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Descendants of Jareb Palmer and Esther Rice
of Canton Twp., Bradford Co., Pennsylvania

Generation One

     75. Jareb1 Palmer was born between 1755 and 1765 possibly in Stonington, New London Co., CT;109,1,110,111 married Esther Rice 22 May 1787 in Tinmouth, Rutland Co., VT;109 he died circa 1828 , the year in which his estate first appears in the Canton Twp. tax assessments in Canton Twp., Bradford Co., PA.5

     Jareb Palmer, whose name appears in various records as Jareb, Jerub, Jared, and even Jacob, was the third of the Palmer progenitors to appear in the Bradford County area. His family is the best documented, thanks in large part to the efforts of great-great-granddaughter Gertrude Palmer Kelley and other descendants of Jareb's son Russell. Exact dates of birth, marriage, and death may be found online at <http://www.familysearch.org> (FamilySearchTM Ancestral File) or in a variety of WorldConnect family trees. My research tends to agree with these references, but since none include source documentation, I have not used their information in this analysis. Palmer family researchers will find some differences in comparing this narrative with the online references and should contact submitters for documentation before copying the material wholesale.

     Gertrude Palmer Kelley's story, "The Palmer Family of Leroy", appeared in The Settler in May 1987. The article is a series of reminiscences, Gertrude's and her father's, and is a little confusing as the point of view changes frequently without warning. Gertrude begins the introduction: "Jereb Palmer was my great-great grandfather. In 1813, he with his oldest son Stephen, made a trip from Tinmouth, Vermont, to Troy, Pa. They rode horses and grandfather carried a gun he had used in the War of 1812 from which he had just returned."

     Gertrude's father, Harry Fred Palmer, provided the following. Jareb Palmer married Esther Rice at Tinmouth, Vermont, on May 22, 1787. "They had "ten children, two of whom were buried in Vermont. The rest all came together to live in Alba in 1814."109 The eight surviving children are identified as Esther, Stephen, Russell, Fanny, Charlotte, Louise, Nathan, and David.

     The 1790 census of Rutland Co., VT, actually taken in 1791, includes three Palmer (entered as Parmer) heads of household in Tinmouth: Jared, Jukoniah, and Simeon.112 Jared Parmer appears in Tinmouth in 1800 as Jerub Palmer110 and in 1810 as Jareb Palmer.111 No Jareb Palmer is enumerated in Tinmouth in 1820, but a Jareb Palmer household, consistent with that in earlier censuses, now appears in Canton Twp., Bradford Co., PA.113 Jareb appears for the first time in Canton records in the Canton Twp. tax list of 1814. The names Stephen and Russell Palmer appear with him on that list.5 Both censuses and tax lists support the introductory information provided by Mrs. Kelley. An analysis of these early censuses places Jareb's birth between 1755 and 1765; his children's entries in 1880 censuses state his birthplace as Connecticut25 or Vermont.25 Jareb Palmer appears on the Canton tax lists from 1814 until, in 1828, the entry states "Palmer Jareb Estate of", confirming his death by that date.5 (Jareb Palmer family census table).

     Jareb was probably born in Connecticut, perhaps Stonington as Mrs. Kelly states, or Branford as stated in the Ancestral File. He moved to Vermont, though, some time before his enlistment in Ira Allen's regiment during the Revolutionary War. His name appears on the pay roll of Capt. Elijah Galusha's company dated 29 Oct 1782, receiving 1-17-4 pounds payment. He was part of the company "that went into Windham County to assist the Sheriff in taking a number of Prisoners in September last."114 His wife, Esther Rice, was supposedly a relative of Ethan Allen of Green Mountain Boys fame. Although this may prove to be true, family researchers should always take such claims with a grain of salt. Bradford County grantor indexes do show that Jareb's wife was Esther52, but documentation of her maiden name will probably require a search of Tinmouth, Vermont, records.

