NOTE: Older features have been moved to the Archives.


Early families in Europe, the first generations in Connecticut in the 1630s and Pennsylvania in the 1840s. Census records. Browse queries. Find your twig.

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Olde England

Visits the ancestral family homes in Lewes south of London and in Middleton-in-Teesdale in County Durham.

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New England

Guilford, Conn., is the Long Island Sound town that the Parmelees helped settle in 1639.

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Author! Author!

Browse The Family Bookstore. At least a score of relatives have penned books.

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Home, Sweet Home

A collection of family homes from throughout the United States.

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Coats of Arms

So far we've uncovered
six different ones!

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Honor Roll

From the 17th-century Colonial wars through today's War in Afghanistan, members of the family have served in the armed forces.

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More mysteries in our Archives.


The Great War's Centennial

A century ago, more than 40 nations and their colonies were pulled into World War I, which killed more than 9 million soldiers, sailors and airmen, and 5 million civilians. More than 80 members of the family around the globe served in uniform, as well as nurses and ambulance drivers. Help us add photos to this page. Even an old dog tag, right, belonging to one member of the family turned up a few years ago.

Did your American ancestor register for the World War I draft? I have 688 cards filed under our name. The data on them also provide a nice snapshot of the family in 1917-18, when the U.S. joined the fight.

One 'Cabin,' Two Stories

Uncle Tom's Cabin" author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) has links to the family in Guilford, Conn.:

  • Candace, a slave owned by Ebenezer Parmelee [1690-1777; Isaac, John, John] and wife Anna, lived at the Hyland House. Later, as a free woman, it's likely she was the woman who helped young Harriet understand that Africans, too, were human.
  • When the First Congregational Church bought John Parmelee Sr.'s home lot at the north end of the Village Green, the 1740 Benton-Beecher house stood there. Rossiter Parmelee [1783-1855; Nathaniel, William, Joseph, Isaac, John, John] and a team of 70 oxen moved it to a new foundation -- and turned it into a tavern.
The Big Church

Washington's National Cathedral, which sustained heavy damage in the 5.8 earthquake of August 2011, has completed its $10 million first phase of repairs. The building remains open as workers focus on $22 million in exterior repairs that could take a decade to complete. Megan (Parmele) Field [Thomas Lee, Rufus "Earl" Earl, Edgar Charles, George Spenser, Lucius Seth, Seth, Giles, Jeremiah, Lemuel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John] pauses at one of the four piers of the central crossing, the one bearing the names of James C. [1855-1931; William Samuel, Samuel, Samuel, Ezra, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John], above, and Alice (Maury) Parmelee (1866-1940). The couple, who lived at The Causeway, were one of the four original $50,000 donors to the construction project. ... Megan and James are fourth cousins, five times removed!

Getting Away With Murder

A prostitute meets a young man from an established Connecticut family in 1836 New York. Sex. Money. Murder. And a trial the press covered like no other up to that time. Despite the evidence, a verdict of not guilty was returned. And Richard Robinson was free to establish a new life in Texas -- as Richard Parmelee. But the Helen Jewett case never was closed.

This fetching old portrait was sent to me in the hope of finding out who this actress is. Can you help identify some of the people in these photos found tucked inside a family Bible? Do you know who are in a batch of photos found in a home in Waterbury, Conn.?

Officer Parmelee poses with members
of the Yuba City, Calif., Fire Department.
Who was he?

Hollywood and Broadway

right brothers' pilot Philip Orin Parmelee [1887-1912; Charles W., Orren M., Erastus K., Joshua, Joshua, Jehiel, Joshua, John, John] set many records in the early days of flight, including the first cargo delivery. He also enjoyed a brief movie career, playing the hero in the 1912 Mack Sennett silent comedy "A Dash Through the Clouds," flying a Wright Model B alongside actress Mabel Normand in the final scenes. Philip died in a plane crash outside North Yakima, Wash., just a few months later.

Among the tasks of cousin and prop manager Owen E. Parmele [Eugene Forbes, Owen Settles, Francis "Frank" Owen, Luman E., Lucius Seth, Seth, Giles, Jeremiah, Lemuel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John] are preparing the food and making the wine that go on stage each night at "The Norman Conquests."  After his string of Broadway successes, Hollywood came calling for Clifton Parmelee Webb (1890-1966) when a villain was needed for "Laura." The Indiana native made more than 25 films and was nominated for three Academy Awards. And behind it all was the prodding of one woman, mother Mabel "Mabelle" A. (Parmelee) Webb (1869-1960), who kept a scrapbook.

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Lauren Bacall? Joan Bennett? Humphrey Bogart? Vivien Leigh? Laurence Olivier? They're all in a photo taken at a Hollywood party with Clifton and Mabelle -- but which of these stars was their distant Parmelee cousin?

