From Michael W J Parle

From: Mike Parle 
Sent: Saturday 5 January 2002 14:20
To: John Parle; Fred Parle

Subject: Parle Family History - Update

Hi Folks.

This is an update and a reflection of the work done last year. I wish to pay a special thanks to all those, who have made a contribution. The inputs span three of the four continents.

Please remember in your prayers Judy Parle, a longtime Parle genealogical researcher for more than 20 years. From San Geronimo, California, USA she died from cancer on February 8, 2001. She was very interested in the subject of Common Ancestry of Parles - This was the area that she was most interested in. Before she got ill, Judy was doing a lot of work trying to trace exiting Parle families to common connection points since say 1800.

Wishing you a healthy and prosperous 2002



Parle Family History

The following data comes from Ireland and numerous international sources.

Because of the different inputs there is bound to be an overlap, leading to repetition of the same or similar information. Please bear with it.


From Michael (Mike) William John Parle – Leixlip, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland

I have decided to compile the attachment by taking extracts of e-mails that I have recently sent and or received, to give a flavour of our Parle family (in Leixlip in Kildare, Sligo, Castries St. Lucia in the Caribbean, Manchester, Dublin, London, Perth, Western Australia) as a means of communicating family information, and setting up a dialogue, so that we may begin to build, like a jig-saw puzzle, more accurate origins; to explain and more accurately reflect an understanding of the evolution of the Parle family.

Hopefully, it may also provide leads or linkages to help those who seek to isolate and identify the origins of their antecedents. Here lies the essence of an important part of whom we actually are.

The aphorism for the 25th December 2000 on my calendar might be our guidance for 2001 - "comment is free, but facts are sacred".


Family backround of Michael WJ Parle

Sent: 9.12.2000
To: Christine nee Parle, Gerhold Brown, Leeds, England

Yes, I would welcome email addresses from you all, and contacts, because my brother Fred and I have recently begun to gather information in a formal manner and have opened a "Parle Family History" file.

I would like additional information on the items you have on * Mr. Hilary Murphy’s work (I have the extract from his book on the surname Parle) * John Patrick Parle (Parle history and coat of arms). Do you have Irish Parle living contacts or are we the first?

On a holiday last year (summer of 1999) to Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, my brother Fred and I obtained a copy of the book 'Saltees - Island of birds and legends' by Richard Roche. It is excellent. However, the great find of our trip was getting a copy of the 'Kilmore Parish Journal 1998/99 No. 27'. In it was published an excellent article 'Farming on the Saltees' where on P5 it reproduces a drawing made by a young deaf boy of 'Parle's farm on the Great Saltee Island' - it is a real gem. The Parle families farmed the Greater and Lesser Saltee for over a hundred years and were forced to vacate it in the early 1900's. Based on such an enjoyable holiday, we had planned to visit the Saltee Islands last June/July/Aug 2000, but we couldn't make the time. Boats regularly visit the islands from the Kilmore Quay harbour. As you probably know it is now a bird sanctuary with a fine international reputation. We will try again this summer.

Our father Joseph (Joe) Aloysious Parle was born on 6th December 1911 in Waterford city, a short distance from south Wexford. His father James Parle born 26.01.1879 died 28/08/1914 aged 35; mother Mary (Mai) Margaret nee Walsh Parle died 26/12/1926. His grandfather was Nicholas Parle a former sea captain who was Harbour Master in Waterford. He was married to Bridget Furlong from Co. Wexford. They married in Wexford 21.09.1865. Their sons were Willy (William), Nicky and John and James our grandfather.

His great grandfather was William Parle a sea captain who was born in 1801 and died on 24.05.1877 aged 76, and is buried in the graveyard at Ferrybank, Waterford. He lived in Chrisendom.

Joe Parle had just one brother Colas (Nicholas) who died 8/10/1933 aged 23. So he was just 3 when he lost his Dad and aged 15 his mother died. From the age of 22, when his only brother died, he had no immediate family. He died aged 75 on 7.12.1986.

During his life he had a successful business career working with American oil and consumer goods companies, culminating with the setting up of his own company Parle & Hickey Ltd in the economically difficult 1950's. The family came very close to emigrating to Canada at this time.

He had three famous uncles Willy (William), Nicky and John Parle who were part of the Premier Senior Four (rowers) that helped bring great sporting honour to Waterford city in the late 19th century.

They won the 'Blue Ribbon' three years in a row (1895, 1896 & 1897). In addition taking the Metropolitan Cup at the Metropolitan Regatta, Ringsend, in Dublin.

If you ever go to the city, don't miss out on a visit to Waterford Rowing Club and their new clubhouse on the Quays. Ask to see the 'Hall of Fame', where they will show you their photo collection that includes the famous 1890's Parle champion oarsmen. When Fred and I called by in 1999 the captain for that year was Ms Lisa O'Callaghan, Tel: 051 376411 or 051 355352.

