52 Ancestors: #51 Nice. How I Opened the Door in Cousin Joe’s Brick Wall

Week 51 (December 17-23) – Nice. Define “nice” however you want to 🙂

After finding a Naughty set of 3rd great-grandparents in my own family tree last week I decided to be Nice and write about someone else’s ancestors this week.

As many of my readers know after writing 52 Ancestors: #14 Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913) ~ Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can I did a spin-off of the post with my weekly series Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can.

Most of the actors in the series are not related to me. My connection is through Albert Spencer LILLIE’s aunt Clementine GOWING, my 3rd great-grandmother.

Joe Rooney’s grandmother Florence ROYALTY, the daughter-in-law of Albert Spencer LILLIE, collected the photos and passed them on to a son and grandson. She plays the pivotal role in my organization of the collection and the order I have posted the photographs. Many were of family members but there were also people who were not related to her by blood. Did she have sentimental reasons for keeping them? Did she save them because the people were related to her step-mother Johanna PADDOCK?

Towards the end of November I began posting the PADDOCK photos. Mary, Ellen and Phebe, Sarah and Johanna PADDOCK were daughters of Tristam PADDOCK (1793-ca. 1870) and Charlotte PALMER (1797-aft. 1870) of Union County, Indiana.

Screenshot of Ancestral Quest 14 with Evernote annotations

To better understand all the relationships of persons found in the collection I entered them into my database, attached the photos, tagged them yellow for the collection (see above) and searched for census records, etc. to have bare bones facts on the connections.

In preparing the PADDOCK girls’ posts I made a discovery which makes so much sense but needed to be proved! I hadn’t paid attention to a very important detail in a message dated 2 August 2001 found on Genealogy.com.

http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/palmer/5161/ : accessed 17 December 2015

When I entered Charlotte PALMER I added the above message to her notes. In all the years since it was posted no response has been added. There was no further information on the “old bio from a Union Co. IN book.”

I had overlooked the statement that John PALMER went on to Arkansas and lived there until his death.

Florence ROYALTY’s parents were Samuel L. ROYALTY and Joanna PALMER. When I wrote the post with Joanna’s photo I did not know who her parents were. It seemed strange that Samuel’s first wife was a PALMER and his second wife’s mother was a PALMER. When I read the query again I remembered seeing Arkansas as the state of birth for Joanna PALMER in the 1860 and 1870 census. I suspected a connection to Charlotte PALMER but her being born in Nova Scotia put me off checking further.


1870censusroyalty 1870 > IL > Pope > Township 13 Range 6 > Golconda > Page No. 21 > HH#151-151 > lines 21-27; online http://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/ : accessed 2 June 2015

I hadn’t found an 1850 census listing for Joanna b. 1833 (year seen on her grave marker) in Arkansas. I hadn’t broadened the search or considered her age being listed as older or younger. A new search turned up Joanna PALMER age 15 (indexed as age 13) born in Arkansas in the household of John, born in New York, and Mary, born in Ohio, in Jefferson County, Arkansas.

1850censustop 1850 > AR > Jefferson > Richland Township > Sheets 150 and 151> HH#208-211 > lines 41-42 and 1-6; online http://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/ : accessed 22 November 2015

Charlotte PALMER, daughter of John PALMER, was born about 1797 in Nova Scotia. Charlotte’s father John lived in New York for some time prior to Charlotte’s marrying Tristam PADDOCK. John PALMER found in above 1850 listing was born about 1812 in New York. Could there be a connection?

I searched Jefferson County, Arkansas, for other PALMERs and found John PALMER age 86 born in England with a young lady Jane age 27 and a child Victoria age 5. On the 1850 slave schedule there was a John PALMER Sr. with 9 slaves and a John PALMER Jr. with 7 slaves listed on the same sheet. Assuming the Sr. and Jr. were not to differentiate between an older and younger man of the same name, I went with the theory that these men were father and son.

“Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11865-158316-43?cc=1417439 : accessed 18 December 2015), 0983892(004315537) > image 46 of 610; county offices, Arkansas.

