Friday, March 14, 2014

Allen line: Moses Parrish 1742-1800

Moses Parrish was born in 1742 (approximate date) to Humphrey Parrish Jr and Mary Morton Hamilton, in Goochland County, Va. (My tree shows Mary Morton Hamilton as having a really rich Scottish ancestry, but now I am not sure it is proven.  So take that part with a grain of salt.)  There was probably more than one Mary Morton Hamilton in that time frame, and I'm not sure I have the correct one, but let's at least go with the idea that his mother's name was Mary.  Moses was one of seven children.  Their land was around Licking Hole Creek and Little Byrd Creek in Goochland County, Va.

Moses had an eventful life  He served in the French and Indian War, Dunmore's War, and the Revolutionary War.  He must have been loyal but not particularly talented militarily, because he apparently was never promoted above the rank of private.  For his service in Dunmore's War, he was awarded 50 acres of land which he chose to take in "Fincastle County", which was basically the state of Kentucky in later years. It appears that he may have sold that land. As far as we know, he never went west.

His Revolutionary War service is particularly exemplary.  He enlisted in February of 1977 and appears to have served his entire term, except that he was furloughed in the winter of 1777-1778,  Prior to that and after that, he saw hard service, but the months that he was furloughed were the months that the soldiers were undergoing such hardships at Valley Forge.  He is listed as having been at Paramus (N.J.), White Plains (N.Y.), Newark (N.J.), Pumpton Plains and Middlebrook in 1778, after being on the rolls at Valley Forge in May.  He was at Morristown in November of 1779.  It appears that he would have participated in most of the New Jersey battles and perhaps some of those in Pennsylvania, but the White Plains camp was a couple of years after that battle.  None of the records on Fold 3 indicate that he was ever sick or wounded, but there is a good chance that he was sick at one time or another.  Most soldiers were.  It's also reasonable to think that he did not have a good diet, as our soldiers were often hungry and poorly fed.  Can we say "hero"?

I've not found evidence that he re-enlisted in 1780 when his term in the 5th Virginia Regiment of Foot was up, although it's possible that he was still a member of the Virginia militia and continued to fight in skirmishes after he had officially returned home.  In 1785 he was awarded 56-13-3 in Virginia dollars in back pay.  This surely would have been helpful, for it was the equivalent of several months pay as a soldier. 

We don't know very much more about Moses Parrish.  He may have first married Sarah Martin, and then married Mary Hill (date not found).  They had 6 children: Nicholas, William, Tabath (Tabitha), Mathew, Frankie (Francis) and Sukey (probably Susan or Susanna).  Moses died in 1800 and there is apparently a will or estate records for him, as noted on the Library of Virginia website.  I'm unclear as to whether Goochland County has a copy of the records or not.  

We know one other fact about Moses.  His father left him two slaves in his will in 1773, and by 1782 he had three slaves.  Perhaps Moses's will has more to say about that.  It's hard to think that our ancestors "owned" slaves, but with such a small number, they may have been treated more like family than the traditional slave treatment that we "know" about. 

Facts for this post were gathered from Fold 3, Ancestry, the Library of Virginia, and a 1782 tax list. 

Our line of descent is:
Moses Parrish-Mary Hill
Tabath Parrish-James Allen Jr.
Archibald Allen-Margaret J Dunn
George R Allen-Nancy McCoy
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard/Edith/Vernon/Tessora/Corinne Allen
descendants of the Allens named above