Coat of Arms

24 February, 2001  from Mike Parle

A few years ago my wife Angela nee Nangle gave me a Christmas present of a 'Blazon of Arms' commissioned from the Herald's Office (I think). I am hunting for the plaque itself and will advise you of a full description when I find it.

In the interim I will quote from the card which came with it, which I kept on file:

"These arms have been painted by a heraldic artist. The heraldic description is as follows:


Arms: Sable two broad arrows in saltire argent between four plates

Crest: A hand holding a thistle proper

Motto: None recorded


Heraldry is defined as the art or science of blazoning or describing in appropriate technical terms Coats of Arms and other heraldic and armorial insignia, and is of very ancient origin.

A full Coat of Arms consists of the main Arms with a Crest overhead (above the helmet as depicted on shields) and a Motto underneath.

These badges of distinction were the reward of personal merit and could be secured by the humblest as well as the highest. They are today the testimonials and warrants of bravery heroism and meritorious deeds of our ancestors.

CREST AND MOTTO: Variations are often found in the Crest and Motto used by various branches of the one family, and sometimes no record of crest or Motto can be traced. They may have been used in ancient times, but with the passing of the centuries they were omitted or forgotten.

SYMBOLS: There is no specific meaning or explanation now available for the various designs and insignia used in Heraldry. The origin of most of these is now obscure. These have been evolved down the centuries by the Heralds when Arms were being granted, their number being added to as more Arms came into use. The principal heraldic devices in use may be taken from Animals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects, Trees, Plants, Flowers, Celestial Objects, (Sun, Stars) and Monsters. The latter are fantastic creatures drawn from classical and medieval mythology.

SPELLING OF SURNAMES: Various forms of spelling for the same basic name may be in use. These variations have arisen through changing the original form of spelling for personal or other reasons, or to shorten or simplify a difficult spelling or to render pronunciation easier. This applies particularly to numerous names of Irish and Continental European origin."

Two sites probably worth a visit on the subject are: 

That is the extent of my research to date.

Kindest regards



Sent: 27 February 2001 From: Mike Parle

To: Christine Brown ; Dennis J Parle ; John Patrick Parle

Subject: Re: Parle Coat of Arms

Hi Christine,

Thanks for your e-mail.

John Patrick Parle sent me a letter, which arrived yesterday on the subject of the Parle Coat of Arms, along with two different black & white sketches.

I will quote from the note.

"Here are two versions of the Parle coat of arms that have come to me. I've lettered them A and B.

A. - I got this from Wanda nee Bridges (Parle) Thompson. He (she?) got it from Fr. Tom Parle, who ran across it on a trip to Wexford decades ago. An exact version of this is in the collection of Dennis J Parle in Sydney, Australia. It has the "Fidele et Brave" Parle motto from the Aston Manor document, and the Parle colors on the design are gold, blue, red and white.

B. - This is my crude drawing of the Parle coat of arms found in my version of the Aston Manor Document in Pontiac (Michigan). I think my Aunt Nell (Parle spouse of Mr Paul H Parle of Louisville, Kentucky) drew this original in the 1940's, and got it from the Missouri Parles."

I am keeping the drawings in my own file for the present. Should anyone wish a scanned copy sent please advise.

Christine, for obvious reasons I have omitted Judy Parle from the circulation list. If anyone would like interested parties added or deleted from the circulation list please advise.

On 24th Feb I had an interesting e-mail on the same subject from Dennis J Parle in Sydney which attached a small scan of two Parle coats of arms designs (not attached). I will quote from his note:

"Parle coat of Arms

My father (Harold Parle) had several coat of arms made up-one was based on our Australian family. The other 2 are more significant but probably not authentic.

The one pictured on the left has Parle at the top and Wexford at the bottom. It has a chequered yellow and black shield with a white cross and a red lions head at the centre of the cross. It is said that this coat of arms was found by a Fr Tom Parle of Omaha Nebraska at Shannon airport.