Animator Theodore "Ted" Parmelee [Cullen Warner, Lauren Sylvester, Dan Steele, Daniel Everett, Asaph, Jonathan, Joshua, John, John], noted for his work on "Rocky & Bullwinkle" and other cartoons was nominated for an Academy Award for directing the 1953 surrealistic short "The Tell-Tale Heart," narrated by James Mason. Ted's views on the decline of animation has resurfaced in a forum for those involved in the industry

Mail Call

Tucked away in attics, books and libraries, they've come to light -- letters written from and to our ancestors from more than a century ago. These are our earliest discoveries:

  • 1783: Stranded in France during the Revolutionary War with others who'd been held by the British, Timothy Parmele [1764-1791; Joseph, Timothy, Joshua, John, John] seeks Ben Franklin's help in returning home.
  • 1798: A letter written by Ens. Samuel Parmele [1757-1828; Oliver, Jonathan, Joshua, Joshua, John, John] to William Simmond, an accountant in the War Department in Philadelphia, the nation's capital at the time.
  • 1812: A letter written by Keziah (Hudson) Parmelee, wife of Theodore [Abraham, Abraham, Isaac, John, John], in Goshen, Conn., to her brother in Hudson, Ohio.
  • 1814: Letters written to Ethalinda (Parmele) Kaysor [1786- ? ; Asa, Silas, Abraham, Isaac, John, John] of Philadelphia, from her father Asa and sister Lucy.
  • 1820s: A very young Francis Burdette Parmele writes his mother, Lydia (Bosworth) Parmele, wife of Henry [Joel, Nehemiah, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John], back home in Albany, N.Y.
  • 1823: Lydia (Bosworth) Parmele of Albany, N.Y., receives sad news from friend Tary Clark of Philadelphia.
  • 1825: Eliza Ann (Pleasants) Parmly of Painesville, Ohio, informs a friend in New York City of the death of her father-in-law, Eleazer [Jehiel, Stephen, Stephen, John, John].
  • 1829: A 14-year-old Francis Burdette Parmele of Albany, N.Y., writes to George B. Smith of Schenectady, N.Y., looking for work.
  • 1830: Letters by Lucius Parmelee [William, Dan, Lemuel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John], his wife, Ann, and mother, Fanny (Royce) Parmelee, in Twinsburg, Ohio, to their relatives back in Waterbury, Vt.
  • 1831: A three-page letter to 16-year-old Francis Burdette Parmele of Albany, N.Y., from William Brown.
  • 1831: Two letters written to Lucius Parmelee of Waterbury, Vt., from his mother, father and siblings in Twinsburg, Ohio.
  • 1833: Letter from Francis Burdette Parmele of Albany to George Smythe of Schenectady, N.Y.
  • 1833: The first of two letters from starving artist P. Ostrander of New York to Francis Burdette Parmele of Albany.
  • 1833: A second letter from P. Ostrander to Francis Burdette Parmele.
  • 1835: Letter from Caroline (Parmele) Cole in Albany, N.Y., to her brother, Francis Burdette Parmele, who was attending school in Utica, Ohio.
  • 1836: Letter from Philo Cole to his brother-in-law Francis Burdette Parmele.
  • 1836: Second letter from Philo Cole to his brother-in-law Francis Burdette Parmele.
  • 1837: Letter from Frederick Cole in Albany, N.Y., to Francis Burdette Parmele in Utica, Ohio, discussing politics -- the Loco-Focos! -- and religion.
  • 1839: Letter from John Patterson in Albany, N.Y., to Francis Burdette Parmele in Utica, Ohio, and then forwarded to him in Newark, Ohio, concerning some medical books.
  • 1839: Letter from Fred W. Cole in Albany, N.Y., to Francis Burdette Parmele in Utica, Ohio, about some vague business deal.
  • Late 1830s: Caroline (Parmele) Cole of Albany, N.Y., writes brother Francis Burdette Parmele who is attending medical school in Utica, Ohio.
  • 1840: Letter from Francis Burdette Parmele in Albany, N.Y., to brother-in-law George Bosworth Smythe in Newark, Ohio, concerning money matters.
  • 1856: Letter written to Stewart Dean Palmerlee [Bryan, John, Bryan, Jonathan, Joshua, John, John] of East Hampton, Conn., informing him of the death of his brother William.
  • 1862: While held in Ohio, Confederate POW William Jordan Parmelee [Joseph, Joseph?, Joseph, Joseph, Isaac, John, John] wrote a letter to his wife Lydia [Mc Ginty] that was found in a mail bag long after the war had ended.
  • 1862-65: Civil War letters written by Marcus S. Parmele [Alexander H., Smith, Oliver, Ezra, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John] to his family in Rockford, Ill., and penned for Gen. William Rosecrans while serving as a member of his staff.
  • 1863: Civil War letter written by Col. Theodore Weld Parmele [Truman, Thomas Truman, Thomas, Thomas, Job, John, John] to George H. Kimball in New Orleans.
  • 1865: Abolitionist Homer Parmelee [Howell, Amos, Amos, David, Joshua, John, John] of Philadelphia subscribes to The Liberator.