Who is the Mother of Thomas Palmer?
by Patricia A. (McGuinness) DuLong and John P. DuLong
Original Draft: 20 April 2001
This paper was originally writen to be turned over to
a professional genealogist. It summarizes all the we knew about Thomas
Palmer and who his mother could be. As you will see, we know clearly who
his father was, but his mother remains a mystery. We gave this report
to Eileen O'Byrne, an accomplished Irish genealogist, and asked her if
she could help solve the problem. Although Mrs. O'Byrne found some valuable
information for us, which we will eventually add to this web page (in
orange text), she was unable to resolve the mystery of who mothered
Thomas Palmer. We have done enough research on the ancestry of the two
named candidate mothers to know that they come from prestigieous Anglo-Irish
families, hence our reason for trying so hard to answer the question of
who is the mother of Thomas Palmer?
is our goal?
The goal of this research
project is to identify the mother of the Anglo-Irish immigrant Thomas
William Palmer (ca. 1821-1865). We would like you to apply your research
expertise to answering the question at the head of this report.
What do we want?
Specifically, we would like
your assistance to find the following documents:
- The Church of Ireland or
other Protestant baptismal record of Thomas William Palmer, the son
of James Palmer, Sr. He was born between 1821 and 1824, but most likely
between 13 June and 1 October 1821, probably in the Cork or Dublin areas
of Ireland. (Note: We will use Sr. and Jr. to differentiate James Palmer
the father from James Palmer the son though out this report, but neither
man used these terms during their lives.) No record
of the birth or baptism of Thomas Palmer was found in the surviving
Dublin and Cork Church of Ireland parish registers, including for the
Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, which begins too late in 1826 (O'Byrne 2001).
- The Church of Ireland or
other Protestant marriage record of James Palmer, Sr., and Ellen de
Renzi, the widow of Captain Moore, probably around 1800 or 1801, Diocese
of Dublin. James Palmer and Ellen Moore were married
at St. Thomas's Church, Dublin on 19 July 1800. The Registry of Deeds
indicates that she had been previously married to Pierce Moore of Queens
County, (O'Byrne 2001, see Registry of Deeds, Memorial 1801-535-259-35054).
- The will or probate papers
of Ellen (de Renzi) Palmer. She died on 11 May 1827, Tallaght, County
Dublin. The parish registers for Tallaght and nearby
Rathfarnham parish were destroyed in the 1922 Four Courts fire that
harmed much of the Public Records Office. Furthermore, there are no
recorded tombstones for Ellen in Tallaght or Rathfarnham (see Irish
Genealogist, 1968, 1986, and 1987), nor in the union of Tallaght, Whitechurch,
and Cruagh (see Journals of the Memorials to the Dead of Ireland) (O'Byrne
- The Church of Ireland or
other Protestant marriage record of James Palmer, Sr., and Eliza Nash.
They were married on 17 November 1827, St. Peter’s church, Cork, Rev.
W. Nash officiating. Unfortunately, the parish
register for St. Peter's was destroyed in the 1922 fire of the Public
Records Office (O'Byrne 2001).
- The records for any other
marriages of James Palmer, Sr. No other marriage
record for James Palmer, Sr., were found (O'Byrne 2001).
- The will and probate papers
for James Palmer, Sr. He died 1 May 1850 while visiting relatives in
London. If the will was destroyed in the 1922 Four Courts fire in Dublin,
then is it still possible that some probate papers exist in England
because of his death in London? Was his will abstracted before 1922?
His will was proved in Dublin by Andrew P. Nash
according to the Index of Irish Will Registers at the National
Archives of Ireland. This will was destroyed in 1922. Apparently, no
abstract of his will was made according to the Testamentary Index,
Thrift, Crossle, and Jennings (O'Byrne 2001).
- The will and probate papers
for Eliza (Nash) Palmer. She died on 27 February 1852 in Dublin. No
will or grant of administration appears for Eliza. She died at the "residence
of her daughter in Hardwicke St., Dublin." Hardwicke St. falls
within the parish of St. George (O'Byrne 2001).
- The Church of Ireland or
other Protestant marriage record of James Palmer, Jr., and Marie Wilkins,
19 November 1818, Whitehall near Baltinglass, County Wicklow, by Rev.
Grogan. The Church of Ireland registers for Baltinglass
were destroyed in the 1922 fire. Whitehall House in in the townland
of Lathaleere in Baltinglass parish. The 1853 Primary Valuation
shows that a house on 86 acres occupied by Mary Allen, but this is Allandale
House, a large farmhouse. Whitehall, according to the genealogist Paul
Gorry of Baltinglass, was almost in ruins in 1852 and was occupied by
Daniel Doran, a caretaker, and had a rated value of only £2 pounds
per year on the property. The De Renzy family owned Parkmore House which
adjoined Lathaleere. Whitehall House disappears completely by 1901 (O'Byrne
- The death record of James
Palmer, Jr. He died after 17 February 1868, probably in the Dublin area.
His will was probated on 13 September 1879. He
had been living at Torquay, County Devon, England. His will was proved
at the Principal Registry by Ellen Hanrahan of 50 Richmond Place, Dublin,
Widow, the sole-executrix. The effects were valued at under £300
- Any and all newspaper announcements
about the above events.
