Parfitt Family Genealogy

The Ken Parfitt children are the descendants of varied backgrounds. Parfitt is a name that came from the French word “parfait.” That word means “perfect” and, yes, it is the name of a dessert! (I love to make cherry-almond parfaits.)


The Parfitts came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. Somehow the ones that Ken is descended from became coal miners in Clutton, England, close to Bristol, the famous town where George Muller built the orphanages that never asked for money and relied solely on God answering prayer for providing their needs. Once the coal mines ran out in England, coal mines opened up in Wales. Some Parfitts moved to Wales and married Welsh girls, while continuing to be coal miners. They lived in the area of Trevithin, Monmouthshire, and Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. (I’ll let you look that up on a map.)

I guess the coal mines were running out in Wales, too. For whatever reason, the Parfitts moved to new coal mines in Pennsylvania, near Scranton. But they ended up living for many years in Blossburg, Pennsylvania. This is just south of Elmira, New York. Robert Parfitt is the ancestor who emigrated with his wife and four children in October 1864. They had left behind the grave of their firstborn son, who died in 1857 at the age of 3. Their youngest baby was 6 months old, and he died the next year in March at the age of 10 months. They had a son in December that year, and then a daughter four years later. That daughter died at the age of 3 months. Then their oldest daughter died at age 14 almost one year later! One last son was born less than two months after that daughter died. What a sad life for that mother! Their fourth son, John, was the ancestor of Ken’s family. He married a young lady of Welsh descent in Morris Run, Pa. They had nine children. All this time, the family was still in the business of coal mining. John’s wife, Elizabeth, was the daughter of a blacksmith from Carmarthenshire, who had immigrated ten years before the Parfitts. He was also a justice of the peace in Blossburg at one point. Perhaps it was this non-miner connection that led John to try to get a better future for his son David. He enrolled him in a business school in Elmira, NY. Apparently David encouraged his father and siblings to move to Elmira because more and more of them moved there, as seen in Federal censuses. David Parfitt married a girl with German background, Augusta Louisa Heller.


7 thoughts on “Parfitt Family Genealogy

  1. I find this interesting, to see it more as a story than a page full of facts. Hope you can finish it!

  2. Jamie, you left me hanging….

    I want to read the rest of the story.

    Looking forward to your continuing of the history of Ken’s family.

  3. Hello,

    Iā€™m Andrew Parfitt from the UK. Thanks the family history, I wonder if we are related?



  4. Well, I personally can’t be, but my husband’s might be. What part of the UK are you from? When we lived there, in the areas around Basingstoke, we saw a Parfitt farm once while driving. We never could find it again, but we wanted to know if we were related!

  5. Hi,

    Just so you know, Parfitt doesn’t come from the French word ‘parfait’. It’s a surname derived from a medieval nickname, in this instance a nickname for an apprentice who had finished his term of apprenticeship. Ultimately the origin of the surname is the Old French word ‘parfite’, meaning ‘completed’, and its originator the Latin word ‘perfectus’ meaning ‘to finish’. Etymology is an interesting subject! šŸ™‚

    Parfait (the dessert) wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, many centuries after the surname developed. I agree it’s tasty though!

  6. Thank you, Kate. Have we been introduced? When we lived about an hour southwest of London, we noticed a Parfitt Farm, but we couldn’t find it again on a map or on the many roads criss-crossing the area. Perhaps the people mentioned in that article were responsible for that farm. I wonder if people sometimes took their surname from the masters that they worked for. Are you related to Parfitts? God bless you as you seek Him. ~ Jamie

  7. Sorry, we haven’t been introduced and I’m not related to Parfitts – I just came across your blog while blog-hopping and since I’m interested in names, etymology and genealogy, thought I’d comment. Sorry if I was rude!

    It seems that the surname Parfitt has always been most widespread in the south and southwest of England, so yes, it’s possible that the Parfitts who owned the farm you came across may be descended from some of the ‘original’ Parfitts. I don’t think it was common for apprentices to take their surname from their masters unless they’d lost at least one of their parents.

    By the way, could this be the place you noticed? Parfitts Farm, at Eversley Cross, near Hook, Hampshire, RG27 0NR.

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