I searched “Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957,” database with images at FamilySearch, and found John PALMER Sr. age 71 married Miss Jane FREEMAN age 25 in Jefferson County, Arkansas, in 1844. The index showed his age as 21 however the image has “seventy one years” written out.

The 1840 Jefferson AR census has Jno. and J. PALMER next door to each other and M. PALMER less than a dozen households away – this was a census done by visitation and not in alphabetical order. The J. PALMER household had one male and one female age 60-69 while the Jno. PALMER household had one male and one female age 20-29, 4 children under 10 which match the 1850 census for John Jr., and a young man age 15-19 (poss. a son of M. PALMER, a woman age 30-39 with 6 children between 5-19).

The 1830 Jefferson AR census has John PALMER Sr. and Henry PALMER. John’s household was made up of a male and a female age 60-70 and 2 males age 20-30. Henry’s household was made up of a male age 20-30, a female age 30-40, and 5 males under 10. A John Jr. was not found on this census. He may have been living in the household of John Sr. which would support my theory of their being father and son. Henry does not show up in later years. Without a marriage record I can only assume the lady M. in 1840 was his widow. In 1850 in Jefferson AR her name is seen as Margaret b. in Indiana about a dozen households away from John Jr. and Sr. who had one household between them.

Going back further, in 1820 John PALMER was found in Clark County, Indiana, with a household consisting of a male and a female age over 45, a male and a female 16-25, a male and a female age 10-15, a male and a female under 10, and 2 slaves. The move from Indiana to Arkansas took place between 1825-1829 (birthplaces of sons of Henry and Margaret found on the 1850 census).

Everything fell in place when I finally found the “old bio from a Union Co. IN book.”

                              Rev. Charles R. Paddack
The History of Nantucket says: “Finding that the people of Cape Cod had made greater proficiency in the art of whale-catching than themselves, the inhabitants, in 1690, sent thither and employed a man named Ichabod Paddack, to instruct them in the best manner of killing whales and extracting their oil.” Thus commenced the Nantucket history of this family. We can not trace the lines from Charles R. Paddack to Ichabod. The great-grandfather of Charles, however, was Benjamin Paddack, of whom little is known. Joseph Paddack, son of Benjamin, was born in Nantucket about 1757, and died in his ninety-second year, in Center township, Union county, Indiana. He was engaged in fisheries at Nantucket and somewhat in whaling. He married Amy Folger and they had these children, possibly others: Mary (Mrs. Joseph Whippey); Hepzibah, who was three times married, the last union being with one Webb; Phebe, twice married, the last husband being Charles Mitchell; Tristram, father of Charles R.; Eliza died single; Joseph, captain of a whaler for many years, became wealthy and lived and died at Newport, Rhode Island; Alice became the wife of Charles G. Swain, who was a local Methodist preacher, cashier of two prominent banks in Dayton, Ohio, and judge of probate; Reuben was the youngest child. Tristam and Reuben early settled in Union county, Indiana, and passed the most of their lives there, Reuben, however, removing to Henry county and dying there, after a few years’ residence, at an advanced age.
The war of 1812 reduced the people of Nantucket almost to destitution, and many families left the island for the fertile Ohio Vally. Of this number was Joseph Paddack and family, who made their home in Cincinnati. Staying there but a few years, Mr. Paddack came to Union county, Indiana, which remained his home until his death in his ninety-second year; he survived his wife a number of years. Both were lifelong members of the Society of Friends. Tristram Paddack, born in Nantucket, July 7, 1793, followed the fortunes of his father’s family until his marriage, in Cincinnati, June 16, 1816, to Charlotte, daughter of Captain John Palmer, who was a son of Lord Palmer, of England. Commanding a British war vessel, he was defeated by an American ship, left the service and settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Mrs. Paddack was born, March 4, 1797. Her father emigrated to Chenango county, New York, lived there for a time, then in one of the western counties of the state, and from there removed to Cincinnati, where Mrs. Paddack became acquainted with her future husband. The young couple commenced housekeeping in Cincinnati, where Mr. Paddock for some time operated an “ox” sawmill. Captain Palmer and Mr. Paddack soon, however, purchased a gristmill property at Jeffersonville, Indiana, but on account of a flaw in the deed they lost the money invested, and Mr. Paddack returned to Union county, where he purchased the Caleb Wickersham farm, in Center township, where his children, Charles and Ellen, now reside. Mr. Paddack was a birthright Friend, but on his marriage to a Methodist he was disowned by the Quakers. He did not unite with any other sect, but lived by himself in accordance with the high standard of morality and purity inculcated by the Friends and was well known for his blameless life. He was once elected justice of the peace, but paid his fine rather than serve. From the time of its purchase until his death, November 4, 1870, in his eight-fourth year, he resided on his farm, and now lies peacefully at rest in the Friends’ burying ground at Salem. His wife survived him nineteen years, dying in 1889, and was buried at the side of her husband. She was converted in early life and was for over seventy-five years a valued member of the Methodist church. To illustrate her sterling character we will state that after losing the mill property at Jeffersonville, her father removed to Arkansas, and became very wealthy and an extensive slave-owner. From her opposition to slavery she could not consent to be enriched by its profits, and in consequence received but a small part of her portion of her father’s estate. To this worthy couple were born these children: The three eldest, Lydia, George, and John, died in infancy; George (2d), Mary, Phebe H. and Johanna (Mrs. Samuel L. Royalty) all are now dead. Joseph H. lives near the old home in Center township; Sarah M. married first Job Harris, and elder in the Friends Society; secondly, Elisha Bracey, and lives in Randolph county; Ellen resides on the homestead farm; and Charles R. and Benjamin F. are now residents of Randolph county.

