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Published by Larry Feldhaus

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Larry Feldhaus on May 20, 2010
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The immigrant progenitor of the Parnell family of Isle of Wight has yet to be proved. Of several earlyParnells of record in Virginia during the first fifty years of the colony, none of their antecedents ordescendants have been proved. One such colonist was the otherwise enigmatic
 John Parnell 
who joinedJames Pyland, father of Richard Pyland and father-in-law of Elinor Moore, daughter of the compiler’sancestor George Moore (# 4 in the Moore Section), in witnessing for George Stephens in December 1650.See Isle of Wight Deeds, Wills, and Guardian Accounts, Book # A, p. 29. But this reference is the only onethis early to a Parnell in Southside Virginia and the only one specifically to him. The four Parnellsdiscussed below may have been the children of 
 Mary Parnell 
who witnessed the will of Thomas Atkinson,Jr. (ca. 1640-1688). This record is the only reference to her to have surfaced in the surviving records.Thomas Atkinson married Susannah, # 1, b, in the Moore Section. As shown there,
Thomas Atkinson, Jr.made his will 19 January 1687/88; proved 9 June 1688, the same day that her purported son ThomasParnell’s will was proved. See Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills
, p. 28. Also witnessing were Atkinson’s half  brother William Gwaltney; Atkinson’s brother-in-law Richard Holleman; and Atkinson’s brother of the“full blood” John Atkinson. There would appear to have been some close Parnell-Atkinson familial bondearlier in the seventeenth century that cannot be documented. John Parnell, the first discussed below, mayhave been a brother of the other three who are clearly identified in the will of Thomas Parnell in 1687:
A. John ParnellJohn Parnell
(ca. 1650-ca. 1715/16) married (1)
and (2)
 Mrs. Alexander Chestnutt 
, whosemaiden name and given name are unknown. Alexander Chestnutt bought property on the Western Branchof the Nansemond River in 1682 from James Gardner adjacent whom John Parnell patented 400 acres on25 October 1690. The first of Parnell’s headrights, and for two passages, was Mary Sampson, probably thewife of James Sampson, Jr. whose grandfather was Charles Barcroft, discussed below in the material aboutThomas Parnell, and whose first cousin was the aforementioned Elinor Moore Pyland. This suddenappearance of John Parnell in the records was undoubtedly related to the fact that he had recently marriedthe widow Chestnutt who had joined him, three days before the filing of the patent, in requesting theadministration of Chestnutt’s estate. John Parnell signed his will on 17 January 1715/16; date of probatenot indicated. He mentioned only sons
, and
who remain to be traced.See Boddie,
Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight 
, p. 596; Nugent, Vol. 3, p. 5; Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills,
 pp. 75, 56.
B. Thomas ParnellThomas Parnell
(ca. 1640/45-1687/88) married (1) probably
___?___ Vasser
and (2)
,maiden name unknown. His will indicates that he was a cooper
an occupation that may explain hisassociation with the progeny of the Vintner Charles Barcroft, his son-in-law James Sampson, and theCarter family, especially with George Moore, the son-in-law of Charles Barcroft and father-in-law of Thomas Carter, Jr. of Isle of Wight, and with the family of George Moore’s probable sister, Mrs. KatherineMoore ___?___ Flake. See the Barcroft-Sampson Section and the Moore Section, # 1 and 4. Thoughunproved, some circumstantial evidence suggests that the first wife of Thomas Parnell was a sister of PeterVasser
(ca. 1645-1709) who married Margaret ___?___, a granddaughter of Mrs. Katherine Moore ___? ___ Flake and her first unidentified husband and a daughter of Mrs. Joyce ___?___ ___?___ England andher first unidentified husband. See the Moore Section, # 1, a, (3). Peter Vasser was the son of John Vasser (ca. 1600-ca. 1650) who signed his will in Isle of Wight on 14 January 1650; the date of probate notindicated. See Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills,
 p. 1. As proved in the material about Peter Vasser’s wife
Margaret in the Moore Section, he would eventually be the sole surviving heir, as his brother JohnVasser’sonly son William would die without issue, and the property in this line would revert to Peter. However,Peter Vasser also had three sisters, Elizabeth, Ann, and Mildred who remain enigmas. One of them mayhave married Thomas Parnell whose estate, as documented below, would be appraised by Peter Vasser andwhose son Joseph Parnell and his family would appear to demonstrate a close familial bond with Peter Vasser’s son William and grandson William, Jr., as also documented below.
