Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Walter Palmer

Male Abt 1589 - 1661  (~ 72 years)

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  • Name Walter Palmer  [1, 2
    Born Abt 1589  [3
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Nov 1661  Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried Wequetequock Burial Ground, Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Person ID I11396  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2020 

    Family Rebecca Short,   d. 15 Jul 1671, Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Bef 1633  [3
    +1. Deacon Gershom Palmer,   b. 1644, Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Sep 1718, Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2016 
    Family ID F6777  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Arrived 1629 in Charlestown; first removed to Rehoboth in 1644, then to Stonington in 1653.

      In The Great Migration Begins (citation details below), Robert Charles Anderson demonstrated that no evidence exists to prove the parentage of Walter Palmer. In 2020, Perry Streeter ("Walter1 Palmer of the Great Migration: Probable Origins in Frampton, Dorset", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 174:21, Winter 2020) set forth the evidence against Charles Edward Banks's claim, endorsed by the Walter Palmer Society, that Palmer's origins were in Yetminster, Dorset. Streeter also put forth evidence suggesting the greater likelihood that Palmer's origins might be found in Frampton, Dorset, instead.

      Along with TNH ancestors William Chesebrough, Thomas Stanton, and George Denison, he was one of the founders of Stonington, Connecticut. His and Rebecca Short's descendants include Ulysses S. Grant, Lowell Weicker, and Nathaniel Brown Palmer (1799-1877), explorer, after whom Palmer Land on the Antarctic Peninsula is named.

      "On 28 September 1630 a coroner's jury met to 'inquire concerning the death of Austen Bratcher...dying lately at Mr. Cradock's plantation.' The jury found 'that the strokes given by Walter Palmer were occasionally the means of the death of Austen Bratcher, & so to be manslaughter.' Palmer was bound over for trial on 19 October, but at that court the case was continued to 9 November, at which time a trial was held, and the jury found Palmer not guilty." [The Great Migration, citation details below.] According to Wikipedia, Palmer's close friend William Chesebrough testified at the trial on his behalf.

      From Wikipedia:

      Palmer and Chesebrough took the Oath of a Freeman on May 18, 1631. [...] On August 24, 1643, Palmer and Chesebrough left Charlestown and started a new settlement called Seacuncke (later renamed Rehoboth). Palmer was among the first selectmen. When the settlement assigned itself to Plymouth Colony, the deputy elected to represent Rehoboth at the Plymouth court refused to serve because he preferred attachment to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Palmer was then appointed in his place.

      Palmer and Chesebrough were also dissatisfied with the Plymouth alignment, and sometime prior to 1653 John Winthrop, Jr. persuaded Chesebrough to relocate to southern Connecticut. Chesebrough obtained a 2,300-acre land grant in present-day New London, Connecticut; Palmer and his son-in-law Thomas Miner followed him and purchased land on the east bank of Wequetequoc Cove, across from Chesebrough, in present-day Mystic, Connecticut.

      In August 1652, Miner built his father-in-law and himself a house on their land; the next year, both their families joined them, and other settlers soon followed. The group struggled for years for self-rule. During that time, Palmer served as constable[4] and again as a selectman. It took until 1661 to build a church meetinghouse due to resistance from the General Court of Connecticut, which preferred the colonists travel across the river to New London. Palmer died two months after the meetinghouse was first used.

      The 300-year Stonington Chronology describes Palmer as the "...patriarch of the early Stonington settlers...(who) had been prominent in the establishment of Boston, Charlestown and Rehoboth, ...a vigorous giant, 6 feet 5 inches tall. When he settled at Southertown (Stonington) he was sixty-eight years old, older than most of the other settlers."

  • Sources 
    1. [S1361] Marcia Wiswall Lindberg, "The Breed Family." The Essex Genealogist 11:196, 1991; 12:30, 12:100, 12:211, 1992.

    2. [S756] Early New England Families Study Project: Accounts of New England Families from 1641 to 1700 by Alicia Crane Williams. Online database, New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    3. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    4. [S1364] page for Gershom Palmer.