Park Family History & Genealogy
Biographies & Family Trees
Park Last Name History & Origin
Nationality & Ethnicity
These are the earliest records we have of the Park family.
Park Death Records & Life Expectancy
According to our database of 15,119 people with the last name Park that have a birth and death date listed:
These are the longest-lived members of the Park family on AncientFaces.
I glanced down at Mariah's small, white tombstone, weathered with some black blemishes, and I whispered the following: “Marc (Gumm), your 3rd Great Grandson, says hello and sends his love”. I then reached out and placed my hand softly on the top right corner of her marker. At the instant I touched Mariah's tombstone, I received something between a shock, vibration, and the sensation of a very real human touch, only unexplainably, I felt the delicate fingers “underneath” my skin, rather than on my skin. Surprised, I pulled my hand quickly away and when I looked at my arm in disbelief, I noticed my Casio digital watch had stopped dead with all numerals, including seconds frozen in place. As I exclaimed that my watch had stopped, I also noticed the numbers begin to fade away until the watch face was completely blank. The watch battery was only a few short weeks old, but it could not withstand the feeling that I now refer to as “Mariah's Touch”.
In the Summer of 2001, I reluctantly revealed this occurrence to Ermon Edward, the husband of the late Eva Dean Boian, direct descendant of Mariah Park, who still lives in the Boian Homestead. My main purpose was to eliminate the possibility of the existence of any nearby electrical source that could produce a current that would shock my watch into submission. In a matter of fact manner, Ermon stated that there was no such source anywhere near the cemetery, which sat remotely in the pasture by itself, including electric fences (there are no cattle or electric fences on the Boian Farm). My mother asked me how I interpreted the occurrence and I told her that the feeling that I had from Mariah was that “Time is of absolutely no importance in the next life”. I later told her that it was also a reminder that “While the body dies, the spirit (Mariah's) lives forever”.
Ironically, while on our 2001 Kentucky Expedition, my family tried unsuccessfully to reach me on my world-wide pager, despite several attempts. When I spoke with my mother later that day by phone from Irvine's Oak Tree Hotel, she asked me if I received the page. Looking down at the pager on my belt, I realized that my pager was not on and when I depressed the power button, I was surprised when it failed to respond.
Now, I had cold chills….I knew that I had put a fresh battery in it just prior to departing my home in North Carolina days earlier. I also knew that they typically lasted 6 months or more. I was silent; my mother asked if I was still there. My mind continued to reel from a new shock. The realization of where I had just come from--the Boian Farm. And I had touched Mariah's stone and once again, she made me realize how the importance of our natural life pales in comparison to the divine place where she most certainly resides.
But that's not all--incredibly, more than 7 months later on the morning of 22 January 2000, as the watch sat upon my desk, it started again--the numerals reappearing from nowhere—a reincarnation of sorts! Even the time was correct, right down to the “world-clock second”. But the fact that surprised me most of all—it was Mariah's 190th Birthday! And as I write this in November of 2003, the 2-year battery has now exceeded its life expectancy by over 3 years.
So, I have a new, unmistakable feeling now…this watch is never going to stop. I'm sure of it. It will never need another battery. Because the touch that was Mariah, like her spirit, will last forever.
& STARTER RECIPE
(DO NOT REFRIGERATE...USE ONLY WOODEN UTENSILS...STORE IN COVERED CONTAINER)
1 lg Gallon Jar
1 c Cubed Pineapple
1 c Sugar
2 tb Brandy
1 c Maraschino Cherries including juice
1 c Sugar
2 tb Brandy
1 c Sliced Canned Peaches including juice
1 c Sugar
2 tb Brandy
1 Box Cake Mix
1 sm Box Instant Pudding
3/8 c Cooking Oil
1 c Chopped Nuts
1 Portion Fruit
In the one-gallon jar, combine the pineapple, 1-cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of brandy. Let ingredients sit in jar for 2 weeks, stirring (with wooden utensils) daily. At the end of two weeks, add the maraschino cherries, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of brandy. Let the mixture sit for two more weeks, stirring daily. During the forth week add the canned peaches, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of brandy. Let sit another two weeks, stirring daily. Separate the liquid from the fruit. The liquid is your starter and you can use the fruit on ice cream or cake. Now you are ready to prepare the fruit for two cakes.
