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Origins of

the Surname

Variations of

the Surname

Armorial Bearings,

 Symbols and Mottoes

Locations of

the Surname

Internet Resources

Our Family History



Origins of the Surname

An Introduction

to the Surname


of the Surname

History of

the Surname

More About


An Introduction to the Surname

The practice of inherited family surnames began in England and France during the late part of the 11th century.   Surnames were first utilized in the Germanic region of central Europe during the second half of the 12th century.  The custom of taking on surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northward during the Middle Ages.  It took about three hundred years for this tradition to apply to most families and become a constant part of one’s identity.        With the passing of generations and the movement of families from place to place many of the original identifying names were altered into some of the versions that we are familiar with today.  Over the centuries, most of our European ancestors accepted their surname as an unchangeable part of their lives.  Thus people rarely changed their surname.  Variations of most surnames were usually the result of an involuntary act such as when a government official wrote a name phonetically or made an error in transcription. 

Map of European Languages


Research into the record of this PINNELL family line indicates that the variations, meanings and history of this surname are most likely linked to that area of Europe where English, Scots, and/or Irish linguistic traditions are commonly found.   

Sources and Meanings of the Surname

Most modern Germanic and French family names are a means conveying lineage.  For the most part, German surnames were developed from four major sources: (1) Patronymic & Matronymic surnames most common in northern Germany are based on a parent’s first name, such as Niklas Albrecht (Niklas son of Albrecht);  (2) occupational surnames are last names based on the person’s job or trade for example Lukas Fischer (Lukas the Fisherman);  (3) descriptive surnames are based on a unique quality or physical feature of the individual like Karl Braun (Karl with brown hair); (4) geographical surnames are derived from the location of the homestead from which the first bearer and his family lived such as Leon Meer (Leon from by the sea), or derived from the state, region, or   village of the first bearer's origin for example Paul Cullen (Paul from Koeln/Cologne).

Most of the modern English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh family names throughout Great Britain have originated as a result of the following circumstances: patronym or matronym, names based on the name of one's father, mother or ancestor, (Johnson, Wilson). Each is a means of conveying lineage; occupation (i.e., Carpenter, Cooper, Brewer, Mason); habitational (Middleton, Sidney, or Ireland) or topographical (i.e. Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale); nicknames (i.e., Moody Freeholder, Wise, Armstrong); status (i.e. Freeman, Bond, Knight); and acquired ornamental names that were simply made up.

     According to the Dictionary of American Family Names the Pinnell surname is English in origin.  It is a diminutive of Pine.   Pine is both English and French originating from Middle English pine and Old French pin, a topographic name for someone who lived by a conspicuous pine tree or in a pine forest. It may also be a Norman habitat ional name from any of various places named with this word, such as Le Pin in Calvados; in other cases it may originally have been a nickname for a tall man, one thought to resemble a pine tree. 

History of the Surname

Most Germanic Surnames from Central Europe have their roots in the Germanic Middle Ages.  The process of forming family names in what is present day Germany began during Middle High German period in the history of the German language from the early 12th Century to the 16th century.   The nobility and wealthy land owners were the first to begin using surnames.  Merchants and townspeople then adopted the custom, as did the rural population.  This process took two or three centuries.  In most of the Germanic States of the Holy Roman Empire, the practice of using surnames was well established by the 1500s.

Surnames of the British Isles as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in use in England or Scotland, before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and were first found in the Domesday Book of 1086. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans who had adopted the custom just prior to this time.    Soon thereafter it became a mark of a generally higher socio-economic status and thus seen as disgraceful for a well-bred man to have only one name.  It was not until the middle of the 14th century that surnames became general practice among all people in the British Isles

The concept of French Surnames come from the Medieval French word 'surnom' translating as "above-or-over name," surnames or descriptive names trace their use back to 11th century France, when it first became necessary to add a second name to distinguish between individuals with the same given name. The custom of using surnames did not become common for several centuries, however.


