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Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 10 Jan 2004 1:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 7 Feb 2004 12:11PM GMT
Surnames: Parker, Sparrow, Armstrong
Christopher Adams Parker (1814-1836) died at the Alamo on March 16, 1836. He may have been born in Miss. Regardless he is written about in "The Handbook of Texas Online" as have traveled form Natchez, Mississippi, to Texas. He singed to controversial Goliad Declaration of Independence of December 20, 1835.
He was a descendent of the Sparrow family, English Quakers who had immigrated to Ireland during the Cromwell Protectorate. One of his ancestors fought in Emmett's Rebellion and was expelled form Ireland. His grandfather, James Armstrong, served under George Washington at Valley Forge. His father was a veteran of the battle of New Orleans.
He was the son of William and Hannah (Armstrong) Parker.
Can anyone lay claim or add to this story.
Thanks
Sterling Parker, native Texan

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 3:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
Christopher Parker is my paternal first cousin 4x removed. I can tell you most definitely he was NOT descended from the Sparrow family. His younger sister Minerva married Edward Sparrow of Louisiana, so he was related only by marriage. As for his grandfather James Armstrong being at Valley Forge with George Washington, I'd love to see the documentation on that. Our family stories do say that Christopher's mother's(our records give her name as ABIGAIL b 23 Feb 1787, d 1817)father was a soldier from VA who eloped with a Richmond boarding school student named Elizabeth Morris (b abt 1765) on 27 Nov 1781. Abigail's two brothers were both commodores in the U.S. Navy.

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 8:50PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for your response. Evidently, in your experience, families from other parts of the US or even Ireland might be keen on tracing the Sparrows for some reason, but my main interests are in Christopher's Parker and Armstrong lines.

Do you know where Abigail married William Parker? In Natchez? Did he also come from Tennessee? Do you know anything at all about his origins?

In the past, seems I recall tracing William Parker's later years from Natchez to New Orleans? then to Minerva's home?, then he died unknown. All of that was after the Civil War, and not even confirmed. Minerva then must have moved to Maury, TN with the Ashbridge (sic?) family where she died. I may have some of those details askew.

Anyway, your Armstrong ancestors were a very distinguished family, through service, blood, and marriage.

Hope you can tell me anything about William Parker.

Patricia Ross Parker, FG#7 researcher

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 9:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks to both of you for writing about Christopher Parker. I personaly know nothing about him other than what I read about him on the "Texas Handbook Online" back in 2002. I had an ancester that said that my Parker's were kin to Quanta Parker, the Indian, and that was wrong, so when I found the story about Christopher, I though I would ask.
I hope, through you two, to learn more about him.
Sterling Parker

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 3:46AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 23 Feb 2012 3:52AM GMT
Surnames: Parker, Armstrong, Snyder, Compton, King, Sparrow, Crowninshield
Hi Patricia & Sterling,
It's nice to find others interested in Christopher Adams Parker. I have more info on the Armstrongs than I do on the Parkers since I am descended from the Armstrongs through Abigail Armstrong Parker's sister Jane Madison Armstrong King.

Abigail was called "Aunt Abby" by her neices & nephews. From old handwritten family records & a family letter, I knew that Abigail had married William H.Parker of Natchez but that was all I knew. Mississippi Marriage Records show they married 30 Aug 1810 in Adams, MS.(Natchez is in Adams Co.) The marriage record lists her as "Abrigail" Armstrong. Another researcher lists her as "Abigail Hannah" but he hasn't answered my email requesting documentation for how he came up with the Hannah part of her name. So for now, I'm sticking with only Abigail.

William was a Natchez innkeeper and owned the finest hotel in the city. His three-story hotel, The Mississippi Hotel, was considered quite fashionable in the 1830's and many notables stayed there. It was damaged by fire in 1839 & destroyed by the great tornado of 1840(Source:"Antebellum Natchez" by D.Clayton James, LSU Press, 1968; pgs 94, 174, 189). William was an early leader,1809(the yr. before his marriage), of "The Mechanical Society" in Natchez which was like an early Chamber of Commerce. Other leaders of this group included such notables as the famous Andrew Marschalk (1st printing press in MS) and John Shaw (pg. 94, "Antebellum Natchez", James, LSU Press). Wm. H.Parker shows up in the 1810 Adams Co. Census, 1816 Adams Co. Census, 1818 Adams Co. Census,& the 1830 Federal Census, then he seems to drop out of the Natchez area, possibly due to loss of his hotel. Wm. H. Parker then shows up on the 1850 Slave Schedule in Carroll Parish, Louisiana which is in northeast LA across the River from Vicksburg, MS. Carroll Parish is where his daughter Minerva Parker Sparrow and her husband had a fine plantation home, Arlington, in Lake Providence. Another researcher has given me the date of 1 Jul 1859 as the date of William's death in New Orleans, but I have no documentation. I do find Minerva documented in Maury, Tn where she was in a hospital for treatement but I didn't find Wm. Parker with the Sparrows or the Ashbridges unless I just overlooked him. If you know something or remember a clue, please let me know. I have heard that Minerva and Edward Sparrow married in Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchez, but have not been able to confirm that.

