The Parsons Family of Angmering

The Parsons' were never prominent in Angmering, either as a family or as individuals so why single them out for special mention? The reason is that there were very many of them who contributed to village life as artisans. There is a necessity for such people just as much as there are leaders in a community, all making their own contribution.

Our first real knowledge of the Parsons family of Angmering comes from the Parish Registers which indicate that a Richard Parsons settled in the village round about 1770. The Registers do show that a few isolated Parsons had resided in the parish some 70 years beforehand but there is no evidence of a connection with the later ones.

Richard Parsons also creates a dilemma. A Richard Parsons starts having a family with a Catherine (unknown) in the 1770s while perhaps another Richard Parsons marries Margaret Olliver from Angmering and they start a family about the same time. Was there more than one Richard Parsons, perhaps a cousin, or was there just one Richard raising two families at the same time! As we cannot trace the origins of either Richard, we will probably never know the answer. From the burial records, we do know that Richard of the mainstream family (i.e. the one marrying Margaret Olliver) was born c1743 and, from the IGI, we find that a Richard Parsons was baptised in New Shoreham in that year, so it is a possibility that Richard originated from that area - not too far away. The family of Richard and Catherine survived for a generation but most or all of their grandchildren appear to have died without reaching their majority.

However, the complication does not end there. What appears to be a totally unrelated Parsons family settled in Angmering in the 1840s. This was the family of Thomas Parsons and his wife Sarah. Thomas was born in Cork, Ireland c1818 who married Sarah from Fittleworth. Their first child was born in 1842 in Lyminster and their second and subsequent children were born in Angmering, starting with Charles Thomas Parsons, baptised 1844.

Many of the Parsons families fought for their country during WW1 and one Arthur James Parsons (see photo right) made the ultimate sacrifice. He was a Private (No. G/5683) in the 8th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 18th Division .He was killed in action on the 14th December 1915, aged 19. He was the son of James and Marion Parsons of 23, Chalks Cottages, Angmering. He was born in Angmering and enlisted in Worthing and was buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery. His name appears on the War Memorial on The Green.

The local broadsheet "Scribble" reports on a number of Parsons who served during WW!:

Aircraft Mechanic William A Parsons also wrote the following letter to "Scribble" from the Front on 19 September 1917:

Dear Sir,

Please excuse the liberty I take, but I thought I must drop you a line congratulating you on the very nice little my little son sent me called Scribble (Holiday Number). I had no idea there was such a book, so it came as a pleasant surprise. Being an Angmeringite and knowing the scenes and most of the people mentioned so well, I found it very interesting, so I have asked him to send his daddy Scribble while I am in France.

I might say being in pre-war days a joinre [sic] by trade, I helped to build the Sports Club and several of the houses at Angmering-on-Sea, the last being the house on the north side of Mrs. Platt Higgins'. I have made quite a nice picture gallery of the photos for my bunk. One of the tennis scenes reminds me of the drop scene you had painted for the Sports Club, and well I remember the first Concert there, for although it rained all the time during my journeys from and back to Angmering, I consider I was well repaid as it was simply "extra." I should like a similar one out here by way of a change.

These photos bring back many pleasant memories. Dear old Angmering Church with the old shop at which I was apprenticed at the bottom of the hill, and now used by Mr. Cheesman as a Greengrocer's stores, etc., not forgetting the photos of Angmering-on-Sea, East Preston and Rustington.

I have been here with the R.F.C. in France going on for 10 months, and am no chicken being close on 42. This particular part of France is very like many parts of Sussex as regards scenery. A week or two ago I went about 120 miles in a motor lorry, and I was surprised at the miles and miles of corn we passed, stretching on both sides of the road as far as the eye could see. What surprised we Sussex lads is that there are no hedges by the roadsides or in the fields as we will call them, though one can see no partings, barbed wire being used where necessary.

I only saw about three reaping machines all the way, and these brought back memories of Upper Barpham (Angmeringites would "compre" this). Apple and pear trees by the roadside (What ho! Angmering and East Preston lads!) I must say we have not much to moan about, but shall be glad to have just one more look at dear old A---. Well sir, I must now close as it is close on "lights out" - 9.45.

Wishing all old friends at Angmering-on-Sea, not forgetting Mrs. Hollis, yourself and family, the very best of health etc.

I am Sir, yours truly

No 42073 1st Class Air Mechanic Section 7, 2nd attd. A.R.S. R.F.C., B.E.F., France

P.S. - Most of the corn in France appears to be cut by the old-time scythe. Women form a goodly percentage of the labourers, working very hard until quite dark. Agricultural machinery appears to be - using the Army phrase - quite a "wash out."