     Although this is an English surname, it may in some cases have an ultimate French origin.  According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley, it has two possible sources both from personal names. The first is a metronymic and derives from the female name of Petronella or Petronilla, both quite popular in the Middle Ages. This was a name which was either introduced by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, or possibly by the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land in the 12th century, while the second is as a diminutive of the pre-7th century Olde English name Payne, to which has been added a short form of the word "little" to give "Payn-el" or son of Payne. However later research suggests yet a third option, in this case locational from a place called Penn Hall formerly Penehull, in the county of Worcester. In this case Alredus de Penhull is recorded in the Assize Rolls of Worcester in the year 1221, when it appears that he may not have paid his taxes. This is clearly a locational recording, but that of William Pennel, recorded in Colchester, Essex in 1377, suggests a development from a personal name. Other early recordings include Anne Pennyale at St Margarets, Westminster, in 1571, Thomas Pernell of St Columb Major in Cornwall in 1580, Elizabeth Penniall who married Robert Wood at St Margarets, Westminster in 1640, and Samuel Pennell, at St Mary Aldermanry, in the city of London in 1671.

Some Notable Persons, Places, or Things Having This Name

Some of the best known persons, places, or things bearing the PINNELL name, or its close variants are: Pinnel's Case [1602] also known as Penny v Cole, is an important case in English contract law;  Pennell (Kent cricketer), English professional cricketer;  Chris Pennell (born 1987), English rugby union player;  Eagle Pennell (1952–2002), American independent filmmaker;  Edward Pennell (1894–1974), Royal Flying Corps officer;  Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855–1936), American writer;  Francis W. Pennell (1886–1952), American botanist;  Gerry Pennell (1959- ), British Executive;  Harry Pennell (1882–1916), Royal Navy Officer;  Henry Singleton Pennell (1874–1907), English recipient of the Victoria Cross;  Joseph Pennell (1857–1926), American artist and author;  Larry Pennell (born 1928), American television and film actor;  Lawrence Pennell (1914–2008), Canadian lawyer and politician;  Maynard Pennell (1910–1994), American businessman;  Nicholas Pennell (1938–1995), English actor;  Rebecca Pennell (1821–1890), American educator;  Robert Franklin Pennell (1850–1905), American educator and classicist;  Russ Pennell (born 1960), American basketball coach;  Steven Brian Pennell (1957–1992), American serial killer;  Theodore Leighton Pennell (1867–1912), Christian missionary and doctor;  Charles A. Pannell, Jr. (born 1946), United States federal judge;  Charles Pannell (1902–1980), British Labour Party politician;  Joseph Pannell Taylor (1796–1864), Union general in the American Civil War;  Norman Pannell, FCIS (1901–1976), British finance manager and Conservative politician;  Phillip Pannell shooting incident, African American teenager killed by a police officer in New Jersey in 1990;  Troy Pannell (born 1976), Australian rules football field umpire in the Australian Football League;  Vane Pennell (1876–1938), British rackets and real tennis player;  Raquel Pinel, Spanish football forward currently playing for Valencia CF in the Spanish league;  Marcel Pinel (1908–1968), French footballer;  Suzanne Pinel, CM is a Canadian children's entertainer and citizenship judge;  Julie Pinel (1710–1737), French composer and harpsichord teacher; and Philippe Pinel (1745–1826), French physician.

More About Surname Meanings & Origins


Many German names have their roots in the Germanic Middle Ages. The process of forming family names began early in the 12th Century and extended through the 16th century. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family.  At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing.  Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead.  If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from.  Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living.  Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer.  Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (Low German, Middle German and Upper German) is often reflected in names.


Although the Domesday Book compiled by William the Conqueror required surnames, the use of them in the British Isles did not become fixed until the time period between 1250 and 1450.  The broad range of ethnic and linguistic roots for British surnames reflects the history of Britain as an oft-invaded land. These roots include, but are not limited to, Old English, Middle English, Old French, Old Norse, Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, Pictish, Welsh, Gaulish, Germanic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  Throughout the British Isles, there are basically five types of native surnames. Some surnames were derived from a man's occupation (Carpenter, Taylor, Brewer, Mason), a practice that was commonplace by the end of the 14th century.  Place names reflected a location of residence and were also commonly used (Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale) as a basis for the surname, for reasons that can be easily understood.  Nicknames that stuck also became surnames.  About one-third of all surnames in the United Kingdom are patronymic in origin, and identified the first bearer of the name by his father (or grandfather in the case of some Irish names). When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.  Acquired ornamental names were simply made up, and had no specific reflection on the first who bore the name. They simply sounded nice, or were made up as a means of identification, generally much later than most surnames were adopted.   Source:


Suffixes & Prefixes - While not in common use as in Italy or Sweden, some French surnames are formed by the addition of various prefixes and suffixes. A variety of French suffixes including -eau, -elet, -elin, -elle, and -elot, mean "little son of" and can be found attached to a given name to form a patronym. Prefixes of French surnames also have specific origins. The prefixes "de," "des," "du," and "le" each translate as "of" and may be found used in patronymic and geographical French surnames. Some French-Norman patronymic surnames will have the prefix "fritz," from the Old French for "son of" (Fitzgerald - son of Gerald). 

