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The Family Parmelee
Our Parmelee Branch PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Friday, 23 January 2009 07:25

The Parmelee connection comes from the ancestors of the Omar Travis Osborne branch of the tree. He is the 10th great-grandson of John Parmelee, and the bloodline is as follows:

John Parmalee (m. Alice Russel) -> John Parmelee (m. Anne Howell) -> John Parmelee (m. Rebecca Unknown) -> Nathaniel Parmelee (m. Sarah French) -> Nathaniel Parmelee (m. Esther Kelsey) -> Hiel Parmelee (m. Eunice Gardner) -> Giles Parmelee (m. Unknown) -> Ephraim Parmely (m. Mary Hinds) -> Elizabeth Parmley (m. Jesse Gibson) -> Ephraim Parmley Gibson (m. Rebecca McIlhaney) -> Mary Jane Gibson (m. Charles P. Osborne) -> William L. Osborne (m. Annie Laura Curry) -> Omar Travis Osborne.

Although there are records of earlier Parmelees in Europe who probably are ancestors of John Parmelee, researchers have not yet connected them to the John of Lewes, the patriarch of the Parmelee descendants in Connecticut and beyond. John ( - 1583) is the last of the Parmelee's to remain in England and is the father of John Sr. in America.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 08:10
Plantation Covenant PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:11

Settling in Connecticut

After arriving in America, John Parmelee (1584-1659) and the other members of the Rev. Henry Whitfield's expedition entered into the Plantation Covenant, a contemporary copy of which is housed at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Plantation Covenant 1639

Jim Walters interprets it to read:

"We whose names are herein written, intending by God's gracious permission, to plant ourselves in New England, and if it may be in the southerly part, about Quinpisac [Quinnipiac, later named New Haven], we do faithfully promise each for ourselves and families and those that belong to us, that we will, the Lord assisting us, sit down and join ourselves together in one entire plantation and to be helpful to the other in any common work, according to every man's ability and as need shall require, and we promise not to desert or leave each other on the plantation but with the consent of the rest, or the greater part of the company, who have entered into this engagement.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 22:30
What's in a Name? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 14:49


Few of the early European immigrants could read or write. And those who could just jotted down what sounded right to their ear. After all, spelling wasn't the focus of their writing -- getting the message across was. Life in the 17th and 18th centuries was harsh. People struggled just to survive, to find food, shelter and protection from Native American tribes and other European settlers. Spelling took a back seat to getting through one day at a time.

The 1659 will and inventory of John Sr., for example, shows his last name as "Parmaly" and "Parmely," and his son's name spelled as "Parmile" -- all on the same document! For all we know, John Sr. may never have been literate; no copy of his signature survives. (No, that is not his signature on the contemporary copy of the Plantation Covenant.) Most of the family's Colonial era tombstones in Connecticut spell it Parmele, while today's most popular spellings are "Parmelee" and "Parmley," according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In our nation's earliest days, when the majority of the population could barely read and write, many relied on others to do their writing for them. Early census records often reflected what the census taker thought was the "right" spelling. Even as late as 1870, census records show that one in five Americans under 21 was illiterate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2009 07:08

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