BRENNEN FAMILY CHRONICLES

© Christopher Earls Brennen

CHAPTER SIX

THE PALMER FAMILY


Portavogie Harbor before 1940 Palmer's houses on Springfield Road, Portavogie

Palmer is a very common surname in the Ards peninsula of County Down, though not so common elsewhere in Northern Ireland. There is a particularly heavy concentration in the seaport town of Portavogie near the southern end of the peninsula. Our ancestor, Eliza Palmer, belonged to this extended family which we have been able to describe below thanks to the research of Lindsay Young of Troon, Scotland, and Lena McVea of Portavogie. Eliza is included at the appropriate point in the extensive genealogy given below.

One family legend tells that the first Palmers, two brothers, came from Reading, England, with Cromwell's army. One was given land at the spa in Ballynahinch and the other land in Portavogie. Another legend has it that the first Palmer ancestor in County Down came from England in the year of the ``reformation'', probably the year of the restoration, 1660, when nonconformists would have been inclined to leave England. It is also said that this first Palmer in Ulster married a woman by the name of Kidd. The earliest gravestone record is on a headstone in the old Ballyhalbert graveyard that reads: ``Palmer. Here lyeth the body of Adam Palmer late of Portavogie who died July 8, 1754, age 92yrs also wife Jean McCredey died Nov.26, 1737, age 61. Here lies the body of John Palmer late of Baellyessborough died Mar. 22, 1798 age 51 also wife Bell Palmer died Nov.2, 1826, age 65.'' Adam Palmer was therefore born in 1662 and his wife Jean in 1676. It seems possible that Adam and Jean were the parents of our first known ancestor, James Palmer who is also buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard. Another gravestone reads: ``Palmer. John Palmer died Jul.4, 1764, age 52 also Robert Palmer son of James Palmer died Jul.4, 1764, age 10.'' It may be that this John Palmer, born in 1712, was another son of Adam and Jean.


Our earliest known ancestor is:

James Palmer of Portavogie was born about 1707. He married Ann Bingham born about 1718. He died on Jul.26, 1758, she on Apr.8, 1798, and both are buried in Ballyhalbert old graveyard. Their children:

  1. James Palmer was born about 1737 in Ballynahinch and moved to Portavogie. He first married a woman named Miller and she is reputed to have had a son, John Palmer. This first wife died young and James married her sister, Mary Miller, born about 1750. This second marriage produced two children, James and Bernette Palmer, also listed below. Mary died on Oct.23, 1796 and James on May 7, 1807; both are buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard where their gravestone reads: ``PALMER. Here lieth the body of Mary Palmer alias Miller, wife to James Palmer of Portavogie who departed this life Oct.23, 1796, aged 46 years. Also James Palmer, he died the 7th May 1807 aged 70 years. Also his son James Palmer of Portavogie who died the 13th of May 1857 aged 82 years. Also his grandson James Palmer of Portavogie who died the 25th of July 1857 aged 58 years. Also Sarah Palmer, wife of the last said James Palmer, who died the 21st of January 1867 aged 68 years.'' James's children:
    1. Bernette Palmer was the daughter of James Palmer and his second wife, Mary Miller.
    2. James Palmer of Portavogie, the son of James and his second wife, was born about 1775. On Mar.17, 1818 in Greyabbey, James registered a freehold in Portavogie worth more than 40 shillings. The landlord was David Boyd and the tenure given as the lives of the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York and James Palmer. James died on May 13, 1857, at the age of 82 as the earlier quoted gravestone inscription attests. He had a son:
      1. John Palmer, known as Jack, was born about 1793. He married a woman from the Isle of Man called Nancy Campbell (or Camel), reputedly the sister of a poet. When his father died, John inherited half of the Portavogie farm, the other half going to his brother, James. John died on Nov.10, 1850, aged 57 and Nancy on Apr.10, 1871, aged 64. They are buried in Glastry Presbyterian Graveyard where their gravestone reads: "PALMER. Erected by Nancy Palmer in memory of her husband John Palmer of Portavogie who departed this life 10th November 1850 aged 57 years. Also the above named Nancy Palmer who departed this life on the 10th April 1871 aged 64 years. Also her grandson James Palmer, died 1st Feb. 1869 aged 5 years. Her son Adam Palmer died 27th Oct. 1905 aged 72 years". As this attests John died on Nov.10, 1850, and Nancy on Apr.10, 1871. John and Nancy's children:
        1. James Palmer of Ballymullen married Mary Jane McWatters in Kircubbin Presbyterian Church on May 4, 1839. James had been trained for a life at sea but became a farmer. He is remembered as the finder of a baby by the side of the road at Rubane on the way to Glastry church. James took the child home, named him Laughlin McVea after a character in a novel he was reading and raised the boy as his own son. His three children:
          1. John Palmer of Ballyfrench was born about 1843. He married three times. First, on Jan.9, 1877, in Ballyhalbert Parish Church he married Agnes (Nancy) Piper born about 1844. They had two sons James and Samuel (below). Agnes died on Nov.18, 1886, as the following gravestone in Balleasborough graveyard attests: ``PALMER. Erected by John Palmer of Ballyfrench for wife Agnes died Nov.18, 1886, age 42. Also his wife Mary Jane died May 1, 1889, age 38. Also son John died Oct.1, 1894, age 2. Also said John died in USA 1910 age 67. Also son Robert died Oct.12, 1917. Also Margaret wife of above John Palmer died Feb.24, 1929, age 73.'' John then married Agnes' sister, Mary Jane Piper. As the above gravestone states, Mary Jane died on May 1, 1889, age 38. John's third wife was a widow, Margaret Bickett (born about 1858, maiden name Porter). She and John had three or more children listed below. In the registration of his eldest son, John is listed as a farmer in Ballygrainey, Greyabbey; in that of his second son he is listed as resident in Portavogie. In the 1901 Census, 53-year-old farmer John Palmer is listed as living in Portavogie with his 43-year-old wife Maggie and their three children as listed below. At some point John sold the farm in Ballyfrench, lived in Newtonards for a while and then emigrated to the United States. He died there in 1910 as the above gravestone states. In the 1911 Census, 53-year-old Margaret Palmer is listed as a widow living in East Street, Newtownards, with 3 children listed below. Margaret Palmer died on Feb.24, 1929, aged 73 as the gravestone attests. John's children:
            1. James Palmer, son of James and Nancy, is probably the child registered as being born on Oct.20, 1877. After his mother's death in 1886, James went to live with his uncle, John Piper; in the 1911 Census, 33-year-old labourer James Palmer is listed as living in Portavogie with his widowed uncle John Piper, a farmer, and two other uncles, James and David Piper. James was later committed to an asylum.
            2. Samuel Palmer, son of James and Nancy, was born on Aug.11, 1879, in Portavogie. After his mother's death in 1886, Samuel went to live with his uncle, John Piper. This may well be the Samuel Palmer who as a 19-year-old single man from Newtownards arrived in New York on Apr.14, 1898, aboard the ``Majestic'' from Liverpool. He was bound for his uncle, Sam Piper, at 850 Orval Avenue, Kansas City.; In the 1911 Census, 31-year-old fisherman Samuel Palmer is listed as living in Portavogie with his widowed uncle John Piper, a farmer, and two other uncles, James and David Piper. Samuel died in Transqueensland in a cook house explosion.
            3. Robert Palmer, son of James and his third wife, was born on Nov.21, 1893. In the 1901 Census 7-year-old schoolboy, Robert Palmer, is listed as living in Portavogie with his parents. In the 1911 Census 16-year-old painter, Robert Palmer, is listed as living with his mother in East Street, Newtownards. Robert joined the New Zealand army as a rifleman and was killed in action on Oct.12, 1917, at the battle of Paschendale during WWI. He is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery at Zonnebeke, Belgium.
            4. John Palmer, son of James and his third wife, died on Oct.1, 1894, age 2.
            5. Agnes Palmer, daughter of James and his third wife, was born about 1896. In the 1901 Census 5-year-old schoolgirl Agnes Palmer, is listed as living in Portavogie with her parents. In the 1911 Census, 15-year-old Agnes is listed as an unmarried box folder living with her mother in East Street, Newtownards. Agnes is remembered as marrying a man named Doggart.
            6. John Alexander Palmer, son of James and his third wife, was born about 1898. In the 1901 Census 3-year-old John Alexander Palmer is listed as living in Portavogie with his parents. In the 1911 Census, 13-year-old John is listed as a schoolboy living with his mother in East Street, Newtownards.
          2. Samuel Palmer was married on Oct.26, 1882, in Portaferry Presbyterian Church to Ann Jane Finlay from Innishargie, daughter of farmer John Finlay. Samuel is given as a full-age farmer of Portavogie. Samuel owned a farm in Portavogie which he sold to buy a farm on Pipers Hill in Ballyeasborough, now a ruin. Unknown to him the new farm had a mortgage on it for which he became responsible. Because of this, he lost the farm and the family went to live in Newtownards. This caused marital problems. Samuel left his wife and family and moved to the seaport town of Troon, Ayrshire in Scotland where he lodged with the family of Hugh and Ellen (McCappin) Young on Harbour Row. The Youngs were originally from Cloughey in County Down. The Palmer family further split when three of the children, Samuel, Robert and Mary Jane left their mother in Newtownards to join their father in Troon. Anne Jane is buried in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards alongside two of her children. The eight children of Samuel and Ann Jane Palmer:
            1. Anna Bella Palmer is buried in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.
            2. James Palmer went blind and was a cricket fan. He was given a radio by the Blind Institute. He listened to it all the time and became very knowledgeable on cricket matters. He is buried in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.
            3. John Palmer was killed.
            4. Samuel Palmer died young.
            5. Robert Palmer left his mother to join his father in Troon, Scotland. He was an excellent mechanic and looked after Alexander Baillie's puffers. He married Margaret Fitch White from Paisley and they emigrated to the United States. They had no children. Robert died in Buffalo, New York, on Oct.3, 1942.
            6. Samuel Palmer left his mother to join his father in Troon, Scotland. Later he emigrated to the USA.
            7. Mary Jane Palmer, born in Newtonards on Oct.2, 1898, left her mother to join her father in Troon, Scotland, staying with the Young family. There she met Robert Young, the son of Hugh and Ellen, who was in the Merchant Navy. They were married in 1920 and lived out their lives in Troon. Robert died in 1971 and Mary Jane in 1980. Their children:
              1. Ellen McCappin Young died as an infant.
              2. Robert Young
              3. Hugh Young
              4. Samuel Palmer Young was born in Troon in 1927. Married, he moved to Oxford, England, but returned to Scotland in his retirement. His son, Ralph Lindsay Young, who was born in Cowley, Oxford in about 1956, provided most of the information on the Palmer family in this chapter. Lindsay, as he is known, worked in Leicester but also returned to Scotland where he lives in Falkirk with his wife Pam, daughter Leigh Young and son Neale Young.
              5. Moira Irene Palmer Young
            8. Margaret Palmer, born in 1903, died in 1924 and is buried in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.