The second has D’Parle at the top and Cherbourg Normandy at the bottom. The shield is red and white with a bird on it and 3 flowers above it. I have no details of its history."


27.02.2001 From Ken Pfrenger to Mike Parle

Subj: Parle Coat-of-Arms

Hi Mike,

I would very much like to get the scans of the coat of arms. I run the Parle list on yahoo is pretty dead but there are 25 members they’re starving for information. I am not sure how many of them are on your personal mail list. I think it would be a good idea for you to post there as I am sure there are people who would appreciate your posts...I know I sure do.

I have a small page set up devoted to the surname...there are a few mistakes on the page and I have to fix them...very little there anyway. 

I would be very happy to assist you or anyone else in setting up a proper page or correcting and revamping the one I have set up. Basically I just want to learn and share all I can about my heritage.


Ken Pfrenger (who should be named Pearl)


28.02.2001 reply from Mike Parle


Appreciate your reply.

The two key people with data, sketches, drawings etc are John Patrick Parle of Pontiac, Michigan in the US and Dennis J Parle of Sydney Australia. You have probably been in correspondence with these already.

To assist with your request I have copied them on my reply to you.

I am almost finished with an exercise that I have been working on over the past two months, where I have written up a 'Word 97' document that includes: all the information on the web and copies of correspondence I have entered into, in order to get to know each of the Parle personalities in the various continents.

It was my intention to send a copy of the completed work to all those I have listed in the recent note I copied you on.

If you have, from your own experience, other Parles or friends of the Parle's I have missed then I would welcome their e-mail address.

Kindest regards



27 March 2001  From: Dennis Parle To: Mike Parle Cc: Mary Boggan ; Wanda Thompson ; John Parle

Subject: Coat-of-Arms

Hi Mike

I have now made contact with Lorna Ashley (Parle) of the Victorian Parles. Lorna and Wanda corresponded for many years

Lorna sent me a coloured copy of a Parle coat of arms, which has a note "copied from display at Shannon Airport by an American visitor to Ireland".

This message has cropped up a number of times and it is the same story that accompanies the coat of arms my father had made up. There are however some differences in colour.

I think I will photocopy the ones I have and post them to you to compare with the ones already sent to you.

Best regards



3.4.2001 Reply to Dennis Parle from Mike Parle


Just a note to say that your letter and enclosures of three Parle Coat-of-Arms designs arrived in todays mail. Thank you.

They look very interesting and are worth checking out.

When I have some time I will contact the Irish Chief Herald's office and see if any of them (+the one Angela gave me as a present "Arms: Sable two broad arrows in saltire (diagonal cross on a shield) argent (silver); Crest: A hand holding a thistle proper; Motto: None recorded").

There are books of family coats of arms in the larger libraries, also in the various directories dealing with the gentry, such as Burke's Landed Gentry etc.

The body charged with creating a new coat of arms is the Chief Herald's office, which is in Kildare St, Dublin 2 and is now part of the National Library.

I have not yet tracked down the actual Coat-of-Arms above but will keep searching.

A note from John Patrick Parle sent to me on 27 March 2001 gave the background of the "Shannon Airport" design which you have. Wanda Thompson sent a copy to JP with this explanatory note:

"I came across the PARLE Coat or Arms that I had copied in 1968 from the original that Henry or 'Harry' Parle had in his possession. The Priest 'Tom' Parle had a copy made in Ireland on one of his trips."

Fr. Tom Parle was a priest in the 1940s and 1950s in the Iowa area.

He was the uncle of the Ensign John J. Parle, the WWII hero for whom the USS Parle naval ship was named, and who won the Congressional Medal of Honor (the highest military honor in the USA). Fr. Tom was also the uncle of Fr. Richard Parle in Washington State who was on your e-mail list (Fr. Dick is around 70 years now).

Fr. Tom's family came from the Bannow area of Co. Wexford, on the south-eastern Irish coast.

It appears that the coat of arms came from Ireland via Fr. Tom decades ago. I wonder if he is the American at the Shannon airport referenced by Lorna Ashton (nee Parle) in Victoria?"

