Palmer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Early Origins of the Palmer family

The surname Palmer 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 Palmer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Palmer 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 Palmer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Palmer Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Palmer 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 Palmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Palmer World Ranking

In the United States, the name Palmer is the 151st most popular surname with an estimated 154,194 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Palmer is ranked the 293rd most popular surname with an estimated 14,920 people with that name. [7] And in France, the name Palmer is the 6,818th popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [8] Australia ranks Palmer as 121st with 22,087 people. [9] New Zealand ranks Palmer as 134th with 3,506 people. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Palmer as 88th with 52,748 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Palmer family to Ireland

Some of the Palmer 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 Palmer migration to the United States +

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 [12]
  • Frances Palmer, who arrived in Plymouth in 1623 aboard the "Anne and the Little James"
  • Frances Palmer, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623 [12]
  • Joane Palmer, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Palmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Palmer, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [12]
  • Elizabeth Palmer, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1706-1707 [12]
  • Isaac Palmer, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [12]
  • Mary Palmer, who landed in Virginia in 1718 [12]
  • Jacob Palmer, aged 26, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Palmer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Esther Palmer, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [12]
  • James Palmer, who arrived in America in 1824 [12]
  • David Palmer, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1826 [12]
  • Juan Palmer, aged 48, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 [12]
  • Andrew Palmer, aged 36, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1836 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Palmer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [13]
  • 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 [13]
  • 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 [13]
  • Mr. Joseph Palmer U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [13]
  • Mr. David Palmer Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Palmer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Noah Palmer, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Merritt Palmer, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • Mr Samuel Palmer, aged 46, a Policeman at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec but died there on 6th October 1847 during the typhus epidemic [14]
  • Mr. John Palmer who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lotus" departing 15th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 24th June 1847 but he died on board [15]

Australia Palmer migration to Australia +

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

Palmer Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Palmer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Palmer, British Convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Mr. William Palmer who was convicted in Wigan, Greater Mancester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dick" on 2nd October 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Mr. William Palmer, British Convict who was convicted in Northhampton, Northamptonshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 5th July 1820, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [19]
  • Stephen Palmer, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [20]
  • William Palmer, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [20]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Palmer 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:

Palmer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. E. Palmer, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1838 [21]
  • G.T. Palmer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Richard Palmer, aged 27, a carpenter, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Eliza Palmer, aged 27, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • William Palmer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Palmer migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [22]
Palmer Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Richard Palmer, aged 30, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [12]
  • Mr. Ellis Palmer, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [23]
  • Mr. Victor Palmer, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [23]
  • Mr. George Palmer, (b. 1608), aged 27, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [23]
  • Mr. Richard Palmer, (b. 1605), aged 30, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [23]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Palmer (post 1700) +

  • Arnold Daniel "The King" Palmer (1929-2016), famous American Golfer who won numerous PGA championships, winner of the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998
  • Peter Webster Palmer (1931-2021), American actor best known for his portrayal of Li'l Abner, alongside Edie Adams, both on Broadway and on film
  • Mike De Palmer (1961-2021), American professional tennis player who coached Boris Becker for several years
  • Krysta Palmer (b. 1992), American diver who won gold and bronze medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games
  • Keegan Palmer (b. 2003), American Australian, goofy-footed professional skateboarder, born in San Diego, Palmer moved to Queensland, Australia, at a young age, he became a professional skateboarder at age 14. He won Gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
  • Bill Palmer (1950-2020), American restaurateur, co-founder of Applebee's
  • 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)
  • Mary "Beth" Palmer (1952-2019), American lawyer and championship bridge player from Chevy Chase, Maryland
  • Wilson Palmer, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Kentucky State Senate 30th District, 1973
  • Willis Lucullus Palmer (1854-1912), American politician, Mayor of Orlando, Florida, 1891-93
  • ... (Another 295 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Gary Kent Palmer (1950-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [24]
  • Mr. Edward James Palmer (1916-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [24]
  • Mr. David Lloyd Palmer (1948-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Stanmore Bay, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [24]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Ethel Palmer (1888-1914), née Short English First Class Passenger from London, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Wallace Palmer (1886-1914), English First Class Passenger from London, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [25]
HMS Cornwall
  • Walter Alan Palmer (d. 1942), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [26]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stephen Palmer (b. 1921), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from Godstone, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [27]
  • Mr. Reginald W Palmer (b. 1914), English Sergeant serving for the Royal Marine from East Ham, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [27]
  • Mr. James A Palmer (b. 1921), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Washington, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [27]
  • Mr. Frederick W J Palmer (b. 1907), English Regulating Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Eynsham, Oxfordshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [27]
  • Mr. Frank Palmer (b. 1916), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Moss Side, Manchester, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [27]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. C Palmer, British Officers Cook, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [28]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Arthur Palmer, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [29]
  • Mr. John R Palmer, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [29]
  • Mr. Edward J Palmer, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [29]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Walter G. Palmer, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [30]
  • George James Palmer (1919-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [30]
  • Charles John Palmer (d. 1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [30]
Pemberton Mill
  • Mr. Morris C. Palmer, factory worker in the Pemberton Mill on 10th January 1860 when the mill collapsed trapping 900 workers as rescue attempts continued into the night, an oil lantern was knocked over further engulfing the trapped workers in fire, he initially survived the colapse but was caught as flames approached he later died of a self-inflicted wound
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. William Palmer (b. 1852), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [31]
  • Mr. Thomas Palmer (b. 1856), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [31]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Palmer, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [32]
  • Mr. Charles Palmer, American 3rd Class passenger from Camden, New Jersey, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [33]
  • Mr. Frank Arthur Palmer, American 2nd Class passenger from North Augusta, South Carolina, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [33]
  • Master Albert Palmer, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [33]
  • Master Edgar Palmer, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [33]
  • ... (Another 4 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
SS Alcoa Puritan
  • W.N. Palmer, American from Mobile, Alabama, who was working aboard the SS Alcoa Puritan traveling from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Mobile, Alabama when it was torpedoed by U-boat U-507; he survived the sinking [34]


The Palmer 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Palmer +

  • 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.

  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  8. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  14. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 61)
  15. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 92)
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Dick
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  20. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  21. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  22. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  23. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  24. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  25. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  26. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  27. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  28. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  29. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  30. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  31. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  32. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  33. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  34. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Alcoa_Puritan_(1941) - (Retrieved 2018, February 8th)


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