Yesterday, I wrote about the Connecticut Archives collection available at the Connecticut State Library. Today I thought I’d share with you some of the gems I was able to retrieve.
I spent all day Wednesday looking through all of the collection indexes online, looking in particular for my Parks and Webster families (there are many other lines in CT, but these are my focus right now). Although the collections are held at the Connecticut State Library, many of them are also available through the Family History Library. There were a bunch of records I wanted, and since everyone was hanging out at the FHL this week, I asked my Facebook friends if anyone could pull a few for me.
The short list of must-haves initially consisted of 10 films, and about 20 or so records. Seeing as my research isn’t a priority for someone visiting SLC, I pared it down, creating a must-must-have list of eight records (four films). Donna Pointkouski, who author’s the blog What’s Past is Prologue, was kind enough to obtain those few records for me. As for the others, I will deal with them another time (one film has several, so I may order that one the next time I’m at the FHC).
Two collections are of extreme importance, as I am trying to figure out if my seventh great-grandfather, Joseph Parks, actually served in the Revolutionary War. The DAR has “red-marked” him indicating that the Joseph Parks who served was a younger gentleman; I tend to agree with this. Joseph’s son, Robert (my sixth great-grandfather), did serve, and it’s possible that Joseph’s son, Joseph, is the other one who served (I have no information on this Joseph at this point, to know whether he was alive at the time of the war, or in the area). Given Joseph’s age, I thought perhaps he served in the French & Indian War and perhaps King George’s War.
Joseph was indexed in the Revolutionary War Series 1 Index, covering 1763-1789. The document I had pulled appears to be a petition relating to the reinstating of a tavernkeeper. Joseph Parks, was one of the signers, as was Robert and John. I have no idea at this time what this has to do with anything, nor whether it’s my Joseph. I’m pretty sure that the Robert listed is Joseph’s son. Both were alive and by all accounts in Voluntown, Connecticut where the document was signed on 5 October 1775. The only other listing for a Joseph Parks in this index is for a Joseph jr. “priv. Norwich, half days training, 1775.” Norwich is in the right area of the state, but the indication of “jr.” in the index makes me seriously think this is not my Joseph (mine would have been about 67 years old in 1775).
Moving on to the other collection, Militia Series 1 (1678-1757), there were five documents I had pulled, related to what I believe are Joseph and his father Robert. The earliest record for Robert in this series is dated 1733, in Voluntown, indicating Lieutenant Robert Parks was from Plainfield. This seems to line up with other research. A document dated 1742, includes both a Robert and a Joseph Parks. Without doing a full analysis, I suspect that Robert in this case, is perhaps Robert’s son, Robert. A Joseph is found in two other documents, in 1756 and 1757. In the 1756 document, Lieutenant Joseph Parks was voted Captain of the Eleventh Company in the Eleventh Regiment of the Colony of Connecticut.
Connecticut, "Connecticut Archives: Militia records selected papers, series 1-3, 1678-1820," Vol. 5, p. 370; Connecticut State Library, Hartford; FHL microfilm 3,604.
If Joseph is the same person through all the documents in the Militia Series 1 Collection, it would seem that he was part of the militia in 1742 and perhaps fought during both King George’s War and the French & Indian War. The next step is to determine if it’s the same person, and if it’s my Joseph. I also need to obtain the other military documents from the collections.
A very special thanks to Donna Pointkouski for obtaining these records for me.