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Burwell-born PALMERs in Lancashire


        What led me to this line of thought/research?   It was in March 2001 that I discovered the Burwell 
        PALMERs in Lancashire; completely by accident whilst looking at the 1881 Census Surname Index, 
        using place of birth as a finding aid - and found this bunch in Lancashire!
        On checking details, the names were right - they HAD to be part of my family.

        But it was the following reply to a posting in the English Fens Mailing List that really confirmed it for me: 

          "There is a list of Strays from Cambridgeshire found in Lancashire on the Genweb Cambridgeshire pages. 
           There are about 800 of them."

        And lo, and behold, in 1871, there was my Gt Gt Grandfather's younger brother William and his family 
        in Rossendale, working in a cotton mill.  Double-checking back to the C.F.H.S. 1861 Census transcription 
        for Burwell, the names and ages matched exactly. 

        William's occupation in 1861 was "Engine driver to Threshing Machine" - obviously an agricultural occupation!
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1871 UK Census CR1871 Rossendale, Lancashire RG10/4137 131b (from CFHS Strays Index - pg 26)
PALMER William Age 45 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Maria Age 39 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Delphiner Age 19 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER William Age 16 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Louis Age 15 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Stephen Age 12 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Harvey (should be Henry) Age 10 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Amelia Age 8 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER Sioed[?] (should be Frederick) Age 6 bn Cambridgeshire
PALMER George Age 4 bn Cambridgeshire
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BUT what took William, Maria and 8 young children aged from 19 down to 4 away from the South Cambridgeshire countryside to the cotton mills of Lancashire? Well, to quote a great-grandson of William & Maria:- ".....the Palmers came from Cambridgeshire to find work in Rawtenstall after there was a famine." Many families from the Fens moved to the industrial areas of Lancashire during the mid-late 1800's as the need for cheap labour grew in the Cotton areas and the numbers of unemployed agricultural workers increased. Lancashire millowners often struck deals with the Parish officials to move unemployed families north. This PALMER family moved to Rossendale sometime between 1867 when George was born in Burwell, and the time of the 1871 Census as William & Maria's youngest child, Alfred Edward was born in Lancashire in 1872. Then in January 2002, I received the following information from a descendant of Delphina PALMER: "William & Maria moved to Lancashire in 1868 with their family to work in the mills. The family had only been in the district about 3 1/2 years when Maria died leaving a 6 week-old baby, Alfred Edward. More tragic, 9 months later, William died leaving 9 children orphaned. The eldest child, Delphina, aged 20, left work to become mother to her younger brothers and sisters. The eldest brother, William, became father to them all. I have a newspaper cutting from 1938 which details all this information...............Delphiner, the eldest child, was my Great Grandmother." I am deeply-indebted to Renee, Delphina's Great-Grand Daughter; she has done a huge amount of PALMER research. With this new information, I was able to find the death registrations for William and Maria.
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By the 1881 UK Census, the family has moved from Rossendale; the elder children are married with families of their own, but they were altogether in the same area: Reedsholme Buildings, Higher Booths, Lancashire PRO Ref: RG11/ Piece 4133 Folio 37 Pgs 19 & 23
HADDAN Henry Head Age 25 bn Doddington, Cambs. Labourer At Print Works
HADDAN Delphina Wife Age 28 bn Burwell, Cambs. Housekeeper
HADDAN William Son Age 2 bn Higher Booths, Lancs .
HADDAN John Son Age 9m bn High Booth, Lancs .
PALMER William Head Age 26 bn Burwell, Cambs. Mule Spinner
PALMER Elizabeth A. Wife Age 27 bn Whittlesea, Cambs. Throstle Spinner, Cotton Mill
PALMER John W. Son Age 2 bn C. Booths, Lancs
PALMER Ernest Son Age 8m bn C. Booth, Lancs
PALMER Louis Head Age 24 bn Burwell, Cambs. Labourer in Cotton Mill
PALMER Ellen Maria Wife Age 27 bn Field Dalling, Norfolk Dressmaker
PALMER Annie Maria Daughter Age 2 bn Higher Booths, Lancs
TAYLOR Richard Head Age 53 bn Haslingden, Lancs. Labourer Print Works
HARDMAN Sarah A. Daughter Age 34 bn Haslingden, Lancs. Labourer W Print Works
PALMER Margaret A. Daughter Age 26 bn Burwell, Cambs. Mule Spinners Wife
PALMER Stephen Son-in-Law Age 26 bn Burwell, Cambs. Mule Spinner
PALMER Richard W. Grandson Age 9w bn C. Booths, Lancs.
PALMER George L.H. Grandson Age 9 bn Rawtenstall, Lancs. Scholar
PALMER Henry Head Age 20 bn Burwell, Cambs. Mule Spinner Cotton
PALMER Amelia Sister Age 18 bn Burwell, Cambs. Throstle Spinner (C M)
PALMER Frederick Brother Age 16 bn Burwell, Cambs. Labourer in Cotton Mill
PALMER George Brother Age 14 bn Burwell, Cambs. Labourer in Cotton Mill
PALMER Alfred Edward Brother Age 9 bn Higher Booths, Lancs. Scholar

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Cotton Mills - A description of life in a cotton mill Cotton Times - The Story of Cotton
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To read more about this family, follow the links below:
William's Siblings: .......................... William & Maria's children:
Stephen .......................... Delphena
Henry .......................... William
Mary .......................... Louis
Emmanuel & Susannah .......................... Stephen
Honor .......................... Henry
Louis .......................... Amelia
Phylldelfina .......................... Frederick
.......................... George
.......................... Alfred Edward
William & Maria Rawtenstall photos showing William, eldest son of William & Maria, and his young family. PALMER Home Page Return to Site Home Page & Index Contact Details - if you think you have any information that will help me with my research and these webpages.
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This page created 3 October 2001 & re-written 23 July 2003; Amended/updated 15:46 03/11/2013