Mary Bliss and Joseph Parsons of Springfield and Northampton




St. Mary of the Annunciation Church, Beaminster

The Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America (Aaron Tyler Bliss) and several other family genealogies indicate that Joseph Parsons, husband of Mary Bliss, was probably born near Great Torrington, Devonshire, England about 1617-1618.  A new book, available from the Parsons Family Association, asserts that Cornet Joseph Parsons was not born near Great Torrington and provides the baptismal date.  In The Parsons Family - Volume One: The English Ancestry and Descendants to the Sixth Generation of Cornet Joseph Parsons (1620-1683) compiled by Gerald James Parsons, A.B., M.S. L. S., Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Mr. Parsons describes his visit to the Society of Genealogists in London in 1986 and how he discovered the baptismal dates of Joseph Parsons and his brother, Benjamin Parsons.  

Mr. Parsons found the book, Beaminster, Dorset Parish Register.  The records from 1585-1686 are from the Bishop's Transcripts because the Beaminster Parish Register begins in August 1684, after earlier records were destroyed in a fire on June 28, 1684.  In the book, Mr. Parsons found the baptism of Joseph Parsons, son of William, on June 25, 1620 and the baptism of Benjamin Parsons, son of William, on May 1, 1625. Beaminster, a town in the west of Dorset, near the borders of Devon and Somerset, is in the Beaminster Hundred.

Mr. Parsons lists the marriage date for Joseph and Benjamin's parents, William Parsons and Margaret Hoskins as November 15, 1602. He offers a description of life in Beaminster during the late 1500s-early 1600s and provides connections to other families who emigrated to New England.

Mr. Parsons provides a description of the lives of the first generation of the Parsons family in New England, supported by research and illustrations of key records.  Connections with George Coulton, Nathaniel Bliss, John Stebbins, Henry Burt, Benjamin Cooly, John Blisse, the Pynchons, Phillip Smith, David Wilton and others are woven throughout the chapter.  The author also includes facts regarding the accusations and charges of witchcraft against Mary Bliss Parsons, cites the birthdate of Mary Bliss Parsons as 1628,  provides details of the estates of Joseph and Mary Parsons, and offers information about their children and descendants.

In The Parsons Family - Volume One: The English Ancestry and Descendants to the Sixth Generation of Cornet Joseph Parsons (1620-1683), the author includes information about several Blisses by birth or by marriage: Abel, Anna Catherine, Augusta H. (Smith), Betsey E. (Carter), Caroline, Catherine (Sanford), Catherine S. (Sanford), Chester Parsons, Edward Eli, Eleanor (Sikes), Elizabeth (Stebbins), Ellen M. (Moies), Esther Maria (Cooke), Gad, George, Henry Hubbard, Jedediah, John, Jonathan, Laura Lee, Luke, Margaret, Margaret (Hulins), Maria, Martha, Martha (Parsons), Mary (Macranny), Mary C. (Wright), Nancy, Nathaniel, Rachel (Parsons), Reuben, Samuel, Theodore, Thomas, and William.  Families who intermarried with Parsons and Bliss lines are also included:  Alvord, Ashley, Bartlett,  Clark, Colton, Cooley, Leonard, Strong, and many others.

Gerald J. Parsons is recognized as the expert on the Parsons families of the Connecticut River Valley and New England. With 829 pages of information about Parsons, Bliss, and other families, this book is replete with details and documented evidence. It is available from the Parsons Family Association at http://hometown.aol.com/parcpar/parfam/pbook2.html