"Scribble" also tells us something of the loyalty and conscientiousness of two of the Parsons who worked on local farms. James (Jim) Parsons worked on Avenals Farms for 31 years and Richard Parsons worked on Ham Manor Farm for 35 years. Dave Parsons was no slouch either, coming second in the over 50s 100 yards race at the village's 1919 Peace Celebrations when in his 60th year. Dave's son, Charlie, was a member of a small concert party that used to perform in the village.

Earlier, back in 1894, there is evidence that Harry Parsons was a popular member of the community when he secured a considerable number of votes at elections which established Angmering's first Parish Council and him becoming one of the village's first parish councillors. The number of votes he obtained closely approached that of the leading candidate, the Rector. We also know that a Thomas Parsons operated a building business in Angmering in the 1920s and 1930s.

Bearing in mind that the Parsons families were prolific in Angmering at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, it is rather sad that there appears to be only one member left living in Angmering today with the Parsons name although there are a couple more who were Parsons before marriage.

The lovely family photo below shows Fanny Parsons (b.1887), her husband George A. Weller, and three of their four children. Fanny was the daughter of William Parsons (b.1854) and Frances Clevett. The photo was probably taken in 1910/11. George Weller died of his wounds in France in March 1917 during WW1 and is commemorated on the Angmering War Memorial. Fanny later remarried, her second husband being Thomas Barnett from East Preston.

Photo:copyright Anita Ide

Below is a list of Parsons' names recorded in Angmering's Parish Registers:


Date Name Father Mother Other Information
22.11.1772 Ann Richard Catherine  
13.4.1776 Jemima Richard Catherine  
10.5.1778 Richard Richard Margaret  
2.4.1780 John Richard Catherine  
17.11.1781 Catherine Richard Margaret  
17.5.1783 Thomas Richard Margaret  
22.6.1785 William Richard Margaret  
10.6.1786 Frances Richard Margaret  
14.9.1788 Charles Richard Catherine  
25.7.1792 James Richard Margaret  
24.7.1803 William N/G Jemima  
18.8.1816 Mary Thomas Sarah Labourer
4.9.1816 Frances James Mary Shoemaker
13.8.1818 William James Mary Labourer
22.9.1819 Jane Thomas Sarah Labourer
23.1.1820 Charles Charles Mary Labourer
19.9.1820 George Thomas Sarah Labourer
29.9.1820 Henry James Mary Labourer
1.5.1822 William Thomas Sarah Labourer
11.3.1823 Ann James Mary Shoemaker
29.6.1825 Jemima James Mary Shoemaker
25.8.1825 Richard Charles Mary Labourer
6.5.1826 Sarah Thomas Sarah Labourer
7.10.1827 Richard James Mary Shoemaker
27.4.1828 Louisa Charles Mary Labourer
20.3.1829 Emma Thomas Sarah Labourer
 7.3.1830 John James Mary Shoemaker
19.8.1830 George Charles Mary Labourer
21.9.1831 Ann Thomas Sarah Labourer
23.9.1832 Amy James Mary Shoemaker
25.9.1833 Caroline Charles Mary Labourer
20.4.1834 James Thomas Sarah Labourer
10.10.1835 Louisa James Mary Shoemaker
27.12.1835 George N/G Mary Baseborn
30.6.1836 Edward Thomas Sarah Labourer
7.5.1843 Jane N/G Mary  
21.1.1844 Charles Thomas Thomas Sarah Labourer