These items are ranked according
to the priority in which we would like you to search for them. We would
also welcome any suggestions from you about other documents that should
be searched that might help solve this problem.
What we do not want?
We do not need help in tracing
the Palmers and related families back further. We have already satisfactorily
established the ancestry of the Palmers, Nashes, and de Renzis back several
generations from what is discussed here. We need focused help on identifying
the mother of Thomas Palmer.
What do we know?
Here are the facts of the
case that we have established to date:
- Thomas William Palmer,
nicknamed "Tomy," was born between 1822 and 1824, probably
in Ireland, according to his father. James Palmer, Sr., says Thomas
was 19 in a letter dated 9 April 1841 and 23 in a letter dated 7 May
1847 (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- We can be more specific
about Thomas’s age from the data he supplied to the American federal
censuses. He identified his age as 28 on 1 October 1850 making his birth
year 1822 (United States 1850) and 39 on 13 June 1860 making his birth
year 1821 (United States 1860). Therefore, he was probably born between
13 June and 1 October 1821. For this report we will assume that he was
born in 1821.
- His father was Major James
Palmer, Inspector General of Prisons and Lunatic Asylums (Palmer Letters
1841-1883). For details about his military and prison administration
careers visit http://mcguinnessfamily.org/palmer-military.htm.
- We know that James, Sr.,
was born around 1780-1781 because he states his age as 65 in a letter
dated 14 August 1845 and 66 in a letter dated 7 May 1847 (Palmer Letters
1841-1883). He was most likely born between 7 May and 14 August 1780.
For this report we will assume that he was born in 1780. His parents
were the Ven. Henry Palmer, Archdeacon of Ossory, and Elinor "Ellen"
Smyth (Leslie 1933, 108, 164, 314, 317; Wilkinson 1908).
- We know that James, Sr.,
lived, worked, or visited at the following places in Ireland and England
as an adult:
- Whitehall, County Wicklow,
18 April 1814 (Hoskyns and McCracken 1814). This is probably Whitehall,
near Baltinglass, in County Wicklow, the seat of the de Renzi family.
- No. 1, Dame St., Dublin,
25 July 1816 (Palmer Letters 1816-1817, Add. 40257, f. 34).
- Cove [Cobh], County
Cork, 5 August 1816 (Palmer Letters 1816-1817, Add. 40257, f. 176).
- No. 1, Dame St., Dublin,
21 August 1817 (Palmer Letters 1816-1817, Add. 40269, f. 243).
- Tallaght House, Tallaght,
County Dublin, 1822-1830s (Handcock 1899, 27; Weston 1920).
- Milltown, County Dublin,
ca. 1837 (Lewis  1984, 1:liii).
- Dublin Castle, 8-9
April 1841 (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- 8 Upper Mount St.,
Dublin, fragment of a letter signed Major Palmer, no date, probably
- 89 Lower Bagot St.,
Dublin, 11 September 1841 and 4 April 1842 (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- 92 Bagot St., Dublin,
14 August 1845 (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- Liverpool, England,
7 May 1847 (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- Douglas, Isle of Man,
26 February 1848 (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- Southwicke St., Hyde
Park, London, late of Baggot [sic] St., Dublin, 1850, at the home
of his nephew, therefore, he was visiting (Deputy Keeper 1899, 833;
Ryall 2001b). We also know from the Palmer Letters (1841-1883) that
he died in debt.
- Eliza Nash, the widow
of James, Sr., died on Hardwick St., Dublin in 1852 (Turner ca.
- Keep in mind that James,
Sr., was an Inspector General of Prisons and traveled all over Ireland.
However, his family was probably left at a central location, like
Tallaght or Dublin. Also, prison chaplains were known for performing
clandestine marriages, this may or may not be an important point
in researching his marriages (FitzHugh 1985, 72). One wonders if
prison chaplains also baptized children of doubtful legitimacy without
asking too many questions.
- The Major was married at
least twice: (1) Elinor "Ellen" de Renzi; and (2) Elizabeth
- There is a marriage license
for a James Palmer and Ellen Moore in 1800, Diocese of Dublin (Deputy
Keeper 1899, 833). James, Sr., would be 20 in 1800. His wife, Ellen
de Renzi, was the daughter of Annesley Howes Derenzy of Whitehall, County
Wicklow, and Sarah King of Waterford (Ryall 2001a). She was born around
1765 and was previously married to Captain Moore in October 1789, York
St. Dublin[?] (Anonymous 2000; Farrar 1897, 2: 313; Ryall 2001a, 2001b;
Vesey Genealogy Late Eighteenth Century). Captain Moore was of Cremorgan,
Queen’s County, and was probably the brother of Judge Arthur Moore and
son of Louis (or Lewis) Moore (Ball 1926, 2: 339-340). Ryall (2001a)
claims that Captain Moore died in 1801, but this conflicts with the
marriage license date of 1800. According to the diary of Ellen (Thompson)
Turner (ca. 1895, 1): "Died on Friday the 11th May 1827
about half past ten in the morning at Tallaght House, Tallaght, my excellent
and Amiable Aunt and Godmother Ellen M. Palmer." If her birth year
of 1765 were correct, then she would have been in her fifties when Thomas
was born. Therefore, it would be unlikely that she was the mother. Her
age has yet to be verified.
