Joseph Marsh



-Picture used with permission of Atlanta Bible College Library and Archives.

"The picture came from the family of G.E. Marsh, who was related to Joseph as a great nephew and was a member of the Church of God Abrahamic Faith, the demonination that Joseph Marsh inadvertantly helped to begin with his teachings of the Age to Come, a prophetic system that explained the second coming of Christ and the millenium to follow." Furnished through the research of Jan Stilson, Church of God historian and writer.

Thanks to Sandra Wheeler for finding Joseph's information in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 77, 1946.

"Marsh Bible Record, Joseph Marsh was born in St. Albans, Franklin, Vermont, December 6, 1802. Sarah Mariah Adams was born in Sennett, N.Y., November 27,1808. They were married in Sennett August 4, 1830, by Elder Joseph Badger and their children were: Sarah Eliza Marsh was born in Clay, Onondaga County, N.Y., 13 August 1832. Mary Maria Marsh was born in Sennett, Cayuaga County, N.Y., June 11, 1834. Permelia Jane Marsh was born in Milan, Dutchess County, N.Y., June 16, 1836."




Joseph's girls, photo courtesy of Sheron Long.


Lemuel's recording in St. Alban's said that Joseph was born December 6, 1801, so it is not known where the mistake was made on Joseph's birth year. It could have been the clerk in St. Alban's, the copy of the Bible record, or Lemuel himself, as remembering nine children's birthdays all at once is quite a trick!

An internet article by Mark M. Mattison (referenced in the next paragraph) about Joseph says that he was born in Vermont in 1802, and after his family moved to western New York, they were disfellowshipped by the Methodist Episcopal Church for rejecting the Trinity.

Thanks to Sheron Long for the copy of a history that was written of Joseph by his daughter, Jane Marsh Parker.

"When Joseph was about 16, his father moved with his large family from Vermont to the Genesee Country and settled in LeRoy. His mother died in 1824, aged 47. Joseph tells the story of his life in the autobiography written when he lived in Milan, Dutchess County. Pastor of the Christian Church about 1835 to 1838. When 19 his father "gave him his time". With his brother, Josiah, settled in a little cabin on new land in Ashtabula Co. Ohio (Monroe). Sold out for fifty acres of good land in Springfield, Erie Co. Bad title. Lost everything. 1823 joined his brother James in Rochester. "Converted" to the faith of the "Christians". Baptized in the Genesee River "a little above the falls". Worked as a carpenter to supplement his income.
Went forth as a preacher in 1825. One of the "pilgrims" of the sect traveling on foot "without script", walking in mid winter to Susquehanna in the Wyoming Valley, Kingston, Lewisburg, Plymouth...then along Lake Erie, always on foot often without shelter and penniless, hungry and cold, and "persecuted" by the religious bodies already in possession of the field, and who looked upon the "Christians" as dangerous. He must have had a persuasive eloquence and winning personality for he founded churches at a great rate, and was known as "the boy preacher" of a wide circuit - Pittsburg, Zanisville, Columbus Ohio. He spent eight months in Kentucky, settling for a season in Flemingsburg where he bought a horse. 1829 he travels to Randolph NY to see his father settling after much success, pilgriming again in Rochester. He is very popular among the Christians. He is ordained, acts as secretary at their conferences, goes to New York as a delegate to a Conference, brings up at Senett NY in 1830. Meets Sally Adams and they are married within four months, with about as little to live on as a loving pair ever had. Matters were showered with the young preacher until 1839, when he "went to the top" as Editor of the Palladium. The organ of the Christians and head of their publication house in Union Mills, Fulton Co., NY where he was also pastor of the church. In 1843 he became a convert to Millerism, he broke with the Christians, went to Rochester and opened a publishing office in the Arcads for the weekly paper. In 1860 he moved to Milby Canada. In the same year to Oshawa Canada. He returned to the "Christians" shortly before his death in 1863."

Joseph's Milan home from the back and the well in Milan where Joseph watered his horse. Photos courtesy of Sheron Long.

There are numerous references to Joseph's work and writings across the internet, and they are still studied and quoted among religious groups today. One example, "The Age To Come", can be read at Timber Land Bible Church. A serious reader about Joseph Marsh might want to look at "Joseph Marsh's Doctrinal Development" by Mark M. Mattison which can be found on the Church of God General Conference website. Another interesting article by Jan Stilson can be found at Church of God General Conference. Kent Ross wrote about the disappointment with the Millerites When Time was Supposed to be No More.