7.12.1845 William Henry Sarah Labourer
23.1.1846 Mary Jane Thomas Sarah Labourer
16.6.1848 Mary Ann William Jane Labourer
8.10.1848 Richard Henry Sarah Labourer
21.10.1848 Louisa Thomas Sarah Labourer
27.10.1850 Eliza Thomas Sarah Labourer
22.6.1851 Jemima Fanny Henry Sarah Labourer
18.10.1852 Fanny Thomas Sarah Labourer
11.11.1852 Louisa Eliza William Jane Labourer
25.12.1853 Amy Jane Henry Sarah Labourer
19.3.1854 James William Sarah Labourer
10.5.1854 William Thomas Sarah Labourer
14.11.1855 Agnes William Sarah Labourer
25.2.1856 Jane N/G Ann Dressmaker
9.7.1856 Richard Thomas Sarah Labourer
28.12.1856 Henry Henry Sarah Labourer
13.9.1857 William William Jane Labourer
 11.10.1857 Fred William Sarah Labourer
1.3.1859 Harriet Thomas Sarah Labourer
5.6.1859 Annie Edward Mary Labourer
10.7.1859 Alfred Henry Sarah Labourer
5.8.1860 James William Jane Labourer
28.8.1860 John William Sarah Labourer
26.2.1861 David George Thomas Sarah Labourer
12.5.1861 Edward Edward Mary Labourer
27.7.1862 Sarah Ann Henry Sarah Labourer
10.4.1863 George Edward Mary Labourer
20.6.1863 Henry William Jane Labourer
24.3.1864 Alfred Henry Thomas Sarah Labourer
6.4.1865 George William Sarah Labourer
16.4.1865 Thomas Edward Mary Labourer
30.4.1865 Rose Eliza Henry Sarah Herdsman
21.10.1866 George Andrews William Jane Labourer
21.11.1866 James Thomas Sarah Labourer
29.3.1867 Alice Edward Mary Labourer
12.1.1868 Charles William Sarah Carter
19.7.1868 Ellen William Jane Labourer
26.7.1868 Thomas Henry Sarah Stockman
20.12.1868 Mary Edward Mary Labourer
6.11.1870 Lucy Edward Mary Labourer
19.11.1871 Jesse William Sarah Carter
21.7.1872 Richard Thomas Richard Eliza Carter
1.12.1872 Robert Edward Mary Labourer
20.4.1873 Florence Edith William Sarah Carter
30.8.1874 Ellen Cecilia Richard Eliza Carter
20.9.1874 Henry Frank Edward Mary Labourer
16.7.1876 William Augustus Edward Mary Labourer
3.12.1876 Mary Jane Frances William Fanny Labourer
25.12.1877 Harold Roland Edward Mary Labourer
17.11.1878 Eliza Richard Charlotte Labourer
4.4.1878 Fred James Jane Labourer
8.12.1879 Charles Thomas William Fanny Groom
6.2.1881 John James Jane Gerdener
17.7.1881 John William Fanny Carter
19.2.1882 Harry Mary Edward Labourer
2.7.1882 Sidney Richard Charlotte Labourer
19.11.1882 Agnes James Jane Gardener
18.3.1883 Ellen Louisa William Fanny Carter
5.4.1885 Thomas William Fanny Carter
21.2.1886 Edith Janes Jane Labourer
18.4.1886 Beatrice Richard Charlotte Labourer
26.12.1886 Nellie Alfred Ellen Butcher
20.2.1887 Fanny William Fanny Carter
10.8.1887 Charles David David George Annie Harriet Loader
5.5.1889 Amelia Richard Charlotte Carter
3.11.1889 Harry David George Annie Harriet Loader
6.4.1890 Alice James Jane Labourer
6.7.1890 Augustus George Thomas Anna Elizabeth Plumber
3.8.1890 Edith Annie Henry Annie Gardener
14.2.1892 Albert David Annie Loader
14.5.1893 Arthur Luke William Fanny Carter
8.7.1894 Agnes David Annie Loader
11.11.1894 George William Fanny Carter
11.7.1895 Ethel Mary James Miriam Labourer
12.7.1896 Lucy David Annie Carter
13.12.1896 Arthur James James Miriam Labourer
13.6.1897 Albert Victor William Fanny Carter
11.12.1898 Edward David Annie Labourer


