William Palmer was the first of this Palmer family to come to America. He arrived in 1621 on the Fortune, the second ship to arrive at the Plymouth Colony. Four generations later, with the marriage of his descendant William Palmer to Esther Taber, the line ties into the descendants of the Mayflower. Esther Taber was the granddaughter of John Cooke and the great granddaughter of Francis Cooke, both passengers on the Mayflower. This information and the early family history of the Palmers are documented in three sources: The Ancient Family of Palmer of Plymouth Colony, Little Compton Families, and Francis Cooke of the Mayflower, The First Five Generations. The Ancient Family of Palmer of Plymouth Colony traces the line down to the family of Samuel Palmer, who died in Manchester Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in 1844.
Descendents of William H. Palmer and Esther Bronson
1836 - Present
William and Esther Palmer's family is most closely linked with the house on section 16, where all but two of the children grew to maturity. According to the record of Oak Grove Cemetery, in 1851, two years before the family moved from section 5, DeForest, the fourth of the five boys, was killed in a fall from a roller. He was only five. The grave marker in Oak Grove bearing the name of Alice, the youngest child, shows that she was not quite 11 when she died of diphtheria in 1862. The other five children went elsewhere, one by one, leaving William and Esther alone in the house in 1880, according to the Federal Census that year; but, for nearly a century longer, beginning in 1884, when William died and his son, Samuel, took over the farm, Samuel's family lived there. They shared the house with Esther until she died, then Samuel and his wife, Frances VanWinkle Palmer, reared their four children there. Two of the children, Jane and William, who outlived their parents, lived there together for many years, until they built a new house and had the old one torn down. With William's wife, Laura Worden, they were the last Palmers to live on section 16. Laura, who outlived both her husband and her sister-in-law, continued to live there until her death in 1979.
Click on the highlighted link below to access addtional information about the family:
Samuel Palmer and Clarissa Shumway, 1785-1862
William Palmer and Esther Bronson, 1810-1895
Clarissa Celesta (Kate) Palmer and Benjamin F. Reynolds
Oscar M. Palmer and Margaret Obrien
Samuel Lee Palmer and Frances VanWinkle
Charles Henry Palmer and Manerva Jennie Frost
William Hamlin Palmer Junior
Other Children of Samuel and Clarissa and their Descendants
The information located on these pages represent the research of Mary Lee MacDonald and Susan Luebke Whitfield, both descendants of Samuel Palmer and his son, William Hamlin Palmer. Our own family lines were the major focus of research, but we have included any information we found regarding other family members as well. In some cases there was a great deal, in others, very little. Because of our focus, we have departed from the usual order of presenting genealogies here, delaying the presentation of the families of Samuel Palmer's other children till the end.
Our account is heavily indebted to Ann Fowler, the volunteer in charge of the Historical Room at the Manchester Township Library, and to the materials she found for us, especially a kind of memoir by Jane Palmer, the daughter of William's second son, Samuel Palmer. It is unfinished and unsigned, but portions were published in other places under her name. Jane seems to have set down her memories of her family and the house where they all lived, including the stories she heard from her parents, Samuel and Frances VanWinkle Palmer, and her Aunt Kate, Clarissa Palmer Reynolds. This record is the source of the many details of the daily life of the first three generations of Palmers traced here. Jane was once the librarian of the Manchester Township Library, and she even lived there in the upper story for some years. When research for this document began, one of our first sources was her memoir. Although it was difficult to follow until the family genealogy was nearly complete, we knew from the beginning that we would use large portions of it. Patterns began to emerge early on of a woman and a family who had a deep respect and love of nature and the beauty of the land. We saw human tragedy tempered by a love of life, gentleness and humor. In her writing Jane brought to life these people who were the Palmers of Manchester.
Virginia Fielder, who, with her husband, Norman, inherited the old Palmer farm on section sixteen, gave us the ending of this story. She filled in many gaps in our information and supplied copies of land records that had been held by the Palmers. She also provided a tour of the farm.
Too numerous to mention here are the many historical societies and researchers who generously shared information with us, and the many people, some related, some not, who took the time to become involved in our project. To one and all, our deep gratitude and thanks.