Thomas Parnell first appears in the surviving records on 6 June 1665 when he became involved withJohn Marshall in the complicated affairs involving the estate of William Westwray and his widow Mrs.Elizabeth [Scowne?] Marshall Westray, the first proved progenitor of the Marshall family of Isle of Wight.See the Marshall Section. On 4 August 1675, Parnell bought 250 acres from Francis Ayres, also a cooper,and his wife Jane, the widow of Humphrey Clarke and father of John Clarke who had become the secondhusband of Charles Barcroft’s granddaughter Elizabeth Sampson. See Boddie,
Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight,
p. 573; cf. the Barcroft Section, # 1, a. On 28 December 1677 and 9 February 1679, respectively,Edmund Palmer sold Thomas Parnell (a) 150 acres adjacent John Clarke and between Francis Ayres andAnthony Matthews, the third husband of Mrs. Anne Rogers Moore Matthews Davis, # 7 in the MooreSection; and (b) 548 acres witnessed by James Peden, the father-in-law of William Arrington (ca. 1662-ca.1725), who shared with Thomas Parnell’s sister Jemima Parnell Drake and John Williams, Sr., father-in-law of the other sister Mary Parnell Williams, many descendants of importance in the compiler’s research[for instance, # D, 3, a (6) below). See Boddie,
Seventeenth Century,
pp. 578. 585. On 21 January 1679and 20 April 1680, respectively, Thomas Parnell also patented (a) 150 acres adjacent Robert Flake, thesecond husband of Katherine Moore and step grandfather of Mrs. Margaret Vasser; and (b) 1,000 acresadjacent Hodges Council and Robert Lawrence, Jr. (brother of John Lawrence whose granddaughter SarahLawrence married William Moore, grandson of Mrs. Anne Rogers Moore Baron Matthews Davis [# 2, d,(1) in the Lawrence Section and # 7, a, (2) in the Moore Section]). See Nugent, Vol. 2, pp. 206, 270. Thelatter grant was deserted and patented by Colonel Arthur Smith in 1683, although Colonel Smith deededback 150 acres to Thomas Parnell on 6 October 1686, as proved by a deed of Thomas Parnell, Jr., notedbelow. In 1685, Thomas Parnell joined Alexander Matthews, probably the stepson of Mrs. Anne RogersMoore Baron Matthews Davis, in appraising the estate of Robert Edwards, the first husband of Mrs. MaryHunt Edwards Griffin Boddie, whereas the year before Alexander Matthews and Owen Griffin, who was tobecome her second husband, appraised the estate of Edward Rogers, brother of Mrs. Anne Rogers MooreBaron Matthews Davis. Mrs. Mary Hunt Edwards Griffin married (3) William Boddie whose will of 1712/17 mentioned his daughter Elizabeth, who had married Alexander Matthews. See Chapman,
pp. 24, 58, 74; cf. Boddie,
Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight,
pp. 345ff., and the Moore Section, # 7.Alexander Matthews also witnessed the will in 1691/92 the will of John Williams, Sr., father-in-law of Thomas Parnell’s sister Mary, as discussed below.Thomas Parnell signed his will on 10 October 1687; probated 9 June 1688. Interestingly enough, thewills also probated on that same day included those of the aforementioned Thomas Atkinson, Jr. (whosewill was witnessed by Parnell), the compiler’s purported ancestor John Moore whose daughter Elizabethwould Mary Parnell’s son Joseph, and the aforementioned John Marshall. The appraisers of Parnell’sestate included the aforementioned Peter Vasser, his purportedly erstwhile brother-in-law. See the originalwill in Will and Deed Book # 2, p. 278, as the abstract by Mrs. Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills,
pp. 28, 74, isinadequate, especially with regard to the language that suggests he was married twice. He devised to his“wellbeloved wife,” Susannah, who was his executrix; but he also bequeathed “my wives [sic] best suit” toone of his sisters and the second best suit to the other sister. It would appear that Parnell’s two sons wereby the first wife, purportedly a Vasser, and that he had three small girls by the second wife. The will leftthe plantation bought from Francis Ayres to his son Thomas as well as the 150 acres acquired by patent andthe 1,000-acre patent and the land bought from Edmund Palmer to Joseph.
