The Parnell Coat of Arms illustrated was drawn by a heraldic artist from
information officially recorded in ancient heraldic archives. Documentation for the Parnell Coat of Arms design can
be found in Burke’s General Armory. Heraldic artists of old developed their own unique language to describe an
individual Coat of Arms. In their language, the Arms (shield) are as follows:
“Gu. two chevronels, and in chief three escallops ar.”
Above the shield and helmet is the Crest which is described as:
“A boar’s head erased or, betw. two wings gu. each charged with two chevronels ar.” When translated the blazon also describes the original colors of the Parnell Arms and Crest as it appeared centuries ago.
Family mottos are believed to have originated as battle cries in medieval times. A motto was
recorded with this Parnell Coat of Arms:
“TE DIGNA SEQUERE” which means 'follow things worthy of thyself'.
Individual surnames originated for the purpose of more specific identification. The four primary sources for second
names were: occupation, location, father’s name, or personal characteristics. The surname Parnell appears to be both
patronymic and characteristic in origin, and is believed to be associated with the English, meaning, “descendant of
Petronella (little rock).” Different spellings of the same original surname are a common occurrence. Dictionaries of
surnames indicate probable spelling variations of Parnell to be Parnel, Petronella, Peter, Parnal, Pernel, and
Pernell. Although bearers of the old and distinguished Parnell name comprise a small fraction of the population
there are a number who have established for it a significant place in history, they include:
THOMAS PARNELL (1679-1718) Author and poet who aided the Pope in translating the “Iliad”; his poetry was marked by
fluent versification and high moral tone; and, his most important works were, “The Hermit”, and, “The Fairy Tale.”
HENRY BROOKE PARNELL (1776-1842) British politician who served as Secretary of War from 1831 to 1832; he was knighted
by His Majesty, and given the title of the first Baron Congleton.
CHARLES STEWART PARNELL (1846-1891) Irish statesman and politician who was elected to his first term in Parliament
in 1875; served as the first President of the Irish Land League in 1879; and, in 1880, was elected the Leader of the
Irish Home Rule Party.
Sir JOHN VESEY PARNELL (1805-1883) Minister and educator who studied in France and at Edinburgh University; in 1829,
he joined the Plymouth Brethren; and, spent his life touring various European countries preaching his beliefs.