The 1850 census for Rochester shows Frederick Douglass and his family living next door to the Marshes. Their friendship would last for years. The Rochester Historical Society's publication "The Life and Work of Jane Marsh Parker" by Marcelle LeMenager Lane, says that Joseph's home was involved in the underground railroad network. "When the little Marsh girls were sent to bed early and told they must keep quiet, they knew there was a runaway slave in the cellar," Ms. Lane wrote. "So far, at least, as their relations with the Douglass family were concerned, no color line was drawn by the Marshes. Even for the northern city of Rochester, in that day such an attitude was unusual. When Douglass' daughter, Rosa, sought admission as a pupil to one of the private schools of Rochester, she was not welcomed in the classroom, and it was Jenny [Jane Marsh] who volunteered to share her desk with the little girl, an action that was recognized by one of the equal rights societies of England. At another time, the home of Frederick Douglass being overcrowded with visitors, Rosa was taken into Jenny's own room and bed."

Joseph's age in that census says he was born in 1802, his wife in 1808, Sarah E., 17, Mary M., 16, and Parmelia J., 14. Joseph had an O.R.L. Crosier (Owen Russell Loomis Crosier) living with him at the time who was also involved in writing for the Millerite movement.

Joseph doing business with his brother, Lorenzo, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, was fortunate for the research as proof that Lorenzo belonged to the Lemuel Marsh family. More details can be found in the notes for Lorenzo.

Joseph's family was in Rochester for the 1860 census. Joseph had just been appointed state evangelist in Jeffersonville, Indiana (Church of God records) when he took sick and somehow made it up the state to his daughter's home in Tecumseh, Michigan where he died 13 Sep 1863 of typhoid fever. Mary Marsh Moorhouse and her husband, Emory, were found in the 1860 census for Tecumseh, Lenawee, Michigan, and they had a daughter, Jennie (1), who was likely named for her aunt, as Jane Marsh Parker was called Jennie by her family. A special thanks to the Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh for the effort to find Joseph's grave. The cemetery record says "Elder Joseph Marsh 61 years old died 9-13-1863 section M lot 26." The lot was purchased by Emory A. Morehouse.

Another cemetery record there shows "Emory A. Morehouse born LeRoy, New York late residence Sturgis age 35 died 12-15-1867 of lung fever. Emory and Mary must have moved to Sturgis in 1867 after selling their land in Tecumseh that same year, and Emory died shortly after. Mary must have returned to Brookside Cemetery to bury her husband. In the same lot was a child for Emory and Mary, "William Almy 8 years old died 1-29-1865 infant of E.A. Morehouse." As William was not in the 1860 census and the record calls him an infant, it is likely the 8 yrs was in error.

A very, very special thanks to Sheron Long for sharing histories that Jane Marsh Parker wrote of her sisters:

Mary Maria Marsh - "Married Emory A. Moorhouse 15 Jul 1858 Tecumseh, Michigan. A light brunet, dark eyes, a little below medium height, bright, vivacious, fond of music, decidedly pretty. Not fond of deep study, but a wide and intelligent reader of popular literature. Witty, impulsive, possessing a keen sense of the ludicrous. She married in 1858 in Tecumseh, Michigan where she was visiting her Uncle Hirum Adams, to Emory A. Moorhouse by whom she had five children. She had a slight stroke of paralysis in 1896 - was unable to support herself. She was admitted to the Masonic Home, Grand Rapids, Michigan in the summer of 1897. She died of spinal meningitis Jan. 14, 1900, and is buried in the home cemetery.
Children: Jane, Hanna Frances, Carrie, and Emily. Hanna Frances died in St. Lukes Hospital, NY City, May 1874. Buried in Astoria. She was suffering from a severe spinal disorder and was under treatment at St. Luke's when she died. At the time of their father's death in 1867, she was adopted by her Aunt Jenny , whose boy George was but a fortnight older. Her mother afterwards claimed her, but subsequently consented because of her poorly and affectious (?) to give her up to the care of the Leake and Watt Orphanage with her sister, Jenny. A fall from a swing while at the orphanage is thought to have been the cause of her spinal trouble. She was a beautiful child and was baptized by Bishop Neely in Christ Church Rochester, Mrs. Neely standing for her Godmother.
Carrie died in infancy, buried in Tecumseh, Michigan. Emily, born after her father's death, was a poor, sickly child, whose feeble life happily ended in Rochester in 1868. Buried in Tecumseh, Michigan.
Jane born 1859 Michigan, died 15 Feb 1919 in Rochester, New York. Guaduated at St. Mary's, New York City. Slight in figure, small in stature. Pretty but broken in health when little more than twenty. She had serious attacks of something similar to paralysis, leaving her hands trembling like palsy. In 1888 she was living with her mother at the Neil House Columbus Ohio. Had been there about three years. In 1900 she was housekeeper at Holis Powers, Rochester, New York." - Jane Marsh Parker

