General Parle Research

9.05.2001 from JP to Christine Brown and Mike

Subject: [parle] Parle research in the United Kingdom

Hi Mike and Christine,

I sent the posting below on Christine's research to the Parle listserv at Yahoo. The posting is sent out to 24 members. Bye for now.

John Patrick


Greetings Parle researchers,

Christine Ann Parle Brown in the United Kingdom has been busy doing Parle family research. She's contacted Gregory Parle in the UK, who describes a multiple housing unit there called Parle Court. Gregory thinks his ancestors came from Co. Wexford.

Christine, in an e-mail dated 4-9-01, has also further identified the Parlby family at Manadon in Devonshire, England (below). Other sources have suggested that Parlby is a surname akin to Parle.

Rev. J.H.Parlby d . 16th July, 1899, and was s. by his eldest surviving son.

MAJOR REGINALD JOHN HALL PARLBY, of Manadon, Devon, lord of the Manors of Weston Peverell and Sampford Spiney,Major at Devonshire Regt., b . 12th Feb. 1861 ; educ. Honiton Sch. ; m 4th Sept 1900. Violet Agatha Margaret, 3rd dau. of Edward Newman-----of Franklyn Exeter.and grand - dau of the late Rt .Hon.Sir James Carid ,K.C.B., and d .15th Jan 1923, leaving issue,

In another matter, Christine contacted the College of Arms in England regarding any listing of a Parle coat of arms there. The College of Arms response is below, received sometime in April 2001. Michael W. Parle in Ireland is also looking in that country to see if there is a Parle arms registered.


Dear Mrs. Brown,

Thank you for your letter of 2 April.

I have made some searches in the College's official records but regret to say that I can find no coat of arms registered for any family named Parle. Nor is there any coat of arms attributed to a family of the name in Burke's 'The General Armory' (1884), a printed volume that contains many coats of arms that were informally adopted by the families concerned.

I see from the information you sent me that there seems to have been a drawing of a coat of arms on the top of John P. Parle's copy of the Aston Manor document. If you could obtain a copy of this drawing from John P. Parle, then I may be able to comment further, but in the absence of an illustration it is obviously difficult for me to know what the coat of arms consists of.

I am sorry to have to send such a negative reply.

Yours sincerely,

P.L. Dickinson


Finally, Christine has gathered some material on a medieval Parles family in Warwickshire, England, per the e-mail below. A lot of valued record hunting has been endeavored by Christine on behalf of Parle researchers.

John Patrick Parle, USA


14.05.2001 from John Patrick to Mike and Christine

Fwd: [Parle] Questions and Theories: General Parle Family Research

Hi Mike and Christine,

I posted this at the Parle listserv at Yahoo tonight. I wondered if it might clarify the current work being done in general Parle research.

Bye for now, and Blessings.

John Patrick


Greetings Parle family researchers,

There are two levels of inquiry in Parle family research. First is the one we are most familiar with--dealing with the particular stories or our own immediate Parle ancestors. This involves information about our grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, their families, and so on.

The second level of inquiry has been what many of recent posts here have dealt with--the general Parle research going back many centuries, information that relates to distant ancestors of all Parle families. In some instances, the scope of this general inquiry goes back as far as medieval times or at least some theories about general Parle research do. As it has developed, it seems like there are three primary research questions of general Parle research:

Research Question 1: How and when did the first Parles arrive in Ireland? (or in England?)

Research Question 2: What part of continental Europe did the Parle families originate, and what was their position there? (as in knights or privateers from Normandy or Flanders?)

Research Question 3: Do existing Parle families around the world have common ancestors going back many centuries?

According to Halberts data from the 1990s, there are about 602 families around the world with the surname Parle. Perhaps there are also that many families of another surname whose female spouse had the surname Parle. So we may be talking about a little more than 1,000 worldwide families with Parle connections. The general Parle family research is interested in the connectedness between these Parle families, who now are literally on five different continents.

The three research questions above have generated quite a few theories so far, and below is an attempt to list most of those theories.

