The earliest and most important branch of the Colonial militia was an infantry company known as the train or training band. At first, all men liable for military service were formed into the town train band. They were required to have a musket, bandoleers, two pounds of powder and 120 bullets. Bands usually consisted of 64 men. Large towns had several bands. Members were fined for unexcused absences.

For some reason, the Parmelees often served as drummers, making them also responsible for summoning residents to events in the days before meeting halls had bells. Note that several members of the family served as drummers during the Revolutionary War.

  • Abraham 1717-1795
    [05-00168] Abraham, Isaac, John, John
    ensign, lieutenant; of Goshen, Conn.
    He was commissioned an ensign in the East Company of the Goshen Train Band at the Colonial Assembly's October, 1762, session. At the October, 1766, session he was made a lieutenant. He also served in the Revolutionary War.
  • Jehiel 1718-1776
    [03-00042] Joshua, John, John
    lieutenant; of Guilford, Farmington, Wallingford and Litchfield, Conn.
    He was commissioned lieutenant of the 2nd Train Band at Farmington in 1759. At least two of his sons, Joshua and Joel, served in the Revolutionary War. He was buried at Milton Cemetery in Milton, Conn.
  • Joel 1679/80-1748
    [05-00018] John, John
    ensign, lieutenant; of Durham, Conn.
    Commissioned lieutenant of the Durham Train Band by the Colonial Assembly in the October, 1727, session. At the May, 1729, session he was commissioned a lieutenant. He is buried at Durham's Old Cemetery.
  • John "Jr." 1612/1687/88
    [05-00003] John
    drummer; Guilford, Conn.
    He was hauled into court on Jan. 1, 1656/57 to answer "a common fame or report of his inordinate drinking upon a Trayneing day of late, appearing in his gestures et&c. ..." Testimony shows that he managed to upset pails of water set out at a couple neighbors' homes with his drum. He was fined.
  • Nathaniel 1645-1675/76
    [05-00008] John, John
    lieutenant; Guilford and Killingworth, Conn.
    On Sept. 28, 1666, the town of Killingworth agreed to pay him 40 shillings per year to beat the drum on Sabbath days to summon residents to worship services and to maintain the drum at his own expense. He died in King Philip's War. On a 1994 trip to Clinton, Conn. [formerly Killingworth], I was told that one of his descendants was a bell ringer at the Congregational Church as late as the 1980s .
  • Nathaniel 1697-1752
    [01-00039] Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John
    lieutenant; of Killingworth, Conn.
    He was commissioned a lieutenant in the North Society (today's Killingworth) train band by the Colonial Assembly on May 10, 1739.
  • Oliver 1734-1816
    2nd lieutenant; of Bethlehem and Woodbury, Conn., and Fairfax, Vt.
    [03-00084] Jonathan, Joshua, John, John
    He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in Capt. Samuel Elmore's Company, the 3rd Company of the colony's 4th Regiment. He later served in the
    Revolutionary War.
  • Samuel 1737-1807
    [05-00185] Joseph, Isaac, John, John
    lieutenant, of Guilford, Conn.
    Named a lieutenant in the 5th Company of the colony's 7th Regiment at the colonial assembly's October, 1770, session, and again at the May, 1775, session. He later served in the Revolutionary War.
  • Stephen 1669-1736
    [05-00105] Stephen, John, John
    drummer, of Guilford and Newtown, Conn.
    A history of Newtown notes that he was hired to beat the drum for church services, village meetings and other public gatherings until Jan. 9, 1764, "when Abel Bottsford became bell ringer."

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Updated Feb. 28, 2021