An obituary was found over the internet for Mary. "Moorhouse - At Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sunday 14 January, 1900, Mary M. Moorhouse, widow of the late Emory A. Moorhouse and sister of Mrs. Jane Marsh Parker, of this city", from the Democrat and Chronicle. Mary's death certificate said she had two children, one living; no next of kin was listed. It also says that Mary was buried in the Fulton Street Cemetery in Grand Rapids. If that was so, there was no stone, and the cemetery records have burned since her death, so the exact location of her grave is not known. Mary's sister, Jane, said there were five Moorhouse children, but she only named the four girls. William Almy must have been the fifth child Also, Hannah and Jenny Moorhouse were found in the 1870 census in the Leake and Watt Orphanage in New York City. Their mother, Mary, was living not far from there in some kind of school where she was a seamstress. In 1880, Jenny was teaching in a school in New York City that may have been the St. Mary's she graduated from.

"Sarah Eliza Marsh - Afflicted with nervous spasms from early childhood, which at the age of about fourteen developed into epilepsy. In 1871 after the death of her father and mother she became an inmate of Saint Marys hospital (Roman Catholic) in Rochester. She became a convert to Catholicism and was most happy in her faith during her years of afflictions.
She was small in stature and very dark in complexion, sharp black eyes, black hair, and a most amiable disposition. Epilepsy gradually affected her mind and at the age of 55, she is now wearing spectacles.
She is happy at Saint Marys, devoted to the Sisters, and knows little of the world outside the hospital. She thinks she has no cause for discontent if "Jenny" will visit her weekly. Her mind gone in 1900. Died in a state asylum in Rochester, New York, buried in the lot of Geo. T. Parker, Mount Hope, age 68." - Jane Marsh Parker

Jane also wrote of her mother -

"She wrote children's stories, had a logical mind, would have been a good writer. A critic rather than a poet. She wrote long letters that took the most average information and presented it in a most interesting manner."

A notice from Sarah appeared in "Millenial Harbinger" 14 Oct 1863. "My P.O. address will in future be Rochester, New York. I desire to say to my friends that I should be happy to hear from them. Also, if any who are indebted to my late husband, (Eld. J. Marsh), for books, or on account, will pay the amount due, no matter how trifling the sum, it will be most glady and gratefully received. Sarah M. Marsh" Used with permission of Atlanta Bible College Library and Archives and with thanks to Jan Stilson, Church of God Historian.

In the 1870 census, Sarah, was working in the medical facility in Rochester where her daughter, Sarah, was living. Thanks to "The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery" for sending the burial records for the Parkers (below) and Marshes. Sarah M. Marsh died 31 December 1870 at St. Mary's Hospital of tuberculosis, and Sarah, the daughter, died 2 August 1900 in the State Hospital; cause of death was listed as senility. Both were buried in the lot owned by Joseph's son-in-law, George T. Parker.

Jane Marsh Parker and Jane again, in her later years, and her husband, George Tann Parker. Photos courtesy of Ellen Parker.

Joseph's daughter, Parmelia Jane, was likely named for Joseph's two sisters. She would come to be known as Jane Marsh Parker, a successful journalist, fiction writer, and a prominent person in social reform. Jane's history can be read at The History of Rochester NY at Mount Hope Cemetery. Jane married George Tann Parker, a prominent lawyer in Rochester. He died in 1895, buried in Mount Hope Cemetery. (It appears George purchased a lot there before his parents, Richard and Hannah T. Parker, died, and they are buried in George's lot along with their probable daughter, Mary.) Jane died 13 March 1913 at the age of 76 in Los Angeles, California, of bronchial pneumonia. Her body was cremated 26 April 1913, and the remains were buried in lot 82 Range 2 of Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester in the lot purchased by her husband.

