Cousins and Spouses

Last post, we left off with William as a widower and a farmer.  Emma had passed away in April of 1917.  Just a few months later, William’s cousin died.

Benjamin Franklin Parmer died August 7, 1917 of diabetes at the age of 45.  His death certificate list his parents as Abram Parmer and Lillie Eckman.  Abram was the brother of Samuel, and Lillie was the sister of Hetty.  So two brothers, Abram and Samuel, married two sisters, Hetty and Lillie.  That would make Benjamin Franklin Parmer and William Eckman Parmer first cousins.

Somewhere between 1920 and 1927, William moved back to Pennsylvania.  We know this because William shows up in the 1920 census in Florida as a widower, and he shows up in the Lancaster city directory in 1927:

1927– clerk; home at 38 Washington

The 1930 census shows William as married to a Bessie.  William moved back to Lancaster and married his cousin’s widow, Elizabeth Hepburn Powell Parmer.  They are listed as living at 455 S Shippen on the 1930 census records.

Zillow lists 455 S Shippen as being built in 1888.  If that is the case, the current home at that address would be the same home where William and Bessie lived in 1930.

You can see the home on the google map for 455 S Shippen, Lancaster, PA

In 1932, William passed away.  He died of pneumonia, but also had carcinoma of the liver. His death certificate lists his occupation as caretaker of park.


Photo from


He was 62 years old and, it seems, he must have had a very interesting life, although to him, his life may have been nothing special.  What seemingly typical part of your life might be interesting to your future generations?  And what little details about your forefathers might you be able to share as a piece of the puzzle?

Elizabeth (Bessie) Hepburn Powell Parmer continued to live on Shippen Street.  She died September 3, 1966 after a long illness.

One thought on “Cousins and Spouses

  1. Pingback: William and Bessie |

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