DO NOT refrigerate the liquid. In a large gallon jar, put 1 1/2 cups of the starter, 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 large can (28 Oz.) sliced peaches. Mix well and cover jar with a paper towel. Do not refrigerate. Stir every day for 10 days. Next, add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 can (16 oz.) crushed pineapple. Stir everyday for 10 days. Add 2 1/2 cups sugar and 1 can (16 oz.) fruit cocktail. Slice contents of 1 jar (10 oz.) maraschino cherries and add with juice. Stir every day for 10 days. On baking day, drain the fruit and divide it into two equal parts. Save the juice and use it as starter for friends. You will have enough for five starters (approximately 2 cups each).
DO NOT refrigerate the liquid because it will stop the fermenting action.
For each cake you will need: To each cake mix (usually yellow cake mix), add pudding mix, oil, and eggs. Beat until smooth and fold in fruit and nuts, batter will be thick. Pour mixture into a greased tube pan, and then bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Turn cake out of pan while hot. When cooled, the cake freezes well. The choices of flavored cake mixes and pudding mixes is yours and coconut may be substituted for nuts (Pecans are best).
Of course, I never knew Mary Minerva Park, in person that is. After all she was born 180 years ago as of 4 May in the year of our Lord 2002, my 43rd Birthday. And though I cannot begin to describe the feelings that I have in words, I have, during some quiet moments of my life, felt her unmistakable spiritual presence. Call it a God-given gift….I have no other explanation for this bond. It is as if she were an earthbound 3rd Great Grandmother that I've known all of my natural life. In my study of family history, I have seen wonderful ancient photographs of her and her children and grandchildren. The Grandmother to my Great Grandmother, Minerva Cobb-Durham (1886-1974) of Danville, Kentucky, Mary was known to welcome all into her and husband, Richard Cobb, Sr.'s (1818-1900) homestead known as “Castle Cobb” in Lincoln County, Kentucky. A gathering place where voices of laughter and glee could be heard year round. Mary Minerva was a Christian woman who was full of love, and to see her face and eyes—a wealth of wisdom too.
I believe it was only with Mary Minerva's guidance that I miraculously stumbled across the beautiful late-1800s oil portraits of her and husband, Richard in a vacant Lexington, Kentucky home in the Spring of 2001. These large portraits were not hanging from the wall; rather they were unceremoniously hidden on the floor; one behind an antique grand piano, the other beneath a window in a corner. Some family researchers and descendants had said that these portraits had been lost in a fire years ago, and so I had abandoned my search for all purposes. I also have a copy of Mary and Richard's marriage certificate, a testament to a union on earth of more than half a century—58 years to be exact, parted only by her husband's passing.
And it was Mary who spoke to me from the other side as I searched desperately for the final resting place of her Grandparents, my Kentucky Pioneer 5th Great Grandparents, Ebenezer Park (1747-1839) & Tabitha Mills (1752-1826). After all, many of their estimated 45,000 descendants had searched in vain for nearly a century for their graves, rumored to be somewhere on Drowning Creek in Eastern Madison County by late 1800s Park Historian, Nell Marshall Park-Gum. To many, including myself, their place of passing made absolutely no sense as Eb and Tab were living along Station Camp Creek (Middle Fork) in Estill County, Kentucky. Thus, the obvious question: Why would an elderly man (92 at time of death) move to another county so late in this life?
