Person talk:Abigail Garfield (1)


John Parkhurst versus Joseph Gleason [11 October 2012]

I started out to show that this Abigail Garfield did not marry Joseph Gleason, but have to admit it is somewhat inconclusive. It is certainly true that this Abigail could not have married both John Parkhurst and Joseph Gleason.

I cannot find a marriage record for John Parkhurst and Abigail Garfield, but Source:Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, p. 993, suggests they were married in 1670, presumably in Watertown where John and Abigaile were born and where John and his wife died, as do virtually all other sources. This is probably based on the recorded birth of son John in early 1671. Edward Garfield's will in 1668 lists his daughter as Abigail Garfield, unmarried, which is not inconsistent with this, but offers no proof. Clearly, Edward's mention of a granddaughter Sarah Parkhurst cannot apply to a daughter of Abigail because she is unmistakably identified as unmarried in his will, meaning another Mrs. Parkhurst (probably Abigail's half-sister Sarah who m. George Parkhurst, Jr.) was the mother of Sarah, and so that fact does not offer any proof of Abigail's own marriage to a Parkhurst, either.

Source:Vital records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, to the year 1850, p. 197, documents the marriage of "Garfield, Abigail of Watertowne, and Joseph Gleason [dup. Gleison], Dec. 22, 1686. M.R. [Middlesex Records]". Clearly, if Abigail m. John Parkhurst in 1670, this record cannot refer to the same Abigail Garfield. Cutter, in the work above, identifies Abigail (Garfield) Gleason as the daughter of Joseph Garfield, this Abigail's brother, by Joseph's wife Sarah Gale. That Abigail was b. around 1665, based on gap of recorded births of her siblings from 1665-1669, but no recorded birth has been found, and indeed, I do not know what is the basis for believing Joseph had a daughter named Abigail other than trying to find an explanation for Joseph Gleason's wife. Joseph Garfield died intestate so there is no will to give us information about a possible daughter Abigail. Source:Bond, Henry. Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts (1855), p. 2:772, gives a brief abstract of his probate file and only mentions widow Sarah; sons Benjamin, Edward, John; daughters Jerusha, Rebecca, Grace.

In an agreement 18 Jan 1716/17, Isaac Gleason, the only surviving son of Joseph Gleason, Sr., and sisters, mentions their mother Abigail Gleason, "old and Crippled". While this is not at all conclusive, the daughter of Edward would be about 70, while the daughter of Joseph would only be about 50 at the time of this agreement.

For Abigail (d/o Edward) to marry John Parkhurst would entail, for the Abigail of this page, a birth in 1646, marriage in 1670 and death in Watertown in 1726. A typical life arrangement. But John and Abigail did not name any children after either of Abigail's parents, Edward and Rebecca.

For Abigail (d/o Edward) to marry Joseph Gleason would entail, for the Abigail of this page, birth in 1646, marriage in 1686 as a second wife to a man born in 1642, death in Sudbury in 1726. This is only strange in that Abigail's first marriage occurred at forty, but since her husband is about the same age as her, and there are no records of children born to them, it is not unreasonable. However, this implies it was another Abigail, not Abigail Garfield, that married John Parkhurst.

For her purported niece Abigail (d/o Joseph) to marry Joseph Gleason would require, for that other Abigail, birth in 1665 or so, marriage in 1686 as second wife of man born in 1642, and death in Sudbury in 1726. This seems somewhat strange in that her husband was over 20 years older than her and they never had any children though Abigail was barely 20 at the time of her marriage.

Some sites list Abigail's parents as Edward's son Samuel and his wife Susannah, instead of Edward. Samuel was b. 1613, so he could have had a daughter old enough to marry in 1670 or 1686, but there is no record of him having a daughter Abigail. His will does not mention any daughter Abigail, or any grandchildren named Parkhurst (neither does his widow's though she would not have been her mother, only step-mother, so that may not mean anything). So this set of parents seems very unlikely.

The only Abigail Garfield, with a recorded birth, that is born early enough to participate in either the marriage to John Parkhurst or the one to Joseph Gleason is this one, the daughter of Edward b. 1646. Given that no other Abigail Garfield, besides this one, seems to match well with Joseph Gleason, the simplest answer would be that John Parkhurst did not marry a Garfield.

--Jrich 10:03, 15 January 2009 (EST)