[Source: transcribed 16 December 2015 by Cathy Meder-Dempsey from Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana Volume II, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899, pg. 912-915 online https://archive.org/stream/biographicalgenefu02lewi#page/n445/mode/2up/search/Paddack]

Charlotte’s father John PALMER was a slave owner per this biographical sketch and matches up with the 1820 census in Indiana and 1850 in Arkansas of his owning slaves. The 1830 and 1840 census did not have information recorded on the second page where ticks for slaves would be found.

In 1860 I did not locate John PALMER Jr. and Sr. in Jefferson County, Arkansas. Jane PALMER was found in Jefferson in 1860, without young Victoria. The 1860 slave schedule had two slave holders named PALMER, both ladies. One was Jane PALMER who was most likely the widow of John Sr. and had inherited his slaves. The other was Mrs. Silinary PALMER born in SC, wife of Wm B. PALMER born in NC. Margaret PALMER was also still in the county with her children and did not have slaves.

Since I did not find John Jr. in Jefferson County or anywhere in Arkansas in 1860, I expanded my search criteria by looking for the children. The use of wildcards helped me to locate Mary PARMER (sic) born in Ohio with her daughters Araminta and Margaret, both born in Arkansas, three households away from Samuel L. ROYALTY and his wife Joanna PALMER in Rising Sun, Ohio County, Indiana. I had overlooked them as the surname was not spelled correctly. I should have noticed Joanna was not the only person born in Arkansas on the page.

This could not be a coincidence — Mary PALMER, mother of girls named Joanna, Araminta, and Margaret on the 1850 census was found with two of the girls only a few households away from Joanna. Mary PALMER had to be Joanna’s mother.

I quickly located Joanna’s mother Mary PALMER (1809-1887) in the 1870 and 1880 census as well as on Find A Grave. On the 1880 census sheet in column 15 Mary is listed with “Cancer in face” and in column 20 she is marked as “Maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled.” Hopefully, Mary did not suffer too much from the time of the 1880 census until her death in 1887, if the year on Find A Grave is correct.

On Find A Grave I found a Samuel W. PALMER who died on 17 May 1856 and was buried in the same cemetery as Mary PALMER. Although no age or date of birth was found I believe this is the son seen on the 1850 census. No trace of John Jr.’s son Henry has been found.

