THE ATTIC

BAPTISM BOWL
Deacon Nathaniel Parmelee 1671/72-1717/18
Nathaniel, John, John
This baptism basin has the names of the seven youngest of the deacon's 11 children and the years of their christenings engraved in it, and the seven names of son Ezra's children. The bowl was probably made shortly before the first date that appears in it -- 1704.

Both Nathaniel's and Ezra's families lived in Killingworth, Conn.

The engraved candlesticks that flank the bowl were wedding gifts from Ezra to daughter Jemima when she married Josiah Griswold (1752-1821). Their marriage was recorded on June 22, 1774, in the records of Killingworth's 2nd Congregational Church.

The piece is part of the family collection at Guest House Retreat & Conference Center in Chester, Conn., formerly The Inn at Chester, which is the 1755 house built by John Parmelee.

On the left is a close-up of the bottom of the 9-inch bowl that weighs 14 ounces troy. In the center you can make out a P monogram. At the right is a piece that was added to the reverse side, with the names and dates of the children's baptisms. Note that "Honor" should be Abner.

Nathaniel's children:
  • Nathaniel -- name not in bowl (1697-1752)
  • Esther -- name not in bowl (1698-1788)
  • Josiah -- name not in bowl (1700-1780)
  • Hiel -- name not in bowl (1701/02-1779)
  • Lemuel (1704-1744)
  • Lydia (1707- ? )
  • Nehemiah (1710-1790)
  • Hannah (1712-bef 1754)
  • Ezra (1714-1800)
  • Abner -- incorrectly copied as Honor (1716-1734)
  • Sarah (1717/18-1784)
Ezra's children:
  • Daniel (1739-1800)
  • Jerusha (1741- ? )
  • Samuel (1743-1808)
  • Ezra (1745-1838)
  • Oliver (1747/48-1821)
  • Jemima (1750- ? )
  • Elias (1752-1829)
  • Hiel (1755/56-1836)

Another baptism bowl with a family connection can be found at the Congregational Church in Guilford, Conn.