Some Historical Facts Of The Plumbs In Barroby - a Memory of Barrowby.

The newspaper published at Grantham in England, the original home of the ancestors of the well known Plumb and Parker families of Mills, Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties, recently carried a story of the departure for America of the Plumbs and Parkers who found the south-western Iowa families. The article follows:

An interesting story of villagers going abroad to face hard toil as practical farmers making good and retiring, and leaving their families to follow on with incidentally a pleasant social party in the United States after well over fifty years away from the old country, has been brought to our notice and will afford our readers those with personal acquaintance with the parties, especially much pleasure, we are sure. In brief details are:

Francis/Frank Plumb (1846), now age 81 went to America in 1868; Valentine (1843) age 83, in 1870, and George Plumb (1842) now 85 in 1871. They are the sons of the late William 1811 (son of Francis 1779 & Ann (Johnson) Plumb of Barrowby) and wife Sarah (Gray) Plumb 1821(of Westby) all born in Barrowby and all have retired; whilst Thomas Plumb 1854 age 73 of 37 Stamford Street Grantham the fourth (living) son is retired engine driver well known to many hereabouts. (There also was a living brother John 1860, at the time who stayed in England.)


The latter (Thomas) and his three brothers have never met during the period named. The wife of George Plumb 1842 Ann (Coy) hailed from Harlaxton --- she was a sister to Sarah Coy whose first husband was Joseph Finn and after his death married Thomas Plumb 1854 of Grantham. Francis/Frank Plum1846 married Grace (McKinnon) born in St Margaret Bay, Co. of Kent, England (called in the first letter as a, Chatham lady), whilst Valentine's 1843 wife Charlotte (Llewellyn) was born in Wales and their wedding took place at Canterbury. Each couple celebrated their golden wedding.


The three elder brothers (George 1842, Valentine 1843 and Francis/Frank (1846) were labourers in this country, George being employed at Barrowby in agricultural work by Thomas Finder, and the other two at Chatham, and as long ago as when the Great Eastern laid the first Atlantic Cable in 1865 they were employed on that boat. In the 40's their two uncles, Valentine Plumb (1820) (went to America May 4, 1843), Thomas (1826) in April 3, 1846. (A sister Ann Catharine Plumb Bee who married George Bee of Barrowby and had a child born in Barrowby (George Jr. 1848) came to America between 1848-1853 because she had a child born in 1853 in Wyandott Co. Ohio, U.S.A; both mother and child died and are buried in the cemetery along with other Plumb and Parkers). Valentine's other brothers who came to America were George & John, came April 20, 1850: Robert & Rev. Francis/Frank in April 20 1853 followed by their mother Ann (Johnson) Plumb on August28 1853. She lived with son Rev. Francis. These uncles, just mentioned, were all from Barrowby, too, and have retired. The addresses of the brothers (sons of William 1811) are George Plumb, Oakland, Pottawattamie- County, Iowa; Valentine and Francis/Frank Plumb Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa. Their Grandfather Francis Plumb 1779-1843 is buried in Barrowby Churchyard and Grandmother Ann (Johnson) Plumb 1789-1873 went to America in 1853 at, the age of 64 living until she was 84 yrs. of age.

In America the three brothers brought up families and the sons of the two have followed their fathers in the farming business, whilst Valentine's son-in-law has succeeded him. About the same time that the Plumbs went out, three members of the Parker family also went, namely, Smith Parker, son of Thomas Parker 1810, son of Thomas & Ann Parker of Barrowby and Henry & Joseph Parker son of George Parker 1812 (brother of Thomas 1810) and wife Elizabeth (BEET). Thomas who is buried in the village, also went to America, farming and they retired, but are now dead. They too, had never revisited this country. They settled in Mills County, Iowa and a Son of George Plumb 1842 and a daughter of Smith Parker married (Thomas 1868 married Lulu Parker).

Upon the initiative of George Plumb 1842 there has taken place, according to a letter and photos just received by Thomas Plumb 1854 a reunion dinner at George's house of the Parker and Plumbs and their families, the company numbering no less then eighty-seven, there being several absentees So successful and happy was the gathering it is hoped to repeat it.

George Plumb wife is 82. Francis/Frank 1846 wife Grace is also a good age and Valentine 1843, is a widower. The eldest boy of the first named, (George 1842) Thomas William (1868) was born in Barrowby, and he to is retired. He left his native village at the age of 3years.


The Plumbs father (William 1811) worked as a labourer, and on the building of Harlaxtlon Manor the son, George (1842) was engaged in the construction of the carriage drive at the manor. Mrs. George Plumb, nee Coy is an Aunt of Thomas (1854) Plumb of 91 Stanford Street, Grantham. A son, or a Grandson of Smith Parker came over to England during the World war with the American Troops and visited Barrowby.

Farming in the far off days we have referred to was of no sinecure. What was required was determination, hard work, and perseverance. There on the Plumbs and Parkers set their minds, and the result is described above. We are glad to have this opportunity to record the success and of linking up their family connections with their neighbourhood.

We understand that in the 40's a number of people from Denton, Barrowby, and Harlaxton, including the "Bees and Wilsons" went out to the California gold diggings. (as I know (Mildred E Plumb at this recoping Valentine 1820 and W. B. Wilson who were very close friends went to California the winter of 1849/50 stayed about 5 years before returning. Val. bought land in Mills Co. Iowa on his return and Wilson I read returned to New York, returned to Denton, and returned in 1856 to America. Valentine 1820 brother George who came to America in 1850 also went looking for gold!

As far as we now know Valentine 1820 was the first to come to America. I believe he returned to Barrowby about the time of his father's death Dec. 1843 or there after. When Val returned to America I believe W. B. Wilson returned with him to the USA. Information from the Wilsons who have letters stating Wm. Plumb 1811 visited in the home of W.B. Wilson's parents in Denton (Wm. 1811 was a brother of Val. 1820). W.B. Wilson came to America in May 1847.

I would like to mention census records show the Plumb and Parkers lived on Malt Road, Barrowby in 1851.

A memory shared by Alan Plumb on Jul 2nd, 2011. Send Alan Plumb a message.

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