Mary's mouthpiece was a tiny scrap of paper I found lying at the bottom of an attic box in the Special Collections and Archives at Eastern Kentucky University's Library in Richmond. It was a brief but meaningful diary account, in which Mary told a family story nearly lost forever. You see, this matriarch was but less than 4 years of age, when cries of desperation and the loud prayers of an elderly man woke her from a sound sleep during a cool, crisp Fall night on 15 October 1826. She stumbled out of bed and entered her family's living area, carefully taking a seat alongside the fireplace, where embers burned in an otherwise darkened room. Still half awake, yet scared and confused, little Mary watched and listened to the clamor as her grandmother (Tabitha) drew her last breath in a bed close by. Her tall, and somewhat lanky grandfather (Ebenezer), hands raised in the air, prayed vociferously for God's mercy at his wife's bedside, as her spirit left her body.
It was something Mary had never forgotten. And because Mary's parents, Colonel Eli Park (1787-1858) and Winnaford Dillingham (1795-1854) actually lived in Eastern Madison County along Drowning Creek, her words did not fall upon deaf ears, as I now understood just why Eb and Tab had reportedly died along Drowning instead of Estill County's Station Camp Creek. They had in fact, moved in with their son, Eli to live out the final years of their full lives. So, it was Mary then, who led me to the graves of my Pioneer 5th Great Grandparents' in the woods, buried beneath yellow pine trees, felled by an ice storm three years before. There they lay, a short distance behind the site of her childhood home along Drowning Creek and the homestead where she and her husband, Richard, exchanged wedding vows at a noon wedding on 3 February 1842, followed by an elaborate breakfast.
It was a one-in-a-million discovery, in the form of a tiny, obscure piece of paper—the very road marker that guided me down a meaningful path to the two ancient stones in the wilderness that marked the long, lost final resting place of Ebenezer Park and Tabitha Mills. A revelation made possible at the hands of my beloved 3rd Great Grandmother, Mary Minerva Park.
It should be no surprise then, that on Friday night, 3 May 2002, in a gesture of reflective love, I placed my favorite family photograph (4-generation) of Mary Minerva Park-Cobb, with daughter, Betty (McKinney), Granddaughter, Mary (Yates) and a Great Grandchild, in our living room in full view (Graciously given to me by Cousin Roger Deane of Atlanta, GA). The three women in the clear, detailed picture were all dressed in beautiful, long, black dresses of the late 19th Century. You see, I wanted to be able to cherish this picture and remember her birthday the next day. Upon waking the following morning, I looked with admiration at the picture of Mary Minerva and wished her “Happy Birthday” in a hushed tone, as if only for her to hear. It was at that moment that I suddenly recalled something I had sensed in my sleep the night before--having heard soft, approaching footsteps and the sound of fabric dragging the floor….a long dress perhaps; and then being caressed by an arm, gently and protectively wrapped around me as I lay in my bed. My wife, Pam, was out of town at the time, attending the funeral of long-time neighbor, Mr. George Crone, in Ft. Ashby, WV (Mineral County) with our two youngest children and I was a bit down over the prospect of being separated from my bride of nearly 20 years on my birthday. But, I now know that it was Mary who visited during the wee hours of 4 May 2002; her 180th Birthday and my 43rd, comforting me as I slept, in a gesture of love and gratitude with the realization that I will never forget the day of her birth, which made the same possible for me.
I feel I know Mary Minerva. And in my heart, I believe that in the waning moments of my life on earth, it will be the soft wisp of a dress that I will again hear, even as my eyesight fails me….
But this time, it will be the touch of her loving arms, that will carry me Home.
“Infinite Ancestral Miracles: My Birth and a Prayer for Thy Descendants”
“I now realize that my birth is the culmination of endless miracles; each unique and infinitive in their own right, beginning with God's will and hence of ancestors born in dark ages--generations later, traveling hazardous seas to an array of lifetimes of chance meetings, marriages, conceptions, births, and even near-death experiences that could have ended my beginning in the moment of a single breath so long ago. The thought of all of this is overwhelming to us in the human race, though merely logical and natural to our creator. Our birthdays bring to light, the reality of pre-destiny….a true manifestation of God; for not one human lives without his grace. The Miracle of Life then, is by its very nature, first and foremost, a derivative of thousands upon thousands of other ancestral miracles and the blessings that breathed life into me. Thank you lord for you, so that they could be, and I could live as me--while countless children of future generations might remember, in appreciation and understanding, their sacred roots. This I pray, that in their hearts I shall always be and never perish.”
