Person talk:Abigail Garfield (1)

John Parkhurst versus Joseph Gleason [21 June 2017]

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. We can say with some certainty that Joseph Gleason did marry an Abigail Garfield, and after extensive searching, no evidence has been found that John Parkhurst's wife Abigail had a maiden name of Garfield though most secondary sources say so.

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. [The probate file is very sparse, and the mention of the various children seems to be based on two quitclaims, giving the estate to Benjamin for a combination of money and taking care of their mother. Middlesex Deeds, Vol. 16, p. 600 and 601]

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 - note: Bond's abstract of the widow's will is flawed, mentioning a granddaughter Sarah Parkhurst, which is true of Edward Garfield's will, but not of her will, as seen here). John Parkhurst does buy some land from widow Mary Garfield, but the deed (Vol. 15, p. 373) expresses no sign of relationship, and it is one of several deeds where he is buying property that border his existing holdings. (Likewise she sells land to Joseph Ball in 1699 that is bounded by John Parkhurst, and Abigail Parkhurst witnesses the deed (Vol. 22, p. 623), but the only relationship implied is that of neighbor.) So this set of parents seems very unlikely.

In one deed, John Parkhust gives his son Samuel several parcels, one "formerly belonging unto my Brother in Law Mr Carter of Woburn". The deed where this parcel was acquired by John has not been located. This does not seem to fit the Mary Parkhurst who may have married Rev. Thomas Carter of Woburn, as she would be his aunt, that Mr. Carter would be his uncle, not brother-in-law. Unfortunately, the person referred to cannot be identified with any certainty. Whether this person married a sister of John's, or whether John's wife was his sister, or even married a sister of John's wife, hasn't been determined either.

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)

Building off of brother-in-law Mr. Carter of Woburn, this seems to be a potential lead: Source:Ferris, Mary Walton. Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines, p. 150, says that the will of John2 Carter confirmed to his son John3 Carter "the house and thirty acres which the testator had given him at his marriage in 1678" (see here). This matches the acreage John Parkhurst bought from his brother in law Mr. Carter. This John Carter married Ruth Burnham, d/o Thomas Burnhan and Marie Lawrence of Ipswich. She had an older sister Abigail, no birth known, living when her father wrote his will in 1693/4, but only referenced by her given name, so marital status and death unknown. The order in the will names the daughters Mary, Johannah, Abigail, Ruth, Sarah and Hester [per Hammatt Papers, p. 39]. The parents marriage is given by Ferris as 1640-45 (the latter more likely as Marie was age 9 when she came to New England in 1635, Ferris, p. 401). The first known birth date is Ruth b 1657 (first of the name, died young, the second born 1658), suggesting Abigail was born by 1655 or before. If Abigail is John Parkhurst's wife, the three older daughters appear to have all married without about a year of each other (1672, 1671, and before 1671), so the estimated birth date comes entirely from the order in the will. An indenture (here) wherein Thomas Burnham gives his land to his two sons Thomas and James, and on the fourth page, Thomas is instructed to pay Mary, Abigail & Sarah [numbers 1, 3, 5?], while James is to pay Johanah, Ruth & Hester [numbers 2, 4, 6?].

--Jrich 22:10, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Abigail Burnham testified in court in 1674 twice in 1674, once time giving her age as 19. Born about 1655, but still unmarried in 1674, ruling her out as wife of John Parkhurst. Essex Quarterly Court Records, Vol. 5. --Jrich 02:47, 4 July 2015 (UTC)