Mike Parsons’ Family Tree


Mike has been researching his family tree, mostly on his father’s side.

Mike’s earliest known ancestor to bear the Parsons name was Richard Parsons, a farmer who lived in Kington Magna in Dorset, near to the Somerset border, during the middle part of the 17th century. Generations of the Parsons family have continued to live in that area until the present day, but in the 19th century three children of Edward Parsons, whose father Charles Parsons lived in the manor house in Marston Magna, decided to move to Southampton. Mike’s great-grandfather John Parsons was one of them and he became a well known Southampton publican.

Mike’s best known ancestor was undoubtedly John Boyes of Owslebury in Hampshire who was a grandfather of John Parsons’ wife Harriet. He was a farmer who was transported to Van Diemen’s land for supporting farm workers who were demanding higher wages. There was a public outcry and the newspaper proprietor and writer William Cobbett wrote in support of his case. Questions were asked in Parliament which eventually led to him being pardoned and returned home again to his wife and family.

Mike is still researching his ancestry on his mother’s side. She is Danish and her parents shared the same surname which is one of the commonest in Denmark. Danish parish registers and census records are available on line from the Danish State Archives — http://www.sa.dk/content/us/genealogy but progress has so far been limited.

Three family trees are presented on this web site:

1)  The “Parsons” Family Tree, representing the ancestors of Mike’s grandfather Sidney Alfred Parsons (1876 to 1924) and their relatives.

2)  The “Bennett” Family Tree, representing the ancestors of Mike’s grandmother Dorothy Bennett (1886 to 1923) and their relatives.

3)  The “Neilsen” Family Tree, representing Mike’s Danish ancestors.


Some of the individuals discovered were especially noteworthy or led particularly interesting or colourful lives. Information about some of them can be found by clicking on the following links.

  John Parsons (1845 to 1925), a Southampton publican with a quick temper who ran boisterous pubs.

  Charles Parsons (1787 to 1846), a prosperous farmer from Marston Magna in Somerset.

  William Parsons (1751 to 1836), an inn-keeper and land-owner from Holton in Somerset and Kington Magna in Dorset.

  Richard Parsons (died 1682), a weaver and flax-dresser from Wincanton in Somerset who died in Kington Magna, just over the county border in North Dorset. Richard was not a direct ancestor of Sidney’s but was almost certainly a relative of the Parsons families in Kington Magna from one of whom Sidney did descend.

  William Complyn (died 1498) who, with his wife Agnes, was commemorated by an inscription and an engraving of St. Christopher on a brass plate on the wall of a church near Winchester.

  John Boyes (1782 to 1856) of Owslebury in Hampshire, who became a national celebrity after his role in the 1830 agricultural riots (often known as the “Swing Riots”) for which he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land. He was later pardoned after a public outcry and an intervention by the future Prime Minister Lord Palmerston.

  George Brown (1887 to 1964) who played cricket for Hampshire and England. According to the commentator John Arlott he was “the most complete all-round cricketer the game has ever known”.

  Benjamin Misselbrook (1810 to 1893) who was head keeper at London Zoo for twenty years.

  Charles Light (1817 to 1877), a bricklayer from Twyford in Hampshire, who married three times and eventually became the landlord of the Clump Inn in Chilworth, near Southampton.

  George Parsons (1807 to 1876) who was a flamboyant Victorian entrepeneur. He was a farmer and a land agent, but also an inventor and a businessman. He founded a large factory beside the River Parrett in Somerset and in later life he retired to New Zealand.

  John Weston Peters (1783 to 1858), an extremely wealthy landowner who was closely associated with Lord Portman (later Viscount Portman of Bryanston) and whose sister married into the Parsons family.

  Lord Portman (1799 to 1888), a prominant landowner and politician, and one of the richest men in England. Several members of the Parsons family worked for him as land agents.

  Barnard Goldfinch (1645 to 1724) who was named after an officer in Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentary forces whose men were billeted with the Goldinch family just before his birth and who prevented his men from drinking the barrel of beer which was being kept for the baby’s christening.

  Søren Winther Nielsen (1876 to 1932), who was the father of the present author’s Danish grandmother Anna Nielsen. He rescued someone from drowning in circumstances which put his own life at risk for which he was awarded a medal by the King of Denmark, King Frederick VIII.


Resources

During the course of his research Mike has gathered a significant amount of information which might be of value to other people who are researching their families’ histories.

Much information can be found in the individual web pages. For example, there are many transcriptions of wills.

Some selections from Parish Registers for those parishes in which Mike’s Somerset and Dorset ancestors and their immediate family are known to have lived can also be found.

There are also transcriptions of a few Monumental Inscriptions from St.Mary’s Church in Marston Magna and one from a Tombstone in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Sutton Montis, which is about 3 miles north east of Marston Magna.

Mike relies heavily on his Family Tree software — As Time Goes By, from Wallington Software. If you are interested, please contact Mike.


This web site will continue to evolve as Mike discovers more information about his ancestors.



Mike can be contacted at the email address below.