Sidney Alfred Parsons and his Ancestors

Elizabeth Anne Parsons née Gale (1804 to 1888)

Elizabeth Anne Gale was the wife of George Parsons who was a nephew of Charles Parsons of Marston Magna in Somerset, and Charles Parsons was a great-grandfather of Sidney Parsons who is the main subject of these web pages.

Elizabeth Anne Gale was born in Malmesbury in Wiltshire on the 21st of December 1804. She was the fifth child of Edmund Estcourt Gale and his wife Alice (née Gooden). Edmund was a surgeon who came from a distinguished Malmesbury family.

The earliest member of the Gale family so far identified is Elizabeth’s father’s great-grandfather Isaac Gale. Isaac was born in about 1646 and married Grace Estcourt who was a niece of Sir Thomas Estcourt of Sherston Pinkney. The Gales were proud of their connection to the Estcourts and gave many of their children Estcourt as a second name.

Another of Elizabeth’s ancestors was Thomas Machen (c.1540 to 1614) who is commemorated by a magnificent memorial in Gloucester cathedral. Thomas’s great-granddaughter Ann Machen had married the Reverend George Estcourt and he and Ann were five-times great-grandparents of Elizabeth’s.

Elizabeth’s father had a house in Ashwick in Somerset, which is not far from Shepton Mallet. Elizabeth and her six brothers and sisters were all baptised in Ashwick together on the same day — the 26th of June 1810 — even though some of them had already been baptised elsewhere.

When Elizabeth was fourteen years old her father died after which she probably lived at Ashwick with her mother for some time and then, after her mother died in 1837, with her brother Frederick who was a surgeon in Glastonbury.

On the 20th of December 1834 Elizabeth’s brother Frederick married Julia Susannah Peters at St. Cuthbert’s church in Wells. Julia’s father, John Weston Peters, was a landowner and steward to Lord Portman who became significantly wealthy. He was a friend of the Parsons family. In 1807 he been a witness at the wedding of Charles Parsons to Ann Jukes and the previous year his sister, Jane Peters, had married George Parsons of Charlton Horethorne.

George and Jane Parsons of Charlton Horethorne became Elizabeth’s parents-in-law when, on the 27th of March 1839, she married their eldest son George Parsons. The wedding was at St. John The Baptist’s Church in Glastonbury. The following brief report of their wedding was published in The Gentleman’s Review — “At Glastonbury, Mr. Geo. Parsons, of West Lambrook, to Elizabeth Anne, youngest dau. of the late Edm. Estcourt Gale, esq. of Ashwick-house, Somerset”. Elizabeth was 34 years old and he was 33.

Elizabeth’s husband, George Parsons, was, at the time of his marriage, a steward for Lord Portman and lived at West Lambrook in Somerset where, in addition to his steward’s duties, he farmed. He was also an inventor with a string of patents to his name and he manufactured agricultural machinery including steam-engines.

The first two of Elizabeth and George’s three sons — George Estcourt and Henry William — were born in West Lambrook. Their third child, also a son, was born in Bryanstone in Dorset (near Blandford Forum) where Lord Portman lived. They named him John Athelstan Parsons.

In December 1854 there was a disastrous fire in George’s premises at West Lambrook and his manufacturing workshops were destroyed. George then decided to purchase a flax mill called Carey’s mill on the river Parrett near Martock where he carried on his manufacturing business. In 1861 he described himself as an “Engineer and flax spinner employing 130 persons”. He and Elizabeth lived at Carey’s mill until about 1873 when they emigrated to New Zealand to join their sons who had settled at Kaikoura in South Island. George died there in November 1876.

A portrait of Elizabeth taken in later life is shown here.

Elizabeth Ann Parsons (née Gale) died in Kaikoura on the 13th of September 1888 and was buried in the public cemetery there.

Children of Elizabeth and George Parsons

Elizabeth and George had three children all of whom were boys.

 •  George Estcourt Parsons — was born in 1841. In April 1865 he married his cousin Sarah Parsons and they emigrated to New Zealand where they settled in Kaikoura. He died there in 1919.

 •  Henry William Parsons — was born in 1846. He also emigrated to New Zealand where he met and married Gertude Knyvett and eventually settled near Christchurch. He died at sea on the way to visit his younger brother in Australia.

 •  John Athelstan Parsons — who was born in 1850 emigrated to New Zealand with his brothers. There he married Louisa Simpson. He and his son Forrest Parsons served together in the Boer war. He lived in South Africa for a while before moving to Melbourne in Australia where he died in 1944.

More details can be found about the lives of Elizabeth and George Parsons’ children on George’s web page at — Children of George and Elizabeth Parsons.

Ancestors of Elizabeth Parsons née Gale

Father — Edmund Estcourt Gale of Ashwick in Somerset and Malmesbury in Wiltshire
Mother — Alice Elizabeth Gooden who came from Speen in Berkshire which is now part of Newbury

Grandfather — The Revd. Edmund Estcourt Gale, Rector of Long Newnton in Wiltshire
Grandmother — Sarah Wilkins, a daughter of William Wilkins who was an apothecary in Malmesbury

Grandfather — unknown
Grandmother — unknown

Great-grandfather — The Revd. Isaac Gale of Malmesbury, Rector of Lasborough. Isaac’s mother, Grace Estcourt, came from the Estcourt family of Shipton Moyne in Gloucestershire
Great-grandmother — Ann, who married Isaac in about 1715 and lived with him in Corston, near Malmesbury

Great-grandfather — William Wilkins, an apothecary in Malmesbury
Great-grandmother — Jane, William’s wife who died in 1740

Great-grandfather — unknown
Great-grandmother — unknown

Great-grandfather — unknown
Great-grandmother — unknown

Return to Sidney Parsons’ Ancestors

You are free to make use of the information in these web pages in any way that you wish but please be aware that the author, Mike Parsons, is unable to accept respsonsibility for any errors or omissions.

Mike can be contacted at

The information in these web pages comes from a number of sources including: Hampshire County Records Office, Somerset Heritage Centre; Dorset County Records Office; Southampton City Archives; the General Register Office; several on-line newspaper archives; several on-line transcriptions of Parish Register Entries; and several on-line indexes of births, marriages and deaths. The research has also been guided at times by the published work of others, both on-line and in the form of printed books, and by information from personal correspondence with other researchers, for all of which thanks are given. However, all of the information in these web pages has been independently verified by the author from original sources, facimile copies, or, in the case of a few parish register entries, transcriptions published by on-line genealogy sites. The author is aware that some other researchers have in some cases drawn different conclusions and have published information which is at variance from that shown in these web pages.