This is a photo of Benjamin Parker I found today on several ancestry.com family trees. Benjamin Parker is one of my "Big 8" early Groveland residents that I have been researching. All of the lives of the "Big 8" intertwine in various ways and all were early on the scene in Groveland.
Benjamin Parker's step father was John Smith. John Smith was one of the early Surveyors who mapped out Groveland. I think he also bought a lot of land at the same time and resold it.
Benjamin's sister, Elizabeth Parker, married William Doty. William Doty married Mary Bosley Harrison, daughter of John Harrison (another one of the Big 8). And thus you begin to see how their lives intertwine. William & Mary Doty's son, Lockwood L. Doty, wrote the history of the county, I believe.
Today, I went over the probate packet for the widow of Benjamin Parker, Catharine McGinley Parker. They had 6 children. Charles died young. Mary Ann is listed as "a lunatic" in the probate. She shows up in the "poorhouse records" later on for insanity. I don't know if she was down syndrome or had another mental health problem. It would be interesting to know more. She had someone responsibile for her money in the probate. The only married daughter was Elizabeth. Amanda and Catharine were unmarried when their mother died. Their father, Benjamin Parker, had already passed away 20 years earlier.
Not sure how I would feel being on my own as a single woman of 44 years, with a payout of $125, and living in a farming community. It would be fun to know the rest of the story.
Note: Benjamin Parker served as one of the executors of the estate of Levi Dunn