William T. Parshall was born in 1818 in New York, the son of Terry (1795-1864) and Mary or Lydia (Hulse, 1796-1845).
New Yorkers Terry and Lydia were married in about 1813 in Chemung County, New York and they lived in New York for many years. Terry was living in Springwater, Ontario (probably Livingston) County in 1820 and in Springwater, Livingston County in 1830. Terry eventually moved his family to Michigan and by 1845 when Lydia died they were living in Shiawassee County. In 1847 Terry married his second wife, Rebecca Russell in Shiawassee County, Michigan and by 1850 Terry and his wife were living on a farm in Woodhull, Shiawassee County (where he died in 1864).
William married New York native Lovina (b. 1832) and they had at least two and possibly three children: Terry (b. 1850), Harriet (b. 1852) and Sophia (b. 1860).
William and his wife, neither of whom could not read or write, moved to the western side of the state and had settled in Spencer Township in Kent County sometime in the late 1840s. By 1860 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Oakfield, Kent County.
William was 44 years old and probably living in Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on January 9, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was absent sick in the hospital in August and allegedly deserted on September 21, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, although he was probably in fact in the hospital where he likely remained until he was transferred to the Seventy-fifth company, Second Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps December 15, 1863, and discharged from the VRC on January 9, 1865.
After he was discharged from the army William returned to Kent County. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned some $3000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and three children in Spencer, Kent County. He was still working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Spencer in 1880. By 1888 he was living in Griswold (probably in Kent County) and in Spencer in 1890.
In 1877 he applied for and received a pension (no. 421485).
William probably resided in Spencer until he died a widower of “old age” on October 10, 1896, in Spencer Township, and was buried in Spencer cemetery.