Alias Surnames or Dit Names - In some areas of France, a second surname may have been adopted in order to distinguish between different branches of the same family, especially when the families remained in the same town for generations. These alias surnames can often be found preceded by the word "dit." Sometimes an individual even adopted the dit name as the family name, and dropped the original surname. This practice was most common in France among soldiers and sailors.

Germanic Origins of French Names - As so many French surnames are derived from first names, it is important to know that many common French first names have Germanic origins, coming into fashion during German invasions into France. Therefore, having a name with Germanic origins does not necessarily mean that you have German ancestors!

Official Name Changes in France - Beginning in 1474, anyone who wished to change his name was required to get permission from the King. These official name changes can be found indexed in: Jérôme, archiviste. Dictionnaire des changements de noms de 1803 à 1956 (Dictionary of changed names from 1803 to 1956). Paris: Librairie Française, 1974.   Source: French Surname Meanings & Origins

Use this LINK to find the ethnic origin and meaning of last

names. Surname dictionary and

genealogy helps include names of Irish, German, English, French, Italian, and Jewish descent.

Variations of the Surname

Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families. The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents. 

Spelling variations of this family name include: Penell, Pennel, Pennall, Pennells, Penal, Pennell, Peniall, Penniall, Pnnel (dialectal), Penniell, Pernell,   and many more, (as noted below). 

Spelling variations of this family name may be ascertained through the utilization of several systems developed over the years.  The most prominently known are Soundex, Metaphone, and the NameX systems.  Of the three we recommend NameX as the most accurate for family historians.

Click on the button to find the variants of this or any other surname by utilizing The Name Thesaurus a ground-breaking technology for finding Surname and Forename variants.

This useful genealogy research tool has identified 385 million variants for 5,929,000 Surnames and 26 million variants for 1,246,000 Forenames, as well as gender identification for more than 220,000 Forenames.

NameX matched 172 spelling variations of the PINNELL surname. The top 20 are:

Metaphone is a phonetic algorithm, first published in 1990, for indexing words by their English pronunciation.  It fundamentally improves on the Soundex algorithm by using information about variations and inconsistencies in English spelling and pronunciation to produce a more accurate encoding. Later a new version of the algorithm named Double Metaphone was created to take into account spelling peculiarities of a number of other languages. In 2009 a third version, called Metaphone 3, achieves an accuracy of approximately 99% for English words, non-English words familiar to Americans, and first names and family names commonly found in the U.S.  The Metaphone Code for PINNELL is PNL.  There are 643 other surnames sharing this code.


Match Score


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The Soundex System was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname. Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for PINNELL is P540.  There are 1340 other surnames sharing this Code. 

If The Name Thesaurus doesn’t adequately address the name you are looking for check out the following link:

Top 10 Tips for Finding Alternative Surname Spellings & Variations

Searching for more Information about this and other surnames?

Use LINK button to view our Surname Locator & Resources page.

Locations of the Surname

Locational Distribution of this Surname

Historical Distribution of this Surname


Locational Distribution of This Surname

Knowing the geographical areas where the surname you are researching is clustered and distributed is an indispensable tool in deciding where to focus your research.  We believe that the “Public Profiler” website will open up to you a wide range of solutions which implement current research in spatial analysis.  This site provides an array of local spatial information tools useful to the genealogist. 

The information presented herein shows where the PINNELL surname is distributed within North America as well as in Europe the location of origin for this surname.      Statistics show that the country were this surname is the most highly clustered is the United Kingdom with approximately 15.79 persons per million of population.  The density of population in the within the United States is 7.52 persons per million of population.  The top region in the World where this surname is the most highly clustered is Wiamate District, New Zealand with 1370.33 persons per million, and Bristol, England is the top city where this surname is found.