Esther Bronson Palmer's family also arrived in America in the early 1600's, landing in Massachusetts and shortly afterwards moving to Connecticut, where they lived in what is now Farmington and Woodbury. The history of this Bronson family in America is documented in, Bronson (Brownson, Brunson) Families.
The story of this Palmer family is truly the story of an American family, from the establishment of the earliest coastal settlements to the first moves westward. It is a story of patriotism during the American Revolution, and then more movement westward, creating roads, waterways and settlements that would eventually bring future generations into the interior of our country. What began for us as a family history project became a journey through our nation's past. And the people that made that journey possible have become just as real to us as the living members of our family.
Mary Lee MacDonald
Susan Luebke Whitfield
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· 1810 Cayuga County, New York
· 1830 Niagara County, New York
· 1830-1880, 1900-1920 Washtenaw County, Michigan
· 1860, 1870 Clinton County, Illinois
· 1860-1880, 1900, 1910 Lenawee County, Michigan
· 1900 Clare County, Michigan
· 1845 Washtenaw County, Michigan.
· 1884 Washtenaw County, Michigan.
· 1845 Oakland County Michigan
Death Records, State of Michigan
· Esther Bronson Palmer, 28 May 1895, Washtenaw County
· William H. Palmer, 1 July 1884, Washtenaw County. (vol. 1, p. 301)
· Oscar M. Palmer, 2 July 1912, Lenawee County
· Samuel L. Palmer, 1 May 1917, Washtenaw County
Holland Land Company Archives
· Samuel Palmer 10 May 1817 Lot 3 Sect. 9, Town 16, Range 5
Bureau of Land Management. General Land Office
· Samuel Palmer 80 acres, Sect. 7, T4S R3E 28 Jul 1835
· William Palmer 80 acres, Sect. 10, T4S R6E 17 Oct 1833
· Gilbert Row 240 acres, Sect. 5, T4S R3E 4 Apr 1833
Register of Deeds. Washtenaw County, Michigan.
· William H. Palmer to James M. Edmunds and Abel Godard 40 acres, Sect. 10, T4S R6E 26 Dec 1833 (D-549)
· Gilbert Row to Samuel Palmer 240 acres, Sect. 5, T4S R3E 29 Apr 1835 (H-27)
· Samuel Palmer to Joseph Gillett Jr. 80 acres, Sect. 5, T4S R3E 28 Apr 1836 (H-26)
· S. N. Palmer and Christiana J. Palmer to Samuel Palmer. Release of Dower 9 Mar 1844 (T-446)
· William H, Palmer to Christiana Palmer Village Lot no. 6 in Block no. 4 2 Jun 1846 (Y-190)
· Christiana J. Palmer and Shumway N. Palmer to George G. Betts Village Lot no. 6 in Block no. 4 5 Sep 1847 (Z-76)
· Mary Ann Carr to Christiana J. Palmer Village Lot no. 11 in Block no. 3 13 Oct 1847 (Z-198)
· Clarissa Palmer to William H. Palmer Quit-claim Village Lot no.7 in Block no.4, also portions of Sect. 5 and Sect. 7, T4S R3E 7 Feb 1848 (Z-574)
· William H. Palmer and Esther Palmer to James W. Hill Village Lot no. 7 in Block no. 4 11 Aug 1849 (29-160)
· Jerusha Palmer to Philetus Coon portions of Sect. 5 and Sect. 7, T4S R3E 30 Jan 1852 (33-61)
· Susan Gorton to Jerusha Fitzgerald 40 acres, Sect. 4, T4S R3E 13 Feb 1852 (33-60)
· John Swuthel to B. F. Root Village Lot no. 1 in Block no. 4 15 Jul1852 (34-19)
· Dolly Ann Root to Andrew Spaford 40 acres, Sect. 5 and Sect. 7, T4S R3E 1 Nov 1852 (33-743)
· Clarissa Palmer to L. H. Coon house and lot (one acre), Sect. 5, T4S R3E 1 Nov 1852 (36-468)
· William H. Palmer and Esther Palmer to Andrew Spaford 92 acres, Sect. 5; also portion of Sect. 7, T4S R3E 2 Nov 1852 (33-745)
· I Freeman to Wm. H. Palmer 160 acres, Sect. 16, T4S R3E 19 Jan 1853 (35-683)
· S. M. Gilbert to Wm H. Palmer part of transaction above 19 Jan 1853 (35-684)
· J. and S. Fitzgerald to George O. Merriman 40 acres, Sect 4, T4S R3E 25 Feb 1854 (37-3)
· William Root to Jerusha Fitzgerald Village Lot no. 8 in Block no. 4 18 Feb 1854 (37-273)
· Ellen D. Peterson to Eliza Peterson portions of Sect. 5 and Sect. 7, T4S R3E 10 Jun 1854 (39-557)
· Eliza Peterson to Joseph McMahon portion of Sect. 5, T4S R3E 3 Jul 1854 (39-558)
· Peterson by Guar. Of heirs to Joseph McMahon portion of Sect. 5, T4S R3E 3 Jul 1854 (39-559)
· Eliza Peterson to Andrew Spaford portion of Sect. 7, T4S R3E 3 Jul 1854 (41-129).
