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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Parsons family come from? What is the English Parsons family crest and coat of arms? When did the Parsons family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Parsons family history?

The history of the name Parsons dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from a member of the family who worked as a person who worked as the parson or clergyman. This individual probably lived or worked at the parsonage.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Parsons has undergone many spelling variations, including Parsons, Parson and others.

First found in Buckingham where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parsons research. Another 288 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1704 and 1731 are included under the topic Early Parsons History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Parsons Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Parsons family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Parsons were among those contributors:

Parsons Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Parsons settled in Virginia in 1619
  • James Parsons settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Phillipp Parsons, aged 10, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Richard Parsons settled in Virginia in 1637
  • James Parsons, who landed in Virginia in 1638

Parsons Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Hannah Parsons, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Lawrence Parsons, who arrived in New England in 1740
  • George Parsons settled in Virginia in 1747
  • Mary Parsons, who arrived in Virginia in 1752
  • Jasper Parsons, who arrived in New York in 1797

Parsons Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joanna Parsons, aged 35, landed in Massachusetts in 1812
  • Thomas Parsons, aged 42, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • Arthur W Parsons, who arrived in New York, NY in 1841
  • Charles Parsons, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Elizabeth Parsons, aged 38, landed in New York in 1862

Parsons Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Raymond Howard Parsons, who arrived in Alabama in 1920
  • Henry Samuel Parsons, who landed in Alabama in 1923


  • Benny Parsons (1941-2007), American NASCAR driver
  • John T Parsons (1913-2007), American pioneer of numerical control for machine tools
  • Karyn Parsons (b. 1966), American television and film actress and model
  • Nancy Anne Parsons (1942-2001), American actress
  • Talcott Parsons (1902-1979), American Sociologist
  • James Joseph "Jim" Parsons (b. 1973), American Emmy Award and Golden Globe winning television and film actor, best known for his work on Big Bang Theory
  • Gram Parsons (1946-1973), American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist, best known for his work with the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, posthumously warded the Americana Music Association "President's Award" for 2003
  • Samuel Holden Parsons (1737-1789), American lawyer, jurist and general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War
  • Gene Victor Parsons (b. 1944), American drummer, banjo player, guitarist, singer-songwriter, best known for his work with The Byrds from 1968 to 1972
  • Johnny Parsons (b. 1944), American racecar driver, inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1994



  • The Parsons Family: Descendants of Cornet Joseph Parsons (C. 1618-1683), Springfield, Mass. by Gerald James Parsons.
  • Parsons Family History by American Genealogical Research Institute.

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Parsons Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Parsons Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 October 2014 at 09:47.

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