- James, Sr., married for
a second time to Eliza Nash, daughter of Llewellyn Nash and Priscilla
Deane Spread of County Cork (J. G. White [1905-1918] 1969, 3:105-112).
Under the surname Palmer there is a record of "Jas. & Eliz.
Nash 1827" abstracted from "Marriages, Diocese of Cork &
Ross, 1716-1844, Public Records Office, Dublin" (Casey et al. 1952-1971,
4: 256 [and 253 under Nash]). Recently, we discovered the following
notice in The Constitution, a Cork Newspapers: "Tu[esday]
Nov 1827 on Saturday last at St Peter’s church by the Rev. W. R. Nash,
Major James Palmer, Inspector General of the Prisons throughout Ireland
to Elizabeth eldest dau of the late Llewellyn Nash Esq of Convamore
in this co" (Ffolliot n. d., 3:1142 ,1243). Ellen (Nash) Palmer
died on 27 February 1852, Hardwick St., Dublin (Tuner ca. 1895, 6; Ryall
- According to the diary
of Ellen (Thompson) Turner (ca. 1895, 1): "In the latter end of
this year  my dear Uncle Palmer Married Eliza Nash a beautiful
and Amiable young woman by whom she has three children, two boys and
one girl. Tommy or William[,] Henry and Priscilla." Turner was
a contemporary of this family and was related to Ellen de Renzi. It
is interesting to note that she clearly assign Eliza Nash to be the
mother of Thomas.
- We know that the Nashes
had interests at Farrihy, County Cork, and that Llewellyn Nash was a
freeman of Cork on 18 June 1784. He died 4 May 1805. His will was dated
2 February 1805 and was proved 20 November 1805, South Liberties of
Cork. The will mentions lands in Ballygerane, Mallow, Convamore, and
Gortroche (White [1905-1918] 1969, 3:107-108; Casey et al. 1952-1971,
6: 300). The Nashes seem to have favored St. Peter’s church in Cork
(Ffolliott n. d., 3:1140-1145. However, the records for this church
were destroyed in 1922. Where they ever abstracted?
- James, Sr., was raised
in the Church of Ireland, as his father was an Archdeacon in the Church.
However, later in life, at least by 1847, we know that he had joined
Dr. Thomas Kelly’s dissenter congregation in Dublin (Smyrl 2000). We
also know from a letter dated 7 May 1847 that Thomas joined Dr. Kelly’s
congregation as well during a visit back to Ireland. However, it is
unclear what denomination he was associated with in the United States.
His brother, Henry Wellington, would be accused later in life of being
a Glassite (Wood 1906, 1:295-296).
- According to the Palmer
Letters (1841-1883), Thomas was the "eldest son" of the Major.
However, we know that Thomas had an older brother named James.
- Specifically, we know that
Thomas had the following siblings:
- Lieutenant Colonel
James Palmer, Jr., born at sea on 5 November 1797. See http://mcguinnessfamily.org/palmer-military.htm
for his military career. Married on 19 November 1818, Whitehall,
Baltinglass, County Wicklow, to Marie Wilkins by Rev. Grogan. James,
Jr., would have probably died in Ireland after 17 February 1868,
the last date we have on a letter from him (Statement of the Services
of James Palmer, n. d.; Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- Major General Henry
Wellington Palmer, nicknamed "Hal," born 18 June 1828
Tallaght House, County Dublin. See http://mcguinnessfamily.org/palmer-military.htm
for his military career. Married 24 January 1885, Dublin, to Margaret
Dartnell Tuthill, daughter of John Tuthill and Margaret Lloyd. Died
14 January 1891, Ailesbury Road, Dublin. Buried 17 January 1891,
Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin area (Howard and Crisp 1897, 1:37;
Statement of the Services of Henry Wellington Palmer, n. d.).
- Priscilla Palmer, nicknamed
"Prissy," birth year unknown, but she was probably the
youngest child. Married 1851, probably in the Dublin area, to Robert
Taaffe. Died 30 January 1857, Dublin (Deputy Keeper 1899, 834; Palmer
- We have not found any
- James, Sr., wrote in a
letter of introduction to his friend James Buchanon, Esq., British Consul
in New York, dated 9 April 1841, Dublin Castle (Palmer Letters 1841-1883),
that "He [Thomas] first went to sea in an Indiaman, was at Australia,
Calcutta, China, & had returned Disliking the Sea. … He was much
regarded by His Captain at Sea…." Thomas had probably been an employee
on an Honorable East India Company’s merchant ship before 1841.
- Thomas immigrated to Dexter,
Washtenaw County, Michigan in 1841. He was in Liverpool on 14 April
1841 waiting for a ship to Quebec. By 11 September 1841 he was living
in Michigan. We know from the Palmer Letters (1841-1883) that he moved
there to be close to Edwin Bennet Hoskyns. The Palmers and the Hoskyns
were related through the de Renzi family and were friends back in Dublin.
Edwin’s father was Dr. John Hoskyns of Dublin. The doctor was married
to Caroline Ellen Ribton, whose mother was Hanna de Renzi, wife of Allan
Ribton, and sister of Ellen de Renzi (Ryall 2001a).
- James, Sr., took special
care to write letters of recommendation for his son and to get his friends
to do so. He also gave Thomas money to help establish himself in Canada
or America. He took a great interest in where Thomas settled and what
land he was to own (Palmer Letters 1841-1883).
