Parsons History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Early Origins of the Parsons family

The surname Parsons was first found in Norfolk where Clemens filius Persone was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [2] Over in Somerset, William Parson and Isabel Parsones were both listed in Kirby's Quest as living 1 Edward III (in the first year of Edward III's reign.) [3]

Roger le Persones was listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1323 and Alicia le Parsones was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1327. [1]

"A striking example of a purely south of England name, not to be found in my list north of a line drawn west from The Wash. It is represented in most of the southern counties, but its great home is in Wilts, whilst it is also numerous in most of the counties around this centre, namely, in Somerset, Dorset, Hants, Oxfordshire, and Monmouthshire." [4] True to the quote, only one entry was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379: Johannes Parsonson. [2]

Early History of the Parsons family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parsons research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1704 and 1731 are included under the topic Early Parsons History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parsons Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Parsons family (pre 1700)

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

Parsons World Ranking

In the United States, the name Parsons is the 439th most popular surname with an estimated 64,662 people with that name. [5] However, in Canada, the name Parsons is ranked the 228th most popular surname with an estimated 17,570 people with that name. [6] And in Australia, the name Parsons is the 217th popular surname with an estimated 15,364 people with that name. [7] New Zealand ranks Parsons as 249th with 2,409 people. [8] The United Kingdom ranks Parsons as 174th with 31,325 people. [9]

Ireland Migration of the Parsons family to Ireland

Some of the Parsons family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Parsons migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 17th Century
  • John Parsons, who settled in Virginia in 1619
  • James Parsons, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Phillipp Parsons, aged 10, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • Richard Parsons, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • James Parsons, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Parsons Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hannah Parsons, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [10]
  • Lawrence Parsons, who arrived in New England in 1740 [10]
  • George Parsons, who settled in Virginia in 1747
  • Mary Parsons, who arrived in Virginia in 1752 [10]
  • Jasper Parsons, who arrived in New York in 1797 [10]
Parsons Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joanna Parsons, aged 35, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 [10]
  • Thomas Parsons, aged 42, who arrived in Missouri in 1840 [10]
  • Arthur W Parsons, who arrived in New York, NY in 1841 [10]
  • Charles Parsons, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [10]
  • Elizabeth Parsons, aged 38, who landed in New York in 1862 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Parsons Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Raymond Howard Parsons, who arrived in Alabama in 1920 [10]
  • Henry Samuel Parsons, who landed in Alabama in 1923 [10]

Canada Parsons migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Parsons Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Parsons, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Ms. Esther Parsons U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 smember of the Penobscot Association [11]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Parsons U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Penobscot Association [11]
  • Ms. Tabitha Parsons U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [11]
  • Mr. William N Parsons U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Parsons Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Parsons, aged 30 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Eliza Caroline" departing from the port of Eliza Caroline, Liverpool but died on Grosse Isle on 20th August 1847 [12]

Australia Parsons migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Parsons Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Parsons, (b. 1772), aged 40, English servant who was convicted in Devon, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Emu" in October 1812, the ship was captured and the passengers put ashore, the convicts were then transported aboard the "Broxburnebury" in January 1812 arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1831 [13]
  • Mr. George Parsons, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. John Parsons, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. James Parsons, (b. 1795), aged 26, English convict who was convicted in Berkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [16]
  • William Parsons, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Parsons migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Parsons Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Parsons, aged 24, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • Emma Parsons, aged 24, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • Eliza Sophia Parsons, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • William Parsons, aged 22, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Parsons, aged 21, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Parsons migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [18]
Parsons Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • George Parsons, aged 21, who landed in Barbados in 1684 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Parsons (post 1700) +

  • Jordan Parsons (1990-2016), American mixed martial artist who died as a result of a hit and run driver hitting him
  • Donald James Parsons (1922-2016), American Episcopal prelate, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy from 1973 to 1988
  • Jamie Parsons (1941-2015), American politician, Mayor of Juneau, Alaska (1991-1994)
  • Robert "Bob" Parsons (b. 1952), American entrepreneur and philanthropist, founder of Go Daddy group of companies in 1997
  • Phil Parsons (b. 1957), American former NASCAR driver and owner of Phil Parsons Racing
  • Mosby Monroe Parsons (1822-1865), United States brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War
  • Torrence Douglas Parsons (1941-1987), American mathematician
  • John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (1914-1952), American rocket propulsion researcher at the California Institute of Technology, eponym of the Parsons luner crater
  • Thomas Anthony Parsons (b. 1939), American former Major League Baseball pitcher who played in the 1960s
  • Theophilus Parsons (1750-1813), American jurist
  • ... (Another 164 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Thomas F Parsons (b. 1959), American Sergeant from Washington, Michigan, USA who died in the crash [19]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Edward Brian Parsons (d. 1945), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [20]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Thomas Henry Parsons (b. 1918), Welsh Leading Seaman from Wales, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Li Wo and survived the sinking [21]
  • Mr. Jack Parsons, British Air Mechanician 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [21]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Harry Parsons, British Petty Officer Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Charles J Parsons, British Cook, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [22]
HMS Royal Oak
  • George Edward Parsons (1921-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [23]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Archibald Ernest Parsons, English 2nd Class passenger residing in New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [24]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Edward Parsons (d. 1912), aged 35, English Chief Storekeeper from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Richard Parsons (d. 1912), aged 18, English Saloon Steward from Ashbrittle, Somerset who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Frank Alfred Parsons (d. 1912), aged 26, English Greaser from Liverpool, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. Frederick Charles Parsons (b. 1892), Welsh coal miner from Nelson, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Wilfred Parsons (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from Harbour Grace who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Lorenzo Parsons (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from Harbour Grace who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. George Parsons (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from St. John's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. David Parsons (b. 1914), Newfoundlander from St. John's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found


Suggested Readings for the name Parsons +

  • 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.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  9. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  10. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  11. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  12. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 51)
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Emu
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  17. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  18. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  19. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  20. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  21. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  22. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  23. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  24. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  25. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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