The only hint I could find was this Sarah b in 1805. She might have been a sister. There were no other Purnells in this database who were born early enough to be his parents.
Family Data Collection - Individual Records
Name: Sarah Seymour Purnell
Parents: John Purnell , Sarah Seymour Minors
Birth Place: Kent, Milford Neck, DE
Birth Date: 25 Jul 1805
Marriage Date: 2 Jun 1825
In 1850 there was a Thomas and Elizabeth aged 59 and 52, farmers. They could have been his parents also.
Name: Thomas Purnell
Estimated birth year: abt 1791
Birth Place: Delaware
Home in 1850
Murderkill Hundred, Kent, Delaware
In 1860 Jonathan was in United States Federal Census > Illinois > Sangamon > District 16
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