Our Dad Joe (Joseph) married circa the summer of 1939 Mary Ryan from Carlow. On my mothers family side her father was a Dr Joseph Valentine Ryan, a GP, whose second wife was a Catherine White from Co. Kilkenny. Mary had one sister Kathleen and a brother Joseph (Joe). She had two older stepbrothers from her fathers’ first marriage to Claire McGrath - Daniel (Dan) and Patrick (Paddy).

Joe & Mary Parle had three sons. My brother Frederick Joseph was born in April 1940, my goodself in January 1945 and our younger brother John Anthony (Johnny) in April 1949.

We were raised and educated in South County Dublin, by the sea at Sandycove near Dunlaoghaire, a primary ferry port between Ireland and Wales, via Holyhead on the Island of Anglesey.

Each of us has married (late 60's, early 70’s and late 70's) and has family of our own. Fred's are in Sligo at Augamore Near, Carrowroe on the edge of the town in the northwest. He has four sons. The eldest Brian works for Indigo and lives in Dublin. However, news now is that he is migrating to Sweden to take up a new appointment in IT. David, a graphic design artist & cartoonist, works and lives in London. Derek is a practicing Physiotherapist in Perth in Western Australia, and the youngest Alan, in his early 20's, studies Leisure Management at Sligo Regional Technical College, and lives at home with his mum Deirdre (who happens to be a sister of my wife Angela). Fred is a Marine Engineer and is often abroad (Middle & Far East projects) on contract work. He is due home for Christmas on 20/21 Dec.

Johnny works and lives in St Lucia in the Caribbean with his wife Berthia and teenage son Jean Michel.

He is a joint hotel manager with his wife Berthia. She is very involved in the Caribbean Tourist Association representing St Lucia at executive level. So if you want a tan and a lovely holiday you know where to organise the first world "Tan with the Parle Clan gathering"!

Finally me. I live in Leixlip, North Kildare with my wife Angela (a primary school teacher), daughter Joanne in her mid 20's who is taking a degree in Music & Arts at the local Maynooth University, and Aidan in his early 20's who is working with a Business Newspaper as an Advertising Sales Manager. He is about to change direction and has just accepted a job with a US Service company PerotSystems, that provides contractual IT networking services, as part of their goal to provide information technology services and business solutions to large Plc companies.

Our eldest daughter Michele lives and nurses in Manchester following an eighteen-month post-graduate placement in Sydney, Australia. She lives in Withington, a suburb of Manchester, and is a Senior Staff Nurse in the Alexandra Hospital.

My profession is a Business Manager with a marketing expertise, and I do on-going business consultancy project work, mainly for small and medium size companies. However, because of my early business background I have completed some ad hoc assignments for some large British companies.

I have on our file a number of items of local, Irish information that I can share with you should you so wish.

I must outline for you a fascinating article published by The People (Wexford weekly newspaper) 25/07/1975 written by their historian journalist Nicky Furlong. It is titled "Wexford Offshore Islands" and writes about the history of the Wexford Saltee Islands and 'The Parle Story' - some of which you may already have, or have heard of.

The interesting section is titled "The Parle Story"

It reads exactly as follows: " During and before the '1798 Rebellion' the tenants of the Saltees were the Furlong family, but about their occupation I have been able to find out little. In 1800 the new tenants became the Parle family and there's a lot to be said about them. The Parles were of French origin and in the early or mid seventeen hundreds were wrecked (shipwrecked) off the Carnsore Point (Co. Wexford). There were three brothers in it and I suspect they were part of the pirate, privateer and smuggling fraternity, all honourable professions at the time, which infested the Saltees hunting ground. Two of the brothers returned to France but the third brother had a badly broken leg and was compelled to stay in the barony of Bargy (a townland area of Co. Wexford) where we are told a fair maid nursed him patiently to health. 'She proved to be an assiduous and captivating nurse'.

"A great friendship sprang up between the two, which ripened into deeper affection, so that there was a Franco-Irish matrimonial alliance and the pair settled down in the Barony. In 1800 the Parles succeeded to the tenancy of the Great Saltee and the family was connected with the island through the 19th century."

A fascinating piece of history, which we are very interested to find out more about.

One need to be careful about the precise early origins of the Parle family, as you will see on the piece below titled "Some background history to 12th century Ireland - The Cambro-Norman Invasion of Ireland". It would appear that there were Parles who were Flemish Mercenaries that came over with the Norman invasion of the 12th century.


In researching the history of the Parle family cognisance should be taken of the part played by Knights of that name who were part of the foreign invasion of Ireland that formally began in 1169. See ref: Richard Roche's book, "The Norman Invasion of Ireland".