North America


Click on thumbnail for larger image

Click on the LINK to the right to see more information about the World distribution of a surname.  You can

get greater detail for any of the following maps by clicking on the area, i.e state, county that you are interested in.

·        Database of Surnames in the Netherlands

·        Database of Surnames in Belgium

·        Names Distribution in France

·        Map of the surname: Austria

·        Distribution of Surnames in Spain

·        Map of the Surname: Switzerland

·        Distribution of Surnames in Italy

Historical Distribution of this Surname

The main value in historical surname distribution databases and maps is that they enable genealogists to pinpoint the predominant location of a surname. This can quickly narrow down your search for a BDM certificate.  Knowing where to look is half the battle to finding ancestry records; if you can narrow down the search field it can save you a lot of time and trouble.  The core of historical surname distribution is that most people stayed within a fairly close locale.  Concentrations of surnames are clearly visible on Surname Distribution Maps, and name distribution tables (along with an atlas) make it quite likely that the origin of that name is from the area of its highest concentration.

The following “historical locations” for the PINNELL surname and some of its close variant spellings have been primarily extracted from either Burke’s The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Rietstap’s Armorial General, or J. Siebmacher's Great and General Armorial.   These books were published in the mid-19th Century and revised thereafter.  The information therein is relevant to that period as well as earlier times as far back as 1500.   Most of the locations cited by Riestap, and Siebmacher are on the continent of Europe such as Germany, France, Switzerland, etc.       



Great Britain & Ireland



Continental Western Europe




Guyenne;  Languedoc;  Brittany;  Normandy  


Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk






Artois;  Flanders





(2) = the frequency with which this place occurs.

We recommend that you utilize our Tools for Finding Ancestral Locations.  If you have an elementary knowledge of heraldry you may wish to use this practice to trace your founding forefather.  For more information about this approach to seeking out your ancestral locations see our Using Heraldry as a Family History Research Tool.  

·        Great Britain Family Names - 1881 Census

·        England and Wales: 1891 Census

·        Scotland: 1891 Census

·        Distribution of surnames in Ireland in 1890

·        Family Name Distribution in Germany: 1942

·        Nom de famille en France: 1891-1915; 1916-40; 1941-65; 1966-90

·        United States: 1920

Armorial Bearings, Mottoes & Symbols

An Introduction to

 European Heraldry

Gallery of Images

Descriptions of the

Armorial Bearings

Heraldry as a Family

History Research Tool

Motto(es) Associated

 With This Surname


An Introduction To European Heraldry

     The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. The use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, towns and villages is called civic heraldry.   A coat of arms, more properly called an armorial achievement, armorial bearings or often just arms for short.  A Coat of Arms is defined as a group of emblems and figures (heraldic bearings) usually arranged on and around a shield and serving as the special insignia of some person, family, or institution.  Except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.    The rules and traditions regarding Coats of Arms vary from country to country. Therefore a Coat of Arms for an English family would differ from that of a German family even when the surname is the same. 

     The seeds of heraldic structure in personal identification can be detected in the account in a contemporary chronicle of Henry I of England, on the occasion of his knighting his son-in-law Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, in 1127. He placed to hang around his neck a shield painted with golden lions. The funerary enamel of Geoffrey (died 1151), dressed in blue and gold and bearing his blue shield emblazoned with gold lions, is the first recorded depiction of a coat of arms.

       By the middle of the 12th century, coats of arms were being inherited by the children of armigers (persons entitled to use a coat of arms) across Europe. Between 1135 and 1155, seals representing the generalized figure of the owner attest to the general adoption of heraldic devices in England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.  By the end of the century, heraldry appears as the sole device on seals.  In England, the practice of using marks of cadency arose to distinguish one son from another: the conventions became standardized in about 1500, and are traditionally supposed to have been devised by John Writhe.

     In the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, heraldry became a highly developed discipline, regulated by professional officers of arms. As its use in jousting became obsolete, coats of arms remained popular for visually identifying a person in other ways – impressed in sealing wax on documents, carved on family tombs, and flown as a banner on country homes. The first work of heraldic jurisprudence, De Insigniis et Armis, was written in the 1350s by Bartolus de Saxoferrato, a professor of law at the University of Padua.