                
            Samuel Palmer (left) and Mary Jane Palmer (right) Mary (Mahood) and Robert Palmer
            (courtesy of Lindsay Young)
            (Courtesy of Lena McVea)

          3. Eliza Palmer (1842-1904) of Portavogie, our ancestor, married Robert Gibson in the Glastry Meetinghouse on Feb.26, 1878. The wedding was witnessed by James Pippers and Mary McWatters, probably her mother. Eliza is listed as a spinster of full age. Robert and his father Alexander are listed as farmers. Robert and Eliza had a daughter, Anne Shaw Gibson, and two sons, Alexander Gibson and Robert Gibson. About 1885 Robert, Eliza and their family moved to the farmhouse by the shore in Ballygarvin; Robert Gibson of Ballygarvin is included in a list of Greyabbey farmers in the 1886 County Down Directory. Robert and Eliza Gibson are also listed in Ballygarvin in the 1901 Census. By then only their 15-year-old son Robert was still living at home. Robert Gibson, the elder, died on May 25, 1906, at the age of 73; Eliza died on Dec.13, 1904, at the age of 62. Both are buried in the graveyard of the Kircubbin presbyterian church, County Down. Their family is described in Chapter 5.
        2. Robert Palmer, born about 1832, was the son of John Palmer. On Oct.15, 1851, in Newtownards, Robert Palmer, bachelor, fisherman, the son of John Palmer, was married to Mary Mahood, aged 21, spinster, born Dec.22, 1828, the daughter of James Mahood and Mary (Linton). Robert and Mary had a number of children listed below. On some of their birth certificates Robert is listed as a fisherman in Portavogie. Robert died on Jan.21, 1891, and is remembered on a gravestone in the graveyard of Glastry Presbyterian Church (a white marble stone in a low-railed enclosure) which reads: PALMER. ``Erected by Mary Palmer in memory of her beloved husband Robert Palmer who died 21st January 1891 aged 59 years. Also their daughter Nancy, died 1854, aged 1 year and 9 months. Also three children who died in infancy. Also Beatrice, daughter of Robert John Palmer, who died 22nd Feby. 1909 aged 11 months. Also the above Mary Palmer who died 16th May 1920 aged 89 years. Also her son Robert John Palmer who died 29th March 1934 aged 75 years. Also Annie, daughter of Robert John Palmer, who died 17th March 1939 aged 43 years. Also Elizabeth, wife of Robert John Palmer, who died 14th July 1952 aged 89 years. Mary Palmer died May 5, 1976, aged 82 years, daughter of Robert John. Adam, son of Robert John, died May 22, 1986, aged 83; his wife Essie died Nov.23, 2002, aged 86. Ann Palmer daughter of Adam and Essie, a missionary in Zambia died Jun.18, 1992, aged 50.'' The children of Robert and Mary Palmer:
          1. Ann Jane Palmer was born on Jun.10, 1853, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse.
          2. Robert John Palmer was born about 1855. On Jul.15, 1893, in Glastry Meetinghouse, Robert John Palmer, full age, bachelor, fisherman of Portavogie (father: Robert Palmer, fisherman) was married to Elizabeth Palmer, full age, spinster of Portavogie (father: Adam Palmer, farmer; mother: Nancy Gordon). They had at least five children listed below. In the 1901 Census they are recorded as living in Portavogie with their children Mary, Annie, Elizabeth and Maggie. Robert John is listed as a 44-year-old fisherman and Lizzie as a 35-year-old embroiderer. In the 1911 53-year-old fisherman Robert John Palmer of Portavogie and his 47-year-old embroiderer wife Elizabeth are listed as living at house 57 in Portavogie with their 5 children as listed below. Robert John died in 1934 and Elizabeth in 1952; both are remembered in the above gravestone inscription. The children of Robert John and Elizabeth Palmer:
            1. Mary Palmer was born about 1893 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 7-year-old living with her parents in Portavogie. In the 1911 Census 17-year-old Mary Palmer is listed as an unmarried embroiderer living in Portavogie with her parents. She was deaf and did not marry. She died on May 5, 1976, aged 82 years, and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            2. Annie Palmer was born about 1894 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 6-year-old living with her parents in Portavogie. In the 1911 Census 15-year-old Annie Palmer is listed as an unmarried embroiderer living in Portavogie with her parents. She died in 1939 and is remembered in the above gravestone inscription.
            3. Elizabeth Palmer was born about 1896 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 4-year-old living with her parents in Portavogie. In the 1911 Census 13-year-old Elizabeth Palmer is listed as a schoolgirl living in Portavogie with her parents.
            4. Maggie Palmer was born about 1899 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 1-year-old living with her parents in Portavogie. In the 1911 Census 11-year-old Maggie Palmer is listed as a schoolgirl living in Portavogie with her parents. Maggie married Hugh ``Hutey'' Adair and they had at least one child:
              1. Nan Adair was born about 1940 and was raised in Portavogie by two aunts, one named Bertha Adair. Later she moved to Newtownards.
            5. Adam Palmer was born about 1903. In the 1911 Census 8-year-old Adam Palmer is listed as a schoolboy living in Portavogie with his parents. Adam married Esther Orr, daughter of Thomas Orr (see below). Adam died May 22, 1986, aged 83 and his wife Essie on Nov.23, 2002, aged 86; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children which are also described below:
              1. Adam Palmer married a woman named Marion from Belfast.
              2. Ann Palmer was born about 1942 and accompanied Wilma Palmer as a missionary to Africa. She died in Zambia on Jun.18, 1992, aged 50.
              3. Stephen Palmer was a fisherman who married Vera Warnock.
            6. Beatrice Palmer was born in 1908 and died at the age of 11 months. She is remembered in the above gravestone inscription.
          3. Nancy Palmer was born on Apr.3, 1856, and died in infancy as the above gravestone inscription attests.

