Australia (part 1)

From Cameron Parle – New South Wales, Australia

Email From: Cameron Parle

Hello everyone, I've been meaning to make a contribution about Australian Parles for a while, but haven't had the time until now. My first piece of information originates from my great-uncle Harold Parle (died June 1976) and dates from 1970. The following is an OCR-derived copy of his original typewritten notes. Except for corrections where the OCR software misinterpreted the odd character, I've kept the same formatting and punctuation to preserve the original flavour. I can't remember much about him, but I do remember he was an Australian Army Captain in the First World War and won the Military Cross - such things tend to stick in the minds of small impressionable boys.


In an old document found in the library of Dr. John PARLE of St. Louis, Missourie, U.S.A. - This document starts off with the preamble that it is "By the authority of John Thorpe, a much respected chronicler and Herald of Aston Manor, County of Warwick, England, found in old records of that gentleman in the Archives of Asten Hall of the said Manor."

The document suggests that the family of D'PARLE lived near Cherbourg, Normandy, and went to England at the invitation of Charles II (reign 1660-1685) and settled in the Manor of Manadon, County of Devon. Two gentlemen of this family were called by the King for Cavalry service in Ireland (about 1689) and stayed to form the Irish Family (lopping off the 'D' in the process).

Note: Charles II king of England, Scotland and Ireland (1660 – 1685) following the Restoration (1660); Son of Charles I. He did much to promote commerce, science, and the navy, but his Roman Catholic sympathies were alleged to have caused widespread distrust.

The English branch of the family anglicised their name to PARLEBY, (motto of the PARLEBY is "PARLE BIEN"). They were well to do until William of Orange III (reign 1694 - 1702) defeated James II (reign 1685 - 1688), whom the PARLE's supported, being Catholics. (See note I).

Note: James II (1633 – 1701) King of England, Ireland, and as James VII of Scotland (1685 – 1688); son of Charles I. His pro-Catholic sympathies and arbitrary rule caused the Whigs (a political party or group opposed to the succession of James, when Duke of York, to the throne, on the grounds that he was a Catholic that was alarming the ascendancy. They represented the great aristocracy and the moneyed middle class and Tories (ditto as a political party becoming the Conservative Party in the 1830’s) to unite in inviting William of Orange to take the throne. James was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne, Co. Meath, Ireland (1690) when he attempted to regain the throne. He then left for France never to return to any of his Kingdoms.

Note: William of Orange (William III 1650 –1702) stadholder (Chief Magistrate) of the Netherlands and King of Great Britain and Ireland (1689 – 1702). He ruled jointly with his wife Mary 11 (James’ daughter, a non-Catholic) until her death in 1694. This period of history is confusing to many people in the 21st century, as William fought James, a Catholic, but the Papacy at the time supported William! And to cap it all, William’s wife Mary was a non-Catholic. So the perception that the Battle of the Boyne was about Ireland and religion is incorrect. Closer examination indicates the Papal support (Pope Alexander VIII) was more about the quarrel between the Holy See and Louis XIV over the liberties of the Gallican (French) church; and the contrast of the dispossessed Irish Catholic natives to the Protestant settlers who received favourable treatment and status in the society of the day!

One fled to the South of Ireland (seemingly WEXFORD) and another THOMAS PARLE Esquire, to the neighbourhood of Swords, County of Dublin. The head of this family went to Hoogley, in the East Indies, where he acquired great wealth, as a Ship Merchant in the China trade. (See note II).

Note I: History states that in Ireland in 1690, James II (Catholic) was defeated by William III of Orange (Protestant) at the battle of the Boyne and the capture of WEXFORD.

Note II: I feel sure that the East Indies means India, as there is a town named Hoogley, also another town, North of Calcutta named PARLE (manufacture of biscuits from India by an Indian Company, the product is named Parle's Biscuits, and are obtainable in Sydney).

My research in several countries gives to the belief that the PRIVATEER (Inset: an armed, privately owned vessel commissioned for war service by a government) version is also correct, as is the above version.

The PARLE family in Melbourne seems to have their origin from an Irish Seaman who jumped ship in the old sailing days. One of the girls from this family married James Scullin, a Labour Prime Minister of Australia in the 1930s.

