After digging around parish records for the Hancocks, I thought I’d turn my attention to the Parnells (my paternal grandmother was Florence Parnell). From previous research on www.ancestry.co.uk I could trace the family back to Thomas Parnell, a farm labourer in South Devon, born in 1717. That seemed to be as far as it went, but last week I could see that someone had added more information to Thomas Parnell. This is where it gets interesting…
The ancestors for Thomas Parnell kept going back and back until we get to Sir John Parnell (1460-1542). There are two more generations of Sir Johns, then we get Nicolas de Paynel (b1375). The ancestors of Nicolas de Paynel were all born in Normandy and that direct line on the father’s side can be traced back to Gervase Paganell/de Paynell (b990).
It gets more interesting when we take the line of one of the mothers (surname de Lacy, b 1050). It appears that her great uncle was Richard III, Duke of Normandy. He was the grandson of Richard I ‘The Fearless’.His grandfather was Rollo I, Duke of Normandy, also known as Robert the Dane. (Rollo was a great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror) That line just keeps going back and back and back though countless viking kings of Norway and Sweden, including one poor unfortunate who went by the great name of Olaf Tretelgia King of Vestfold “The Woodcutter” Ingjaldsson, who died in 610 with a cause of death given as ‘sacrificed to Odin’!
I guess the good thing about nobility and royalty is that they kept accurate records and these keep going back and back and back, all the way to Lnor Frei, born AD30 in Mesopotamia. I couldn’t find anything further than that – it would have been nice to go back to BC, or get a nice round 2000 years!
There does seem to be lots of other interesting parts of the Parnell (Paganell/de Paynell) family history, including the branch of the family that built Dudley Castle, the connection to the Everest family (as in Mt Everest) and the ones who moved to Australia (not always voluntarily!).