FEATURES

WORLD WAR I DRAFT
Personal data -- height, build, eyes, hair and signature

Tall, dark and handsome?

Well, no doubt handsome, but data drawn from the 668 World War I draft cards for the men in our family show that the typical Parmelee man was not tall. Nor was he likely to have dark eyes.

An unscientific look at these cards shows that the majority of Parmelee men -- 53% -- were of medium height (and bear in mind that the average height of the American male has risen from about 5-foot-8 in 1910 to 5-foot-10 today.) Of the remainder, tall came out ahead over short. About 1 in 3 were reported as tall and 11% short.

Nearly 2 out of 3 Parmelee men -- 62% -- were considered average build. Most of the rest were classified as slender and just 1 in 10 was considered stout. Going hand-in-hand with that are the occupations that these men had -- farming, railroaders and laborers -- which lent to a leaner society.

And probably the most amazing figures to come out of these cards was that blue-eyed Parmelee men outnumbered brown-eyed, 44% to 33%. Then, too, work done by epidemiologist Mark Grant shows that about half of the Americans born at the turn of the 20th Century had blue eyes, but by mid-century that number dropped to about a third. Today, only about 1 out of every 6 Americans has blue eyes as immigration patterns, intermarriage and genetics have all played a part.

Height
Tall Medium Short
188 285 59
36% 53% 11%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
175 381 59
29% 62% 10%

Remarkably one out of every five Parmelees who filled out draft cards had gray eyes. Only 4% had black or dark eyes. Only four men had hazel and just one had green.

Slightly over half the men had brown hair and one-quarter had dark or black hair. Four percent had red hair. And just two men were recorded as bald.

A few asides: Totals may not seem to add up from category to category because not every card was completely filled out, some were cut off when microfilmed and still others were illegible. And due to rounding, the percentage breakdowns do not always add up to 100%.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
202 276 115 24 1 4
33% 44% 19% 4% 0% 0%
Also 1 Light

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
57 259 22 128 20 2
12% 52% 4% 25% 4% 0%
Also 3 Sandy, 3 Auburn

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 288 Parmly ............. 18 Parmeley .......... 4
Parmley .......... 172 Parmlee .......... 14 Parmaley ......... 3
Parmele .......... 53 Parmelly .......... 10 Parmelle .......... 1
Parmalee ........ 34 Palmerlee ........ 10
Parmely .......... 30 Parmale .......... 4
When it comes to spelling, Parmelee was the leader, with 45%. Parmley, widely used in Nathaniel's and infrequently in Joshua's and Job's branches, was runner-up at 27%. Parmele, the only other spelling to have significant numbers, was third at 8%.


A more detailed look at the main branches of the family, each headed by John Parmelee Jr.'s 10 children:

1-NATHANIEL'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
80 166 28
29% 61% 10%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
79 162 27
29% 60% 10%
By far, the largest branch of the family, it has slightly more men of medium height than the overall average, and slightly more men with brown eyes.

This branch also has a slightly higher percentage of men with light hair and a slightly smaller percentage of men with black or dark hair.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
95 113 55 10 1 1
36% 41% 20% 4% 0% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
24 141 7 81 15 1
9% 52% 3% 30% 6% 0%
Also 2 Sandy, 2 Auburn

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 89 Parmly ............. 14 Parmeley .......... 2
Parmley .......... 112 Parmlee .......... 4 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 16 Parmelly .......... 9 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 15 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 20 Parmale .......... 0
This is one of two branches -- the other is the County Durham clan, below -- where Parmley is the predominant spelling. It's also the only branch in which Parmely appears. Parmly only appears here and in Stephen's branch, below.


2-JOHN'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
2 6 0
25% 75% 0%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
0 6 1
0% 86% 14%
The most striking fact in this branch is that all eight members had blue eyes.

Clearly there isn't a big enough sampling for any kind of statistical conclusion. And sadly this is one branch of the family that appears to be "daughtering out."

But if unplaced branches of the family find their way into the main tree, these figures will change.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
0 6 1 0 0 0
0% 86% 14% 0% 0% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
1 4 0 0 2 0
14% 57% 0% 0% 29% 0%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 6 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 0 Parmlee .......... 0 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 2 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 0 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
The most frequent spelling, Parmelee, is also the most popular here. The only other spelling found thus far trimmed off an e.


3-JOSHUA'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
12 25 3
30% 63% 3%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
16 23 2
39% 56% 5%
Very few short or stout men reported for the draft in this branch of the family as the percentages are well below the overall averages.

More than half had blue eyes -- topping the overall average -- and an equal number of them had brown and gray.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
9 21 9 0 0 0
23% 54% 23% 0% 0% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
5 26 1 9 0 0
12% 63% 3% 22% 0% 0%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 24 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 7 Parmlee .......... 0 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 0 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 1 Palmerlee ........ 8
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
Parmelee outdistances its nearest rival, Parmley, by a greater than 3-to-1 ratio.


4-CALEB'S BRANCH

This branch "daughtered-out" in the early 1700s.


5-ISAAC'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
20 34 4
34% 59% 7%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
15 36 6
26% 63% 11%
Slightly more men here were of average height but the percentages for build nearly match the overall averages.

Gray eyes were under the family average.