On Question 1: Parle origins in Ireland

There are essentially three theories on how the Parle family came to Ireland:

Theory 1. Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1169. This is the most widely accepted theory. Here, Parle knights or foot-soldiers came to Ireland when the English first invaded Ireland, more often called the Anglo/Cambro-Norman invasions of 1169 and afterwards. This theory is mentioned in Richard Roche's "The Norman Invasion of Ireland," and Robert MacNeil's "The Story of English" (references at end of posting). Judy Parle held to this theory, and Michael W. Parle in Ireland is currently searching for more supportive evidence on a Parle participation in the Cambro-Norman invasions.

Theory 2. Shipwrecked Parles at Carnsore Point. Here, three Parle brothers, seamen from France, were shipwrecked on the southern Wexford coast. Nicky Furlong of the Wexford People claims this may have happened in the early to mid 1700s, and numerous sources refer to these brothers as privateers (Inset: seamen who privately owned ships authorized to attack enemy ships). According to the story, two of the brothers returned to France, but one injured brother remained in Wexford, and was nursed back to health by a fair Wexford maiden. According to Furlong, they married and settled in the Bargy barony of Wexford. Along with Furlong, those sources reporting aspects of this theory include Hilary Murphy and John Parle of England.

Theory 3. Plantation granted by Charles II.  Here, Parle brothers from a noble family in Cherbourg are given a domain in County Cork by English king Charles II, in the late 1600s. The Parles later settled in Wexford, after the fall of James II. This is the theory found in the Aston Manor Document.

Along with the curiosity on the Irish Parles, there is renewed interest on how the Parle family first came to England. Christine Ann Parle Brown has uncovered data of medieval knights in Warwick named Osbertus de Parles and William de Parles. One wonders if there has been a steady Parle presence in England, well before the Great Potato Famine migration of Parles to England in the mid 1800s.

On Question 2: Continental origins of early Parle family

Most of the theories claim that the Parle family came from France, in particular Normandy. New data suggest that the Parles may have come from Flanders, and one writer even suggests the Parles may have come from Brittany. Hilary Murphy and Nicky Furlong report the stories that the Parle family came originally from France. Robert MacNeil writes that they were from Normandy, and the Aston Manor Document claims the Parles were from Cherbourg in Normandy. Judy Parle believed that the Parles were from Normandy. Richard Roche in "The Norman Invasion of Ireland" lists Parles as being among Flemish fighting men who had come to Ireland with Cambro-Norman invaders. Michael W. Parle in Ireland is currently researching this Flanders possibility more deeply. John Parle of England writes that the Parles were from Brittany, although it is unclear where the primary source for this theory came from.

On Question 3: Common Ancestry of Parles

They’re only perhaps 1,000 Parle families in the world. An appealing notion is that these Parle families had common ancestors going back over the centuries. Or that current Parle families may have common ancestors in the past two hundred years in Ireland or England.

This was the area that Judy Parle was most interested in. Before she got ill, Judy was doing a lot of work trying trace existing Parle families to common connection points since say 1800.

Hilary Murphy has reported that a "census" of Co. Wexford for the year 1659 stated that there were 19 Parles (rendered Pearle) in the Bargy barony of Co. Wexford. One wonders if there were Parles in other baronies of Wexford in 1659. If not, do many/most of current Parle families have ancestors going back to these 19 original Parle (persons/families?) living in the Bargy part of Wexford in 1659?

Well, these are the general Parle family questions and theories as they stand now. We are trying to approach the inquiry in an organized fashion, while enjoying the practice of family research in the process.

John Patrick Parle, Michigan, USA



  • Most of the info sources can be found in Michael W. Parle's "Parle Family History" paper (March 10, 2001), available to the Parle listserv archives.
  • Robert MacNeil et al, "The Story of English" (New York: Viking Press, 1986), see page 172.
  • Nicky Furlong, "Wexford Offshore Islands," section called The Parle Story, in The Wexford People weekly newspaper, July 25, 1975.
  • Hilary Murphy, "Parle--a Notable Family with Wexford Associations" in "Ireland's Own--Famous Irish Names" series, 1986.
  • Quotation from England's John Parle about Parles from Brittany: Michael W. Parle's paper, page 17 (3-10-01 edition), or via Michael A. Parle's website: 
  • Aston Manor Document can be found in Michael W. Parle's paper or at Parle listserv archives.
  • Christine Ann Parle Brown's research info can be found at Parle listserv archives.
  • Halberts "New World Book of Parles," undated, but from the late 1990s.