· Peterson by Guar. of heirs to Andrew Spaford portion of Sect. 7, T4S R3E…3 Jul 1854 (41-130)
· Gott and Merriman to B. F. Root Village Lot no. 3 in Block no. 11 22Jun 1861 (51-564)
· Hiram and Christiana J. Barnett of Port Huron, St. Clair Co., to Joseph Levenworth, Village lot no. 11 in block no. 3, 4 Nov 1854 (39-351)
· Palmer Farm Manchester Township, Section 16, T4S R3E
· Mortgages 1853-1883
Statement of Title 1853-1883
William H. and Ester C. Palmer to Samuel L. Palmer 40 acres, nw ¼ of ne ¼
31 Dec 1874 $1500
State of Michigan to William H. Palmer 40 acres, nw ¼ of ne ¼ 16 Apr 1878
State of Michigan to William H. Palmer 40 acres, se ¼ of ne ¼ 16 Apr 1878
$400 Assigned to Samuel L. Palmer 27 Mar 1882
State of Michigan to William H. Palmer 40 acres, ne ¼ of ne ¼ 16 Apr 1878
$400 Assigned to Oscar H. Palmer 7 Feb 1883
Oscar M. Palmer to Samuel L. Palmer ne ¼ of ne ¼ 40 acres, 28 Jun 1883
Peter and Mary E. VanWinkle to Francis A. Palmer 40 acres, sw ¼ of ne ¼
2 Jun 1886 $1 and of love and affection between parent and daughter
Palmer Farm Manchester Township, Section 15, T4S, R3E
Mary L. Bailey to Samuel L. Palmer, sw ¼ of n ¼ and n ½ of nw ¼ of sw ¼ 12 Aug 1914 $1
· 1856, 1874, 1915, 1930, 1964 Manchester Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
· 1960 Farm Plat Book with Index to Owners, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
· 1856, 1864, 1874 Village of Manchester, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
· Marriage Records, 1838-1917, County Clerk, St. Clair County, Michigan. Christiana J. Palmer and Hiram Barnett, 15 Jun 1852. IGI FamilySearch.org.
· Marriages 1827-1857 in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI, 1961.
· Marriage Records, State of Michigan
· Oscar Palmer and Nellie E. Taylor, 25 Oct 1864, Hudson, Lenawee County.
· Samuel L. Palmer and Fanny VanWinkle., 16 Dec 1874 Jackson, Jackson County.
· Gamaliel Palmer, d. 15 Aug 1829, Columbia County, New York
· Samuel Palmer, d. 5 Sep 1844, Washtenaw County, Michigan (File #471, Cal. 5, p. 134)
· Clarissa Palmer d. 14 May 1862 Washtenaw County, Michigan (File #1710, Cal. 6, p. 558)
· Shumway N. Palmer, d. 30 Aug 1850, Washtenaw County, Michigan (File #766, Cal. 5, p. 441)
· Clarissa Shumway Palmer, 2 Apr 1861, Washtenaw County, Michigan
· Peter Shumway, 9 July 1828, Tioga County, Pennsylvania
· Samuel Palmer, 31 Aug 1844 (Estate Settlement, 21 Dec 1849), Washtenaw County, Michigan