Christopher's maternal uncle Commodore James Armstrong is quite well known. Google him and you might be surprised! Both he and his brother William M. Armstrong joined the U.S. Navy as young boys - they were living in Natchez, but received their appointments from KY which is where the family had previously lived. Both men rose through the ranks to become commodores. William married Adeline Tyler with family connections to President Tyler and James married first Hannah Crowninshield, the noted artist whose works are in the Smithsonian (maybe this is where someone got mixed up on the name of Christopher's mother) and when Hannah died, James married her sister Elizabeth. The Crowninshields were an old well-known family from Mass. James and his two wives had no children. William had a son, James who also went to sea and unfortunately died there at a young age. William Armstong and his wife were survived by three daughters who married and had children. If you'd like more details, please go to Compton Tree by dcweatherly on ancestory.com and you can find more, hopefully correct! It is all a work in progress! I'm so interested in Christopher and of course proud of what he did - not sure why there is not more written about him in our family archives, tho my father's mother sold over 3,000 letters and documents to LSU in the early 1940's when she moved out of her large home to a smaller one. Even though she was careful to keep letters pertaining to family, I've seen some things listed in the online guide of those documents/letters she sold that may have some potential nuggets of info. In case you're near Baton Rouge, it is called the Alonzo Snyder Collection.

This posting is getting really long! Hope I've helped a little. It's a never ending search! Happy hunting!
Dannie C. Weatherly

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 1:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
Just thought I would let you know, since we are writing about Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo, that today, in 1836, began the battle for the Alamo. Feb. 23, 1836. In seven days, it was over.

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 5:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello, Sterling - You are correct that the Siege of the Alamo began on February 23. However, Alamo historians would tell you that the defenders held out for twelve days, but fell on day thirteen which, in 1836, was March 6.

I, like you, really enjoy Texana, so please contact me, and we can exchange.

Patricia Ross Parker, FG#7 researcher jandpparker@msn.com

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 8:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello, again Sterling: Perhaps by now you have read Dannie Weatherly's disclaimer re: Sparrow descendancy. I would like to second her position in hopes of clarifying Christopher Parker's lineage:

The earliest origins of Christopher's father, William Parker, are unclear, perhaps North or South Carolina. William Parker married Abigail Armstrong whose people came from Tennessee to Natchez before 1800 and, through blood and marriage, were a very distinguished family with extensive social and political connections.

William Parker and Abigail Armstrong had three known children born in Natchez, but only Christopher and his sister Minerva survived to adulthood. No record of a marriage or issue has ever been found for Christopher, so a male lineal descent is not possible there. Minerva married Edward Sparrow about 1833. Christopher thus became Edward's brother in law, related only by marriage. Christopher himself was not of Sparrow blood.

Until researchers or historians learn about the origins of William Parker, we Native Texan Parkers cannot hope to claim his son, Christopher, as even a distant relative. He remains a young man from Mississippi, one of the many valiant defenders of the Alamo.

Patricia Ross Parker, FG#7 researcher



Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 8:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
I agree with all that is being said. My mistake, yes the Alamo survived for thirteen days reather than the seven I mentioned. Yes, also am I a native Texas. I was not trying to lay claim to Christopher Parker, I have documented my Parker's over the years to know that Christopher was not mine.
He was just a man with the same last name as mine, and I was interested in knowing more about him. I was more thinking about the 167 men that died there at the Alamo and a little about their history. They are all important to the people of Texas.
Sterling

Re: Christopher Parker, Defender of the Alamo

Posted: 25 Feb 2012 2:54AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for your response.

Yes, in the past, I also thought I had found the facts about the origins of William Parker, that he was part of the group from New England that came in on the ships with Captain Swayze, settled in Natchez, and thus was not of our Parker line. But I was proud of Christopher still, even without being kin. I flew our Texas flag with him in mind the other day.

Recently, it has been suggested that the father William Parker was born in South Carolina, and that could mean a whole new ballgame. We may learn something new one of these days.

Have you had YDNA testing done? I would be pleased to know of your family group. Sterling is a name found often in Parker families, isn't it?

Patricia Ross Parker, FG#7 researcher



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