- We also know that Thomas
made at least two trips back to Ireland to visit his parents in 1844
and around 1846.
- Thomas married around 1848
in Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan, to Margaret O’Toole, widow of
Edwin Bennet Hoskyns. She was the daughter of Lawrence O’Toole and Margaret
O’Laughlin of County Wicklow. The O’Tooles were Catholics. We have been
unable to find a marriage record for them in Michigan. Civil registration
of marriages did not start in Michigan until 1867. There is no marriage
record at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dexter. We have yet to try the
Protestant churches in Washtenaw County.
- Thomas’s marriage to the
Catholic Margaret O’Toole must have been a disappointment to his father,
who was definitely a Protestant. Several of Thomas and Margaret’s children
were baptized in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dexter.
- Edwin Hoskyns and Margaret
O’Toole had the following children: Caroline born 1836, John born June
1838, Chandos born 4 April 1838, Lucy born 21 October 1841, and Edwin
Bennett born 1847 (St. Joseph 1856-1862; United States 1850, 1860).
After Thomas married Margaret he raised the Hoskyns children as his
own. Thomas and Margaret would have the following children: Priscilla
born 1849, Thomas William born 3 January 1853, Emma born 16 January
1854, Matilda Eleanor "Nellie" born 10 April 1856 and Mary "Mollie"
born October 1859 (St. Joseph 1856-1862; United States 1850, 1860).
- Thomas was a Justice of
the Peace in 1859 (Ellis 1808, 274) and was living in Putman Township,
Livingston County, Michigan.
- Thomas eventually owned
hundreds of acres in Washtenaw and Livingston counties (we are still
analyzing the data from the land records of these county courthouses).
We know from the Palmer Letters (1841-1883) that his father was willing
to extend him at least £500 in 1841 to help him become established in
North America. In perspective, his father would have had to spend at
least £450 to purchase an ensign’s commission for Henry Wellington in
1846 (Farwell 1981, 58). Undoubtedly, he also helped Henry Wellington
purchase uniforms, supplies, and equipment. James, Sr., was apparently
equally generous to both of his "legitimate" sons. But note
that he did not purchase a commission for James, Jr.
- Thomas died on 25 August
1865 at Pinckney, Livingston County, Michigan. There is no death certificate
for him. Civil registration of deaths did not start in Michigan until
1867. The probate of his estate makes no mention of relatives back in
Ireland (Livingston County 1867). His estate was worth $2,109 and consisted
mostly of farmland in Livingston County. We have not found a newspaper
obituary for him.
- According to family tradition,
his daughter, Emma Palmer, use to walk into town to fetch the newspaper
for her father. Thomas was ailing and Emma would read him the news selectively
so as not to disturb him too much. Apparently, Thomas was a great supporter
of Mr. Lincoln. When Emma read in the newspaper that the President had
been assassinated on 14 April 1865, she hid this news from her father.
This family story, unlike many others, at least fits in the with chronology
of Thomas’s death on 25 August 1865. However, one suspects that over
the five months he must have heard the news of such an important event
before his death unless his final illness was particularly long and
What do we think?
- We know that Thomas was
the son of James, Sr., from the Palmer Letters (1841-1883). Furthermore,
we know that he was considered the eldest legitimate son. It is strange
because Ellen de Renzi was probably too old to give birth to him and
Eliza Nash did not marry James, Sr., until 1827. We therefore suspect
Thomas was born out of wedlock in 1821. This whole situation is also
odd because of the existence of James, Jr.
- We suspect James, Jr.,
might be illegitimate since he was born in 1797 and James, Sr., would
only have been 17 years old and a Captain in the 14th Bedfordshire
Regiment of Foot, stationed in the West Indies. It seems unlikely that
James, Sr., would have been married at this age and at his rank 1797.
In addition, we have noted some social distance between James, Jr.,
and his siblings in the Palmer Letters (1841-1883), see the Appendix.
Thomas, Henry Wellington, and Priscilla are referred to with nicknames
in the letters, but James, Sr., only refers to James, Jr., once and
that as Captain P. Moreover, the best his father could do for him was
to arrange a commission in the 1st West India Regiment, one
of the least prestigious units in the British army. It appears that
this commission was not purchased. Lastly, in a letter probably written
after 1858, Henry Wellington mentions to Thomas that James, Jr., "…
is a queer fellow, very odd, but very like our poor Father in appearance…."
Why would he find it necessary to remark on how much James, Jr., resembles
their father? The fact that Thomas had a brother of questionable legitimacy
might play an important role in this research project. Was Thomas also
a bastard? If so, then why did his father treat him so well compared
to James, Jr.?
- Until we recently discovered
the death date of Ellen de Renzi and the marriage of James, Sr., to
Eliza Nash, both in 1827, we had assumed that Eliza Nash was the mother
of Thomas. Now we are no longer sure. We are left with three possibilities,
each with its own positive and negative points:
Ellen de Renzi (1765-1827)
is the mother:
Positive Point: The chronology
fits, she was married to James, Sr., in 1821 when Thomas was born.
Positive Point: It is very
unlikely that Thomas would have been born after 1827.
Negative Point: If she was
indeed born in 1765, then she would have been in 56 in 1821 and well
beyond her childbearing years.