With Love and Respect,
Your 3rd Great Grandson,
(4 May 1959- )
In the Spring of 1999, I had a vivid dream that embraced my love of family history so strongly, that I am sure it's description will become a captivating account that I will gladly share with my grandchildren someday. It was a vision so close to reality that I could feel the wind and smell the budding plant life it carried. The following is my personal account of this experience; I will never forget it.
“It's a bright and sunny day as I drive my red 1994 Nissan Sentra out the Manchester Gate at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, NC. I have both windows down in the front of the car and am enjoying the spring breeze. The mood is positive and the day beautiful. However, I'm startled by the sudden sound of laughter beside me, having believed that I was alone. I turn to see an elderly man in the front passenger seat dressed in what looks to be deerskin clothing and a coonskin style hat. He is lanky in stature, though hard to tell exactly to what degree as he has both feet propped against the dashboard. He throws his head back and laughs in a gleeful tone and almost uncontrollably, and as he does so, exclaims “Look at the red bird fly…look how fast the red bird flies!” I continued driving, though to what destination I have no idea. Then, the countryside began to look familiar; we were in Rowan County, NC; approximately 100 miles from my home in Cumberland Co. where I live with my wife, Pamela and our 4 children, Brandon, Brittany, Bryanna, and Brayden. I now recognize River Road, a rural, two-lane route that I have driven along before. River Road runs south of Salisbury with Bringles Ferry Road at its northern end and Stokes Ferry Road at the other. Without being directed to do so, I stop the car. I know where I am now--it's Noah Park (1743-1815) and Anna Reed's (1749-1833) farm, my 5th Great Grandfather Ebenezer Park's (1747-1839) brother and sister-in-law.
The passenger side door is closest to the edge of the road facing the nearby open field and woods that lie along the length of its eastern boundary—this is the Park Farm. The old man awkwardly fumbles with the door and then manages to open it….he never closes it and proceeds to unfurl himself from the car and walk across the field toward the woods. I follow him, observing the enticing smell of honey suckle and freshly cut grass in the air. As I do so, I notice that he never once looks back. His actions give the appearance that he knows where he is and that he has a definite purpose for being there. Having been on this land the month before with Dr. James Hinson, the present-day owner of this farm and descendant of Noah Park through Noah's daughter, Elizabeth; I mumble to myself that the gentlemen I follow is heading for the family cemetery (50 or so stones) that I know is just beyond the tree line behind the tall fir tree that has served as my landmark to this family monument in past visits. As the elderly man now approaches the woods, I am frozen in mid-step at the sight of a man and woman standing silently and rather solemnly side-by-side in the shadows of the woods and next to the many darkened tombstones that have been there for more than a century and a half. The gentleman is tall—standing 6'4” or so in height, dark brown hair and medium build. He is dressed in a dark suit that appears to be black in color with an old-style tie. To his left is a short woman wearing a dark long dress and full- length white apron. She is an oddity, a stark contrast to the gentleman at her side—you see, she can't be more than 5' tall and a little on the heavy side, but with a beautiful, round face that radiated what must have been a kind personality and a life of good deeds. Only the tall gentleman in the suit speaks and in a strikingly low and raspy voice, extending his hand in a welcoming gesture as he does so….”Welcome home, Eb” he says and I felt the breath rush out of my body in total awe of the situation before me and the sudden realization of just who these three people were.
As I watch, the couple turns slowly, but deliberately, away from the fading sunlight that has found it's way into the forest and toward Cedar Creek at the back of this ancient cemetery. Eb follows them closely behind—their feet pass silently over the fallen leaves. Astonishingly, all three though fade prematurely from my sight and into thin air, leaving only Cedar Creek in my view and the light and peaceful hissing of the wind in my ears.
