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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Williamson Williams Parks

Parks, Williamson Williams (see Makers of the Sacred Harp, Steel p. 145) was born in South Carolina in 1823 to James Parkes and Elizabeth Shepherd. "Williamson Williams" seems to be the more likely given name of W. W. Parks. The James & Elizabeth Parkes family Bible lists him as "Williamson W. Parkes" and family genealogists usually give the middle name as Williams (plural) rather than William. (That the next brother after him was named William supports this also.) Parks married Martha Camp on December 18, 1851 in Walton County, Georgia, They had 8 children. Parks was appointed postmaster of Auburn, Gwinnett County, Ga. in 1860. He was active in the Methodist Church. "The first Sunday school at this church [Harmony Grove Methodist Episcopal (South), Gwinnett County] was organized in 1866 by Williamson W. Parks, deceased. This was among the first, if not the first, Sunday school organized in Gwinnett county. W. W. Parks was superintendent from 1866 to 1882, and served as secretary and steward in the church at the same time." In 1860 he bought land in the Ben Smith District of Gwinnett County -- which is now part of Barrow County. He served in the Civil War, Lawrenceville Co. C 8th Reg GA State Guard Infantry as a Captain. After the War Parks bought land on Rocky Creek built a grist mill. Around 1885 he moved from Auburn to Flowery Branch and was a storekeeper there until his death. The Atlanta (Georgia) Constitution reports on the North Georgia Musical Convention in 1883 and 1884, listing Captain W. W. Parks as the vice-president. This convention met over the course of three days in the area of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and used various books, including the Temple Star and the New Sacred Harp. Parks' song The Birman Hymn was added to The Sacred Harp in 1850. It uses a hymn that was originally written in the Burmese language by Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson. W. W. Parks died in 1897. He and his wife Martha are buried at the Flowery Branch Cemetery in Hall County, Georgia.

439      Adoration

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