These findings helped to fill in the family timeline. I already knew Joanna married in Rising Sun on 5 April 1856. The relocation of the PALMER family from Arkansas back to Indiana was narrowed down to after the 1850 census and before Joanna’s marriage in 1856.

Since John PALMER Sr. and Jr. both owned slaves I checked Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 for Jefferson County for the period 1850-1856. In Administration and guardian bonds 1850-1859 I found records proving John Jr. had died without a will, his widow Mary PALMER was appointed the guardian of the children Joanna, Henry, Samuel W., Araminta, and Margaret. She was also appointed the administrator of John Jr.’s estate. In Wills 1839-1898 vol 1 and Wills 1849-1863 vol B I found the last will and testament of John PALMER Sr. (more on this below). In the Dockets 1852-1858 vol D-E I found the probate of John PALMER’s will, Mary PALMER’s request for appointment as administrator of her deceased husband’s estate and guardianship of the children of John PALMER Jr. who died on or about 28 April 1852. This puts the move back to Indiana at between 1853-1856.

Mary and John’s youngest child John age 1 in 1850 was not listed for guardianship and must have died following the census and before 18 January 1853 when Mary was appointed the guardian of Joanna, Henry, Samuel, Araminta, and Margaret.

The Last Will and Testament of John PALMER Sr.

Last Will and Testament of John PALMER Sr. (part 1)
Last Will and Testament of John PALMER Sr. (part 2)
Last Will and Testament of John PALMER Sr. (part 2)

Know all men by these presents that I John Palmer, Senr in the County of Jefferson, and State of Arkansas, Gentleman, being in good health, and of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by and at any time hereford made.
First – I hereby constitute and appoint my Wife Jane Palmer to be my Sole Executrix of this my last will, directing my said executrix to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies hereafter given out of my Estate.
Second – After the payment of my said debts and funeral Expenses I will and bequeath to each of my children or their heirs as follows, (to wit) I will and bequeath to Henry S. Allen and Mary Allen his wife or their heirs the sum of Six hundred dollars, one hundred and fifty dollars of said sum
which I have paid them as per receipt is to be deducted out of said sum of six hundred dollars leaving only a balance of four hundred and fifty dollars to be paid them by me aforesaid executrix.
I will and bequeaths to the heirs of Henry Palmer deceased and Margaret Lusk, who was wife of the said Henry Palmer, deceased, one hundred dollars ($100. 00/000)
I will and bequeath to Tristam Paddock and his wife Sharlotte Paddock and their heirs one hundred dollars.
I have willed, bequeathed and settled with my son John Palmer Jr. by me deeding him forty acres of land off this back part of my farm and four hundred and fifty dollars in cash which I have already paid him as per receipt and deed. I also will and bequeath to the said John Palmer Jr. ten dollars, to be paid to each of them as soon after my decease but within one year, as conveniently may be done.
Third – And for the payment of the legacies aforesaid I give and devise all of the balance of my real and personal estate to my beloved wife Jane Palmer (the aforesaid Executrix) and Victoria Palmer, my daughter by her, to have and to hold jointly by them and their heirs forever.
In testimony where of I hereunto set my hand and seal and publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament, in the presence of the witnesses named hereafter, this 4th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty.
John Palmer Sr. (seal)

[Source: transcribed 18 December 2015 by Cathy Meder-Dempsey from “Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32493-28699-33?cc=2061549 : accessed 18 December 2015), Jefferson > Wills 1839-1898 vol 1 > image 91 of 449; county courthouses, Arkansas.]

The Last Will and Testament of John PALMER Sr. proves his children were:

  • Mary, wife of Henry S. ALLEN who died bef. 10 August 1853
  • Henry, husband of Margaret LUSK (predeceased John Sr.)
  • Charlotte, wife of Tristam PADDOCK
  • John Jr., husband of Mary (maiden name unknown), and father of Joanna, Henry, Samuel, Araminta, Margaret, and John (dec’d)

Samuel L. ROYALTY married two granddaughters of John PALMER Sr., first Joanna PALMER, daughter of John Jr., and second Johanna PADDOCK, daughter of Charlotte. No wonder Florence saved all of the photographs of her step-mother’s (her first cousin once removed) family.

