Parson and Maggie

Dedicated to the study and presentation of early American History

Parson John Living History Inc. is an organization dedicated to the study and presentation of the events that shaped the world during the European settlement of the American continent and the founding of the United States of America.

This purpose is accomplished through a cultural study of the European settlement of the American colonies by examining period writings including letters, diaries, books, pamphlets and legal documents in the time period from 1600 to 1812, while specializing in the interaction of religion and society in the lives of the colonists.

The education of the public is via first person interpretation, demonstrations and presentations at living history events, reenactments, schools, libraries, and churches and are intended to give an accurate view of 18th century life and culture as it applies to the religions and social aspects of the time period.


The characters of “Parson John” and “Maggie Delaney” that are portrayed by Frank and Carol Jarboe were chosen for specific reasons. “Parson John” (his first name is John – John Frank Jarboe – hence Parson John) is a compilation of the Jarboe’s research into the itinerate ministers of the 18th century.  Seen as a missing part of historical presentations, Frank’s portrayal of the Parson provides events, schools and churches with the historically correct church services that would have taken place during the colonial period.  At different events across a 6 state area, he has provided everything from simple devotionals for reenactors to a complete 18th century Sacrament Service for the public.  In addition, Frank gives history lessons on the religion of the 17th and 18th centuries.  As a licensed Minister, “Parson John” also officiates at weddings – both period and modern, and funerals.  He has been referred to by some as "a pastor to reenactors."

“Maggie Delaney” first appeared in May of 2007.  After 2 years of portraying the “Parson’s Wife,” which she thought to be incredibly boring, Carol began looking for a character from history that is rarely portrayed by living historians.  With the help of fellow historians Gerry Barker and Colleen Gilbert, Carol began researching the “lower sort” and decided to concentrate her research on, and develop a character of an Irish indentured servant.  Through “Maggie,” Carol is able to teach the plight of a large percentage of immigrants to this country.  Ragged and dirty with nasty looking teeth, Maggie wears an iron collar, the sign of a runaway, and is complete with indenture papers and a historically correct story of indentured servants. Maggie may be seen at events carrying a load on her yoke, selling produce or doing laundry – all in the way these duties would have been done by a lowly servant during the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Video Clips: Maggie - Parson

News: Maggie - Parson

Email: Parson - Maggie


Parson John Living History, Inc.

1785 Old Springfield Rd.

Woodburn, KY 42170

Frank and Carol wish to thank Jim and Kathy Cummings of Graphic Enterprises for the use of many of the photographs and links to their web site. Visit Graphic Enterprises for more information, photos, stories and schedules of Living History events. Photos as marked © Graphic Enterprises.

website ©2009 Parson John Living History, Inc.