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Sunday, April 28, 2013


The Palmers, MA CT, NY, NS and NB

Gideon Palmer became a rather noteworthy person in Dorchester, NB. He became the Coroner for Westmorland County and was still of that title when he died in 1824, in St. John, New Brunswick. But what of his earlier years?  What of his family in the States?

It starts with William Palmer who was first found in Watertown, MA in 1636. There has been no link found between this William and the William Palmer who was in Plymouth, MA. On May 6 1635, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony granted to the inhabitants of Watertown the liberty to move to any place they saw fit as long as they remained under the jurisdiction of the Mass. Bay Colony. {Mass. Bay Rec. Vol. I p. 146}  It was about this time that some of the Watertown settlers moved to Wethersfield, CT. During the 1620’s, emigrants from Wethersfield, England, traveled to the New World and founded a town in Connecticut, which they named after their own village. (The Brontes: Wild Genius on the Moors, by Juliet Barker) William Palmer was in Wethersfield in 1637. By 1640, it was reported that William had a home on Broad St. At some time around 1645, he moved to Branford, CT, where he received a land grant for his services to the town. By this time he is married and has at least two sons, John and William. His wife’s name is a controversy. She is listed as Martha Barnes, Martha Brown and Martha Bowne. It’s possible he has been confused with another William Palmer and the wrong name has been given his wife. The other theory is that he had two wives; both named Martha, unknown which was first. In this theory the two accepted names are Barnes and Bowne. Whatever the case maybe, I have used the name Barnes and I have only given him one wife until more substantial proof is found. It is also entirely possible for one of the names to have been her married name and the other two from marriages and two deceased husbands. Also Brown could be a misspelling of Bowne. There are just too many ‘ifs’ concerning this woman to make any definitive statement about her.

By 1657 he had moved back to Wethersfield. William, Jr. must have died c. 1658 as William, Sr. is the administrator of William, Jr’s. estate. William is mentioned in Wethersfield’s record up to 1666, after that it appears he moved to the borough town of Westchester, now a part of the borough of the Bronx, NYC. He lived there until his death in 1670. Earmarks for his cattle were entered in Westchester in 1666. There is no record to show where William came from or when he arrived in the colonies. It is thought he came with the Winthrop fleets or soon thereafter, but still no evidence to support this.
His known children, probably by his first wife are:
          Henry – (1618-?)
          John – (1625-?)
          William -  (1628-1658) his estate consisted mostly of growing crops;                              no mention of wife or children.
Children, probably by 2nd wife:
          *Joseph – (1640-1728)
          Benjamin – (1642?)
          Elizabeth – (1645-)  no real proof that she is his daughter, but other                              researchers seem to believe she could be.
          Samuel – (1647-?)
          Obadiah – (1650-?)
          Thomas – (1652-?)
          Martha – (1654?)
          Philip – (1655-?)
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*Joseph – (1640 in Wethersfield CT - 1728 in Flushing NY). He married Sarah Marsh of Jamestown, RI. She was the d/o Jonathan Marsh, his wife is unknown. Joseph was very active in town affairs, having held, at various times, public offices such as Constable, Overseer, Justice of the Peace, Assessor, Surveyor of Highways and Supervisor. About 1701 he moved to Flushing, right across the Sound from Westchester borough, where he lived until he died.
Sarah Marsh’s siblings also had land holdings in New Jersey, which may account for some of the Palmers moving from Westchester to New Jersey. Other Palmers moved to PA, MD and DE.
Joseph and Sarah had children:
          Sarah – (1666-?)
          Joseph – (1667-?) a mariner
          Mary –  (1670-?) m. Joseph Pryor of Newport RI
          *John – (1671-?)
          Martha – 1674-?)
          Esther – (1678-?) moved to Philadelphia
          Daniel – (1680-?)
          Richard – (c. 1682-)
          Priscilla -  (c. 1684-?)
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*John – (1671-1747), having lived his entire life in Westchester NY, he married Rebecca Baxter, d/o Thomas and Rebecca (nee unknown) Baxter. Thomas Baxter’s will mentions his daughter Rebecca Palmer and appointed his son-in-law, John Palmer, as one of the Executors.

In 1742, John deeded land to his sons, Marcus and Philip, on Throgmorton’s Neck in Westchester.  John was a slave owner and his will indicates the transfer of ownership of certain slaves to his children. His son Philip was appointed one of the Executors.

