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Robert Alexander Parker (1809-1864)

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Robert Alexander Parker
(no scanned image available)
Sex: Male
Birth: ?? ??, 1809
Person County, North Carolina
Death: November 29, 1864
in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
Burial: Elmwood Cemetery,
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
Father: William L. Parker
Mother: Susannah Moore
Spouse/Partner: Lamira A. Minter
Marriage: April 22, 1830
probably in Maury County, Tennessee or Fayette County, Tennessee

         A son of William L. Parker and Susannah Moore, he was born in Person County, North Carolina. Family tradition had held that he was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, but there was no evidence of him there. In fact, some of his Moore ancestors were from Halifax County, Virginia, which probably created the confusion.

         It is worth noting that I cannot absolutely tie him to the William L. Parker and Susannah Moore Parker of Person County, but I can tie him to a William L. and Susannah Parker of Maury County, Tennessee. While I cannot prove that the family moved from North Carolina to Tennessee, it does seem quite likely.

         At any rate, Robert moved with his family to Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee from North Carolina in the early 1820s. In 1830 he wed Lamira Minter, whose family had moved south from Columbia, Kentucky. At about the same time, the new couple moved to Somerville in Fayette County, so it is unclear in which county they were married. Here, Robert became a cotton factor, a shipper of cotton. He was quite successful and moved to Memphis in 1841.

         In Memphis, Robert soon built a splendid mansion for his family. He had materials brought from England and also decorated his home with silver service pieces, many also from England, engraved with his name (something along the lines of "Made in England especially for Robert A. Parker 1841"), many of which survive in the possession of various descendants. He enjoyed drinking and playing whist with his fellows and became known as "Cap'n Bob" Parker. The mansion survived until sometime after 1941, when it was being used as an apartment building. It has long since been torn down.

         Unfortunately, the Civil War closed the curtain on Robert's success. Military blockades were surely quite detrimental to his business and perhaps helped to drive him to an early grave in 1864 at the young age of 55. The drinking was probably also a factor, as he looks older than 55 in his only known picture.

         I hold Cap'n Bob in high regard because it is likely that a remanant of his fortune served as the dowry for my great-grandparents' marriage and also would have made up a portion of my great-grandfather's initial investment in our family business. And it is that family business, coupled with other successful investments, that have allowed us to live the nice lives that we live today.

ChildrenEdit

Name Birth Death
Children of Robert Alexander Parker and Lamira A. Minter


Thomas J. Parker May 1, 1832
prob. Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee
November 29, 1852
unknown


Susanna Elizabeth Parker September 19, 1833
prob. Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee
unknown
unknown


Martha Ann Parker July 30, 1835
prob. Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee
February 2, 1853
unknown


Robert Alexander Parker, Jr. November 19, 1836
Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee
December 29, 1928
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee


Mary Houston Parker June 4, 1838
prob. Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee
September 26, 1865
unknown


William Garnett Parker May 1, 1841
prob. Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee
March 8, 1878
unknown


Minter Parker October 24, 1842
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
October 7, 1894
unknown


Louise Ray Parker April 6, 1844
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
unknown
unknown


(infant) Parker April 5, 1846
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
April 5, 1846
unknown


Arthur Charles Parker February 3, 1850
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
c. September 7, 1918
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee


Walter Lowrie Parker January 5, 1852
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
unknown
unknown


Lamira Parker June 23, 1853
unknown
unknown
unknown

ReferencesEdit

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