Palmers and Millards



The Rich family were successful farmers for at most, or, all of the 19th Century. Three of the sons of John Rich and Frances Millard became farmers in their own right. One of the daughters, Sarah, probably married a farmer. It was usual at this time for farmers to marry farmers' daughters and vice versa. If not that, daughters of farmers tended to marry the better class of tradesmen.

On the face of it, it is rather surprising that Elizabeth Rich (b.1812) chose to become the partner of Abraham Palmer (b. Bleadon, 1803) who was described variously in the early days, as a labourer and shoemaker who had already married a Maria Small of Uphill in 1828. Maria, who signed the wedding register with a cross, had disappeared by the Census of 1841, and what became of her is still a mystery.

Be that as it may, by the time of the 1841 Census of Uphill, Abraham Palmer 35, was living with Elizabeth 27, George 4 and Abraham 2 months. The Parish records show 'Christening: May 5 1841, Abraham, son of Abraham and Elizabeth Palmer, Uphill, Labourer'.  The corresponding civil certificates of this and subsequent births show that Elizabeth was recorded as wife of Abraham and mother of all their later children. However, no Parish record has so far been found which settles the parentage of George or, indeed, identifies the date and place of an actual marriage of Abraham Palmer and Elizabeth Rich. The marriage is not in the Somerset marriage index but that of Abraham Palmer of Bleadon and Maria Small of Uphill in 1828 is.

Elizabeth Rich's mother was Frances Millard (b.Badgworth 1877 according to Census data). Some possible kinship connections between Palmers and Millards are shown in these documented events:

1. In the 1841 Census of Uphill, the household of Abraham Palmer also contains an entry for Hestor Millard, age 14, Female servant. She has been found to be the daughter of William Millard and Annuity(sic) Palmer who married at Hutton on 15 August 1812 (IGI reference).

Hestor Millard, was their seventh child b. 16 May 1828. Hutton is close to both Bleadon and Badgworth. Annuity, a strange name, may be a transliteration of Newely, another strange name, which was the birth name of Abraham Palmer's aunt b.1890 at Bleadon.

2. The second child of William Millard and Annuity Palmer, was James Millard b.26 March 1815 at Hutton. He married a Maria Palmer on 14 November 1833 at Hutton. (IGI)

These two events suggest that the Palmers and the Millards (Rich's) may have been related through common kinsmen before Abraham Palmer and Elizabeth teamed up.


John Dickens 1846-1927







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