The Continuing Mystery of Abraham Palmer, KY, 1820s

How many totally mysterious ancestors do you have in the family tree? I’m not talking about unknown parents, I mean a person for who you have a name, at least one record, but can’t find him/her in any other place or record?

I don’t have many of them, but my husband has one – Abraham Palmerwho has annoyed me for many years.

Dave’s 4X great grandmother, Vianna Palmer, married Amos Hamby on 1 January 1822 in Christian County, Kentucky.

Because she was under the age of 21 years, her father, Abraham Palmer, wrote a letter of permission.

Because there are tons of newly digitized and/or indexed records appearing on websites, I check every so often for new clues pertaining to old mysteries.

Recently, I was on FamilySearch and looked what popped up:

13 December 1826, Christian County, KY

Married by M. Bourland, M.G. (Minister of the Gospel) on 13 December 1826 in Christian County, Kentucky were Abraham Palmer and Polly Parker (alias Polly Collins).

This is just under five years after the marriage of Amos and Vianna on 1 January 1822.

Polly Parker’s alias is likely either her maiden name or a married name of a previous husband. There is no way to tell from the record which is which.

There are two pieces of good news here – I now have a second record which most probably belongs to Vianna (Palmer) Hamby’s father.

And – the fact that Polly Parker had a previous marriage means that Abraham and Polly are likely at least a bit older than couples marrying for the first time.

The bad news – I can still find no other evidence that Abraham Palmer ever existed.

No land records, no probate, no census entries, nothing.

Christian County tax records are excellent and men who are 21+ pay a poll tax whether or not they own land, cattle, horses, etc.

You would think that Abraham Palmer who married at the end of 1826 would appear in the 1827 tax list, if not in earlier lists.

Well, he is not found in 1826 or before that ime.

Are there Palmers to be found there in 1827? Yep – quite a few, actually.

We have:

William, no land
Samuel, no land
Alpheus, no land
Elisha, no land
Charles C., no land
Lewis D., 200 acres
Drury, no land
Mary, 250 acres

There is also an Edward, David and Harry running around in the later 1820s.

If you are thinking that Abraham might have died very soon after his 1826 marriage and that Mary could be his widow, I’ve eliminated that possibility.

Drury Palmer Sr. died in Christian County in 1819. The 1827 Drury is his son and lives next door to his mother, Mary.

Where does this leave me? With one more apparent record pertaining to Abraham Palmer but no evidence of who Polly Parker aka Collins belonged to and no idea what happened to either of them after 1826.

I’d absolutely love to know more about Abraham Palmer!


One thought on “The Continuing Mystery of Abraham Palmer, KY, 1820s”

  1. Having same problem as you with Abraham Palmer. I’m related to Amos Hamby/Vianna Palmer. I did find an 1820 census for Levina Palmer for Crab Orchard Lincoln, KY, which is about 3 hours from Christian County, KY. I know Vianna later went by Levina in the Census reports. I wondered if the 1820 Levina Palmer could be her mom. Interestingly, the Census only lists 4 females, no males. Vianna would have been around 15/16 at this year. Since she married 1822 and Abraham signed off on marriage, but no males in 1820 Census for Levina … this may be another rabbit hole. But you never know.
    I was also looking at a Quaker record in PA dated 4/14/1802 whereby an Abraham Palmer was disavowed for marrying a non-quaker woman (Pipe Creek meetings in Maryland but AP lived in London Grove Township). Didn’t say who he married. But date is sort of right as he could have moved to South Carolina after marriage. This is a longshot but found it interesting given how mysterious our Abraham Palmer seems to be. Anyway – thought I’d share even though may be other rabbit holes.

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