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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, German, Italian, Spanish
Palmer is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a person who worked as a palmer. The surname Palmer was originally derived from the Old French word palmer, which was taken from the Latin word palmifer meaning palm bearer. In this case the original bearer of the surname was a pilgrim who carried palm branches back from the Holy Land. In early history the name Palmer represented a missionary.
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Palmer are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Palmer include Palmer, Pallmer, Parmer and others.
First found in "the east of England, especially in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Kent."  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include the following: Alice le Palmere in Cambridgeshire; Ralph le Palmere in Yorkshire; and Robert le Palmere in Lincolnshire. Richard le Palmere was listed in Somerset during the reign of Edward III and the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Ricardus Palmer as a mason.  Due to the nature of the surname, it was not surprising to find entries in early Scotland too. Hugh Palmer witnessed resignation of the lands of Ingilbristoun in 1204, and in 1253 Ricardus Palmerus de Kingore attested a memorandum of the ornaments of the chapel of Dundemor. Alexander Palmer witnessed a sale of land in Glasgow, c. 1280-1290, Elye Palmere held a land in Waldeuegate, Berwick, in 1307 and Hugh Palmere was "messager" of the earl of Douglas in 1397. 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Palmer research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1090, 1634, 1705, 1735, 1731, 1735, 1872 and are included under the topic Early Palmer History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Palmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Palmer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Palmer, or a variant listed above:
Palmer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- William Palmer, who arrived in Plymouth in 1621 aboard the " Fortune"
- Daniel Palmer, who arrived in Virginia in 1621
- Frances Palmer, who arrived in Plymouth in 1623 aboard the "Anne and the Little James"
- Frances Palmer, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
- Joane Palmer, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625
Palmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Eliza Palmer, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
- Elizabeth Palmer, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1706-1707
- Isaac Palmer, who landed in Virginia in 1714
- Mary Palmer, who landed in Virginia in 1718
- Jacob Palmer, aged 26, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
Palmer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Esther Palmer, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
- James Palmer, who arrived in America in 1824
- David Palmer, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1826
- Juan Palmer, aged 48, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829
- Andrew Palmer, aged 36, landed in New Orleans, La in 1836
Palmer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Elliott Palmer U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. John Palmer U.E. who arrived in Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 350 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA
- Mr. Theodore Palmer U.E. (b. 1767), aged 16 who arrived in Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 108 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York, USA
- Mr. David Palmer Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
- Mr. Joseph Palmer U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
Palmer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Noah Palmer, who arrived in Canada in 1828
- Merritt Palmer, who arrived in Canada in 1830
Palmer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Stephen Palmer, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
- William Palmer, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
- Joseph Palmer, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- John Palmer, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
- John Palmer, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
Palmer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- G.T. Palmer arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
- Richard Palmer, aged 27, a carpenter, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
- Eliza Palmer, aged 27, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
- William Palmer arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
- Robert Palmer, aged 21, a bricklayer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
- Gregg Palmer (1927-2015), born Palmer Edvind Lee, an American actor, best known for his varying roles in twenty episodes of CBS's Gunsmoke (1960-1975)
- Mr. Charles Palmer (d. 1915), American 3rd Class passenger from Camden, New Jersey, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
- Miss Kathleen Palmer (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from North Augusta, South Carolina, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
- Mr. Frank Arthur Palmer (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from North Augusta, South Carolina, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
- Major-General Williston Birkhimer Palmer (1899-1973), American Vice Chief of Staff, US Army (1955-1957)
- Lieutenant-General Charles Day Palmer (1902-1999), American Deputy Commander in Chief European Command (1959-1962)
- Michael Palmer (b. 1945), American orchestral conductor
- Marlon Palmer, American NBA basketball player for the Colorado 14ers
- Daniel David Palmer (1845-1913), Canadian-born, American founder of chiropractic
- Earl Cyril Palmer (1924-2008), American drummer and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Freeman-Palmer and Related Families by Mary Ann Palmer-Schrepfer.
- A Genealogy of Palmers by Andrew Stillman.
- Memoirs: With Histories of Pound-Murphy-Willingham-Palmer-Pitts Families by Jerome B. Pound.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Palma virtuti
Motto Translation: The palm is for virtue.
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
- Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
- MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
- Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
- Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
- Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
- Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
- Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
- Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
The Palmer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Palmer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 22 April 2016 at 15:26.
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