Negative Point: No known
children are recorded for her (Ryall 2001a, 2001b; Turner ca. 1895).
If the Ellen de Renzi was indeed married in 1800 and Thomas was not
born until 1821, then this seems like a long period of infertility (or
at least of unrecorded fertility and mortality of infants).
Eliza Nash (after 1786-1852)
is the mother:
Positive Point: She is probably
the right age to have children in 1821. Eliza Nash had siblings married
in 1813, 1819, 1825, and 1826 (Platt 1999-). Her siblings would have
had children in the 1820s. As the eldest daughter in her family, having
a child in 1821 would fit in the middle of this series. We know that
her parents were married in 1786 (J. G. White [1905-1918] 1969, 3:105-112)
and that she was still giving birth in 1828, therefore, she could have
been a mother in 1821.
Positive Point: The Palmer
Letters (1841-1883) give the impression she is the mother of Thomas
(see the Appendix).
Positive Point: These same
letters give the impression that Hal and Prissy are the siblings of
Thomas and not his step-siblings (see the Appendix).
Positive Point: Ellen (Thompson)
Turner (ca 1895, 1) clearly indicates that Ellen Nash is the mother
Thomas. She was a contemporary of the family.
Negative Point: James, Sr.,
was married to Ellen de Renzi and not to Eliza Nash in 1821. We know
that he married Eliza Nash on 17 November 1827. We also know that she
gave birth to Henry Wellington on 18 June 1828. Therefore, she was probably
pregnant with him by October or November 1827. This would seem a very
short mourning period followed by a fast courtship. Unless James, Sr.,
already knew Eliza Nash.
Negative Point: Even though
James, Sr., might have had illegitimate children, it would have been
scandalous for him to marry the mother of one of his illegitimate children.
Madame X is the mother:
Positive Point: James, Sr.,
thanks his friend James Buchanon (in letters dated 9 April 1841 and
14 August 1845, Palmer Letters 1841-1883) for helping a mysterious lady
before 1841 in New York. It is unclear who this is. Could it be the
mother of Thomas? Could it be the mother of James, Jr.?
Positive Point: If James,
Sr., did indeed sire an illegitimate child in 1797, then it is unlikely
that the same woman was a mother to another child in 1821. However,
if James, Sr., could have one child of questionable legitimacy, then
he could have two, and not necessarily from the same mother.
Positive Point: An English
cousin, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes Thomas is illegitimate
because there is no record of him in his family papers and he did not
inherit any of the family heirlooms. If he was the eldest legitimate
son, then he should have inherited these items. (However, he had been
given at least £500 pounds to set up in America, he was living far away,
and his father died in debt.)
Positive Point: Neither
Thomas nor his children are mentioned in the Palmer grant of Arms (Wilkinson
1908). (In this case, as with the heirlooms, it could simply be because
he died young and left no male heirs.)
Positive Point: As Inspector
General of Prisons, James, Sr., traveled frequently across Ireland and
he could have had a mistress in another town. (This could also be a
positive point for Ellen Nash; perhaps he knew her in Cork because of
Negative Point: The Major
calls Thomas his "eldest son", implying legitimacy.
Negative Point: There does
not seem to be the social distance between Thomas and the rest of the
family as there is with James, Jr.
I think from this report you
can see our dilemma and why we seek the assistance of a professional genealogist
in Ireland to help untangle this problem.
The anonymous English Palmer
cousin we mention above was completely surprised when we identified Patricia’s
relationship to him. He reports that there is absolutely no mention of
an Uncle Thomas or Uncle James in the family papers of Henry Wellington
Tuthill Palmer, the son of Henry Wellington. He strongly suspects that
Thomas is a bastard because he did not inherit the family heirlooms.
We are also afraid that records
were sanitized to cover up a scandal. For example, the birth of Henry
Wellington was changed. He reports his birthday as 18 June1828 in his
military record (Statement of the Services of Henry Wellington Palmer,
n. d.). However, Howard’s Visitation (Howard and Crisp 1897, 1:37)
reports the date as 18 June 1831. Was the date changed to cover up his
father’s short mourning period or some other scandal? Was it just a mistake?
What research are we doing
in the USA and in Ireland?
We are doing, or soon plan
to do, the following:
- We are going to check Ffolliott’s
(N. d.) index of Cork and Kerry newspapers, 1749-1827. So far we have
only checked for the surnames Nash and Palmer, we still have to look
for all the other surnames of relevance.
- We have also ordered through
interlibrary loan from the Family History Library an index to the Church
of Ireland diocesan marriage licenses for Cork and Ross (Ireland, Public
Record Office, 1951).
- We will also be reviewing
the microfilm of Betham’s Red Books (1949) for the Palmers.
- For the De Renzi family
we are going to acquire photocopies of the pages related to them in
the Burke’s (1843-1849) Landed Gentry.
- We have not done so, but
we are prepared to order some of the Cork and Dublin city directories.
However, this is a low priority.
- We will eventually check
the Honorable East India Company records. Baptism certificates were
collected for midshipmen, but they only ended in 1830 (British Library
2000). No other records seem applicable. This is low priority and unlikely
to provide data to solve the problem at hand, but we eventually would
like to learn more about Thomas’s career at sea. No
record of Thomas Palmer found in maritime service records of the East
India Company in England (O'Hara 2001).