The N.S.W. branch of the PARLE's family originated from my father JAMES (born 1837) who migrated with a sister and two brothers from Wexford, Ireland. They arrived in Sydney 1856. We believe that the origin of our branch of the PARLE's is the Privateer version. My Father was married twice in N.S.W. - His family being, first wife Mary Butler, one daughter and four sons, second wife Elizabeth McCoy, one daughter and nine sons. My father's two brothers did not leave any family. His sister married and became Furlong.

Other Branches of the PARLE's have been located in New Zealand; Nebraska, U.S.A.; California, U.S.A.; Berkley, U.S.A.; also a Father Richard PARLE in South Korea. All these branches of the PARLE's had their origin in WEXFORD Ireland.

The above originally compiled by: HAROLD PARLE, SYDNEY Australia 1970

My second piece of information is to do with James Parle's father, Walter Parle (my great-great grandfather) and his offspring. I have the following information and hope this may be sufficient for someone else to fill in some of the blanks, especially concerning his own parents and other earlier relatives:

Walter Parle:

died Wexford, Ireland
married Alice Welch
1st son James, born Wexford 15/8/1837, arrived NSW 1856, died NSW 1915 (15 children by two wives!)
2nd son Michael, died NSW, wife Alice, daughter Alice (not married - died 1941)
3rd son Lawrence, not married, died Ireland
1st daughter Catherine, became Furlong, died NSW
4th son Patrick, not married, died NSW - 2nd daughter Margaret, not married, died Ireland
3rd daughter Mary, not married, died Ireland

My grandfather, Septimus Parle, was the seventh (hence his name!) of ten children by James Parle's second wife, Elizabeth McCoy. He was a pharmacist by profession and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Third Field Ambulance of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War.

My third piece of information is to do with the USS Parle, a destroyer escort of the US Navy. I've been told that she was named after a Parle who won the Congressional Medal of Honor whilst serving in the Union Navy during the American Civil War. Perhaps some of the North Americans amongst you can chase this one up. I have a copy of an article about it that appeared in what I think was the "WAUKEGAN NEWS-SUN" for Thursday, June 10, 1965. I get the impression that she was already fairly old then, as the article tells about her beginning new duties as a training ship for naval Reservists in the Great Lakes. She weighed 1,450 tons. A later pencilled note on my copy of the article states she was decommissioned in 1970.

I hope this has been of some interest to you all!

Cameron Parle 


From Denis J Parle – Seaforth, Sydney, NSW, Australia


Hi again Mike,

Glad you got my email and was interested to find you are Freddie's brother and you married Deirdre's sister. Here is some information for you in a 'Word' attachment as requested.

My father (Harold) corresponded with Parles all over the world and I'm working from his voluminous notes. Among his papers (now over 30 years old) I have found family trees for Nebraska Parles: Californian Parles: Berkley Parles. I don't want to swamp you with too much too soon but if you want any of this just ask. I note you have John Patrick Parle from Michigan on your email. He and I correspond regularly. For some years I was corresponding with Daniel Parle in San Francisco and have some of his details as well.

Finally you should keep Mary Boggan informed and you will note I’ve copied her with this email. 

I hope you find all this of help

Dennis Parle - Sydney, NSW, Australia




Two groups of Parles migrated from Ireland in the mid 1800s. One lot went to Victoria around Melbourne, the other came to Sydney. As far as we have been able to assess both groups are unrelated as far as we can trace back. Maybe your project will uncover something. I remain in regular contact with the Melbourne mob, and I have sent them by mail a copy of your request for information. Meantime I’ll give some of their details I have.

The Victorian group was not big in the breeding stakes, possibly because there were a few catholic priests among the immigrants. In contrast my grandfather, James (born in 1837 and died aged 78 in 1915), was a fine old stud and produced 15 children via two marriages. My father Harold was one of 9 boys and a girl from the second marriage, and as you can imagine, with so many boys, the Parle name has spread now throughout Australia - mainly thanks to the sacrifice of James.

Bryan Parle, my cousin was in Ireland a couple of years ago and paid some researchers to trace our origins but didn’t find much more than we already knew. However, as a result of a business tie up with the Mormons he has had them do some research. He told me last week that the Mormons had sent him some further information, but he lives on a property, and hasn’t yet got to town to pick it up. I have also sent him a copy of your email.