I awoke with goosebumps and the same feeling of awe, because I knew then I was in the presence of my 5th Great Grandfather, Ebenezer Park, his brother, Noah and wife, Anna Reed. Eb had migrated into NC in the early 1770s from Capon Bridge, VA (now WV), and shortly thereafter married Tabitha Mills on 6 Jan 1772 in the now historic town of Salisbury. For 24 years they lived along Cabin Creek in this area now occupied by the township of Jackson Hill. That is until they left with their 10 children on horseback, traveling up the sometimes treacherous Wilderness Trail on the heels of frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1796 and into Madison County, KY, where the last 6 generations of my family have flourished. Noah and Anna, on the other hand, remained behind and died on their farm in NC. I don't believe that Eb ever saw either of them again after he and his family departed for the Great Commonwealth of Kentucky. Hence, the apparent reason for Eb's spiritual homecoming.
The story doesn't end there however. That summer, I had the opportunity to visit this cemetery again (known as the Park-Bean-Wyatt Cemetery after Noah and the families that his children married into; also buried there) with newfound cousin, Susan Balde Gall of Winston-Salem. Susan, also an avid enthusiast of family history is a descendant of Eb and Noah's brother, George Park and wife, Agnes Nichols, through their son John Park and wife, Elizabeth Owen. John and Elizabeth lived in that same area of NC near Swearing Creek close to where the ancient Jersey Baptist Church is.
While reading the various tombstones, Susan asks, “Where are the footstones?” I was puzzled, not knowing what graves she referred to—“What footstones?” I responded. “Noah and Anna's” she answered. “I don't think there are any or if they were there, they aren't now” I said. I followed her lead and brushed my hands through the leaves and sure enough, underneath the bed of leaves were two small footstones aligned exactly with the headstones belonging to Noah and Anna. Without saying anything, Susan exited the woods for her car. She returned a few minutes later with a measuring tape. We first measured Noah's grave from headstone to footstone—it was exactly 76 ½ inches, then Anna's—60 inches. Not being a whiz at math, the significance of these measurements hadn't hit me yet. “How tall did you say they looked?” asked Susan, referring to the dream I described for her only weeks before. I opened my mouth, hesitated for a few seconds, and then quietly I heard myself say “6' 4” and 5'. Susan looked up from her kneeling position and smiled gently. She didn't have to say anything. The goosebumps and feeling of awe were back though….I had to sit down. I could smell the honey suckle and freshly cut grass.
My eyes began to water a bit now.
I don't have allergies.
God bless us all.
In the Spirit of the Park Family of which there are many,
(4 May 1959 - )
On 7 December 1999, I came home from work to find my son, Brandon, then 15 years of age, in a nervous state with an ashen complexion as if he'd seen a ghost. Little did I realize that he was about to confirm this fact moments later. Brandon, who has never experienced any paranormal occurrences and is skeptical of such accounts, explained that he was vacuuming the hallway carpet when he looked up and down the hall to see the sight that made his hair stand up on his neck and quickened his pulse. What he saw was the darkened figure of a very large man, more than 6' 2” in height and with a large build. While the utter blackness of the specter blocked the hallway light out in the background, its profile was highlighted by the same light that served to give an almost angelic glow to this ominous figure, though preserving the secret of his faceless features. A few seconds later, the visitor's disappearance was as abrupt as its arrival had been—without sound or physical trace.
Because I am open-minded to life after death as a Christian, I am also steadfast in my belief that we are narrow-minded as a race, if we are of the opinion that sensations, in all forms, can only be interpreted solely by the 5 human senses. With this in mind, following Brandon's recanting of his harrowing experience, my immediate response was to proceed to our family genealogy library, located in the upstairs bedroom, which stood at the opposite end of the hall from where Brandon had his encounter. I believed that I would find a corresponding date of birth or death of someone in our direct line to coincide with this spiritual visitation. Sure enough, I quickly discovered that my 2d Great Grandfather, John McMonegal Park, whose grave my father and I found on 9 June 1999 in the Richmond Cemetery located in Kentucky, was born 7 Dec 1827. I told Brandon that I believed the man he saw to be the spirit of John McMonegal Park, his 3rd Great Grandfather who was married to Martha Cobb.