- Merchant marine officer
records should also be checked eventually. These records tend to be
too late and are unlikely of offering data to solve this problem (Smith,
Watts, and Watts 1998). Three Thomas Palmers of
the approximately correct age are found in the Merchant Marine records
at the Public Record Office in England, but one had a long career and
could not be our Thomas. Furthermore, all of them were born in England
- We continue to search for
the marriage record of Edwin Bennet Hoskyns and Margaret O’Toole. It
is not at St. Joseph’s Catholic church in Dexter. Family Tree Maker
disk no. 251 on Wisconsin and Michigan marriages indicates they were
married in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
- Likewise, we continue to
search for the marriage record of Thomas Palmer and Margaret O’Toole.
It is not at St. Joseph’s in Dexter. We will be checking with the Diocese
of Lansing to see if an itinerary Catholic priest married them. Likewise,
we will check with the appropriate Episcopalian office and with other
Protestant denominations in the area. We plan to make a detailed list
of all other known churches or missionaries in the Dexter area in 1848
and try to locate their records.
- We will continue to search
for the death record or obituary of Thomas Palmer. Nothing found so
far has been found in the local courthouse or in local newspapers. We
have to still search all the cemeteries near Pinckney and Dexter.
- We want to find the will
of Edwin Bennet Hoskyns in Michigan.
- On our July 2001 visit
to Ireland we will concentrate on James, Sr., and his career as a prison
official when we visit the National Library of Ireland. We will really
not have the time to do anything else. He was involved in a scandal
relating to the convict transportation program and we want to gather
the facts on this case. It is unlikely that this research will lead
to any further genealogical information.
What have we already seen?
The References section lists
the books we have consulted for this report. In addition, we have also
used some materials published about the Nash family (Nash n. d.; Pabst
1963). We found nothing of interest or help on the de Renzi family in
The Wexford Gentry (Kavanagh and Murphy 1994-1996). Lastly, we
have checked several indexes of Irish wills (Clare 1930; Deputy Keeper
1895, 1899; Eustace 1954-1956; Index of Irish Wills 1999; and Vicars
Anonymous. 2000. Letters from an English cousin to Patricia A. (McGuinness)
Ball, F. Elrington. 1926.
The Judges in Ireland, 1221-1921. 2 vols. London: John Murray.
Betham, William. 1949.
Betham Red Books: First and Second Series. Mss. in the Genealogical
Office, Ireland. 16 vols. in the 1st series and 7 in the
2nd series. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical
Society of Utah. Ordered Family History Library microfilm no. 100121,
ms. nos. 274-276.
British Library. 2000.
"India Office Records: Sources for Family History Research."
Available at http://www.bl.uk/collections/oriental/records/iorfamhi.html
Burke, John, and John
Bernard Burke. 1843-1849. A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary
of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, a Companion to
the Baronetage and Knightage. Usually bound in 3 vols. London:
Henry Colburn. Family History Library microfilm nos. 845053, items
1-2, and 845054, items 1-2.
Casey, Albert Eugene,
Thomas Eugene P. Dowling, Eleanor L. Downey-Prince, and Ursula Dietrich.
1952-1971. O’Kief, Coshe Mange, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater
in Ireland. 16 vols. Birmingham, AL: Knocknagree Historical Fund.
Clare, Wallace, ed. 1930.
Irish Genealogical Guides: A Guide to Copies & Abstracts of
Irish Wills (First Series). March[?]: Sharman & Co. [Title
page indicates vol. 1, but only one at Allen County Public Library.]
Deputy Keeper of the Public
Records. 1895. Appendix to the Twenty-Sixth Report of the Deputy
Keeper of the Public Records and Keeper of the State Papers in Ireland:
An Index to the Act or Grant Books and Original Wills of the Diocese
of Dublin to the Year 1800. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co.,
__________. 1899. Appendix
to the Thirtieth Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records
and Keeper of the State Papers in Ireland: An Index to the Act or
Grant Books and Original Wills of the Diocese of Dublin from 1800
to 1858. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., Ltd.
Ellis, Franklin. 1880.
History of Livingston Co., Michigan, With Illustrations and Biographical
Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts
Eustace, P. Beryl. 1954-1956.
Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Abstract of Wills. 2 vols. (1708-1745
and 1746-1785). Dublin: Stationary Office.
Farrar, Henry. 1897. Irish
Marriages: Being an Index to the Marriages in Walker’s Hibernian Magazine
1771 to 1812. 2 vols. London: Phillimore & Co.
Farwell, Byron. 1981.
Mr. Kipling's Army: All the Queen's Men. New York: W. W.
Norton & Co.
Ffolliott, Rosemary, comp.
N.d. Biographical Notices, Primarily Relating to Counties Cork
and Kerry: Collected from Newspapers, 1756-1827 and a Few References,
1749-1755. 4 vols. N. p. Family History Microfilm nos. 537921,
items 2-4, and 537922, item 1.
FitzHugh, Terrick V. H.
1985. The Dictionary of Genealogy. Totowa, NJ: Barnes &
Handcock, William Domville.
1899. The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of
Dublin. 2nd ed. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, & Co.,
Hoskyn Letters. 1832-1857.
Letters between various members of the Hoskyns and Arkwright families
of England, Ireland, and Canada. Originals in possession of Hungerford
R. L. Hoskyns, Avon, England. Typescript copies in possession of Patricia
Anne (McGuinness) DuLong.
