in Charles City Co or New Kent Co. It is assumed he was named after a neighbor whose last name was Bressie as there are no other family members with that unusual given name or possibly came from his mother's side of the family. Earlier I had not found any Bressie families in Colonial Virginia until recently and I am currently looking into their family. On very few occasions is Brissy Parrish's name recorded on documents. This may be because of burned records. When John Parrish died in 1751 intestate (without a will) his land was devolved to his oldest son Brissy. In October of 1751 for "love and affection" and five shillings conveyed to each of his brothers, William Parrish of St Martins Parish in Hanover County and Charles Parrish 50 acres of land in Goochland that had belonged to their Father John Parrish. Witnesses to the deeds for William's tract were Humphrey Parrish Jr., Thomas Parrish, John Parrish and Charles Parrish. Those who witnessed Charles Parrish's tract were John Parrish Jr., John Adams, and John Parrish. In 1753 Brissy Parrish then of Lunenburg Co, Va. sold 150 acres of the Goochland inheritance to his brother William Parrish. Witnessed were John Parrish, John Parrish Jr., and Charles Parrish. In 1758 William Parrish sold this land 150-acre tract to John Witt; Witnesses were John, Joel and Humphrey Parrish Jr. Other than Brissy, William and Charles the names of other possible children of the elder John Parrish of Goochland are not known and only assumed to be, Joseph, Thomas and John Jr. In 1757 Brissy Parrish was living in Granville Co NC, at that time Granville consisted of most of present day Warren, Vance, Franklin, Granville and Person counties and some parts of Durham and Wake Counties. Several Parrish's were living in Granville, NC. Before Brissy arrived from Va. Thomas was living there from at least 1750; David and Wife Judith Holland and John Parrish in 1754. The relationship between these Parrish's and Brissy are not known but it is apparent they were closely related. John appears to be the son of Brissy and Thomas the brother to Brissy. David Parrish we know is the son of Humphrey Parrish Sr. who was named in his will of 1740 in Goochland Va.

On June 19, 1758 Brissy purchased 150 acres of land on the south side of Ruin Creek in Granville County and on February 9, 1763 he purchased 50acres on Tabb’s Creek, These two tracts of land are located a few miles west of present day Kitrell, North Carolina. In 1762 Brisse Parrish was serving as township Constable in the fishing creek district and recorded one son Justice, as being over 16 years old. This shows that Justice was one of his older sons and was born about 1745 while Brissy was still living in Goochland Co, VA Also shown in 1762 Granville County records a Charles Parrish as a landowner in the Henderson District of Granville Co. This Charles may be the brother of Brissy. Brisse Parrish and his oldest son. Justice appears in a 1786 list of households on the Fishing Creek District of Granville Co NC. In Brissy's household there were three white males under 21 and one over 60 years of age, 1 female and 1 black. Thus Brisse appears to be the 60 yr. old male at this time. In Justice's household there were 1 male 21-60 presumably Justice himself. 1 male under 21 and 8 white females of all ages. Justice was about 40 at that time. (1786). The Fishing Creek District of Granville County in which Brissie and Justice lived is located in the vicinity of Warrenton in present day Warren County. Justice Parrish came to Johnston County in 1787 along with his brother George. George apparently impregnated the sister of Justice's 2nd wife Averyella Fluellen as Peity Fluellen swore a Child on George and he had to pay a bastardy bond for said child whose name is unknown. One small son a wife and seven daughters accompanied Justice. His brother George remained unmarried that we know of. A Charles Parrish who purchased 440 acres from Alexander Avera and obtained a 640-acre land grant on the south side of Little Creek in 1781-82 preceded Justice and George in Johnston Co. He later purchased 100 acres from William Sanders on Swift Creek and 300 acres from john Duncan. The relationship between Charles and Justice and George is not known but we assume he was a first cousin or uncle. Justice's father Brissy died in Granville Co NC in 1790 and named his oldest sons Executors of his will. George, Humphrey and Justice. The will was proved in February 1791 in a court in Granville Co. The Will named son John, George, Justice, Humphrey David and Noel. The will indicates that Noel and David were the two youngest sons and would be expected to tend the land and take care of their mother for the remainder of her life. Also given the names of his children indicates a close relationship to the Humphrey of Goochland who died in 1743. George Parrish was the first of the two brothers to obtain land in Johnston Co.NC in the Pleasant Grove area when in 1793 he obtained a grant for 250 acres on the south side of Black Creek. Justice obtained his first land in 1795 when he purchased 600 acres in Pleasant Grove also from James Carrol. The fact that Justice in 1795 was able to purchase 600 acres may indicate that his mother, Agga had died in Granville and he had received his share of inheritance as specified in his father's will. Justice obtained additional land in 1797-98 through land grants and an 1808 purchase for a total of over 1200 acres. Beaver dam and Polecat branches and a good part of the road that stretches between Coats and McGhee Cross Roads pass through the tract. Noel appears to have left Granville around 1797-98 as he and his wife Willie Lawrence moved to Adamsville; SC. Noel appears on the muster of the war of 1812 in Guilford County. Noel and Willie are listed as living at the old Ervin Place in Marlboro SC. This appears to be a house or plantation. Willie Lawrence appears to be the daughter of William Lawrence of Granville. Co. Noel and Willie died in SC where they are buried is unknown.