.                 Lines of Descent from John PALMER Sr. & Unknown
.                               |                                                         |
.                               |                                                         |
.Mary md. John PALMER Jr. b.1812      Charlotte PALMER b.1797 md. Tristam PADDOCK
.                              |                                                                                |
.                              |                                                                                |
.    Joanna PALMER b.1833 md. Samuel L. ROYALTY md.(2) Johanna PADDOCK b.1829
.                                             |
.                                             |
.       Florence ROYALTY–md.–Isaac Spencer “Ike” LILLIE
.                                             |
.                                             |
.   Ruby Pernecia LILLIE–md.–Francis James ROONEY
.                                              |
.                                              |
.                                      Cousin Joe

grandmaroyaltyWhich brings me to another question. Was this photograph of “Grandmother Royalty” Joanna PALMER (1833-1874), Johanna PADDOCK (1829-1892), or maybe even Joanna’s mother Mary [–?–] PALMER (1809-1887)?

Thank you Cousin Joe for entrusting me with your Grandmother Florence’s collection of photographs. Who would have known they would be the key to open the doors in several of your brick walls:

  • Samuel L. ROYALTY’s mother Sarah LUNDERMON
  • Joanna PALMER’s parents Mary and John PALMER Jr. and her grandfather John PALMER Sr.

Cousin Joe, I think I’ll leave it up to someone else to make the connection between Ichabod PADDACK and Benjamin PADDACK, Samuel L. PADDOCK’s grandfather.

Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.


Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

10 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #51 Nice. How I Opened the Door in Cousin Joe’s Brick Wall”

  1. Cathy, from the cap the unknown lady is wearing to her hair parted down the middle and drawn tightly to her head, along with the generous amount of fabric in her dress, this looks very much like an early Civil War era photo. Then I noticed the decorative hand coverings. I have several reference books on dating old photos and there is one picture with a young woman wearing the exact same style of hand gloves (or whatever they were called because they certainly weren’t used for warmth.) The reference photo subject was not only identified, but the picture dated as 1857. My guess is that the woman might be Mary, born 1809. She looks older than the daughters would have been at the start of the Civil War. As usual, great sleuthing and I loved their story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Linda for looking this up. When I originally posted the photo I described her clothing and thought it was Civil War era. Now that I know her mother was in the area I wonder… I need to lay them all out on my dining room table and play around with them. Maybe I’ll notice something I missed while viewing only the digital copies. Thank you for the praise. Happy holidays to you and yours.


  2. What a fascinating family story…and a very encouraging one. I’ve also been going back and taking a “second” look at my documentation, names, birthplaces, etc. where I have huge gaps and in my search have also uncovered a number of old postings that have led me down the path of discovery…postings and documents that previously did not hold a meaning, now hold a key towards “opening doors in those brick walls”!!! Thanks so much for your continued efforts which encourages us to keep on seeking the possibilities!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sharen. I definitely feel the same way. Through the years I’ve learned to seek out the true source of information found in those queries and messages. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not.
      I’m happy to hear my efforts encourage you!
      Thanks for commenting. Wishing you all the best.


  3. Once again, I am blown away by your research. I love how you use logic to make sense of those old census records where individuals in a household were not named. I don’t have many of these since most of my family came to the US after 1860, so it’s fascinating to see how you use them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am happy that my original post was of some help. I am still searching for Charlotte’s mother and information on John Sr in Nova Scotia. You have helped me fill out more on my tree and I am very grateful for that. Hope to hear from you in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ron,
      What a wonderful surprise! Thank you so much for posting a comment. I’m glad to hear you have been able to fill out more on your tree. We can keep in touch if I happen to make any progress. This is not my direct line. I only worked on it because of the collection of photographs.


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