Parnell Harris

Christening: 03 AUG 1606 Northbourne, Kent, England (1) (2) Daughter of Andrew Harris and Jane Bagley.

MARRIAGE: By an unknown date Thomas Roberts. (3) No children.

Death: Between "the beginning of April 1676"

[PrTR @:149] and 4 August 1676 [PrTR @:150].)(Providence)

Parnell was passenger in 1635 on the Hercules (on 19 March 1634/5, “Parnell Harris of the parish of Bow in London” was enrolled at Sandwich as a passenger for New England on the Hercules (NEHGR 75:220)). She traveled with her step brother James Sayers.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1847-1994

Publication year 1921, vol. 75, page 220. Passenger lists in the article were copied from the records of Sandwich, co. Kent, England, Yearbooks C and D, 1608-1642, by J. A. Jacobs, Esq., of Sandwich, alderman of that town, honorary curator of its archives.

A list of all such persons as imbarqued themselves in the good shipp called the Hercules of Sandwich of the burthen of 200 tonnes or thereabouts whereof next under God John Witherley was master and there in transported from this town & port of Sandwich to the plantation called New England in America together with a breif note of the certificates from the ministers where they have dwelt of their conversacon and Conformity to the orders and discipline of the Church, and that they had taken the oath of Allegeance and Supremacy according to an order of the Lds of his Majs most Noble privie counsell of the last of December 1634 Videlt. The Certificate mentioned was signed by Jos Leech Vicar of Bow in London 19 Mch 1634. The Certificate mentioned is the required Oath of Allegiance as mentioned above. So Parnell had to provide such to be allowed to leave England and go to New England. (4)


Parnell married sometime after 1637 Thomas Roberts previously from Salem, MA who had served as a soldier in the Pequot War, being injured in 1636 be recovered and made his way to Providence after 1636


ESTATE: On 4 August 1676, “whereas Thomas Roberts late of Providence (for fear of danger by the Indians then & now open enemies and in hostility against the English) transported himself to Rhode Island and there died about the beginning of April1676 but left his wife alive at the said Island, after his death his said widow died whereupon Thomas Harris brother by consanguinity to the said widow desired administration of the goods of his said sister but because of encumbrance by war William Harris brother also by consanguinity to the said widow was absent and did not until afterward demand administration,” administration is now granted to the two brothers (PrTR 15:149-50).

The full text is found at this link:


In 1682 additional mention of the estate of Parnel and Thomas Roberts:

The inventory of the estate of William Harris, taken in January 1681(/2), reports that “one-quarter part of the estate of the deceased widow Parnill Roberts, belonging to William Harris, & one-quarter part of the estate of Parnill Roberts in the right of Anne Harris, belonging to William Harris, in the hands & custody of James Clarke of Newport, which cannot be come at to be now valued” (PrTR 6:85).


The full test is found at

Parnell was sister to WILLIAM HARRIS (1636, Providence), THOMAS HARRIS (1637 Providence), Anne Harris (Probate of will (PrTR 6:85)).

PARNEL (f): Despite a similar spelling, this name is completely different from – and much older than – PAMELA.   PARNEL derives through medieval French from PETRONILLA, the feminine diminutive of PETER. By early modern times in England the name had acquired a disreputable imputation but was still used in some families into the 1700s. (5)


1. Northbourne Parish Records: available at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, England.

Parish registers (ref U3/74) start 1586 ( have poor legibility)

Bishops’ Transcripts (ref Dcb/ BT1/173) start 1603 (have some gaps)

Archdeacons’ Transcripts (ref Dca/BT/136) start 1563 and have gaps as follows: 1565/6, 1567/8, 1579/80, 1581/2, 1594/5, 1606/7, 1629/30, 1640/41 to 1660/61 inclusive

Some Films of Northbourne, Kent, England are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah:

# 1752058, item 5
# 2354573 items 8-14
# 1736929, item 1
# 1544553, item 8

2. Parnell's origin is mistakenly claimed as St. Mary Le Bow, London in Robert Charles Anderson's second series of The Great Migration studies (immigrants in 1634-1635. This is due to the claim on the ship Hercules Passenger List that Parnell is from Bow, London. This however was the location of her last residence and not her origins in Northbourne.

3. TORREY, Clarence Amon "New England Marriages Prior To 1700" with an introd. by Gary Boyd ROBERTS Genealogical Publishing Company Incorporated, 1001 N Calvert St, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, 1985 Index Lists : ROBERTS, Thomas (-1676) & [?Parnell HARRIS], sister of Wm HARRIS; ca 1655?; Providence (no Ch)

4. I received verification from a researcher in London who found information on Jos Leech:  'Novum Repertorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense or London Diocesan Clergy Succession from the Earliest Time to the Year 1898' is a list of all known parochial clergy in the Diocese of London compiled by the Reverend George Hennessy and published in 1898. No Joseph Leeth is included in the index, but a Jeremiah Leech MA is listed as Rector of St. Mary Le Bow from 28 April 1617 until his death on 17 June 1644.

5. From Name Origins by Julie Helen Otto