Phil, your message caught my eye because of your great great grandfather's name "Ruffin" Parnell. My great great grandfather was Bryant Ruffin Parnell. He was born around 1816 in North Carolina but moved down to Alabama. I have never been able to trace him back any further. I have often wondered if "Ruffin" could have been a family name. Do you know anything about your Ruffin's family? His other children? Or siblings?
Bryant Ruffin Parnell's son, my great grandfather, was Mayberry Bryant Parnell. I recently came across a "Maberry Parnold" on the 1830 census for Johnston County, NC. I'm wondering if he could be Bryant's father. How many people are there with the name Maberry! And, I think, census takers probably spelled Parnell the way it sounded to them - thus, Parnold.
Bryant's brother, William, came down to AL with him, or around the same time. They both married Watt sisters in AL.
If you think there could be a connection between our two lines, please let me know. I have worked on my Parnell family for years, but am stuck!
Jean Guice in Louisiana Jeanealogy@aol.com