As for hair, while light hair was considerably under the average while gray was above.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
19 26 7 2 1 1
34% 46% 13% 4% 2% 2%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
3 32 7 13 0 0
5% 57% 13% 23% 0% 0%
Also 1 Sandy

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 47 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 0 Parmlee .......... 0 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 8 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 1 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
There's no question that Parmelee is the favored spelling in this branch. The only other spelling with any significant following drops an e.


There is no sixth branch. The sixth child of John Parmelee Jr. was Hannah, who married Than Hill and Thomas Merrill. I have not carried this line on down.


7-STEPHEN'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
4 4 0
50% 50% 0%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
3 4 1
38% 50% 13%
This is another branch that is too small to be of much statistical significance.

Tall and medium height were evenly split.

Blue eyes were far and away the most prevalent.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
1 5 2 0 0 0
13% 63% 25% 0% 0% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
1 4 0 2 0 0
14% 57% 0% 29% 0% 0%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 4 Parmly ............. 4 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 0 Parmlee .......... 0 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 0 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 0 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
This branch appears to be split between the most frequent spelling, Parmelee, and Parmly. The latter only appears here and in Nathaniel's branch, above.


 8-JOB'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
9 33 3
20% 73% 7%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
13 27 6
28% 59% 13%
This branch would appear to be shorter than most as nearly 3 in 4 were reported to be medium. While the overall average for tall men was slightly more than 1 in 3, here it is just 1 in 5

Note also that there were no black/dark eyes reported and the percentage of those with black/dark hair is also below the norm.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
12 23 10 0 0 1
26% 50% 22% 0% 0% 2%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
5 30 3 7 0 0
11% 67% 7% 16% 0% 0%
Also 1 Auburn

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 32 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 3 Parmlee .......... 2 Parmaley ......... 2
Parmele .......... 2 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 1
Parmalee ........ 4 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 4
Parmelee is the overwhelming preference for spelling. This branch has a wider smattering of other spellings than other branches.


There is no 9th branch. The ninth child of John Parmelee Jr. was Priscilla, who died young.


10-JOEL'S BRANCH

Height
Tall Medium Short
10 25 3
27% 65% 8%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
6 28 5
13% 74% 13%
This branch had a higher percentage of men of medium height than the average, 65% versus 53%. It also had more men of average build, 74% versus 62%.

Eye color doesn't differ much from the overall figures.

But there were more men with brown hair than the average and significantly fewer with black/dark hair.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
12 19 6 1 1 1
30% 48% 14% 3% 3% 3%
Also 1 "Light"

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
6 28 1 3 1 1
15% 69% 3% 8% 3% 3%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 27 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 0 Parmlee .......... 1 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 11 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 0 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
Parmelee again is the favorite spelling, while the only other spelling of any magnitude is the one with one less e.


11-BLACK FAMILIES

Height
Tall Medium Short
6 6 1
46% 46% 8%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
2 6 3
18% 55% 27%
Black men in the family were evenly split between tall and medium, and more had black/dark eyes than brown.

Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
4 0 0 9 0 0
31% 0% 0% 69% 0% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
0 0 0 13 0 0
0% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 0 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 8 Parmlee .......... 1 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 0 Parmelly .......... 1 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 1 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
Parmley wins out in the spelling derby, probably because many of these families were descended from slaves owned by the white families of the same name and spelling in Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas.


14-COUNTY DURHAM FAMILIES

Height
Tall Medium Short
5 6 2
38% 46% 14%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
3 10 0
23% 77% 0%
I have no proof that these families, who emigrated to Pennsylvania from County Durham in the 1840s, are biologically related to the rest of the clan.

And yet these figures show that they would appear to be shorter, more of medium build, and much more prone to have blue eyes and brown hair.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
2 9 2 0 0 0
15% 69% 15% 0% 0% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
3 10 0 0 0 0
23% 77% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 0 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 0
Parmley .......... 14 Parmlee .......... 0 Parmaley ......... 0
Parmele .......... 0 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 0 Palmerlee ........ 0
Parmely .......... 0 Parmale .......... 0
With these families, it's unanimous: Parmley.


13-UNPLACED

Height
Tall Medium Short
40 74 15
30% 59% 12%
Build
Slender Medium Stout
38 73 8
32% 62% 7%
While some of these men have been singularly placed in the "unplaced file," others belong to longer branches of the family that I have not been able to connect to the main tree.

However, this study of surname variations will provide clues into which branches they most likely belong.

As these men are placed, I'll transfer their data to the branches above and make adjustments here.


Eyes
Brown Blue Gray Black/Dark Green Hazel
48 48 23 2 1 0
38% 40% 18% 2% 1% 0%

Hair
Light Brown Gray Black/Dark Red Bald
9 78 3 30 2 0
7% 65% 2% 24% 2% 0%

Spelling
Parmelee ........ 55 Parmly ............. 0 Parmeley .......... 2
Parmley .......... 26 Parmlee .......... 6 Parmaley ......... 1
Parmele .......... 14 Parmelly .......... 0 Parmelle .......... 0
Parmalee ........ 12 Palmerlee ........ 2
Parmely .......... 10 Parmale .......... 0

Search the site -- but remember,
"Parmelee" can be spelled dozens of ways.
If you aren't sure, use * as a wildcard:

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