    In the Germanic areas of Central Europe heraldry spread to the German burgher class in the 13th century, and even some peasants used arms in the 14th century.  A German coat of arms is usually referred to by any of the following terms; Wappen, Familienwappen, Blasonierung, Heraldik, or Wappenschablonen.

     In the British Isles the College of Arms, (founded in 1483), is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.  In Scottish heraldry, the Lord Lyon King of Arms in the Act of 1672 is empowered to grant arms to "vertuous [virtuous] and well deserving persons."

     Although heraldry in France and the lowlands of Belguim and Holland had a considerable history, like England, existing from the eleventh century, such formality has largely died out in these locations. The role of the herald (héraut) in France declined in the seventeenth century.  Many of the terms in international heraldry come from French.

Gallery of Images


Our galleries contain full-sized images of Coats-of Arms that pertain to the surnames of our direct ancestral lineage.   As most surnames have many variant spellings we suggest that you also view the galleries of our other two sub-sites as they make have a surname that is similar or has a slightly different spelling that the one you are researching

Use this LINK to find images of many unique coat-of-arms in a wide

variety of surnames many of them not found anywhere else on the internet.

Descriptions of the Armorial Bearings

Descriptions of the Arms

Copyright @ 2013-14

The associated armorial bearings for this surname and close variant spellings are recorded in Burke’s General Armoire, Rietstap’s Armorial General or J. Siebmacher's Great and General Armorial.  The additional information, presented below, is offered with regard to the armorial bearings we’ve identified from the aforementioned sources. 

Crest - The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms.  The crest was a later development arising from the love of pageantry.  Initially the crest consisted of charges painted onto a ridge on top of the helmet.

Wreath or Torse – The torse is a twist of cloth or wreath underneath and part of a crest. Always shown as six twists, the first tincture being the tincture of the field, the second the tincture of the metal, and so on.

Mantling – The mantling is a drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.

Helm or Helmet - The helmet or helm is situated above the shield and bears the torse and crest. The style of helmet displayed varies according to rank and social status, and these styles developed over time, in step with the development of actual military helmets.

Shield or Arms - The basis of all coats of arms.  At their simplest, arms consist of a shield with a plain field on which appears a geometrical shape or object.  The items appearing on the shield are known as charges.

Motto - The motto was originally a war cry, but later mottoes often expressed some worthy sentiment. It may appear at the top or bottom of a family coat of arms.

When reading the following descriptions of these armorial bearings you may come across a term that you would like to know more about. 

As such we recommend you utilize this LINK BUTTON to locate additional information within the classic resource book originally published by James Parker and Company in 1894.

In addition to an image of the selected Armorial Bearings, presented below, we have divided each into three specific areas of content.  They are:

About the Proprietor:  A coat-of-arms design is usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname. Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  Therefore the descriptive narratives below generally refer to this person as the “proprietor”.   The information given within the category primarily focuses upon the name of the proprietor, when the armorial bearings were granted, and by whom, as well as where he was seated.   

Blazoning the Arms:  In heraldry a blazon is a formal description of the coat of arms, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image.  Primarily our blazons will focus upon a description of the shield, crest and mantling, as well as a motto, if known.  We attempt to construct our blazons utilizing current-day  terminology for better comprehension. 

Interpreting the Arms:  Heraldry symbols such as the colors, lines and shapes found on coats-of-arms are generally referred to as charges.  Although there is some debate over whether or not the charges have any universal symbolism many persons do believe they may represent an idea or skill of the person who originally had the armorial bearings created.  If this assumption has any validity charges may provide clues to early family history of that person. 


Panneel of Flanders

Pannell of Lincolnshire

Pannell of Norfolk

Pannell of Yorkshire

Pennell of Cheshire

Pennell of Great Britain

Pennell of Surry

Pinel de Golleville

Pinel de la Taule

Pinel du Feucochart

Pinel of Guyenne

Pinel of Helesches

Panneel of Flanders

LINK to full-size image

About the Proprietor: These arms belonged to a Panneel of Flanders.   Historically, Flanders referred to a region located in the north-western part of present-day Belgium and adjacent parts of France and the Netherlands.

Blazoning the Arms: A blue shield with a silver fesse.  Three gold stars, two in chief and one in base.  Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known.

Interpreting the Arms:  The color blue signifies truth and loyalty.  The utilization of silver or white represents peace and sincerity.  The stars symbolize honor, achievement and hope.