     Children. Direct evidence, or very strong indirect evidence, exists to document most of the eight surviving children of Jareb and Esther Palmer. The picture of the family presented by the federal census enumerations requires some explanations, but it does support eight children, four boys and four girls. Note first that the 1790 census enumeration includes two boys and one girl. Vermont's census was actually taken in 1791, so the second boy is probably Russell, born in March 1791. Despite the fact that Russell appears on the 1790 census, he was only nine years old in 1800, and is recorded as less than ten years old. Nathan Palmer was born in June 1800. He is probably the second boy under ten in that census (official date 4 August 1800). It's likely that Nathan, just barely ten years old in 1810, is recorded in that census as under ten as well. Russell, Nathan, David, Esther, Charlotte, Fanny, and Louise have all been located in the 1850 federal census or later censuses. Stephen, the only one of the eight not listed here, died before 1830. All seven list their birth places as Vermont and their stated ages correspond to the age ranges in earlier censuses. (Jareb Palmer family census table).

     The census information supports the Jareb Palmer family picture, but it is inferential only. Stronger evidence as to parentage includes the following. First, Charlotte Palmer, called the daughter of Jareb Palmer, married Elihu Case in Troy in 1814.115 The 1825 Canton Twp. tax list shows that Jareb's property had been transferred to Nathan Palmer, the latter paying the taxes for that year only.5 David Palmer's property listed in 1829 is virtually identical to the Jareb Palmer estate of the preceding year, suggesting that David, if not heir to the entire property was at least responsible for the taxes.5 It's unlikely that taxes would be paid by anyone but a member of the immediate family. Despite the lack of a direct statement, Nathan and David were paying taxes on their father's property. Stephen and Russell Palmer appear on tax lists together, buy property together, and are enumerated next to each other in the federal census of 1820. This suggests a close relationship; their similar ages identifies them as brothers. Esther Armstrong is identified as the oldest daughter of Jareb Palmer by Kelley. This same woman, born in Vermont, is enumerated with David Palmer in the 1860 and 1870 federal censuses. This supports the sibling relationship between the two and David is known to be Jareb's son. Esther's age matches the Kelley statement that she was the Palmer's oldest daughter. The published biography of Ephraim H. Watkins identifies his mother as Fanny Palmer, born in Vermont, a former resident of Bradford Co., PA. Her father is not named, but she is too old to be a daughter of Abraham Palmer and does not fit into the known family pattern of David Palmer. I have found no original source identifying Louise, wife of Joel Rennells, as Louise Palmer, daughter of Jareb, but her son Joel was born in Bradford County in 1834, marking her husband as the Joel Rennells enumerated next to Stephen and Russell Palmer in 1820.

     Esther Rice was born between 1765 and 1774.109,110,111

     Like her husband, Esther was probably born in Connecticut and moved to Vermont with her family when young. Census data places her birth between 1765 and 1774. Given the fact that she was married with three children by 1791, a date closer to 1765 is probably reasonable. She is probably the adult female in Jareb's household in each census from 1790 through 1820. Although online sources claim that Esther died in 1840, she is not enumerated as head of household in 1830 and is not readily apparent in her children's households; however, not all those households have been located. Her burial place is not known by this author.

     Known children of Jareb1 Palmer and Esther Rice were as follows:

  • i. Esther2 Palmer was born 22 October 1787 in VT;26,28,101 married James Armstrong say 1815; she died 18 June 1875 probably in Troy Twp., Bradford Co., PA;109,101 buried in Alba Cemetery, Alba, Bradford Co., PA.109,101
  • 76. ii. Stephen Palmer, born say 1789 Tinmouth, Rutland Co., VT; married Harty White.
  • 77. iii. Russell Palmer, born 19 March 1791 Rutland, Rutland Co., VT; married Sylvia Case.
  • 78. iv. Fanny Palmer, born 5 June 1794 Tinmouth, Rutland Co., VT; married Ephraim H. Watkins.
  • 79. v. Charlotte Palmer, born 30 May 1796 Tinmouth, Rutland Co., VT; married Elihu Case.
  • 80. vi. Louise Palmer, born circa 1798 VT; married Joel Rennells.
  • 81. vii. Nathan Palmer, born 7 June 1800 Rutland Co., VT; married Matilda Griffin; married Elizabeth Gray.
  • 82. viii. David Palmer, born circa 1806 VT; married Clarinda (--?--); married Betsey Jackson.

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