            James Palmer, Snr, James Palmer, Jnr, Anna Jane Palmer, and the children of James Palmer in Kansas City
            (Courtesy of Frances P. Young)

          4. James Palmer was born about 1857 according to his grave marker. In 1883 he emigrated to USA ending up in Kansas City. About 1890, James married a Swedish woman named Anna, born in 1857. James lived almost his entire life at 945 Sandusky Avenue, Kansas City, (the house was restored in the 1970s according to a newspaper article). In 1920 James was working as a laborer in the Fowler (meat) Packing Company. James and Anna both died in 1949 and are buried in the Highland Park Cemetery, Kansas City. James was ``survived by a brother Samuel and a sister Agnes Coffey in Northern Ireland''. James and Anna had three children:
            1. Anna Jane Palmer was born on Apr.1, 1890, in Kansas City and and is listed in the 1920 Census as living with her father. She was a bookkeeper for the Jones dry goods store. Annie died unmarried on Jul.16, 1984, in Kansas City. She is also buried in Highland Park Cemetery. Anna Jane's cousin Sarah Palmer Warnock came to the USA to visit her in Anna Jane's waning years.
            2. James Palmer was born on Sep.18, 1893, in Kansas City and is listed in the 1920 Census as living with his father. He fought in the army during WWI and was a clerk in the Armour Meat Packing Company. He died unmarried on Dec.2, 1972, in the Veterans Hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas. He is buried in Highland Park Cemetery.
            3. Florence Palmer was born on Dec.9, 1895, in Kansas City and is listed in the 1920 Census as living with her father. She worked as an office girl for a wholesale drug company and as a counter attendant in the Forum Cafeteria. She died unmarried on Mar.4, 1975, and is buried in Highland Park Cemetery.
          5. Mary Palmer was born in Portavogie on Jan.30, 1861, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. She died young.
          6. Margaret Palmer was born in Portavogie on Feb.1, 1863, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. Margaret married James Cully on Dec.28, 1888.
          7. Charles Palmer was born in Portavogie on Nov.19, 1864, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse.

            Left: Sam Palmer with daughters Minnie (left) and Jeanie.
            Right: Thomas, Sarah, Annie, Jeanie and Samuel Palmer.
            (Courtesy of Brian Kirkham)