The first phase of a six-phase invasion was lead by Robert FitzStephen leading three ships and 400 fully armed men landed at Bannow Island, South County Wexford on the 1st of May 1169. The Parle Knights, said to be Flemish, were part of a group of Norman/Welsh & Flemish (Belgian/Holland/French) forces.

This force participated with the Irish King of Leinster Dermot MacMorrough (accused of being a traitor by many in 'selling-out' his country for personal gain) during the invasion. Of course the concept and entity of ‘country’, as we now understand it, had not yet evolved. Ireland was more a collection of independent land areas, ruled over by bellicose local Gaelic chieftains who frequently went to war with their neighbours to either retain or expand their territory.

Dermot MacMorrough had formed a pact and got the full support of Richard de Clare, the Norman Earl of Pembroke; South Wales (known as Strongbow), who was allegedly acting under the guidance of the English (Norman) King Henry 11.

The success of this invasion is said to have been the birth of colonial British rule in Ireland that lasted more than 750 years.

I will try the many email sites I have been given and see what I can discover.

We are toying with the idea of providing a brief to an Irish genealogist but it would need some real interest to help defray the costs. We are examining it at the moment.



I am interested in data prior to the original arrival in Ireland, coat-of-arms info. Etc.

There is no shadow of doubt but that seafaring or a very close connection with the sea is in the Parle genes. In Ferrybank just outside Waterford City, where my Mother, Father, Uncle Colas, Grandmother & Grandfather are buried, there is a grave of a Captain William Parle from Christendom (a local area in Waterford city nearby to Ferrybank, Abbey Road and the old Black Abbey church which is now a Scouts’ hall), who died on 24th May 1877 aged 76.

I remember my father saying that a grandfather or great grandfather of his was

Harbourmaster of the Port of Waterford, and was drowned in a great squall at the time.

And I told you about my brother Freddie, a Marine Engineer, who has salt-water flowing through his veins rather than blood!

Enjoy the data I sent you.

Within Ireland there are other Parles now (of whom we have little or no knowledge) who live in the counties of Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Cork, Carlow.

However, the key areas based on the limited research we have done is as follows:

Co. Wexford: Bannow; Carrick-on-Bannow (Danes Castle); Kilmore Quay area; Clongaddy; Taghmon; Clovevalley; Duncormick; Cowelsheiken; Grange; Poulmarle; Ramsgrange; Fethard-on-sea; Vallyhealy; Bree; Rosslare; Bridgetown; Killinick; Blackwater; Fouxmills; Bridgetown; Ballyhealy; Carne and Wexford town.

Co. Waterford: Waterford city; Chrisendom Townland near Ferrybank, Black Abbey Church

Co. Tipperary: Carrick-on-suir;

Tribute should be paid to Mr. Hilary Murphy for researching and publishing 'Families of County Wexford'. He devotes a full chapter to the Parles, and I set out some extracts below:

Matty Parle of Poulmarle was one of Irelands leading horsebreeders and trainers

The Franciscan, Fr. Didacus Parle Guardian of the Wexford Friary for two terms (1714 -1716) (1717 - 1719) and had spent 5 years as a chaplain in the court of King James 11 (1633 – 1701) in whose presence he often preached.

William Parle, Clovevalley, Taghmon, who died in Dec 1945 aged 94, was a staunch supporter of every Irish national movement. Four of his sons were prominent during the war of Independence (Irish Civil War 1921 - 23) - James, Matthew, William & Philip. James who was an officer in the IRA was executed by firing squad at Wexford jail on 13th March 1923, along with his two comrades, John Creane and Patrick Hogan. There is a memorial to the three in Taghmon Main Street to this day.

That is enough to be going on with. You may wish to give Hilary Murphy these details I am sending you. He may have a lot of them anyway? His Tel: no. is Wexford (053) 42273. E-mail:

In future this may stand out as a time when for many one began to understand ones origins and roots.

We must feel thankful and acknowledge in some small way those Parles who have gone before. Without whom we would not exist…..period!



I spoke to Freddie yesterday and he was saying that he would like to target this coming summer 2001 for our first visit to the Saltee Islands via Kilmore Quay.



Glad to hear you (Christine nee Parle, Gerhold Brown) will be visiting Ireland in June 2001 with husband Peter.



Christine, I know you visited the North, but I assumed that you have not visited the South. I guess you will be visiting Waterford. I was telling you that our Parle family grave is in Ferrybank, in a beautiful church graveyard, on the edge of the city. Fred and I try to visit when we can. My Mum, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather and only Uncle on the Parle side are all buried there.

Wishing you every good wish with your own genealogical searches



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This page last changed on 04 March 2019