All single unless stated to be widowed (w).

Date Groom Bride Parent/Witness Groom's Occ.
25.12.1770 Richard Parsons Margaret Olliver . .
3.10.1794 William Bainett Jane Parsons . .
17.5.1804 William Winton Esther Parsons . .
21.1.1806 John Webb Jemima Parsons . .
3.6.1816 James Parsons Mary Barnett . .
3.6.1816 Thomas Parsons Sarah Hayler . .
14.12.1838 John White (50) (w) Mary Parsons (40) (w) . Bricklayer
25.12.1856 James Gladman (24) Ann Parsons (25) BF: Thomas Parsons (dec'd lab) Labourer
12.9.1859 James Etherington (26) Mary Anne Parsons (22) BF: James Parsons (Shoemaker) Mariner
8.6.1864 George Smart (22) Jane Parsons (21) BF: George Parsons (Labourer) Labourer
15.3.1866 George Parsons (29) Maria Susan Cheeseman (19) GF: stated - John Herbert (Lab) Mariner
3.10.1869 Henry Edmunds (21) Louisa Parsons (21) BF: Thomas Parsons (Labourer) Labourer
15.10.1870 Richard Parsons (23) Eliza Broad (32) (w) GF: Henry Parsons (Stockman) Labourer
4.5.1872 Daniel Berry (23) Louisa Eliza Parsons (19) BF: William Parsons (Labourer) Lab. (fr. Patching)
24.10.1874 Frederick Finch (22) Fanny Parsons (22) BF: Thomas Parsons (Labourer) Labourer
29.12.1874 William Parsons (30) Sarah Dean (36) (w) GF: Henry Parsons (Labourer) Shoemaker
15.7.1876 William Parsons (22) Fanny Clevatt (19) GF: Thomas Parsons (Lab)
BF: Charles Clevatt (Labourer)
1.6.1878 James Parsons (24) Mary Jane Finch (21) GF: William Parsons (Lab)
BF: Albert Finch (Cowman)
8.9.1878 Richard Parsons (22) Charlotte Merriott (25) GF: Thomas Parsons (Lab)
BF: Richard Merriott (Lab)
19.4.1879 William Parsons (21) Emily Booker (22) GF: William Parsons (Cowman)
BF:John Booker (Labourer)
11.6.1887 David George Parsons (26) Annie Harriet Smart (19) GF:Thomas Parsons (Labourer)
BF: William Smart (Lab - dec'd)
5.9.1889 Thomas Parsons (24) Anna Elizabeth Plumbridge (22) GF: Edward Parsons (Sexton)
BF: James Plumbridge (Builder)
14.9.1889 Henry Parsons (26) Annie Booker (25) GF: William Parsons (Cowman)
BF: John Booker (Labourer)
22.9.1891 George Pilbeam (25) Rose Eliza Parsons (26) GF: William Pilbeam (Blacksmith)
BF: Henry Parsons (Cowman)
29.11.1891 Alfred Walter Berry (22) Mary Parsons (23) GF: Richard Berry (Tradesman)
BF: Edward Parsons (Labourer)
27.5.1893 James Parsons (26) Marion Joyes (21) GF: Thomas Parsons (Labourer)
BF: James Joyes (Labourer)
17.11.1894 Harry Belchamber (39) Mary Jane Parsons (w)(38) GF: Thomas Belchamber (Carter)
BF: Albert Finch (Labourer)


28.12.1705 Elizabeth Parsons  
6.1.1721  Ann Parsons  
28.10.1758 Elizabeth Parsons  
26.11.1772 Anne Parsons  
7.7.1785 William Parsons  
15.12.1802 Frances Parsons  
26.9.1819 Jane Parsons 4 days
26.7.1821 George Parsons 10 months
8.6.1825 Richard Parsons 82
12.6.1827 Richard Parsons 21 months
30.11.1828 Louisa Parsons 9 months
6.5.1832 Ann Parsons 9
28.8.1832 Emma Parsons 3
9.1.1834 Charles Parsons 14
7.2.1834 Caroline Parsons 5 months
6.3.1834 Margaret Parsons 85
15.6.1836 Charles Parsons 47
25.9.1839 Thomas Parsons 57
22.6.1845 Jemima Parsons 19
3.2.1848 Mary Elizabeth Susannah Parsons 23
26.1.1853 Eliza Parsons 2
6.3.1856 Jane Parsons 1 week
10.10.1861 Frederick Dupuy Parsons 33 from Littlehampton
12.11.1861 Rev Henry George Joseph Parsons 40 from Littlehampton
3.1.1862 Harriett Parsons 2 yrs 10 months
10.7.1864 Mary Ann Parsons 16
23.6.1865 John Lawrence Parsons 31 from Littlehampton
5.4.1866 Mary Gibbs Parsons 65 from Littlehampton
22.11.1868 Edward Parsons 7
11.5.1869 Mary Ann Parsons 73
3.9.1869 James Parsons 77
14.8.1870 Thomas Parsons 2
24.3.1871 George Parsons 3 from St Olave, Surrey
17.1.1875 Elizabeth Parsons 60
18.6.1875 Sarah Parsons 85
7.9.1880 Henry Frank Parsons 6
11.5.1881 James Parsons 20
9.8.1883 Fred Parsons 4
19.11.1886 William Parsons 66 (From East Preston Poor House)
30.6.1893 James Parsons 39
11.5.1894 Arthur Luke Parsons 13 months
15.7.1895 Ethel Mary Parsons 3 days
12.10.1895 Mary Jane Parsons 3
6.2.1896 Jane Parsons 70
21.6.1897 William Parsons 78
15.3.1900 Sarah Parsons 79
23.11.1900 Sarah Parsons 75
27.3.1901 Robert Parsons 28
9.10.1901 Harold Roland Parsons 23
30.1.1903 Henry Parsons 82 (Died in Worthing)
28.6.1904 Alfred Henry Parsons 39
1.10.1905 Harry Parsons 23
17.7.1906 Frances Parsons 48
22.8.1907 Edward Parsons 71
16.5.1909 Albert Victor Parsons 11
11.6.1912 Ellen Parsons 16 hours

Neil A Rogers-Davis
May 2006

Information Sources and Acknowledgements:

(Page first uploaded - 01.05.06)
(Page last updated - 24.02.14)