          8. Samuel Palmer was born in Portavogie on Oct.25, 1865, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. He was known as "Big" Sam to distinguish him from the son of Samuel Palmer and Annie Miller. He was married twice. On Aug.18, 1888, in the Glastry Meetinghouse, he was married to Eliza Jane Hughes with whom he had at least four children listed below. Eliza Jane died on May 19, 1897, at the age of 30. On Jul.9, 1898, in Greyabbey Presbyterian Church Samuel was married for the second time to Elizabeth Tibbs and they had at least three children also listed below. Elizabeth died on Oct.27, 1917, at the age of 42. Both wives are commemorated on a gravestone at Glastry Presbyterian Church that reads: PALMER. ``Erected by Samuel Palmer of Portavogie in memory of his wife Eliza Jane died 19th May 1897 aged 30 years. Also their son William died 19th July 1897 aged 4 months. Also his wife Elizabeth who died 27th October 1917 aged 42 years. Also his daughter Annie who died 10th December 1933 aged 39 years. The above Samuel Palmer died 28th July 1953 aged 87 years. Son Thomas died Mar.10, 1983, aged 75. Also son Robert Hughes died in 1986 aged 93. ``Until He come''.'' This stands in a low stone-and-rail enclosure. The children of Samuel Palmer:
            1. Robert Hughes Palmer was a son of Samuel and Eliza Jane, born on Jul.18, 1892. He never married and died on Jun.30, 1986, aged 93; he is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            2. Annie Palmer, the daughter of Samuel and Eliza Jane, was born on May 13, 1894. She was not married and died on Dec.10, 1933, at the age of 39 as the above gravestone inscription attests.
            3. William Palmer, the son of Samuel and Eliza Jane, was born on Mar.18, 1897 and died on Jul.19, 1897, at the age of 4 months as the above gravestone inscription attests.
            4. Jane Elizabeth Palmer, known as Jeanie, was a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth, born Feb.23, 1901. She married Davy Hugh Adair who had a fishing boat called "The Scarlet Thread". Jeanie died on Jun.14, 1964. Jeanie and Davy had children:
              1. Robert Adair
              2. Samuel Adair married Mary Campbell from Portpatrick and they had children, David and Christine Adair.
              3. David Adair married Anna Palmer, daughter of William Palmer and Isabella Close. They have a daughter Ann Adair.
              4. Lily Adair married a man from Belfast.
            5. Sarah Palmer, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth, was born on May 9, 1903. On Nov.26, 1924, she married William Warnock, born on Nov.20, 1902. Sarah died on Jul.17, 1984, and William on Nov.29, 1964. Their children:
              1. Jeanne Elizabeth Warnock was born on Feb.9, 1932.
              2. Samuel Warnock was born on Jun.21, 1928, and became a master mariner and ship's captain. He married Patricia White. Samuel died on May 17, 2004. Their son:
                1. William Warnock was born about 1960 and married Pamela Regan from Ballywalter. William died about 2001 at the age of 41. Their children:
                  1. Darren Warnock
                  2. Scott Warnock
              3. Ann Warnock was born on May 12, 1943.
            6. Samuel Palmer, son of Samuel and Elizabeth, was born on Oct.2, 1904. He married a woman named Dorothy. They had no children. Samuel died on Jan.4, 1991, and Dorothy on Aug.14, 1994, aged 83; they are buried in Glastry graveyard.
            7. Thomas Palmer, son of Samuel and Elizabeth, was born on May 4, 1907, and never married. He died on Mar.10, 1983, aged 75 and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            8. Mary Palmer, known as Minnie, was a child of Samuel and Elizabeth Palmer and was born on May 20, 1917. Minnie married Thomas Young on Jun.30, 1944. Thomas died on May 17, 1971. Minnie still lives in Portavogie (2004). She and Thomas had three sons:
              1. James Francis Young was born on Mar.15, 1950. He married Sandra Steel and they later divorced. They had two children, Mark Young and Kathryn Young.
              2. Thomas Palmer Young was born on Jan.8, 1948, and is not married.
              3. Samuel Palmer Young was born on Mar.17, 1954. He married Caroline Mathers from Kilkenny and they have three children, Serena, David, and Samuel Young.
          9. William John Palmer was born on Dec.14, 1869, in Portavogie. He died on Dec.22, 1918, aged 49 and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
          10. Agnes Palmer was born in Portavogie on Apr.27, 1871, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. On Oct.7, 1893, in Glastry Meetinghouse she was married to William James Coffey. They had a son:
            1. James Coffey married Maisie O'Flynn and they had a daughter:
              1. Etta Coffey married Mervyn Manley and they have a son Mervyn.
          11. Mary Palmer was born in Portavogie on May 1, 1877, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. On Oct.27, 1899, Mary Palmer was married to Robert Coffey, son of Thomas Coffey and Sarah Cully in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church.
        3. Adam Palmer, born about 1833, is mentioned on the above gravestone and is therefore probably a son of John and Nancy Palmer. On Jan.9, 1861, in Annalong Meetinghouse, Adam Palmer, a farmer from Portavogie whose father was farmer John Palmer, was married to Annie Gordon from Annalong whose father, James Gordon, was a sea captain. Annie was also called Agnes or Nancy. She and Adam had at least four children listed below. In the 1901 Census they are listed as a 68-year-old farmer and his 65-year-old wife living in Portavogie with their son John and daughter Nancy. Adam died on Oct.27, 1905; in his will he left "all his farm to his son John who was in Downpatrick Lunatic Asylum until he was able to cope". He also left ten pounds to daughter Elizabeth Palmer and 50 pounds to his daughter Agnes Maxwell. His executors were John Palmer, Portavogie, farmer and brother John Palmer, Portavogie, carpenter. In the 1911 Census 78-year-old widowed Nancy (Gordon) Palmer is listed as living in Portavogie with her 37-year-old married daughter, Agnes Maxwell, and Agnes's family. The children of Adam and Nancy Palmer:
          1. John Palmer was born on Jan.8, 1861, in Portavogie and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. He is listed as a 40-year-old imbecile living with his parents in Portavogie in the 1901 Census.
          2. Elizabeth Palmer was born in Portavogie on Oct.11, 1862, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse.
          3. James Palmer was born on Sep.29, 1864, in Portavogie and was christened in the Glastry Meetinghouse. He died on Feb.1, 1869, aged 5 as the above gravestone inscription attests.
          4. Robert Palmer was born on Jan.14, 1868, in Portavogie and was christened in the Glastry Meetinghouse.
          5. Nancy or Agnes Palmer was born on Jan.16, 1874, in Portavogie and was christened in the Glastry Meetinghouse. She is listed as living with her parents in Portavogie in the 1901 Census. On Aug.11, 1904, full age spinster Nancy Palmer of Portavogie (father: Adam Palmer, farmer) was married to James Beatty Maxwell, full age, bachelor of Belfast (father: John Maxwell, mill worker). In the 1911 Census, 37-year-old Agnes Maxwell is listed as living in Portavogie with her two daughters, her mother and a 27-year-old servant William Mahaffy. The children of Agnes and ?? Maxwell:
            1. Annie Maxwell was born about 1905 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 6-year-old living with her mother and grandmother in Portavogie.
            2. Martha Maxwell was born about 1910 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 1-year-old living with her mother and grandmother in Portavogie.
      2. James Palmer of Portavogie was born about 1799. This is the James Palmer of Glastry who, on Feb.27, 1822, was married to Sarah Craig of Kircubbin in Kircubbin Presbyterian Church. William Coffey and Elizabeth Filson were the witnesses. When his father died, James inherited half of the Portavogie farm. The children of James and Sarah Palmer are not easy to identify; among other things there were two James Palmers in Portavogie having children at about the same time. One seems to have been a labourer (farmer?) and the other a fisherman. Indeed two of their children married each other as seen below under James Palmer. We have listed below possible children of James and Sarah, including all those who list their father as a farmer or labourer on their marriage certificates. On Mar.17, 1818 in Greyabbey, James Palmer, Jr., registered a freehold in Portavogie worth more than 40 shillings. The landlord was David Boyd and the tenure given as the lives of Pat Nugent, esq., John Palmer and Hugh McKelvey. James died on Jul.25, 1857, at the age of 58 and Sarah on Jan.21, 1867; they are both buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard as the above gravestone inscription attests. With some speculation James and Sarah had the following children:
        1. Alexander Palmer was baptized in Kircubbin Presbyterian Church on Dec.7, 1823. On Nov.18, 1848, Alexander Palmer, a 21-year-old sailor from Portavogie and the son of farmer James Palmer was married in Glastry Meetinghouse to Nancy (or Agnes?) Mahood, 21, of Portavogie, the daughter of labourer Samuel Mahood. Adam Palmer was a witness. Alexander is listed as a fisherman and he and his wife are listed as resident in Ballyfrench in 1864 when their daughter Agnes was born. They are remembered as Ballyhalbert Palmers and as carpenters and boat builders. Nancy died on Mar.30, 1883, and is memorialized on a gravestone in Ballyhalbert graveyard that reads: ``PALMER. Erected by Samuel Palmer, Ballyhalbert, in memory of his mother Agnes Palmer who died 30th March 1883 aged 52 years. Also his father Alexr. Palmer who died 15th May 1887 aged 65 years.'' Shortly after Nancy's death Alexander was married for the second time to Mary Anne McClement (born about 1863) in the Presbyterian Church, Regent Street, Newtownards, on Oct.27, 1884. Alexander died on May 15, 1887 and is memorialized on the above gravestone. Mary Anne died on Feb.11, 1913, aged 76 and is buried in Ballyhalbert Old Graveyard in a McClements grave whose inscription includes: MCCLEMENTS. ... Also Mary Palmer who died 11th Feb., 1913, aged 76 yrs. Alexander and Agnes Palmer had the following children:
          1. Samuel Palmer was born on Dec.24, 1857, in Ballyfrench and was christened in Galstry Meetinghouse. Samuel Palmer of Ballyhalbert erected the above gravestone. Samuel Palmer, full age, bachelor, fisherman of Ballyhalbert (father: Alexander Palmer, farmer) was married on Feb.13, 1884, in Glastry Meetinghouse to Annie Miller, full age, spinster, of Ballyhalbert (father: Adam Miller, farmer) with witnesses William Hastings and Ann Jane Hastings. Samuel and Annie lived on Shore Street, Ballyhalbert. Their children:
            1. William James Palmer married a woman from Bangor and emigrated to the United States.
            2. Robert Palmer married Greta Hughes. Their children:
              1. William Palmer
              2. Queenie Palmer
              3. Ronald Palmer
              4. Kenneth Palmer
              5. Robin Palmer
            3. Agnes Palmer was born in Ballyfrench on Mar.24, 1864. She was married twice, first to a man named Kilpatrick. Then, on Oct.17, 1909, she married James Ennis in Ballyhemlin. Her son:
              1. James Kilpatrick
            4. Jeannie Palmer married Arthur Poole. They had no children.
            5. Anna Liza Palmer was married twice, first to a man named McCullough and then to Andrew Thompson.
            6. John Palmer married Lisa Jane Anderson. Their children:
              1. Agnes Palmer married John Palmer. They had no children.
              2. John Palmer
              3. Samuel Palmer married Margaret McCloud.
              4. Helena Palmer married Tom McCormick.
            7. Samuel Palmer from Ballyhalbert was born about 1886 and emigrated the USA aboard the Baltic from Liverpool arriving in New York on Feb.20, 1909. Listing his trade as a carpenter, he was headed for the home of a friend Thomas Poll (or Roll) at 5550 Mary Street, Chicago. In Chicago he met Sarah Tibbs, one of 11 children of Thomas Tibbs and Jane Rainey from Kircubbin and the sister of Elizabeth Tibbs who married Samuel Palmer of Portavogie (the son of Robert Palmer and Mary Mahood). Sarah (Sally) was born on Jun.16, 1887, and had emigrated seperately in 1914. They must have returned for a visit to Ireland for they arrived back in New York aboard the Lusitania from Liverpool on Feb.7, 1914, bound for A. McMaster, 5624 Ada Street, Chicago. At the time of the 1920 census they were renting and residing with Andrew McMaster, 54 years old, who had also emigrated from Ireland in 1886 (information from Brian Kirkham, at bkirkham@sympatico.ca). Samuel and Sally had two children:
              1. Samuel Palmer was born in Illinois.
              2. Jeanette Palmer was born in Illinois.
            8. Albert Palmer was born in 1907 and lived in Ballyhalbert. He married Elenor Anna Adair, born in 1912, and they moved to Portavogie where she came from. There Albert started a ship building business like that of his father before him and built boats for the fishing fleet as well as a number of yacht. One of his fishing boats, the ``Jean Adair'' still survives as a leisure craft. The boat building premises are now used to store live lobsters and crabs in tanks for export to Spain and elsewhere. Elenor, known as Eileen, was a fine organist and played in the Portavogie Presbyterian Church all her life; she played by ear. She formed the Fisherman's Choir in Portavogie. Albert died in 1960 and Eileen in 2000. They had children:
              1. James Palmer
              2. Samuel Palmer married and had children but died when they were young.
                1. Albert Palmer
                2. Naomi Palmer went to Scotland but her husband left her and she returned to Portavogie with three young children. She died at aged 30.
                3. Samantha Palmer
              3. David Hugh Palmer was born on Sep.11, 1941, and married Johneen O'Lone (born Mar.17, 1954) on Sep.27, 1974. They had three children:
                1. John Palmer was born on Mar.16, 1975, and married Isobel McFerran (born Jan.6, 1976) on May 19, 2001. They have two sons, Jacob and Harry Palmer.
                2. Brett David-Hugh Palmer was born on Apr.2, 1980, and married Lyndsy Williamson (born Jan.11, 1984) on Jul.23, 2005. They have a daughter Courtney Palmer and a son James Palmer.
                3. Johneen St.Clair Palmer was born on Nov.21, 1986, and is to be married to Richard James McFerran in 2013.
              4. Godwin Palmer
              5. Wendy Palmer married John Mullarkey from County Mayo. The have four children:
                1. Mary Ann Mullarkey
                2. Albert Mullarkey
                3. Eileen Mullarkey
                4. David Mullarkey
              6. Faith Palmer
              7. Jennifer Palmer
              8. Albert Palmer
          2. William Palmer was born in Portavogie on Jan.14, 1851, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. His great grandson is Philip Palmer (philssca@yahoo.co.uk).
          3. James Palmer was born in Ballyfrench on May 9, 1854, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. He married a woman named (Elizabeth?) King. It seems possible that this gravestone inscription in the old Ballyhalbert graveyard refers to this family: ``PALMER. Erected by James Palmer for daughter Lizzie died Jun.8, 1891, age 6 also above James Palmer died Dec.20, 1923, age 69 also his wife Elizabeth Palmer died Jan.11, 1925, age 78.''
          4. Agnes Palmer was born in Ballyfrench on Mar.8, 1864, and was christened in Glastry Meetinghouse. Agnes married Jarvis McMaster. In the 1901 Census 48-year-old Methodist caretaker Jarvis McMaster and his 34-year-old embroiderer wife, Agnes, are listed as living in Ballyhalbut, Ballyhalbert, with their 4 children as listed below. In the 1911 Census 58-year-old Methodist labourer Jarvis McMaster and his 45-year-old wife, Agnes, are listed as living in Moorgate Street, Pottinger, Co. Down, with 4 of their children as listed below. The children of Jarvis and Agnes McMaster:
            1. Samuel McMaster was born about 1890 and is listed in the 1901 Census as an 11-year-old schoolboy living with his parents in Ballyhalbut, Ballyhalbert. In the 1911 Census, he is listed as a 22-year-old unmarried baker living with his parents in Moorgate Street, Pottinger, Co. Down.
            2. David McMaster was born about 1892 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 9-year-old schoolboy living with his parents in Ballyhalbut, Ballyhalbert. In the 1911 Census, he is listed as a 19-year-old unmarried shoemaker living with his parents in Moorgate Street, Pottinger, Co. Down.
            3. William Palmer McMaster was born about 1899 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 2-year-old living with his parents in Ballyhalbut, Ballyhalbert.