Hoskyns and McCracken,
1814, Abstract of the Title of Temple Bar Premises, 18 April, Testamentary
Documents in the Public Records Office Dublin, Doc. M3882, Family
History Library microfilm no. 0592943.
Howard, Joseph Jackson,
and Frederick Arthur Crisp, eds. 1897. Visitation of Ireland.
5 vols. in 1. London: Privately printed.
Index of Irish Wills,
1484-1858. 1999. Dublin: Eneclann Ltd.
Ireland, Public Record
Office. 1951. Index to Church of Ireland Diocesan Marriage Licenses.
Salt Lake City: Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Family
History Library microfilm nos. 100865 and 100866 for Cork and Ross
Diocese, 3 vols, 1751-1845.
Kavanagh, Art, and Rory
Murphy. 1994-1996. The Wexford Gentry. Bunclody, County Wexford,
Ireland: Irish Family Names.
Leslie, Rev. James B.
1933. Ossory Clergy and Parishes: Being an Account of the Clergy
of the Church of Ireland in the Diocese of Ossory, from the Earliest
Period, with Historical Notices of the Several Parishes, Churches,
&c. Enniskillen, Ireland: Fermanagh Times Office.
Lewis, Samuel. 
1984. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. 2 vols. Reprint.
Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.
Livingston County. 1867.
Palmer Probate Records, file no. 714. Howell, Michigan.
Nash, Edward F. N. d. The
Nash Family of Ireland, England, Canada, and the United States and 21
Allied Families. Typescript mss., at the Allen County Public Library,
Fort Wayne, IN.
2001. Letter and research report to Mr. and Mrs. John P. DuLong (13 October)..
2001. Email to John P. DuLong, searcher at dircon.co.uk (19 November).
Pabst, Anna Catherina
Smith. 1963. Nashes of Ireland: Richard and Alexander Nash of Eastern
Shore and Their Allied Families, 1200-1956. Delaware, OH: Privately
Palmer Letters. 1816-1817.
Letters from James Palmer to Sir R. Peel. British Library, Add. 40357,
f. 34; Add. 40257, f. 176; Add. 40269, f. 243. Photocopies in possession
of Patricia Anne (McGuinness) DuLong.
Palmer Letters. 1841-1883.
Letters between various members of the Palmer, O'Toole, and Taaffe
families of Ireland, India, and Michigan. Originals in the possession
of Emma Jane (Conklin) Nelson, M.D., Troy, Michigan. Photocopies in
the possession of Patricia Anne (McGuinness) DuLong.
Platt, Lyman. 1999-. Irish
Records Extraction Database. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com. Database
on-line at http://www.ancestry.com,
13 July 2000.
Ryall, Charles W. 2001a.
"Descendants of Mathew de Renzi, of Cloghbamen." Available
_________. 2001b. "Re:
Palmers, Hoskyns, and Smyths." Email, chasr at ozemail.com.au,
to John P. DuLong, (1 April).
Smith, Kelvin, Christopher
T. Watts, and Michael J. Watts. 1998. Records of Merchant Shipping
and Seamen. Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England: PRO Publications,
Public Record Office Readers’ Guide, no. 20.
Smyrl, Steven. 2000. "Re:
Churches in Dublin?" Email to John P. DuLong, smyrl at indigo.ie
"Statement of the Service
of Brevet Major James Palmer 3d Garrison Battn. and Brigade Major
North British Staff. Copper, Oct. 23d 1809" 1809. Public Record Office,
War Office [W. O] 25/747, Regimental Description and Succession Books,
p. 82. Photocopy attached to Bunt 1981 letter.
"Statement of the Services
of Henry Wellington Palmer of the 74th Highlanders." N. d. Public
Record Office, England, War Office [W.O.] 76, Record of Officers Services,
1770-1919. Family History microfilm reel 917269.
"Statement of the Services
of James Palmer of the 3rd W. I. Regt. of Foot." N. d. Public Record
Office, England, War Office [W. O.] 25, Regimental Description and
Succession Books. Family History microfilm reel 859524, f. 45 stamped,
77 hand written.
St. Joseph. 1856-1862.
Record of Baptisms and Marriages. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Dexter,
Washtenaw County, Michigan. [Must double check this citation on the
next visit to the rectory.]
Record of Burials. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Dexter, Washtenaw
County, Michigan. [Must double check this citation on the next visit
to the rectory.]
Turner, Ellen. Ca. 1895.
"Diary of Ellen (Thompson) Turner." Mss. in possession of
Charles W. Ryall, Australia. Transcript prepared by Charles W. Ryall.
Adobe Acrobat file, received 9 April 2001, pagination based on printout.
United States. 1850. Federal
Census, Michigan, Washtenaw County, Dexter, family no. 2 (1 October).
Burton Historical Collection microfilm no. 364.
__________. 1860. Federal
Census, Michigan, Livingston County, Putnam Township, p. 44, line
28, family no.321 (13 June). Burton Historical Collection microfilm
Vicars, Arthur, ed. 1897.
Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810. Dublin:
Weston, St. John Joyce.
