Thomas & Parker Family History
by Beatrice Ida Thomas Parker
THE THOMAS FAMILY & SOMETHING OF THEIR BACKGROUND
(And as much as I know of both sides of the Parker Family. For our children who may be interested.)
by Beatrice Thomas Parker
Rev. L.L.F. Parker (Fox) and Beatrice Thomas were married in June 1911 at the old Macedonia Baptist Church at Hix, Texas. I was 18, he was 28, and was pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church in Paris, Texas, a town in North Texas and at that time of about 15,000 population.
The Littles, Thomases, & Fosters
My Mother was Elizabeth Little, her pet name was "Birdie". That name stuck with her through life. Mother had two brothers, Uncle Bob was the oldest and determined to be a doctor, so he went to medical college in Louisville, Ky. There was no medical college in Texas at that time. Uncle John, several years younger than Bob, wanted to be a doctor too. In Texas at that time, a person could study under a doctor, and take the state examination; if he passed the test, he could practice medicine. Uncle John passed and was an M.D. until his death. Mother had five sisters; Kate, Sallie, Alice, Nellie & Mollie. My Papa was named Sid B. Thomas, had two brothers, Monroe (nicknamed Coon because he liked to hunt coons when a young boy and man) the other & youngest was named Charley. He had two sisters, one named Mary, the other nicknamed Nin (I don't know her real name). My grandma Thomas was a Foster. Her brother had a son named Stephen Foster. He and Mary were near the same age and were chums. Stephen was a musician and wrote music. He was interested in the condition of the slaves, and stayed around them since his dad owned slaves, to learn their songs. He jotted down the music as he learned the tunes, and also the words that went with the music. Such songs as "My Old Kentucky Home", "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", "Suwanee River, or Old Folks At Home," etc. Preserving the slave songs for the people to hear, contributed to the South getting a conscience against slavery. I have no doubt that slaves would have been freed without a Civil War if the North had not said, "You've got to Free the Slaves", "We'll make you". No free people like to be told that.
Stephen gave a copy of his book of songs to Papa's sister Mary. He wrote on the fly-leaf of his book, From "Steve" Foster to my dear cousin, Mary Thomas". Aunt Mary's daughter, Allie Lusk treasured that book her mother left her. "Steve" had written some of the songs in the book he gave to Mary Thomas. My grandpa Thomas was named Jim Thomas, the son of Col. Daniel Thomas whose plantation lay 6 miles along the Bran river in South Carolina. Daniel Thomas was a Colonel in the war of 1812. My Papa said there is a tradition handed down the Thomas line that a Thomas came over to America with Capt. John Smith to Virginia, the first English to come to explore the land and claim it for England. Most of the men who came had lost their wealth in England and came, thinking they would find gold as the Spanish had done in Mexico. You remember that Capt. John Smith declared a rule that "He that wouldn't work shouldn't eat". This made the men have to stop hunting gold and plant grain for food, so they could survive. I learned in later life that he got the rule from the Bible: 2 Thes. 3:10. After the wives were brought over for the group of Capt. Smith's men, a permanent settlement was made at Jamestown, Virginia. As the sons of the first Thomas family of Virginia grew up, they went to other parts of this new land. Daniel settled in South Carolina as mentioned above. Jim (my great grandpa) grew up on the plantation. He became a Christian and thought it was wrong to own slaves; but great grandpa Daniel Thomas had many slaves who cultivated the six miles stretch of plantation along the Bran river with 75 plowhands besides the other field workers. When Jim (who became a Baptist preacher) Thomas & Elisa Foster married, they continued to live in South Carolina for a number of years. The new territory of Arkansas was opened for settlement and they moved there, settled in Yell County, a mountain region. My Papa, Sid, was six years old when they moved there. He stayed there 15 years when had a yearning to come to Texas. He lived in Texas the rest of his life. He was 28 yrs. old when he and Mama married, she was 14 years old. They bought land in Burleson County and lived there the rest of their lives except 4 years when they moved to the South Plains and bought a 1/4 section of land. They moved because of Sid Jr., the youngest child, who had asthma in Burleson Co. The 4 years on the Plains helped him so much, they moved back home at the end of W.W. I, when the oldest son, Jim (my brother), was to come home from the war.
(Now I shall write something about the Parker side of our family)
Rev. W. A. Parker, the father of Fox, married Sue Williamson about 1870, they both lived in Alabama. Sue's father had been a teacher in the University of Virginia before moving to the new land of Alabama. I do not know much about the family except they had many slaves. Sue had said, "The freeing of slaves was a great blessing to the Southern white women". The slaves did everything for them, even bathing and dressing them. W.A. Parker was a Baptist minister. He and Sue had seven sons and three daughters: Albert, oldest son and Goodwyn, oldest daughter. Then Will and Eula were next; after that Jake (Jacob), Joe, then Emma, Fox, John & Douglas were the three youngest children. Albert, Joe, Fox, John & Douglas became Baptist ministers, serving in Alabama, and Texas. Goodwyn married a Baptist minister, Rev. Mize. They had one son, George E. Mize, PHD. Rev. Jacob Parker was W.A. Parker's father; Fox's grand father pastored churches in Alabama. Albert served in Arizona a few years. W.A. Parker pastored churches in Alabama and moved to Texas in 1912. Fox had come to Texas in 1906 and served as first pastorate in Texas at Somerville. He had graduated at Howard College, Birmingham, Alabama and did some graduate work in Baylor U. at Waco after coming to Texas. Fox's great-grandfather was not a minister, but his great-great-grandfather was. In an old Alabama History of Baptists, gives this about Rev. Jacob Parker (Fox's Great-Great-Grandfather) About March 1810 a Baptist church was organized in the present territory of Sumpter County near the Mississippi line by Rev. Jacob Parker.