The other issues worth investing additional time are the two areas in Ireland where it is reputed, via the Aston (Ashton?) (Asten?) Hall, County of Warwick, England document (1660 - 1685), that two Norman Parle ancestors were planted and settled circa 1660 - 1689:

1. North of Bandon town, Co. Cork (another theory was that it was Co. Wexford?)

2. Town of Swords, North Co. Dublin (A yeoman Thomas Parle esq.)

3. Manor of Mandon, County of Devon (Parlby/Parleby) - family motto "Parle Bien". They were Catholic supporters of James II. It is interesting that Belgium is 80% Roman Catholic.

The names that should be researched for verification include D'Parle (on your plaque), De Parle, De Parle Seignorie (near Cherbourg, France, Chateau De Parle), Parlby (GB anglicised version 1660 - 1685 Manor of Mandon), Parle. Also other spellings Pearl, Parrell, Parl.

A battle (the Battle of Harfew? circa 1413 -1422) under King Henry V should be researched also along with knights with the names William and Thomas De Parle, and the King's alleged presentation of a shield including the family motto "Fidele et Brave". And the other motto - "Parle Bien". I wonder also were the Parles involved in the famous Battle of Agincourt?

Today I sent a letter to the Belgian Embassy in Dublin to begin inquiries into the Flemish Parles (or D'Parles, De Parles) who were part of the Cambro-Norman 1169 invasion of Ireland from the East Flanders and West Flanders area of Belgium.

One of the historical sources I am now using is 'Microsoft Encarta' which is a useful encyclopedia. The references to Belgium and particularly Flanders are interesting. Also the data on the term 'seignorie' from De Parle Seignorie, under 'Seignorial', 'Signorialism', known in England as 'Manorialism'. I have learned that Seigneory in France was abolished only with the arrival of the French Revolution in 1789.

So lots to think about and consider. Good luck with all the work

Fond regards


ref-Parle Coat of Arms

From: Christine Brown
Sent: Tuesday 3 April 2001 
To: John Patrick Parle

Hi John & Mike,
My search today was interesting. This is a quote from one of the books in the Archive Library, as follows.
This is more or less saying that the Parles took over the Watford Coat of Arms.  The Coat of Arms is Two Hands Crossing.  I will try and get it tomorrow.  This may not be any ref to the Parles at Aston Manor.  This could be another family of Parles.
I have posted a letter today to the Birmingham City Records Archives ref all doc including this one, and Aston Manor Document.  This is where we will find a record hopefully to your document John.
We will definatly know if there is a Coat of Arms for a Parle family as the College of in London as a ref to all the Coats of Arms in the UK.
Hopefully we should have a letter this week from them.
Tomorrow I will search more at the Archive Records.

Bye for now, Christine



Hi Mike,

Please find copy taken from Extinct Burkes Peerage Book. (Parlby) have a Coat of Arms.

The Parle Family took over the Watford Coat of Arms, as said in the copy that I have sent you today.

The Library told me it has ‘Two Hands Crossed and held’. Mike you will have to zoom in, sorry its not brill, its the best I could do. The book was very old. The Arden's Coat of Arms is not really relevant as yet, but is does say they were involved with the Family of Parles in the copy I have sent you.

Wait and see what the College Coat of Arms comes up with. I was told to be careful, as Coats of Arms were plentiful, but not all correct, to the real families. This is the one reason I wrote to the College of Arms. They have the correct ref to all. Hope to get a letter soon from them.

This is Sherlock saying cheers to Holmes.

Bye for now Christine


11th August 2001 From Christine to Mike

Subject: Fw: Ref: Parle Coat of Arms

Hi Mike,

How's things, just a quick ref to my latest letter from the College of Arms, London. A copy also went to John Patrick Parle. Lets hope you find an Irish Coat of Arms for our Parles.  Looks like we have a No No here in the UK.