            4. Hugh McMaster was born about 1900 and is listed in the 1901 Census as living with his parents in Ballyhalbut, Ballyhalbert. In the 1911 Census, he is listed as a 10-year-old schoolboy living with his parents in Moorgate Street, Pottinger, Co. Down.
            5. Nannie McMaster was born about 1900 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 7-year-old schoolgirl living with her parents in Moorgate Street, Pottinger, Co. Down.
        2. David Palmer who was born about 1826 may have been a son of the aforementioned James Palmer. David was married twice. On Nov.27, 1847, David Palmer, a 21-year-old farmer from Portavogie and the son of farmer James Palmer, was married in Glastry Meetinghouse to Mary Ann Tibs, a 21-year-old from Ballyeasborough, the daughter of farmer Thomas Tibs. Eliza Palmer was a witness. Mary Ann must have died within a couple of years of this marriage for on Dec.18, 1852, David Palmer, a 21-year-old widowed farmer from Portavogie and the son of farmer James Palmer, was married in Glastry Meetinghouse to Nancy (or Agnes) Lemon, 21, from Portavogie, the daughter of farmer James Lemon. Robert Glenn and Mary Palmer were witnesses. David is listed as a fisherman and later as a farmer of Portavogie on his children's birth certificates. In the 1901 Census, David is listed as a 78-year-old widowed farmer living in Glastry with his son, David, his daughter, Jane, and a 6-year-old grandson, Thomas Palmer Clegg. David had several children:
          1. David Palmer, probably the son of David and Margaret, was born in 1846, and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 55-year-old unmarried farmer's son living in Glastry with his father.
          2. Jane Palmer, probably the daughter of David and Agnes, was born in 1857 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 44-year-old unmarried kitchen worker living in Glastry with her father.
          3. Eliza Palmer was born in Portavogie on Apr.2, 1865.
          4. Charles Palmer was born in Portavogie on Feb.16, 1867, with Mary Palmer present.
          5. Agnes Palmer was born in Portavogie on Mar.27, 1869. This may be the Nancy Palmer who was married to Hugh Clegg in Ballywalter Second Presbyterian Church on Feb.16, 1892. If so then they are the parents of Thomas Palmer Clegg born in 1895 and listed in Nancy's parents 1901 census return. Grandchildren may be Nancy Clegg who was a deaconess and married ? McCord, John Clegg who married Jean Coffey in 1954 (their daughter Jennifer Clegg is presently (2005) a deaconess in Glastry Presbyterian Church) and Nicholas Clegg.
          6. Thomas Palmer was born in Portavogie on Nov.27, 1870, with Jane Palmer present.
        3. Robert Palmer, born about 1843, was the son of James Palmer. On Jan.9, 1863, Robert Palmer, a farmer from Portavogie whose father was farmer James Palmer, was married in Glastry Presbyterian Church to Sophia Bell from Ballyhalbert, the daughter of farmer William Bell. They lived in Ballyfrench. On his children's birth registrations Robert is first listed as a fisherman and later as a farmer. In the 1901 Census, Robert and Sophia Palmer are listed as living in Portavogie with two children and three grandchildren. Robert is listed as a 58-year-old fisherman and Sophia as 60 years old. On May 8, 1907, Robert was drowned when the yawl he was in capsized in a storm in Ballyhalbert Bay. The children of Robert and Sophia:
          1. Agnes Palmer was born in Portavogie on Oct.26, 1864. Her birth was registered by her aunt Eliza Anne Palmer. On Nov.5, 1890, Agnes was married to Thomas Blakely in the Glastry Meetinghouse. She and her three children are listed as living with her parents in Portavogie in the 1901 Census. Agnes's children:
            1. Robert Samuel Blakely was born about 1892 and is listed as an 8-year-old living with his grandparents in the 1901 Census.
            2. Jane Blakely was born about 1895 and is listed as a 5-year-old living with her grandparents in the 1901 Census.
            3. William Blakely was born about 1897 and is listed as a 3-year-old living with his grandparents in the 1901 Census.
          2. Esther Palmer was born in Portavogie on Oct.10, 1866.
          3. John Alexander Palmer was born in Portavogie on Oct.22, 1868, with Eliza Anne Palmer present. On Aug.22, 1891, in Glastry Meetinghouse he was married to Mary Bella Palmer, the daughter of Robert Palmer and Margaret Harper (see the family of Robert Palmer in Appendix 6A). They were known as the Pink's Palmers after the place where they lived, the Pink Braes. John Alexander and his wife Mary Bella were listed in the 1911 Census as a 41-year-old seaman and his 40-year-old wife living in Ballyhalbert with their eight children. Their children:
            1. Robert Palmer. This probably the Robert Palmer who was born about 1890 and married Isabella McMaster, born about 1894, a widow whose previous husband was a man named Shaw with whom she had two children, Alex and Ina Shaw. Their gravestone in Cloughey new cemetery reads: ``In memory of a dear wife Isabella died Nov.21, 1970, aged 76. Also her husband Robert died Jun.8, 1979, aged 88 years.'' Robert and Isabella had children:
              1. James Palmer
              2. John Palmer married Netta Adair.
              3. Robert Palmer married Mary Young, daughter of Andrew Young and Rhoda Coffey.
              4. Sarah Palmer married Samuel Thompson.
              5. Ella Palmer married James Orr, a farmer.
            2. Sophia Palmer was born about 1895 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 16-year-old living with her parents in Ballyhalbert. Sophia married Andrew Coffey. Their daughter:
              1. Lucy Coffey married George Hughes.
            3. Nellie Palmer was born about 1897 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 14-year-old living with her parents in Ballyhalbert. On Oct.5, 1917, Nellie married James Orr, son of Thomas Orr and Sarah Palmer (see below) in Cloughey Presbyterian Church.
            4. Maggie Palmer was born about 1900 and is listed in the 1911 Census as an 11-year-old living with her parents in Ballyhalbert.
            5. Mary Jane Palmer was born about 1902 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 9-year-old living with her parents in Ballyhalbert. Mary Jane married a man named Wallace and emigrated to USA.
            6. John Alexander Palmer was born about 1905 and is listed in the 1911 Census as an 6-year-old living with his parents in Ballyhalbert. John Alexander Palmer married Elizabeth Mary Brown. John died on Dec.13, 1988, and Elizabeth on Jan.7, 1996; they are buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard. Their children:
              1. John Palmer did not marry.
              2. James Palmer married Muriel Shaw.
              3. Kenneth Palmer
              4. Nuala Palmer married and lived in Ards; she died on Nov.7, 2003. Nuala had a son George and a daughter Tanya.
              5. Stella Palmer married a man called Leon from South Africa. They had children Sonia, William and Leon. They lived in South Africa for a time but may have returned to Portavogie.
              6. Moira Palmer emigrated to Canada.
              7. Jean Palmer emigrated to Canada.
            7. James Palmer was born about 1909 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 2-year-old living with his parents in Ballyhalbert. James married Isabella Thompson and they had a son, Raymond. After James died, Isabella married John Palmer, the widower who was previously married to Bella Coffey (see below). James and Isabella's son:
              1. Raymond Palmer married Violet Mahood, the daughter of George Mahood and Minnie (Palmer).
            8. Martha Palmer was born about 1910 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 5-month-old living with her parents in Ballyhalbert.
            9. Sarah Palmer married Robert Thompson. Their children:
              1. Isobel Thompson married William Tease and the lived near Newtownards.
              2. Robert Thompson married Heather Adair of Portavogie, daughter of Rennie and Tom Adair.
              3. John Thompson
              4. Martha Thompson married Eugene McKeating and lives in Ballyeasborough.
          4. Robert Palmer was born in Portavogie on Jan.6, 1871. On Mar.19, 1895, Robert married to Margaret Jane Murphy in Newtownards Registry Office. In the 1901 Census, Robert and Margaret Jane are listed as a 30-year-old fisherman and his 27-year-old wife living in Ballyhalbert with their children Mary Bella and Hessie. They are similarly listed in the 1911 Census but with the additional children listed below. Robert and Margaret Jane's children:
            1. Anna Elizabeth Palmer was born in 1895 and is listed as a 16-year-old scholar living with her parents in Ballyhalbert in the 1911 Census.
