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PARNELL Family HistoryThis noble and ancient surname is of early medieval English origin. It derives from the given name Parnell, a vernacular form of the Latin "Petronia", the feminine form of "Petronius". This was a Roman clan name of Etruscan etymology. Petronia was the name borne by an early Roman saint and martyr much invoked against fevers, and is regarded as a daughter of St. Peter. Hence, the name was thought to be a derivative of Peter, and became one of the most popular of girls' names, the vernacular Parnell being still used as a christian name as late as the 18th Century in Cornwall.
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