Rebecca Baxter Palmer died in 1773. Her will mention’s: her grandson, John Palmer (s/o her son John), granddaughters Rebecca, Esther and Rachel Palmer, all children of her son, John. Grand children Sarah and Joshua Pell, children of Phebe Palmer (Rebecca’s daughter) and her husband, Joshua Pell, granddaughter Ann Palmer, d/o of her son Benjamin, and her daughter, Martha, wife of Benjamin Morrell. Not all the children are named in the will. The reason why is probably because they had died before their mother. Although, a few had received land and other transfers of property at an earlier time and may have been excluded for that reason.
John and Rebecca Baxter Palmer had children born in Westchester:
          *John – (1701-? Haverstraw NY) m. Elizabeth Seaman -  4 children
          Joseph – (1703-1782)
          Thomas – (1704-1791) m. 1738 Susannah Hunt – 2 children
          Esther – (1707-1771) m. Messenger Palmer of Greenwich CT – 
                  his 3rd wife
          Phebe – (1708-1796) m. 1735 Joshua Pell (1713-1810) – 8 children
          Philip – (c. 1710-1785) m. c. 1735 Sarah Hunt (c.1715-?) – 7 children
          Marcus – (?-1771 in Yorktown or Cortland Manor) believed to be                                   
                 unmarried without issue.
          Lewis – (?-1794 Nova Scotia) m. Rachel Fowler (1720–?) 8 children
          Benjamin – (1718-?) m. 1758 Sarah Barnes, d/o Underhill Barnes and                           
                  Miriam Baxter – 1 child {The 1750 will of Underhill Barnes of Westchester, appointed  
                  his wife and his ‘trusty friend,’ Marcus Palmer, Executors}
          Martha – (1720-?) m. Benjamin Morrell – 1 child

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Philip – (c. 1710-1785) m. c. 1735 Sarah Hunt (c.1715-?)
          Philip lived in the borough town of Westchester and had land at Throg’s Neck, having received lands from his father.  He was very active in civic affairs, holding several different offices, including Mayor. After the   American Revolution began, Philip was taken prisoner and held, by the colonists, for several months in a Windham CT prison.  He was released in Dec. 1776 and remained in the New York City area under British protection.  There is no record of Philip removing to Canada. There is no record of Philip’s death or his wife, nor is there a will. He didn’t appear on the 1790 census, so he may have died. Yet all the lands held by colonists       who remained loyal to the crown were confiscated, so there is a possibility that they moved to another location. There is a record of his brother, Lewis, going to Canada, and we know his son Gideon fought on the side of the British, with the Delancy Brigade, and removed to Nova Scotia and then to New Brunswick.

Philip and Sarah had children:
          Philip (1745-?)
          *Gideon (1749-1824) m. 1786 Catherine Harper (1768 in Yorkshire, Eng. -                              
                    1832) Please other blogs on the Coles and the Bucks for more info on Gideon. 
                     They had 10 children.
          Sarah (c. 1751-?) m. 1769 Samuel Bugbee (1749-?) – 6 children
          Jonathan (1753-?)
          John (1755-?)
          →Elvin (c. 1760-?) m. c 1787 Sarah Doty – 1 child
          Thomas (1762-1844 King’s Co. NB)

          → Elvin - It is not proven that he is a son of Philip. He is included here since I have found that most other researchers include him for lack of any other possible contemporary parentage.

*Gideon (1749-1824) m. 1786 Catherine Harper (1768 in Yorkshire, Eng.-1832)
          Their children:
          Philip (c.1786-1873) m. 1810 Sarah Ayer (1784-1867) d/o Mariner Ayer and Amy 
                      Estabrooks – 9 children
          Nancy Ann (c. 1788-1875) m. 1805 John Trueman (1784-1858) –  10 children
          John (1789-1889) m. 1814 Elizabeth Cole (1797-1875) d/o Ebenezer Cole and 
                     Martha Grace – 13 children
          Mary (c. 1792-1782) m. 1831 Jonathan Robinson
          Elizabeth (1793-1878) m. 1817 Ambrose Cole (1786-1857) s/o Martin Cole and 
                     Zylpha Alverson – 10 children
          Sally (c.1795-1842) m. 1815 William Reid – 1 child
          →*Phebe (c.1801-1881) m. 1820 George Buck (1798-1878) – 9 children
          Catherine (c.1803-1875) m. 1821 John Derry
          Marcus (1804-1890) m. 1837 Sarah Harris (1808-1906) – 9 children
          Gideon (1806-1880) m. 1827 Catherine Weldon (1806-1879) – 11 children

          →*Phebe is not a confirmed daughter of Gideon and Catherine Palmer. I have referred to 
               this in a couple of blogs You can read about it at http://thepyeplate.blogspot.com/2013/04/george-buck-my-ancestor.html
         
Gideon resided in Westchester, NY. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he joined the British Army. He served as a Lieutenant during the war and was listed as a Colonel in Delancy’s Regulars. He joined other Loyalists going to Westmorland Co., Nova Scotia, which later became New Brunswick. He filed a claim with the Canadian Government for his losses in Westchester, claiming his father’s land had been plundered because he, Gideon, had joined the British Army. Gideon settled along a creek which has become known as Palmer’s Creek. There he built a saw and grist mill, was active in civic affairs and was made a Capt. of the local militia. He was appointed Coroner in 1787 and served in that capacity until his death in 1826. He is now considered the common ancestor of the Palmer family in that locality.  His son, Gideon resided his entire life in NB and was one of the most successful shipbuilders and ship owners of that area. Gideon’s grandchildren became, farmers, builders, ministers, lawyers and many held public offices. Some remained in NB but other spread to all parts of the North American continent, some as far away as British Columbia. The known grandchildren amount to 72 and there could be more, as there is no report of children for several of his own children.

Robert Bolton, The History of the County of Westchester from its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. I, 1848

Henry Barton Dawson, Westchester County, New York, During the American Revolution,1886

Edward Floyd De Lancy, Origin and History of Manors in New York and the County of Westchester, 1886



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