Here is what we know so far


My grandfather James was born near Wexford in 1837. He arrived here in 1856 and is buried in Sydney in1915. He had 3 brothers - Michael and Patrick, both migrated to Australia; Lawrence (died in Ireland).  And 3 sisters - Catherine came to NSW in1866 whilst Margaret and Mary stayed in Ireland.

Their father and mother were Walter Parle who married Alice Welch.

From the recent Mormon papers we understand that Walter- our great grandfather was born in Duncormick, Co. Wexford, but lived and died (and is buried) in Johnsontown. He was a builder and he leased land in Johnsontown for 2 a year. His wife Alice came from County Clare. In his early days lived in Bandry - a fortified village where they all hid from Oliver Cromwell.

I sent this information on to Mary Boggan a few weeks ago and her comments were: "Just a quick query regarding your Walter Parle from Johnstown - you said his wife [Alice Walsh] came from Co. Clare and he lived in Bandry [?]. Could this possibly be Bantry in Co. Cork? As far as I am aware there is no Bandry in Co. Wexford but somewhere in the back of my mind I have heard of a connection in Bantry in Co. Cork, "

Unfortunately that is as far back as we have been able to trace our hereditary .

VICTORIAN PARLES (details to be confirmed)

The Victorian group can trace their origin to Thomas Parle (with a reference to Vinegar Hill 1798, but I don’t know what this means?). Thomas had a son John Parle who married a Mary Nolan.

Note: The Battle of Vinegar Hill, to the best of my rusty history knowledge, was a famous decision-making Co. Wexford battle (in Enniscorthy town) which was a turning point for the 1798 uprising against the British rule in Ireland. The seeds of this were sown by the founding of the 'Society of United Irishmen', by Theobald Wolfe Tone (a Dublin Protestant) following the French Revolution in 1789.

I can obtain further detail on this should you or the Victoria Parles wish?

They had 3 boys and a girl. Of these: John and Mary stayed in Ireland. James went to USA whilst Richard went to Melbourne. Richard was born in Wexford in 1830



19.03.2001  The Sydney Parles Update

Hi Mike,

Further to your consolidation with the info sent by Cameron and myself I have been reading some old letters written by my cousin Marie Tafe who was a great researcher on the Parles in Australia. Marie would find out things and then verify them with her mother Dorothy (my aunt) who lived to 94, and was very active till the day she died. Sadly Marie died in her fifties so I have to rely on her notes for accuracy. She would have loved being involved in your project. Marie's husband now lives in Tasmania. I have contacted him and he still has all the info but it is so vast I don't think I could interpret it very well.

Anyway, here are some additional notes from Marie's letter.

The information I gave you was that Walter Parle born in Duncormick married Alice Welch of County Clare and they had 4 boys (James - my grandfather, Michael, Patrick and Lawrence) and 3 sisters (Catherine, Margaret and Mary). Of these James, Michael, Patrick and Catherine all migrated to Sydney.

The new information indicates is that Walter and Alice had 7 boys and 3 girls. There was also a Peter who came to Sydney, bought a property, but later returned to Ireland. We don't know the names of the other 2 boys but believe they migrated to America. James was the youngest of 7 boys.

Shipping records show Michael, Peter and Catherine arrived on SS Africanna and reported:

Catherine Parle, age 25 origin Duncormick, Co Wexford, Domestic.

Peter Parle, age 23, Duncormick, Grocer's Assistant.

Michael Parle, age 22, Duncormick, Farm Labourer.

All 3 indicated they were to join James Parle, Clarence St, Sydney.

I have spoken to my cousin Bryan again but he hasn't yet got the Mormon papers about Walter and Alice, but John Patrick sent me an email last week after reading your consolidation mentioning his great, great grandfather was also a Walter. I am forwarding a copy of his email to you.

Wanda Thompson mentioned in some of her emails about a Lorna Ashley Parle of Melbourne. I don't know her but I've contacted her via a relative and she is to send me some more details about the Victorians.