            2. Mary Bella Palmer was born in 1897 and is listed as living with her parents in Ballyhalbert in both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses. Mary Bella Palmer married William Hughes. Their children:
              1. Sarah Hughes married a man named Andrews.
              2. Margaret Hughes married Robert McCormick and they had a son Stephen McCormick.
              3. Ellen Hughes married Ernest Elliott. She died aged 27. They had daughter, Margaret Elliott, who died aged 40. The Elliott family lived in Tempo, County Fermanagh.
            3. Hessie Palmer was born about 1900 and is listed as living with her parents in Ballyhalbert in both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses. She never married.
            4. Robert Palmer was born about 1902 and is listed as living with his parents in Ballyhalbert in the 1911 Census. Robert married Maggie Donnan and they had sons, George Palmer and Johnny [Texas] Palmer. Robert was the grandfather of Gillian Palmer (Gillian102@aol.com).
            5. Hugh Robert Palmer was born in 1904 and is listed as living with his parents in Ballyhalbert in the 1911 Census. Hugh died of a burst appendix at the age of 28.
            6. James Murphy Palmer was born about 1907 and is listed as living with his parents in Ballyhalbert in the 1911 Census. James lived Essie Cunning whose daughter Violet married Johnny [Texas] Palmer, the son of Robert and Margaret (Donnan) Palmer (see above).
            7. Sarah Palmer was born about 1908 and is listed as living with her parents in Ballyhalbert in the 1911 Census. She was a housekeeper to William Gilliland and Mary Ann Palmer. Sarah died unmarried on Apr.22, 1984, and is buried in the Ballyeasborough graveyard where the gravestone of Sarah and her sister Sophia reads PALMER In loving memory of a dear wife and mother, Sophia, who died on Sep.22, 1970, also her sister Sarah Palmer who died Apr.22, 1984.
            8. Hannah Palmer was born in 1910 and is listed as living with her parents in Ballyhalbert in the 1911 Census. Hannah married Albert McClements and had two sons, Jack and Hugh McClements.
            9. Ella Palmer.
            10. Sophia Palmer married Henry Palmer (see elsewhere in this chapter). Sophia died on Sep.22, 1970, and is buried in Ballyeasborough graveyard as indicated by the gravestone inscription above.
            11. Margaret Jane Palmer, known as Jeanie, married Robert Lewis and they had 3 children, Hubert Lewis, Sylvia Lewis and a second daughter.
            12. John Palmer
          5. James Palmer was born in Portavogie on Dec.19, 1872. On Dec.22, 1900, in the Glastry Meetinghouse he was married to Agnes Hughes. James died on Jul.14, 1940, and Agnes on Jul.7, 1998; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
            1. William Palmer married a woman named Robinson and they had children:
              1. James Palmer
              2. Jane Palmer
            2. James Palmer was known as Palmer Hughes to distinguish him from other James Palmers. He married Sarah Kelly. James died on Jun.8, 1971, and Sarah on Feb.1, 1998; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
              1. Gladys Palmer married Alexander Montgomery.
              2. William Palmer married Elizabeth Coffey and they had a daughter Heather Palmer.
            3. Robert Palmer married Mary Clint.
          6. Jane Hastings Palmer was born in Portavogie on Dec.14, 1875. She married James Vance Stewart of Kircubbin on Mar.13, 1896, in the Parish Church of Ballyhalbert. Jane died on Oct.17, 1960, in 6 Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan, Scotland. Their children:
            1. Robert Stewart
            2. Martha Stewart was born in 1898.
            3. Emma Stewart was born in 1900.
            4. John Stewart was born in 1904.
            5. Henry Stewart was born in 1906. On Jul.10, 1935, in Belfast he married Margaret Smith.
            6. Thomas Stewart was born in 1909. On Dec.31, 1932, in Belfast he married Kathleen O'Reilly.
            7. Ellen Elizabeth Stewart was born in 1910.
            8. Angus Stewart was born in 1918. On Oct.18, 1935, in Ballymoney, County Antrim, he married Sarah Forbes Forsyth. They had a son Angus Stewart. Margaret Smith.
            9. Eliza Stewart was born in 1918.
            10. Malcolm Stewart
          7. Ann Eliza Palmer was born in Portavogie on May 4, 1878. She is listed as unmarried and living with her parents in the 1901 Census.
          8. Margaret Palmer was born in Portavogie on Oct.16, 1880, with Eliza Coffey present.
        4. John Palmer, born about 1835, was the son of James Palmer. We believe that John and the above Alexander were brothers because of the belief by Norman Palmer that Alexander's son Samuel Palmer and John's son James Palmer were cousins. On Nov.12, 1856, John Palmer, a 21-year-old sailor of Portavogie whose father was farmer James Palmer, was married in Glastry Meetinghouse to Esther Coffey, 21, from Portavogie, daughter of farmer William Coffey. On his children's birth registrations John is listed as a fisherman in Portavogie. The Palmers built a small Gospel Hall on the shore side of the road between Portavogie and Ballyhalbert, at a place known as as ``Butterlump'' because of the large rock sitting on its own on the beach. In their religion, they were very strict and tended to marry others in the same sect; hence the multitude of marriages of distant cousins. Later, when others bought the Gospel Hall property, the ``date stone'' was moved to Ebineasor Hall in Portavogie. John and Esther lived at a big house named ``Beachmount'' at ``Stable Hole'', Portavogie about a half mile from Butterlump at the north end of Portavogie. In the 1901 Census, they are listed as living in Ballyhalbert, Portavogie, he is listed as a fisherman and she as a farmer. John and Esther Palmer had at least eight children:
            "White Heather"
          1. James Palmer was born in 1864 and on Jun.25, 1887, in Glastry Meetinghouse, was married to Eliza Jane Young, born on Jul.2, 1868, in Greyabbey, the daughter of Henry Young and Susan Clint. James and Eliza and some other Palmer families lived in Portavogie in an area known as ``The Shallows''. James and Eliza Jane are listed in the 1911 Census as a fisherman and a seamstress and as a Presbyterian family living in Portavogie with seven children. In 1913, James bought a fishing boat called the ``White Heather'' that is now a yacht; the story of the "White Heather" is told in a webpage at http://www.white-heather-nobby.com/story.htm. He and his sons William and James Jr. owned and operated the White Heather until about 1945. James and Eliza Jane died about 1925. They had nine children:
            1. William Palmer was born in 1888 and married Margaret Isabella Close. He was a tall, thin and fair-haired man. He operated the "White Heather" with his father and later owned a fishing boat called "The Pathway" in which he fished with his sons James, David and his son-in-law, Samuel Robinson. William died on Jan.28, 1982, age 93 and Margaret Isabella died on Jun.28, 1966; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
              1. James Palmer married May Agar.
              2. David Palmer married Maisie Orr, daughter of James Orr and Nellie Palmer (see below). Their children:
                1. Betty Palmer married William Drysdale.
                2. June Palmer married Victor Cully.
                3. James Palmer married Ashley Morrow.
              3. Anna Palmer married David Adair. Their daughter:
                1. Anne Adair
              4. Maggie Palmer married Samuel Robinson. Their children:
                1. Iris Robinson married William Clint, son of David Clint and Florence Palmer (daughter of Adam Palmer and Maggie Ennis). Their children:
                  1. Elizabeth Clint married William Palmer, son of Andrew Palmer, son of Hugh (see below).
                  2. William Clint married Alana Templeton.
                  3. Samuel Clint married Joan Lemon, daughter of Esther Orr and William Lemon (see below). Joan died in a car crash in 2002.
                2. Lila Robinson married Samuel Montgomery. Their children:
                  1. Adelaide Montgomery
                  2. Wilmer Montgomery (one of twins).
                  3. James Montgomery (second twin) lives in Wales.
            2. David Palmer was born in 1892 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 19-year-old unmarried labourer living in Portavogie with his parents. David died on Mar.31, 1919, aged 29, and is buried in Glastry graveyard.