Pannell of Lincolnshire

LINK to full-size image

About the Proprietor: The spelling of the proprietor’s surname associated with these arms may be either Pannal, Pannel, or Pannell of Lincolnshire as well as Yorkshire.  Places named Pannal and Pannal Ash are located in North Yorkshire, and the Pannell spelling is prominent in Lincolnshire.

Blazoning the Arms:  A silver shield with a black bend.  Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known.

Interpreting the Arms: In heraldry the bend represents the scarf or shield suspender of a knight commander; signifies defense or protection.  The color black represents constancy or grief.

Pannell of Norfolk

LINK to full-size image

About the Proprietor: These arms have been attributed to a Pannell of Norfolk, England. Norfolk county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south.

Blazoning the Arms: A red shield with two white chevrons. Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known.  Another version of this design adds an engrailed border to the white chevrons.

Interpreting the Arms:  The utilization of the color red usually represents a warrior or martyr.  It may also signify military strength and magnanimity.   The chevron generally means protection and is commonly used by builders or others who have accomplished some work of faithful service.

Pannell of Yorkshire

LINK to full-size image

About the Proprietor: These arms were granted to a Pannell of Yorkshire.  Yorkshire is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom.  Due to its great size in comparison to other English counties, it is now fragmented into North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire.

Blazoning the Arms: A silver or white shield holds two red lions (passant guardant) each with a blue crown.   Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: The lion has always held a high place in heraldry as the emblem of deathless courage, and, hence, that of a valiant warrior.  It is said to be a lively image of a good soldier, who must be ‘valiant in courage, strong of body, politic in council and a foe to fear’.  Passant is a word used to express the position of a beast walking past, most frequently applied to the Lion.  Guardant means that the lion’s face is turned towards the spectator.

Pennell of Cheshire

LINK to full-size image

About the Proprietor:  This coat-of-arms has been associated with a Pennell of Cheshire. Cheshire aka. as Chester is archaically the County Palatine of Chester.  Cheshire is located in the North West of England.  The western edge of the county forms part of England's border with Wales.   Similar arms dating back to 1634, but without this crest, have been attributed to a Penell of Woodstone in Lindridge, Worchestershire.

Blazoning the Arms: A silver or white shield with a red fesse on which are three wheat sheaves.   The crest features and ostrich’s head (couped).  Any motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known.  According to Burke another version associated with Pennell of Cheshire has a red shield with two white chevrons.

Interpreting the Arms: The wheat-sheaf (garb) signifies plenty and commendable hospitality in the bearer. It may also mean that the harvest of the bearer’s hopes is secured.  One of the earliest appearances of garbs in heraldry was on the seal of Ranulph, Earl of Chester who died in 1232.  Garbs became identified thereafter with the Earldom of Chester, though they also appear in the arms of other families, some with a distant connection to the Earls and some without.

Pennell of Great Britain

LINK to full-size image

About the Proprietor: These armorial bearings are listed in Burke’s General Armoire as belonging to a Pennell of the British Isles.

Blazoning the Arms: An ermine shield with a red bend surmounted by a gold fesse.  The crest shows an arm in armor, couped at the shoulder, and holding a scimetar.  Any motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: The sword is said to be the emblem of military honor and should incite the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue. It is symbolic of liberty and strength. A scimitar is a backsword or sabre with a curved blade, originating in the Middle East.  Ermine in heraldry is a "fur", or varied tincture, consisting of a white background with a pattern of black shapes representing the winter coat of the stoat.  The ermine spot, the conventional heraldic representation of the tail, has had a wide variety of shapes over the centuries; its most usual representation has three tufts at the end (bottom), converges to a point at the root (top), and is attached by three studs. The ermine spot (so specified), however, may also be used singly as a mobile charge, or as a mark of cadency signifying the absence of a blood relationship.

Pennell of Surry

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About the Proprietor: This coat-of-arms was granted to William Pennell, Esq., born 1765, was residing at East Mousley, Surry, England at the time of his death in 1860.  He was a Consul-General to the Empire of Brazil.