When I contacted Wanda Thompson recently I asked about a Daniel Parle of California with whom I was corresponding regularly up to 1990. But I then lost contact. Wanda checked and found Daniel was in hospital with pneumonia but sadly she emailed me again a few days later to say he had died.

That’s about all for today Mike. With the number of emails flying around the world we may have to soon set up a secretariat.

Best wishes.



13.03.2001 – From John Patrick Parle (on same subject)

Subject: Greetings

Hello Dennis,

I took interest in the new Parle History document from Michael W Parle in Ireland. On page 39 there is a section that you wrote, saying that Walter Parle of Duncormick was your great grandfather. A Walter Parle of that generation was also my great great grandfather. My Walter Parle was living in the Tikillin civil parish (just northwest of Wexford Town) in the 1853 Griffith's Valuation; only three Walter Parles are listed in the valuation schedule, being heads of households in Co. Wexford. This data below from the 1853 Griffith's Valuation I assume was your great grandfather:

Name: Walter Parle
Civil Parish: Duncormick
Townland: Johnstown
Lessor: Hamilton K.G. Morgan
Property: House, offices, land
Lot #: 7; Value: 2,5,0; O.S. #: 46; Cath. Par. #: 106; Page #: 224

The other Walter Parle listed in the 1853 Griffith's Valuation, besides your ancestor and mine, is in the Tullycanna townland in the Ambrosetown civil parish. That is very close to Duncormick on the map. Also I was going through the Halberts data on recent Parle families living in County Wexford, say in the past ten years. There are nine Parle families now living in Duncormick (or were from the data they used) - Conor Parle, Fergal Parle, Ellen Parle, Joseph Parle, John Parle, Kathleen Parle, Margaret Parle, Richard Parle, and Stephen Parle.

My natural reaction was to wonder if any of these were related to you?

Bye for now. We are excited here with the prospect of a new Spring!

John Patrick Parle


20.6.2001 from Dennis J Parle to Wanda Thompson, JP & Mike

Hi Parle Clan,

As you can see I'm fishing for information Lorna Ashton has sent me the following info and asked if I could pass it on



Victorian Branch

Richard Parle B. 1831 - 1909

Parents James Parle - Ann Nolan. Sponsors Miles Conway - Catherine Parle.

Canon Higgins of Blackwater supplied the above information from Parish records

A family legend mentions a Thomas Parle taking part at Vinegar Hill 1795.

Richard and the Scallon brothers left for Australia leaving Liverpool on the "Lochiel" May 21 1853 arriving Port Phillip (Melbourne) August 20 1853. Later to work together as reef miners in the gold fields in Stawell Victoria.

The late Richard Parle of Ballyvaloo Wexford suggested that the Condons of Jersey USA and the Cogils, of Dover USA may be descendents of Richard's siblings

Lorna Ashton


31.5.2001 From Kathryn Parle – Australia to Mike Parle

Subj: Parle Relations

Hi there

I recently looked for the Parle site and find that there are probably lots of cousins twice removed around the world.

So I'll tell you about me and maybe someone would answer. I actually chose this name, my mother's maiden name.

She was Beatrice Parle, born 1920 in NSW. The first child and only daughter of Harold Parle and Mabel nee Simmonds. His parents were James and Elizabeth Parle. So my great great grandfather was Walter Parle and GGGM was Alice nee Welch.

In choosing to take my mother's maiden name I was mindful of my Parle ancestry. I also liked the name, and its meaning in French. I like it spelt backwards too - elrap.

Importantly, the people who are my Parle relatives had always seemed to me to be such good people. My grand father always impressed me with his commitment to working for others, and he set a great example. He had a great wit, as does my uncle.

I do wonder when I look at the history on the web site, are these common traits in the Parle generations.

The name suits me also because my work is in communications, I enjoy teaching and I do like to talk!! On a boat I loved the sea so much I felt the French sailors' salty air in me. When I work in my organic garden I wonder about the subsistence farmers on the Great Saltee Islands. I Would love to go there.  When I play Irish music and sing Irish songs, I know where I come from.

So I thought I would tell you that after having three other surnames, I am glad to call myself Parle, and will keep this name. I guess in the end a name is all we have so its pretty important.

Hope to hear from someone.

Kathryn Parle



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This page last changed on 04 March 2019