              Marriage of Francis Young and Esther Palmer Agnes Palmer Young in 1944
              Middle right back: Catherine Palmer
              (Courtesy of Lena McVea)
              (Courtesy of Lena McVea)

            3. Robert Palmer was born in Nov. 1895 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 16-year-old unmarried carpenter's apprentice living in Portavogie with his parents. Robert married Winnifred Hastings. Lena McVea says that my great-uncle Robert Gibson, the brother of Anne Shaw Gibson, used to visit Robert Palmer. Winnifred died on Sep.16, 1980, aged 84 and Robert on Jun.12, 1986, aged 92; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. The children of Robert and Winnifred:
              1. James Palmer
              2. Robert Palmer married Jean Blair.
              3. Cecil Palmer died in England on Jun.15, 1980.
              4. Kenneth Palmer married Rennie Bell and they went to Canada. Their children:
                1. Kenneth Palmer
                2. Sean Palmer
                3. Deborah Palmer
                4. Elizabeth Palmer
              5. Norman Palmer
              6. Lily Palmer
            4. Esther Palmer was born on Sep.5, 1897, and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 14-year-old unmarried seamstress living in Portavogie with her parents. On Sep.5, 1919, she married Francis Young in the Newtonards Registry Office. Esther died in 1924. They had two children:
              1. Agnes Palmer Young was born about 1920. Since her mother died when she was just 4, Agnes and her brother went to live with their grandparents, James and Eliza Jane Palmer in an area of Portavgie known as the ``Shallows''. After the flu claimed many members of the Palmer family they then went to live with their paternal grandparents. Agnes married Filson Millar. Agnes died in Ballywalter on Jun.23, 2011, at the age of 91 and is buried in the Ballyeasborough Church of Ireland graveyard. The children of Agnes and Filson Millar:
                1. Lena Millar married David McVea on May 5, 1970. Dave died in a car crash in 1978. Lena McVea provided much information on this family. Their children:
                  1. Hugh S. McVea
                  2. Grace McVea married a man named McIntyre and had two children Lochlan David John McIntyre and Cullain William Hugh McIntyre .
              2. Florence and May Young, twins who died young. They are buried in Ballyhalbert Church of Ireland graveyard.
              3. James Palmer Young. Since his mother died when he was very young, he and his sister Agnes went to live with their grandparents, James and Eliza Jane Palmer in the ``Shallows''. After the flu claimed many members of the Palmer family, they then went to live with their paternal grandparents. James married Bessie McMullan from Maryport, England. The town of Maryport, Cumbria, England comes up often because the Portavogie fishing fleet would often go in there so the sailors met the girls from there. James and Bessie had two sons:
                1. James Young married Brenda Greenhow from Maryport, England. They lived in Maryport and had two children, Pamela Young and Stuart Young.
                2. Ian Young
            5. Agnes Palmer was born about 1898 and died on Sep.26, 1901 aged 3. She is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            6. Anna Palmer was born in 1901 and and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 10-year-old scholar living in Portavogie with her parents. Anna died on Jul.31, 1920, aged 19, and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            7. Agnes Palmer was born in 1903 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 8-year-old scholar living in Portavogie with her parents.
            8. Lily Palmer was born about 1906 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 5-year-old scholar living in Portavogie with her parents. Lily died on Jan.3, 1920, aged 14, and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            9. James Palmer was born in 1908 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 3-year-old living in Portavogie with his parents. James fished with his father in the "White Heather" but died young on Feb.15, 1930, and is buried in Glastry graveyard. He was unmarried.
            10. Minnie Young Palmer married George Mahood, born on Feb.26, 1911. He died on May 15, 1997; Minnie died on Jun.15, 2011. They had 6 children:
              1. Thomas Mahood
              2. Rennie Mahood
              3. William Mahood married twice, first to a woman named Ann. He had children in both marriages.
              4. James Mahood
              5. John Mahood
              6. Elizabeth Mahood
              7. Violet Mahood married Raymond Palmer, born in Portavogie.
          2. Thomas Palmer was born in Portavogie on Dec.8, 1865. On Aug.20, 1887, in the Glastry Meetinghouse he was married to Eliza Jane Mawhinney. Thomas erected a gravestone with the following inscription in the graveyard of Glastry Presbyterian Church: ``PALMER. Erected by Thomas Palmer, Portavogie, is memory of his daughter Essie who died 2nd July 1895. Also his son Francis M. who died 31st October 1897. Also his wife Eliza Jane, died 26th December 1943 aged 78 years. Also the above named Thomas Palmer, died 7th July 1956 aged 90 years. A few more years shall roll, A few more seasons come, And we shall be with those that rest, Asleep within the tomb.'' From the above gravestone, Thomas and Eliza Jane Palmer had the following children:
            1. Lisa Jane Palmer married a man named Cully. Their children:
              1. John Cully married Jessie Donnan. They had a daughter Ann Cully who married George Donnan.
              2. Esther Cully married William Hughes. They had no children.
            2. Esther Palmer who died as a girl in 1895 and is remembered in the above gravestone inscription.
            3. Francis M. Palmer who died as a young boy in 1897 and is remembered in the above gravestone inscription.
          3. Robert Palmer was born in Portavogie on Mar.17, 1868. On Mar.3, 1896, in the Glastry Meetinghouse he married Isabella Young the sister of the wife of his brother James. Isabella was the daughter of Henry Young and Susan Clint. Their children:
            1. Henry Palmer, born about 1907, married Sophia Murphy Palmer. Their children:
              1. Lorna Palmer married James Gourley.
              2. Lucille Palmer married Oliver Docherty.
              3. Roberta Palmer married Derrick Bland.
              4. Ian Palmer.
            2. William Palmer, born about 1910, married Madge Gowan. Their children:
              1. June Palmer
              2. Charmaine Palmer
            3. Catherine Palmer married a man named Walsh and they had two daughters:
              1. Minnie Walsh
              2. Ina Walsh married Billy Bryans.
          4. Alexander Palmer was born in Portavogie on Feb.1, 1871, and married Margaret Ann Carson on Aug.29, 1891 in Ballywalter First Presbyterian Church. They had no children.
          5. Adam Palmer was born in Portavogie on Mar.20, 1873, with Sarah Coffey present. He is listed as a 27-year-old fisherman and a Presbyterian in the 1901 Census. On Apr.25, 1896, in Glastry Meetinghouse he was married to Agnes Clint. Adam died on Jul.8, 1959, and Agnes on Jul.8, 1932; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
            1. William Palmer was born about 1894 and is listed as 7 years old in the 1901 Census. William married Jeannie Hagen. Their son:
              1. Alex Palmer
            2. John Palmer married Bella Coffey and they had four children listed below. After Bella died John married Isabella Palmer, the widow of James Palmer (see above). A headstone in Glastry graveyard records their deaths: ``PALMER. For wife and mother Isabella died Nov.20, 1969. Dad John died Jun.7, 1981.'' The children of John and Bella Palmer:
              1. Nanna Palmer married Hugh Robert Coffey.
              2. Wilma Palmer became a missionary in Africa. She married Charles Geddis who died in Zambia about 2000.
              3. Isobel Palmer married a man named Milligan.
              4. Jackie Palmer
            3. Agnes Palmer was born about 1901 and died in 1906 aged 5. She is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            4. Agnes Palmer died on Sep.29, 1928, and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            5. Margaret Palmer died on Feb.21, 1929, and is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            6. Esther Palmer married Charles Redmond. Their children:
              1. Christina Redmond married a man named Findlay.
              2. Margaret Redmond
              3. Mervyn Redmond married Nora ?.
              4. Palmer Redmond
            7. Nellie Palmer was born about 1922 and married Dan McBurney. Nellie died on Feb.8, 1987, aged 65, and Dan on Jul.16, 1998, age 78; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
              1. Junior McBurney
              2. Trevor McBurney
            8. Adam Palmer became a captain and married Ellen Malone of Scotland.
            9. Jane Palmer was married to David Middleton on Oct.12, 1917, in the Glastry Meetinghouse. Their son:
              1. William Middleton married Josephine Cully. They had a son, James Middleton.
          6. Hugh Palmer was born in Portavogie on Feb.16, 1877. He is listed as a full-age fisherman from Portavogie (and son of fisherman John Palmer) when he was married on Aug.3, 1900, in Glastry Meetinghouse to Mary Ann McNamara, a full-age spinster from Ballyhalbert, daughter of William John McNamara.
            1. Andrew Palmer was born about 1918 and married Doreen Stevenson. Andrew died on Jan.8, 2005, aged 87. Andrew and Doreen had children:
              1. Hugh Palmer married Kathleen Peake.
              2. William Palmer married Elizabeth Clint, the great-grand-daughter of William Palmer and Isabella Close (see above).
              3. Ruth Palmer married David McKee.
              4. Emma Palmer married Albert Graham.
            2. Cissie Palmer married ? Hayes and they had a daughter who emigrated to Australia.
            3. Marion Palmer married James Cully and they had two sons and a daughter.
            4. William Palmer
          7. John Palmer was born about 1864 and married a woman named Mary. The record which states that John Palmer married Mary Coffey in Glastry Meetinghouse on Jul.20, 1888, probably refers to ths couple. In the 1901 Census, John and Mary are listed as a fisherman and a seamstress living with their daughters Esther and Lucy. Mary died in 1917 aged 49 and John on Sep.9, 1933, aged 69; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
            1. Esther Palmer was born about 1890 and died on Jun.23, 1915, aged 25. She is buried in Glastry graveyard.
            2. two children who died in infancy.
            3. Lucy Palmer was born about 1893 and married Hugh Thompson. Lena remembers her as a tiny woman who dressed well and wore high-heeled shoes. She caught the bus every day to go to the shops in Newtownards. Lucy died on Mar.1, 1962, aged 69, and Hugh on Oct.5, 1946, aged 53; they are buried in Glastry graveyard.
          8. Sarah Palmer was born about 1860. On Jan.14, 1878, underaged Sarah Palmer of Portavogie (father: John Palmer, fisherman) was married to Thomas Orr, full age, bachelor, fisherman of Portavogie (father: David Orr, farmer). Their children:
            1. John Orr married Margaret Donnan. Their children:
              1. Lydia Orr married Thomas Love.
              2. Elizabeth Orr married a man named Jefford.
              3. Margaret Orr married Samuel Moore.
              4. Robert David Orr married Amy Farren/Fearen from Maryport, Cumbria, England.
            2. Thomas Orr was married twice, first to ? Fullerton. His children:
              1. Hugh Robert Orr married Agnes Robinson and they had a daughter Elizabeth Orr.
              2. Herman Orr
              3. Nessie Orr married David John Boyd.
              4. Esther Orr was born about 1916 and married Adam Palmer, the son of Robert John Palmer (see above). Adam died May 22, 1986, aged 83 and Essie on Nov.23, 2002, aged 86; they are buried in Glastry graveyard. Their children:
                1. Adam Palmer married a woman named Marion from Belfast.
                2. Ann Palmer was born about 1942 and accompanied Wilma Palmer as a missionary to Africa. She died in Zambia on Jun.18, 1992, aged 50.
                3. Stephen Palmer was a fisherman who married Vera Warnock.
              5. Jeannie Orr married James Robinson and they had two daughters:
                1. Ruth Robinson became an optician, married and had a daughter.
                2. Agnes Robinson died young when she fell off a horse.
              6. Thomas Orr
              7. Merrill Orr
            3. James Orr was married to Nellie Palmer on Oct.5, 1917, in Cloughey Presbyterian Church. Their children:
              1. Maisie Orr married David Palmer, son of William Palmer and Isabella Close (see above). Their family is given above.
              2. Esther Orr married William Lemon. Their children:
                1. Wilma Lemon married Palmer Blakely of the family of Robert Palmer below.
                2. Joan Lemon married Samuel Clint, son of William Clint and Iris Robinson (see above) and therefore brother of Elizabeth Clint who married William Palmer.
                3. Junior Lemon
                4. David Lemon married Brannen/Brennen from Ballywalter.
              3. Ina Orr married Robert Beasley from England.
              4. Alexander Orr married Rhoda Brown from Maryport, England.
              5. James Orr married Lily Boyd from Newtownards. Their son:
                1. James Orr
              6. John Orr married Mary Matthews. Their children:
                1. Junior Orr
                2. Janice Orr
  2. Adam Palmer born about 1740. He died on Mar.26, 1812, and is buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard.
  3. Mary Palmer born about 1746. She died on Jun.12, 1809, and is buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard.
  4. Robert Palmer born about 1754. He died on Jul.4, 1764, and is buried in Ballyhalbert graveyard.

Last updated 2/20/04.


Christopher E. Brennen