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15.5.2001 from John Patrick


Greetings Ken and Parle family researchers,

That is a good point, Ken. I wonder if the variations of the name Parle, as in Pearle or Pearl from Wexford, would bring the span of our kindred families up to from 1,000 to 2,000 families. These would include Irish families with names like Pearle/Pearl, the 600 or so present families with the surname Parle, as well as families whose female spouse had the maiden surname of Parle/Pearle.

It's interesting that the original rendering of the name Parle in the 1649 census was "Pearle" in the Bargy portion of Co. Wexford. Also, I saw somewhere that Edmund Parle, the Wicklow galloglass of 1570, spelled his name "Pearle." I think by the 1850s, most of our folks in Co. Wexford were spelling our name "Parle," per the database via .

Did I ever mention to you that my great grandfather, John Parle (1829-1887), was rendered as "John Pearle" in the 1870 census, here in Michigan. I know it is my ancestor because all the other data fits. By the 1880 census, his name was spelled "Parle." I wonder if he was only semi-literate, and that the census enumerator in 1870 was just making a phonetic approximation of his name, via John's Irish brogue. Also, this John Parle's brother, Martin Parle, lived in New York and went by the spelled name Martin Parrell, another Parle variation.

I wanted to correct a mind-slip I made in the 5-14-01 posting. I got our two Michael Parle's a bit mixed up. They are:

* Michael W. Parle of Ireland, who has compiled this year the "Parle Family History" document.

* Michael A. Parle of England, who has a seminal Parle website, which links many valuable sites on Parle family history; the website address for this is: 

Also, I neglected to cite the paper of Wanda Parle Thompson, "Parle Family History," an early work on the subject from the first part of the 1980s. Wanda is one of the original Parle family researchers, whose efforts go back to the 1960s.

Best wishes to all, and happy hunting!

John Patrick Parle, Michigan, USA


16.05.2001 to JP from Mike

Subject: [Parle] Questions and Theories: General Parle Family Research

Dear JP,

I wish to compliment you on an excellent summary outlining the key questions which the various Parles are pursuing answers on, followed by the various theories worth exploring.

The one thing that struck me about the summary was the compact size of the whole universe of Parles (circa 2,000). The source references at the end are very useful for those who may be doing research long after we have passed by.

I would like to forward Maire Mac Conghail a copy, for her to include in any formal proposals she may make in the future? However, others may feel that there is sufficient "expertise" and access to knowledge within the existing extended family to keep making positive progress?

When you think about it, we have made very satisfying progress since last December really.

Keep up the good work.


PS: What is your work profession JP? It appears to reflect in the structure of your thinking.


30.5.2001 from JP to Mike

Subj: Your Research on the Parle Family

Hi Mike,

Your trip to Wexford sounds wonderful. I hope you'll write more about it when you can. I'd like to post it at the Parle listserv. Bye for now.

John Patrick-

In a message dated 5/29/2001 4:25:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

Mike Parle  writes:

I got your note just before my 'historic' trip with Freddie to visit Kilmore Quay and the Saltee Islands which was simply wonderful. I will write this up in the next week and copy you.

We also made contact with Stephen Parle and wife Mary and family at the Rag-o-the-Mill Duncormick. He introduced us to his Mum Margaret nee Murphy (spouse to the late John Parle) and her sister Joey aged 101. Both are originally from Ballinlough near Carrick-on- Bannow (Danes Castle area).

Most fascinating of all was an introduction to a John 'Sammy' Sinnott of Sinnotts Bar (a Tigeen pub with a thatched roof) in Duncormick. This is a man in his eighties who is acknowledged as having an encyclopedic knowledge about local families in the Barony of Bargy.

