Theodore Parker was born on August 24, 1810 in Lexington, Massachussets, United States. He was a descendant of Thomas Parker of Norton, Derbyshire, England, who settled in Lynn, Massachussets, in 1635, and in 1640 was one of the founders of the town and church of Reading. A grandson removed to Lexington in 1712 and had for grandchild the Captain John Parker who led the Lexington minute-men, April 19, 1775. John (1761 - 1836), son of the Revolutionary captain, a farmer and mechanic with a vigorous mind and love of knowledge, married on February 17, 1784, Hannah Stearns of Lexington, a woman of sensitive religious feeling without concern for doctrinal disputes. Of their eleven children only Theodore, the youngest, became eminent. The boy's precocious childhood had marks of independent and varied aptitudes. A child of seven years, he inferred from graduations of lichen, moss, grass, bush, and tree, a hierarchy of ascending forms throughout nature. In growing boyhood his historical lore claimed attention in the political discussions of his elders. These varied propensities, early awakened, prefigured his career.