 He also mentioned his sisters
 Jemima Drake and husband John Drake, as well as his sister Mary Williams and her children John and Sarah
. The will also left a bequest to Boaz Gwin who was evidently a close family friend; he died intestatein 1698 but not before proving in 1687 the nuncupative will of Ralph Matthews, possibly another stepsonof Mrs. Anne Rogers Moore Baron Matthews Davis, and joining Alexander Matthews in witnessing in1691/92 the will of John Williams, Sr., father-in-law of Parnell’s sister Mary Williams. See Chapman,
 Isleof Wight Wills,
pp. 26, 33, 38. The daughters by the second wife included Susannah whom he mentionedby name but who remains untraced. Of the two unnamed daughters, one may have been the child listedbelow as # (3).1.
Thomas Parnell, Jr.
(ca. 1670/75-after 1741) remains an enigma. A deed indicates that he was stillamong the living on 25 September 1741. This document proves that after Colonel Arthur Smithpatented in 1683 the aforementioned deserted patent of Thomas Parnell to 1,000 acres, Colonel Smithdeeded back to Parnell 150 acres on 6 October 1686, as noted above. The document also shows thatThomas Parnell, Jr. was conveying this property to John Nelms and John Gwin, evidently a descendantof the aforementioned Boaz Gwin. See Isle of Wight Deed Book # 6, p. 21. Thomas Parnell alsowitnessed the will in 1741 of John Williams, Jr., the grandson of Thomas Williams whose nephewJohn Williams married Mary Parnell.2.
Joseph Parnell
(ca. 1675-1737) married
 Elizabeth Moore
(ca. 1680/85-after 1737), daughter of JohnMoore, the only Moore son of Mrs. Anne Rogers Moore Baron Matthews Davis. See the MooreSection, # 7, a, (5). John Moore signed his will on 16 March 1686/86 that referred to his land adjacentThomas Parnell and that was probated on the same day of 9 June 1688 as the wills of Parnell and theaforementioned Thomas Atkinson. Jr. and John Marshall. See Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills,
p. 28.The brothers of Elizabeth Moore Parnell (Thomas Moore and the compiler’s purported ancestorWilliam Moore who married the aforementioned Sarah Lawrence) witnessed on 7 October 1707 whenJoseph Parnell sold 284 acres of his inheritance to John Thomas. See Isle of Wight Deed Book # 2, p.77. John Thomas (ca. 1675-before 1713) married (2) Mary Lawrence, the aunt of Sarah LawrenceMoore. See the Lawrence Section # 2, h.
Joseph Parnell and his wife Elizabeth deeded property toWilliam Fowler on 30 December 1713 that had once belonged to Thomas Parnell. See Isle of WightDeed Book # 2, p. 257. William Fowler (ca. 1685/90-1748/49) was probably the father-in-law of Mrs.Martha Council Fowler, daughter of Hardy Council (ca. 1675/80-1748/49). See the Council Section, #5, c. Joseph Parnell signed his will on 10 March 1736; probated 28 November 1737. In his will of 1736/37, Joseph Parnell mentioned his eldest son
Thomas Parnell
(executor), son
William Parnell
Elizabeth Parnell
, son
Joseph Parnell
, “youngest son”
John Parnell
, and wife Elizabeth.The witnesses were
William Vasser, Jr.
, Jacob Moore, and Arthur Moore. See Chapman,
, pp. 91,130.
The compiler’s purported
ancestor Jacob Moore and his brother Arthur Moore were sons of William Moore.
William Vasser, Sr.
, whose will of 1723/24 was witnessed by William Moore, wasthe son of Peter Vasser, purportedly the great-uncle of Joseph Parnell. See the Moore Section, # 1, a,(2). Issue:a.
Thomas Parnell
(ca. 1705-1758) married
and remains an enigma. He was probably theThomas Parnell who died intestate ca. 1758. See Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills,
 p. 189. His brother John mentioned his daughters
in his will. b.
William Parnell
(ca. 1705/10-1763) married
, maiden name unknown. He signed his willon 2 February 1763; 7 November 1763. His progeny need not concern us, except for 
WilliamParnell, Jr.
, who is mentioned in another section of this study. See Chapman,
 Isle of Wight Wills,
 p. 211.c.
Elizabeth Parnell
remains an enigma.d.
Joseph Parnell
remains an enigma.e.
John Parnell
(ca. 1715-1783) married
who predeceased him
. He signed his will on 2October 1685; probated 3 November 1785. His progeny need not concern us. See Chapman,

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