Photos special courtesy of Frank Gillespie of Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery.

The Parker children (taken from the above mentioned history of Jane Marsh Parker and Mount Hope Cemetery records) were:

  1. Richard Marsh Parker born 19 March 1859 died 17 September 1934 in New York City from the history, although the Mount Hope Cemetery record says he died in Wyckoff, New Jersey. His obituary in the "Syracuse Herald", 20 Sep, 1934 says he died in Midland, New Jersey. "Richard Marsh Parker, 75, former resident of Syracuse, who died at Midland, New Jersey, was buried at Rochester this morning. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Helen Rulison Parker; three sons, Rulison G. Parker, Richard M. Jr., and William Parker, all of New York City; a brother, George F. Parker, and a sister, Miss Margaret M. Parker, both of Los Angeles, California." Richard married Helen Rulison born 1878 in New York; died 12 Jul 1943 in Foxboro, Massachusetts, buried in Mount Hope Cemetery along with Richard in the George Parker lot. In 1900 Richard and Helen were living in Buffalo Ward 24, Erie, New York, 1910 in Fort Dodge Ward 2, Webster, Iowa, in 1920 and 1930, they were in Syracuse, Onondaga, New York. Thanks to Ellen Parker for the info that Richard graduated from Chicago College of Law in June 1891 and was an accountant for a large company; his wife, Helen, graduated from Oswego in 1885 with her Normal School certificate, and she taught school.

    Richard Marsh Parker with daughter, Marion, and Helen Rulison Parker. Photos courtesy of Ellen Parker.

    1. Rulison George Parker born 13 Sep 1895 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; he served in the First World War and then worked for the Red Cross in the Second World War. He died 10 Feb 1945 from cancer, buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1930 he had been living in Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey with a wife named Evalyn and a daughter named Angela.
    2. Force R. Parker born abt. 1898 in Pennsylvania, died 26 Sep 1899 in Cincinnati, Ohio of acute pneumoniua. This child was buried in the lot owned by George Tann Parker in the Mount Hope Cemetery, and as Helen said in the 1900 census that she had 2 children, only one living, I am assuming he belongs to Richard and Helen. The children of this family were later confirmed by writings of Jane Marsh Parker shared by Sheron Long.
    3. Marion Parker abt. 1901 died 21 Apr 1909 in Fort Dodge, Iowa of heart trouble. She was buried in the lot owned by George Tann Parker.
    4. Richard Marsh Parker Jr. born abt 1904 in New York. In 1930, he was living in Syracuse, Onondaga, New York with a wife named Pauline (20 from New York) and a son named Richard, 2, born in Pennsylvania.
    5. William Van Antwerp Parker born abt. 1910 in Iowa.

    Rulison George Parker, Richard Marsh Parker Jr., and William Van Antwerp Marsh. Photos courtesy of Ellen Parker.

  2. George Force Parker born 31 January 1866 died 6 March 1946 in Los Angeles. Rochester marriages on the web show that he married 22 June 1893 Maud Warner (adopted -1880 census) daughter of Hulburt H. Warner and Olive E. Stoddard, born 1874 in Rochester. The couple had a son named Warner Force Parker after which time, Maud died 16 November 1897. George married 28th November 1899 Margaret Paxton Christian. She and their baby girl died 24 July 1900. George married 1901 Frances Tappan born abt. 1872 in New York to Wallace and Frances McMackan Tappan. The marriage announcement of Force and Frances was printed in the "Los Angeles Times" 2 Feb 1901. "Force Parker, aged 35, a native of New York, and Frances Tappan, aged 29, a native of New York; both residents of Pasadena." George Force attended Columbia Law University and practiced law as well as being a prominent judge in Los Angeles.
  3. George Force Parker, Maud Warner Parker, and Frances Tappan Parker. Photos courtesy of Sheron Long.

  4. Henry Neely Parker born 5 September 1869, died at the age of six months of pneumonia, buried 8 March 1870.
  5. Margaret Marsh Parker born 7 August 1870 died in 1951 in San Diego, California. She taught kindergarten and later became a counselor. Her body was also cremated, and she and her mother share a common grave.

Margaret Marsh Parker and Jane Marsh Parker with Margaret. Photos courtesy of Ellen Parker.

There was reference made to both Joseph and Jane in a letter that was written by Eunice White Spangenberg to the war pension commission; this can be read in the information on this website for Amanda Jane Marsh and her children.
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