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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Parnell family come from? What is the English Parnell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Parnell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Parnell family history?

The name Parnell reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Parnell family lived in Cheshire. The name, however, is a reference to Pernelle, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Parnell family name include Parnell, Parnel, Parnall and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parnell research. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1679 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Parnell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 27 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Parnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Parnell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 93 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Parnell family to immigrate North America:

Parnell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Walter and William Parnell, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Walter Parnell, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • William Parnell, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Edward Parnell, who came to Bermuda in 1635
  • Edward Parnell, aged 16, arrived in Bermuda in 1635

Parnell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Daniel Parnell, who landed in Georgia in 1735
  • Daniel Parnell, who settled in Georgia with his wife in 1735
  • Richard Parnell, who arrived in America in 1760-1763
  • Nurse Parnell, who settled in Virginia in 1773

Parnell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Martha Parnell, aged 18, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803

Parnell Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • John Joseph Parnell, who arrived in Alabama in 1920


  • Harvey Parnell (1880-1936), American Governor of Arkansas from 1928 to 1933
  • Mel Parnell (b. 1922), American Major League Baseball player
  • Peter Parnell (b. 1953), American playwright
  • Henry Brook Parnell (1776-1842), English politician, who was made the 1st Baron Congleton in 1841
  • Sir Christopher Patrick Parnell (b. 1930), English nobleman, 8th Baron Congleton
  • Reginald Harold Haslam Parnell (1911-1964), English Formula One driver and team manager
  • John Russell "Jack" Parnell (b. 1923), English bandleader and musician
  • Andrew Parnell (b. 1954), English organist and harpsichordist
  • Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), Irish politician


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Te digna sequere
Motto Translation: Follow worthy things.


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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Parnell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Parnell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 December 2013 at 10:40.

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