Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Margaret Parsley (1782-1879)
MSA SC 3520-15894


Born Margaret Anderson on March 22, 1782 in Maryland. Married James Parsley (c. 1785-1834) in 1808. Known Children: Elizabeth Parsley (b. 1814); David Parsley (b. 1818); George Parsley (b. 1820); Margaret Parsley (b. 1823). Died on February 26, 1879 in Brookeville, Maryland. 

Margaret Parsley was the wife of James Parsley, first Constable of Brookeville, Maryland. She married James in 1808. The family likely moved to Brookeville, Maryland following her husband's appointment as Constable in 1813.1 While in Brookeville, James and Margaret had five children. They owned a house and lot in town where Margaret continued to live for the remainder of her long life.2 Her husband does not appear in any records after 1831, and by 1840, the census listed Margaret as the head of household.3 

Margaret was recorded as a House Keeper in the 1860 census.4 She was illiterate or, perhaps, blind in her old age.5 Two maps of Brookeville, one from 1865 and another from 1878, both depict her residence on High Street under the title: "Mrs. Parsley."6 

She died on February 26, 1879 and was buried in the Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery in Brookeville, Maryland, not far from where she had lived for over 65 years.7 

Jackson Gilman-Forlini, DAR Research Fellow, 2012.


  1. MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURT (Marriage Licenses) 1798-1839, License issued to James Parsley and Margaret Anderson, September 28, 1808, CR 8920 [MSA CM724-1]; 1810 United States Census, Montgomery County, Maryland, p. 923; MONTGOMERY COUNTY LEVY COURT (Levy List) 1813, "Constables appointed for the year 1813," MdHR 15448 [MSA C1132-4, 01/18/14/024].
  2. MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX (Assessment Record), 1813 Tax Assessment (District 4), MdHR 20,115-3-1 [MSA C1110-3, 01/18/14/019]. 
  3. 1840 United States Census, Cracklin District, Montgomery, Maryland; Roll: 168; p. 236.
  4. 1860 United States Census, District 1, Montgomery, Maryland; Roll: M653_478; p. 225, Image 226.
  5. 1870 United States Census, District 1, Montgomery, Maryland; Roll: M593_591; p. 237A. In this census enumeration, Margaret is listed as unable to read or write.
  6. G.M. Hopkins. Atlas of Fifteen Miles Around Washington, Including the county of Montgomery, Maryland. Philadelphia, PA: F. Bourquin, 1878. p. 68; Simon J. Martenet's Map of Montgomery County, 1865. Detail of Brookeville
  7. Burial Record for Margaret Parsley, Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery, Brookeville, Maryland, accessed at

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