Seeking Parmelia Hall Church, Wife of Benjamin F. Church

Research about Parmelia, the wife of Milwaukee pioneer carpenter Benjamin F. Church, has yielded many details about her life, some contradictory. For example, her given name is spelled Parmelia H., Permelia C., Permilia, Pamelia, and even Emilie. She is recorded as Elizabeth Church, married, in Forest Home Cemetery records for the Benjamin F. Church lot, the only time that given name appears for her. Episcopal Church records and her mortuary notice in the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel make it clear Elizabeth is Parmelia.

Then, she is Parmelia Hall Church in the baptism records for two sons at St. James Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, but her oldest daughter’s death record lists her as P. Clemens.

Taken together, the details do not help us find her parents, ancestors or specific place of birth. While she likely was born 2 Nov 1815 in New Hampshire, she seems to be missing from databases at Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, AmericanAncestors.org and from online books.

Here we provide links to several blog posts we’ve done about her, with what we have discovered. We hope someone might know what New England or New York family she came from to the Wisconsin frontier by about 1838 to marry Benjamin. Their first daughter, Hannah Maria Church, was born 21 Sep 1840 in Milwaukee, her baptism record shows.

A pair of blog posts share what I learned, thanks to a query published in the New England Historical Genealogical Society magazine, American Ancestors, and then follow-up research.

First, Power of Published Genealogy Queries, Part I – blog post describing discovery of Parmelia / Permelia Church in Milwaukee Episcopal Church records, thanks to a query reply from a generous genealogist with knowledge of Milwaukee records.

Second, Parmelia Hall Church: Power of Published Genealogy Queries, Part II – blog post with further discovery about Parmelia Hall Church in Milwaukee Episcopal Church records, and a Benjamin Church Family listing, thanks to St. James Episcopal Church records held at the Milwaukee County Historical Society archives.

About five years ago, I wrote when I knew then about this elusive ancestor as Permilia, wife of Benjamin Church – in a query style posting. At that point, it seemed her maiden name was Clemens or Clement or other variation.

Her husband was the topic of another blog post – Benjamin F. Church, Milwaukee public service – and still another described where Benjamin and Parmelia lived with their 6 children – the Benjamin Church House, today a pioneer museum in Estabrook Park north of Milwaukee.

Perhaps someone will recall a young woman, maiden name Hall or Clemens / Clement, who traveled to the Wisconsin frontier all those years ago. Drop us a note via Twitter if you do. Thank you! And big thanks again to the Milwaukee genealogist and the Milwaukee County Historical Society for your exceptional help!

Please follow and retweet my genealogy postings on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/BBPetura

And check out my helpful Genealogy Tips & Tools webpage:
http://www.workingdogweb.com/Family-Research.htm

Thank you! And good researching!

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Published in: on February 12, 2018 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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