A few weeks later, I spoke to my Aunt, Martha Park-Lamb of Danville, Kentucky, who lives not far from Richmond. I asked her if John McMonegal was a large man to which she quickly exclaimed “Oh, golly, yes!” She added that John and Martha's son, William Henry Park I, my Great Grandfather, was also tall with a rather large build. I then told her about Brandon's experience, which she found very fascinating. I recalled at that time reading that Martha Cobb was musically inclined and loved playing the piano.
All was forgotten, save for those few I trust to occasionally confide in about this family experience--until Brandon's 16th birthday on Thursday, 20 April 2000 that is. On this day, we ate dinner at Peaden's, a popular seafood restaurant in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where we have resided since 13 August 1997. During the course of dinner, Pam asked Brittany Lynn, our 14 year-old daughter, why she chose to play the piano at 6AM that morning, while everyone else was asleep (I was in the driveway at 5:45AM waiting for a ride to work as the family van had a fuel pump problem). Brittany, who is the only family member who can play the piano at all, retorted--“Mom, I wasn't playing the piano this morning and besides, I know better than to do something like that so early!” I smiled, gazing at my bride of nearly 18 years, and spontaneously, though calmly, said “It was Martha”. “What?!” said Pam. “It was Martha Cobb”, I repeated, reminding her of Brandon's paranormal experience a little more than 4 months before. Pam, who is not particularly interested in family genealogy, appeared to be speechless and no more was said on the subject that night.
In my heart, as I reflect on both family experiences, I believe that John McMonegal's visit was his birthday wish (7 Dec 1827), 172 years to the day, though these years are mere seconds in an eternity that he surely occupies with great joy. A wish granted--to come and see his 3rd Great Grandson, the next male in his direct Park line; to make his presence known in an attempt to assure the family name would continue to flourish in his memory. I can't help but think that Martha's wish must have been to play the piano on Brandon's birthday. Both experiences serving as a spiritual beacon, a light from the past, reminding those in our family who choose “not to remember them” and to heighten their awareness of the intrinsic importance and value of family heritage. A heritage I work hard to keep alive, exemplified by my faithful efforts to this end, for which unfortunately, there is little interest or appreciation. These spectral demonstrations seem to hold dear, the voices of my 2d Great Grandparents, long since departed from this life, as we know it—and I can hear them clearly and with great certainty. “We love you” they echo deep in my heart…“please do not forget us, for we lived, toiled, cried, laughed and sacrificed—so that you, our grandchildren of afar, would benefit from the knowledge of our wisdom as well as our mistakes”.
I reverently offer the following thoughts to illustrate my feelings about these two separate but related occurrences and to bring sanity to the otherwise unexplainable visit from John McMonegal Park and Martha Cobb. John and Martha's spirits are mirrored by their descendants of today, who live with the wisdom to comprehend the importance of their ancestors of long ago. Time should not diminish their presence in our lives, nor should it keep our grandparents of the ages from shining their light down upon us. A light that illuminates the achievements of the past, while brightening the way to our future. With all this in mind, understand then, these words that ring out with truth….
"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."
-Edmund Burke 1729-1797
"What task could be more agreeable than to tell of the benefits conferred on us by our ancestors, so that you may get to know the achievements of those from whom you have received both the basis of your beliefs and the inspiration to conduct your life properly."
- William Malmesbury, 1125 A.D.
"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
- Chinese Proverb
"He alone deserves to be remembered by his children who treasures up and preserves the memory of his fathers."
- Edmund Burke 1729-1797
Thank you, John and Martha for gracing us in your light.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the Father's gift of eternal life….
We will see you again soon.