Parsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Parsley surname comes from the medieval family name Passelewe, which is derived from the Old French words "passe," meaning "to pass," and "l’ewe," or "the water;" thus it was likely originally a nickname for a ferry operator or a merchant, who often crossed the water. It may also have been used as a topographic name for someone who lived on the opposite side of a watercourse from the main settlement.

Early Origins of the Parsley family

The surname Parsley was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, Radulfus Passaqua is listed in the Domesday Book and Ralph Passelewa is shown at Bury in Suffolk in 1104-6.

Early History of the Parsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parsley research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1194, 1273, 1327, 1439, 1450, 1511, 1524, 1585, and 1637 are included under the topic Early Parsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parsley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Parslow, Perslow, Parslew, Farslew, Parsley, Paslow, Paslie, Pasley, Pashley, Pashler, Paslew, Pashley, Pasley, Passley, Pashlie, Paslie, Passlie, Parsloe, Paslew, Passwater, Passleigh, Paslegh, Parslowe, Passlewmede, Passlaw and many more.

Early Notables of the Parsley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Parsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Parsley migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Parsley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Parsley, who arrived in Virginia in 1662
  • Anthony Parsley, who landed in Maryland in 1673 [2]
  • John Parsley, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [2]
  • John Parsley, who settled in Maryland in 1674
  • Anthony and Elizabeth Parsley, who settled in Maryland in 1679
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Parsley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Redmond Parsley, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [2]
  • Mary Parsley, who settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1751
  • Henry Parsley, who settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1752

Canada Parsley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Parsley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jonathan Parsley, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Australia Parsley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Parsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Owen Parsley, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Parsley (post 1700) +

  • Jamie Parsley (b. 1969), American poet and Episcopalian priest
  • Cliff Parsley (b. 1954), former punter in the National Football League
  • Lea Ann Parsley (b. 1968), retired American skeleton racer
  • Rodney Lee Parsley (b. 1957), prominent American Christian minister, author, television host and evangelist
  • The Right Reverend Henry Nutt Parsley (b. 1948), American Episcopal Bishop of Alabama, and Chancellor of the University of the South, in Tennessee
  • Neil Robert Parsley (b. 1966), former professional footballer
  • Ian James Parsley (b. 1977), Northern Irish businessman and politician


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1849


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