Bye for now Christine


From: Christine Brown 
To: John Patrick Parle  
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2001 12:58 PM
Subject: Fw: ref-COAT OF ARMS-Christine

Hi John,

This is from the College of Arms London,"What do you make of this" ?. It would appear that we have no coat of arms unless we can prove any further evidence. Have I missed any thing out?

This is his return email to me,11th August.

Love Christine


From: P.L. Dickinson 
To: Christine Brown  
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 11:08 PM

Subject: RE: ref-COAT OF ARMS-Christine

From: P.L. Dickinson,
Richmond Herald,
College of Arms,
Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT

Tel and Fax: 020-7236 9612

Dear Mrs. Brown,

Thank you for your e-mails.

As already explained in my e-mail of 14 April, I can find no record of any coat of arms being used by a family named Parle. Unless you can provide details of the coat of arms purportedly used by a family of the name, it would be difficult for me to assist you in any way. So far as I can see, none of the attachments to your various e-mails contains any reference to a Parle coat of arms.

It seems very unlikely that the Parlby family to which you refer has any relevance. There is no indication in Burke's 'The Landed Gentry' (1952) that the Parlby family of Manadon, Devon, had any connection with a family of Parle. Their first ancestor is given as James Parlby of Gravesend, who must have been living in the early 18th century. I doubt very much whether there is any evidence for the suggestion made in 'The Aston Manor Document' that 'Parlby' was an Anglicisation of 'Parle'.

Although a coat of arms is attributed to the Parlbys of Manadon in Burke's 'The General Armory' (1884), it has never been officially recorded here, and no coat of arms is shown for the family in the 1952 edition of 'The Landed Gentry'. A coat of arms was granted in 1905 to William Parlby of Hereford, son of William Parlby of Woodhouse and Beaumanor, Leicestershire, but he is not mentioned in the 'Landed Gentry' article, so I cannot tell you whether he was related to the Devon family.

If your Irish correspondent does send you a copy of 'the Parle coat of arms', I would be happy to look at it. However, I should explain that the College of Arms is unsupported from public funds, and we are therefore obliged to make professional charges for our research and advice. I have supplied you with quite a bit of free information, but this work provides my livelihood, and I am afraid I shall have to quote a fee before giving any further help.

Yours sincerely,

P.L. Dickinson
Richmond Herald


Supposed arms of Parle

From: P.L. Dickinson
Sent: Thursday 23 August 2001 
To: Christine Brown

From: P.L. Dickinson, Richmond Herald
College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT
Tel and Fax: 020-7236 9612

Dear Mrs. Brown,

Thank you for your e-mail letter of 20 August.
In order to investigate the provenance of the three coats of arms of which you sent illustrations, it would be necessary to carry out searches in the College's records and other sources, for which a fee of 75 would be chargeable. If you would care to let me have a cheque for that sum (made payable to the College of Arms), I would be glad to have the necessary work put in hand.

I assume that you received my e-mail of 10 August in which I explained (amongst other things) that the College of Arms is unsupported from public funds, and we are therefore obliged to make professional charges for our research and advice.

Yours sincerely,
P.L. Dickinson


August 29 2001 from Dennis to Mike, CC: JP and Christine

Subject: Coat of Arms

Hi Mike

Thanks for the photo of the coat of arms.

To be honest I don't think your one really depicts the story that you have put together over the past 6 months.

I feel in 2001 with computer imaging and other modern technology we should design a meaningful coat of arms based on input from your network.

Perhaps something could be designed on a computer and sent out for comment. Then once we have reached consensus wall plaques could be obtained if one prefers to have one.

A plaque should have:

The family name----naturally PARLE

A motto--and for want of anything better I agree with John Patrick that we use FIDELE ET BRAVE

A pictorial display relevant to our history. As a suggestion this picture should depict - our french origin, our Wexford base and our migration to all corners of the world

With something like this our grandchildren and children will have a better understanding of who the Parles are and where they came from.

Anyone have other ideas




Website by Michael A Parle

This page last changed on 04 March 2019