My Park/Parke/Parks Ancestry

Many people have Robert Parke as an ancestor, including the late Princess Diana of Wales. Robert was a friend of John Winthrop, who organized The Winthrop Fleet and became the first governor of the area that became Massachusetts. Both men's names are on genealogy societies, with the Winthrop Society being open to any descendent of a person who sailed to America in the fleet organized by Winthrop in 1630. Robert was nearly 50 years old then, having been born 3 June 1580. Robert's sons changed Parke to Parks. Some succeeding generations changed the surname to Park. The name Robert was quite popular in succeeding generations.

Here's a link to a website within Hartford, CT's Ancient Burying Ground, that details problems with England's monarchy and their persecution of Puritans and any other group that didn't toe the line. It's the reason that John Endicott, John Winthrop and others organized voyages to the new world where they could have freedom of religion. 9th great grandparents Robert Parke and Martha Chaplin were members of the Winthrop Fleet.

I'll list them in order, starting with my last Parke/Park/Parks-named descendent, Olive Parks, followed by the parents. Each family had many children, but I'll only list my direct line. These lines are well documented. The Parke Society is a great place to start your journey on that line!


Robert Parke and some of his sons and daughters came to the new world on the ship Arbella, part of John Winthrop's fleet. The Massachusetts Historical Society has the original letter from Robert to John Winthrop, dated 28 February 1629, asking to join the fleet. Historians think that the year was actually 1630. The Winthrop fleet set sail from Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, on 29 March 1630. The fleet arrived in Boston Harbor 17 June, a passage of 78 days. Upon his death in 1664, he was buried in Whitehall Cemetery, Mystic, Ct. A memorial tablet attached to a boulder was set at his grave by his decendents in 1930.

Samuel Parks had remained in England after his father sailed to the colonies. He came to America after his father's death to collect his inheritance as stipulated in his father's will . Samuel was sixth and likely last child of Robert and Martha.

Robert Parks (1776 - 1863) served in the War of 1812. He enlisted in the New York State Militia and became a member of the 158th Regiment of the New York Infantry. He was made a Captain, and served as such until the end of the war. He and his family moved to Oakland County, Michigan, in May of 1823. Source: American Biographical History - 1878: Representative Men of Michigan, District V.

Robert Parks (1737 - 1810) served in the Revolutionary War. Details soon.

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