Blazoning the Arms: A silver shield is charged with a black saltire (engrailed) on which are five golden mullets.  The crest features a griffin (sejant).  Any motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: A saltire is an heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross, like the shape of the letter X in Roman type. Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross. This type of heraldic charge generally signifies “resolution”.  The cross in these arms is engrailed.  The engrailed lines refer to the land or earth. The griffin is a mythical creature, with the head, wings and talons of an eagle and the body and hind legs of a lion. It is thus composed of the most royal of the birds and the beasts. The griffin was thought to find and guard mines of gold and hidden treasures.

Pinel de Golleville

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About the Proprietor: The Pinel family of Golleville in Normandy were among the oldest in the province going back to the 13th century.  The Pinel nobility was obtained in 1666, and these arms were registered in 1696.  It is most probable that these arms belonged to Francois-Adrien Pinel, Lord of Golleville.

Blazoning the Arms: A gold shield with a red bend surmounted by a black lion (rampant).  Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: In heraldic terms the color gold means generosity and elevation of the mind.  The use of red represents a warrior or martyr as well as military strength and magnanimity.   In ancient times when animals were defined in by the position that they were in, the lion held the position of rampant, as is seen in these arms.  A walking cat was originally called a leopard, so the lions of England can probably be more accurately called leopards, but the popularity of the lion led to its acquiring many more positions, and thus the development of a terminology was necessary to describe them all.

Pinel de la Taule

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About the Proprietor: These arms probably belonged to Germain Pinel, Count of Bise, who lived during the 19th century.  The seat of this family was located near Narbonne, a community in southern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

Blazoning the Arms: The shield is blue and portioned quarterly.  In the 1st and 4th quarters is a golden harp with white strings.  The 2nd and 3rd quarters contain a silver palm leaf each accompanied by three crosses arranged two on the sides and one at the bottom.  Surmounting all is a gold shield inescutcheon with a blue chief.  A green oak tree on a green terrace is contained on the shield and three silver stars on the chief. The motto associated with these arms is MIHI FIDELITAS DECUS.  Any crest or the specific colors of the mantling are not known.   

Interpreting the Arms:  The harp represents a well-composed person of tempered judgment who also values the time and efforts of contemplation.  The harp also symbolizes the mystical bridge between heaven and earth.  The palm signifies righteousness and resurrection.

Pinel du Feucochart

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About the Proprietor: These arms were most likely granted during the 15 century to Jean Pinel Lord of Feucochart.   The Pinels of Feucochart were seated in Brittany,  cultural region in the north-west of France.

Blazoning the Arms: A blue shield is charged with three golden pine cones.  Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: The pine cone is said to represent life.  In this case it may have been utilized to represent the Pinel surname. The color gold symbolizes generosity and elevation of the mind, the color blue signifies the qualities of truth and loyalty.

Pinel of Guyenne

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About the Proprietor: These arms belonged to a Pinel of Guyenne who was ennobled in 1775.  Guyenne or Guienne is an historic region of south-western France. In 1561, Guyenne was made a province, and included Bordelais, Bazadais, Limousin, Périgord, Quercy, Rouergue, Agenais, Saintonge, and Angoumois.

Blazoning the Arms: A silver or white shield charged with a green pine tree.  Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: Pine is said to symbolize death and eternal life thereafter.  With regard to theses arms one might surmise that it may have been utilized to represent the Pinel surname.  In heraldry the color silver or white is referred to as argent thus it is not possible to determine which was used.  Argent represents peace and sincerity. 

Pinel of Helesches

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About the Proprietor:  According to Burke’s General Armoire these are the arms of Pinel, Seigneur of Helesches, in the Bailiwick of Jersey.  They were bestowed during the reign of  King John of England between 1199 and 1216.

Blazoning the Arms: The shield is partitioned per pale white and gold holding an eagle (displayed) standing on a blue billet (raguly).  Any crest or motto that might be associated with these arms is unknown. The specific colors of the mantling are not known. 

Interpreting the Arms: The eagle was a symbol born by men of action, occupied with high and weighty affairs. It was given to those of lofty spirit, ingenuity, speed in comprehension, and discrimination in matters of ambiguity. The wings signify protection, and the gripping talons symbolize ruin to evildoers. As a Christian symbol, the eagle represents salvation, redemption and resurrection.  The billet represents one who obtained credence, knowledge, and faith in his words and deeds; one who is secret in one's affairs.  The raguly borders of the billet speak of difficulties that have been encountered.