1920. The Neighborhood of Dublin. 3rd ed. Chapter
XIX, "Harold's Cross, Crumlin, the Green Hills, Tallaght and
Oldbawn." Available at: http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/Neighbourhood/chapter19.html,
29 March 2001.
White, James Grove. [1905-1918]
1969. Historical and Topographical Notes, Etc., on Buttevant, Castletownroche,
Doneraile, Mallow, and Places in their Vicinity. 4 vols. Reprint.
Birmingham, AL: Amite and Knocknagree Historical Fund.
Wilkinson, Nevile Rodwell,
Ulster King of Arms and Principal Herald of All Ireland. 1908. "Confirmation
of Palmer." In Ulster's Office: Grants and Confirmations, J, 111,
235-236. Genealogical Office [G. O.] Ms. 111 (4 December).
Wood, Sir Henry Evelyn.
1906. From Midshipman to Field Marshal. 2 vols. 3rd ed. New
York: E. P. Dutton & Co.
Appendix: Extracts from
the Palmer Letters
The following extracts from
the Palmer Letters (1841-1883) show that Thomas was definitely considered
and acknowledge the son of James, Sr. Also, his mother is mentioned several
times referring to Eliza Nash. Lastly, you will note that there is some
social distance between Thomas, Henry Wellington, and Priscilla on one
hand and James, Jr., on the other hand. Nevertheless, James, Jr., is clearly
a brother, albeit a half-brother, to the other children of James, Sr.
James Palmer, Dublin Castle,
to James Buchanon, British Consul, New York City, 9 April 1841, refers
to Thomas Palmer as "… my eldest son…."
Anonymous [probably Hungerford
Hoskyns], Liverpool, to Edwyn [Hoskyns], 14 April 1841, "Major Palmer’s
son [Thomas], as I told you in my letter to you last autumn, is going
to settle either in Canada, or your neighborhood a[s] we shall judge best.
Major Palmer wished him to be near you if possible…."
William P. Mathews, Dublin
Castle, to Colonel Martin, York Grand River, Niagara District, Upper Canada,
8 April 1841, "Allow me to introduce to your friendly notice the
Son of an old and worthy friend of Mine, Major Palmer; who is one of our
principal government Officers…."
James Palmer, 89 Lower Bagot
St., Dublin, to Edwin Hoskyn, Dexter, Michigan, 11 September 1841, "I
assure you it gave me great pleasure to think my Son Thomas was under
your kind protection."
James Palmer, 89 Lower Bagot
St., Dublin, to Thomas Palmer, 4 April 1842, "I know if your brother
and sister were in distress you would help & divide with them to the
last shilling, as they would with you I trust—at least such is my wish,
& I have recommend[ed] it to you all[.]" Note that there is no
mention of James, Jr. "Hal and Prisy are well, with an occasional
Cold, & Mama is well, but lately had a bad attack of giddiness in
her head & I had Crampton to see her…."
James Palmer, 92 Bagot St.,
Dublin, to James Buchanon, British Consul, New York City, 14 August 1845,
again refers to "… my Eldest son Thomas Palmer…." Thomas had
visited his parents in 1844.
James Palmer, Liverpool, to
James Buchanon, British Consul, New York City, 7 May 1847, Thomas is identified
as "… my dr [dear] son Thos. …" Furthermore,
James, Sr., writes: "He [Thomas] has twice come home to see me &
his dr [dear] Mother who was joined with us in Christian fellowship
with Mr Kelly's congregation…."
James Palmer, Douglas, Isle
of Man, to Thomas Palmer, 26 February 1848, "I may be allowed to
think of my Children—for the rest of my life. 150£ a year will keep me
& Mama well…." Again, in this letter he refers to Hal and Prissy,
but when he mentions James, Jr., he calls him "Captain P." Also,
he mentions "The Palmers, Wards, & Nashes as you left them &
Marquesses." The Nashes and Marquesses are the in-laws of James,
Sr. Domingos Egidio Marques married Priscilla Deane Nash in 1825, Diocese
of Cork and Ross (Platt 1999-). The Wards have not yet been identified,
but they are apparently not related to the de Renzis (Ryall 2001).
Henry Wellington Palmer, London,
to Thomas Palmer, 14 May 1850, letter announcing death of James, Sr. Refers
to "Mamma" as if she was the mother of both brothers No mention
of James, Jr.
Henry Wellington Palmer to
Thomas Palmer, fragment of an undated letter probably written after 1858
says: "I gave your letter to James.—He is a queer fellow, very odd,
but very like our poor Father in appearance; I know not what has become
of his children (he will not speak about them, & I fear they went
to the bad) except Ellen, who is married to an officer in the Canadian
Rifles, who was a sergeant in my Regiment, When I joined, a good sort
of but a Roman Catholic, which of course James does not like."
James Palmer, Jr., Rathmines,
57 Belgrave Square, Dublin, to William O’Toole, Wicklow, 17 February 1868,
"I am one of the brothers of poor Mr. Thomas Palmer—Mr. Taaffe handed
to me your letter and I regretted much to hear of the death of my brother.
The letter written by Mr. Palmer which you speak of was never received
by any one here. I had a letter lately from my brother Major Palmer who
is a Major of the 90th Regiment in the East Indies. He was well at that
time. I send to you his address for Mrs. Palmer in America and I shall
write to the Major by the next mail and tell him of his brother's death
and if you will by return post let me know Mrs. Palmer's address in America
I will write to her[.]"