He invited Fred and I to return in the near future, and he promised to "tell us all about the Parles, especially the Waterford connections".


8th November 2001  From JP to Mike

Subj: Wexford Duncormick Connection – Walter Parle

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sending the info. Below is something I posted at the Parle egroup last week. Charles was Wanda's brother-in-law. Bye for now.

John Patrick Parle


2 Nov 2001  From: John Patrick Parle  

Subj: Sgt. Charles L. Parle, MIA in Korea


Greetings Parle family researchers,

This month, November 11th is observed as Veteran's Day in the USA. As we know from Parle family history, some Parles who go to war don't make it back to become veterans. This is true of Sgt. Charles L. Parle who was missing in action during the Korean War. Sgt. Parle came from Santa Clara, California, and served in the 2nd Infantry Division, as the radioman in his company in the 38th Field Artillery Battalion, B Battery. His battalion operated the big 105 MM howitzer "cannons" for the division.

The 2nd Infantry Division was one of the earliest American troops in Korea after the hostilities began in 1950, having arrived on July 23 of that year. The division was the first to break the Pusan perimeter, and went on to lead the Eighth Army to the Manchurian border. With the entry of the Chinese in the conflict, American forces were pushed back to the central regions of the Korean peninsula.

In the communist spring offensive beginning May 16, 1951, the 2nd Infantry Division was instrumental in smashing the Chinese and North Korean military initiatives. But not without cost. At that time the region north of Seoul, in what became the area of the demilitarized zone, was in heavy fighting, and the 38th Field Artillery Battalion had one of its most active periods of the war in terms of the firing of its artillery.

At a certain point on May 17th the enemy began counter-firing mortar shells into Sgt. Parle's unit. This mortar fire was very heavy, and when it let up, Sgt. Parle could not be found. He was declared missing in action, and about a year and a half later, officially declared dead (though never found).

Sgt. Charles L. Parle (rank E5) was the son of George and Florence Parle of California, and he was the brother of Walter Parle and Aldyth Parle. He was another Parle who made a deep sacrifice in the line of duty.

SOURCES: Wanda Parle Thompson 

Best wishes for the month of November.

John Patrick Parle, USA


Wexford Ireland Queries


Posted by Jean Rice  on Sat, 25 Dec 1999, in response to Landowners, circa 1870s, posted by Jean Rice on Sun, 08 Aug 1999

57. Francis Parle, address Clongaddy, Kilmore, owned 23 acres.

58. John Parle, same address, owned 69 acres.



Oakland county, Michigan, USA – Biographies

Margaret E Peck married to Paul H Parle -6 18 : on 9 June 11, 1924

Posted by Michelle Dalton  on Mon, 10 Jan 2000


From: "C. Lynne Johnston" 
Date: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:12pm
Subject: Re: [parle] Parle Memorial in Wexford Town
From: B. Parle

Subject: Re: [parle] Parle Memorial in Wexford Town

Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 15:44:52 EDT

Hmmm another trouble making! Parle, need to check on this.


From:  B. Parle

I am a Parle, but am new to looking on the internet for genealogy. I have joined the and am trying to figure where my line might come from or if I am related to any of you. Where is Wexford Town?

My family were O'Neils from Ireland - during the potato famine they came to Restigouche, New Brunswick, CA - they supposedly took the name of the boat which we always thought was The Parle, but now we realize it could have been the ship The Pearl. This summer we went to Halifax, Nova Scotia and tried to do some research. A little lady we talked to said the word "Parle" with an Irish accent and it sounded just like "Pearl".

I have looked at some of the ship lists on the Internet and see that there is definitely a ship "The Pearl" which did come from England and I think Ireland to Canada. My ancestor John D. Parle was born in 1852 and naturalized in Philadelphia, Pa in 1865. On the naturalization papers it

does not list the parents, which is odd to me, as John D. Parle was only 13 when he was naturalized. I am trying to find out who John D. Parle's parents are. I would be very interested to know where your Parle's come from and who they are.

Thanks. Lynne



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