John Parkinson, Esq., descends from a Scots-Irish Family from Northern Ireland. John was born around 1750, possibly in Ballymagowan, County Armagh, and immigrated to South Carolina around 1765. John Parkinson lived on a plantation named Richmount – which he may have named after Richmount Manor, Oneilland West Barony, Ballymagowan, County Armagh. John lived in the region of South Carolina that was first in Orangeburgh District, later separated as Winton District, and finally became Barnwell County.
In November 1778, John Parkinson served as a commissioner of election for the District Between the North Fork of the Edisto River and the Savannah River. John Parkinson married Katharine Nicholson, the daughter of the late Francis Nicholson, on 11 July 1781 in South Carolina, and they had two children: Mary Parkinson and Sarah Parkinson (born in 1789). On 27 September 1781, with the British in control of Charlestown, South Carolina, Governor John Rutledge, Esq. issued a proclamation to call a General Assembly for the colony of South Carolina – those who received British protection during the occupation were ineligible to vote. John Parkinson was elected as a member of the South Carolina Legislature (the 4th General Assembly of South Carolina) representing the District Between the Savannah and the North Fork of the Edisto (Barnwell County). The Assembly met at Jacksonborough, a village on the Edisto River 30 miles west of Charlestown) in January 1782, and most of their deliberations regarded penalties to those South Carolinians who aided and abetted the British. The Assembly passed a bill of attainder, the Estate Confiscation Act of 26 February 1782, calling for the confiscation of the estates of Loyalists named in the Act. John Parkinson was re-elected in 1783 to the 5th General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, but he declined to serve.
In 1783, the South Carolina Assembly passed an ordinance to divide the South Carolina districts into counties, and John Parkinson was appointed as one of seven commissioners to divide the Orangeburgh District into smaller counties – creating the County of Winton. John Parkinson, and 5 other justices, was ordered to erect a court house, jail, whipping post and a pillory for the new county of Winton. In 1788, John served as commissioner of elections for the District Between the Savannah River and the North Fork of the Edisto. John was a member of the Bethesda Baptist Church in Barnwell. Katherine died between 1791 and 1796. On 17 November 1796, John Parkinson married Sarah, the widow of George Crossle.
John Parkinson made his will on 3 October 1803, died at the end of 1803, and his will was recorded on 20 December 1803. John Parkinson’s estate included the plantation of Richmount, the plantation of Vale, livestock, a silver watch with an enameled dial plate, and a dictionary of arts and sciences.