Balmer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Balmer is a name for a person who worked as a palmer. The surname Balmer 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 Balmer represented a missionary. [1]

Early Origins of the Balmer family

The surname Balmer was first found in "the east of England, especially in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Kent." [2] 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. [3]

Ladbroke Hall in Ladbroke, near Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire was the home of the Palmer family since 1633 when it was purchased by William Palmer. "The church [of Ladbroke] is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty and elegant spire, and contains several monuments, chiefly to the Palmer family." [4]

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. [5]

Early History of the Balmer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balmer research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1090, 1634, 1705, 1735, 1731, 1735, 1872 and are included under the topic Early Balmer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Balmer Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Balmer have been found, including Palmer, Pallmer, Parmer and others.

Early Notables of the Balmer family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir James Palmer of Dorney Court, Buckinghamshire; and his son, Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine, PC (1634-1705), an English courtier, diplomat, and politician, his wife Barbara Villiers was...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Balmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Balmer Ranking

In the United States, the name Balmer is the 12,482nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6] However, in France, the name Balmer is ranked the 7,252nd most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Balmer family to Ireland

Some of the Balmer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 167 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Balmer migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Balmer were among those contributors:

Balmer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Balmer, who arrived in Maryland in 1651 [8]
Balmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Balmer, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [8]
  • Christian Balmer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [8]
  • Hans Michel Balmer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [8]
  • Carl Balmer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [8]
  • Georg Michael Balmer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Balmer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joh Balmer, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [8]
  • Jose Maria Balmer, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1839 [8]
  • Charles Balmer, aged 27, who landed in Missouri in 1844 [8]
  • Anton Balmer, who arrived in Texas in 1845 [8]
  • C B Balmer, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Balmer migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Balmer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • R. Balmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Senator" in 1849 [9]
  • Marion Balmer, aged 22, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Standard" [10]
  • James Balmer, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" [11]
  • Martha Balmer, aged 27, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" [11]

New Zealand Balmer migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Balmer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary L. Balmer, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Balmer (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General Jesmond Dene Balmer (1895-1979), American Commanding General Artillery XXI Corps, North-West Europe (1944-1945) [12]
  • Randall Balmer (b. 1954), American author, professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University
  • Edwin Balmer (1883-1959), American science fiction writer
  • William J. Balmer, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1956, 1960 [13]
  • Ronald J. Balmer, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1988 [13]
  • George Balmer (d. 1846), English painter, the son of a house-painter, and destined to follow his father's trade, but soon abandoned that to become a noted water-colour artist [14]
  • Jack Balmer (1916-1984), English footballer
  • Robert Balmer (1787-1844), Scottish minister of the United Secession Church, born at Ormiston Mains, in the parish of Eckford, Roxburghshire [14]
  • Johann Jakob Balmer (1825-1898), Swiss mathematician and physicist, eponym of the Balmer series

The Balmer Motto +

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.

  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SENATOR 1849. Retrieved from
  10. ^ South Australian Register Friday 14 October 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Standard 1853. Retrieved
  11. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 23rd November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Dirigo 1854. Retrieved
  12. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) Jesmond Balmer. Retrieved from
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from
  14. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019 on Facebook
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