Louisa Palmer – a family survivor
Louisa – the daughter of Charles Palmer
By Clive Rodgers
Based on sources of information kindly provided by LeAnn Vallis Fekjan and Neil Rees
Charles Palmer, the second son of James and Rachel Palmer, married Ann Cutler Hedges (1838-1863) of Stewkley in 1857 and they raised their children in Swanbourne.
Elizabeth Fanny was born in 1858, but died in 1860, and Louisa Ann was born in 1859. In 1861 Charles and his wife Ann Palmer were living with their one year old daughter named Louisa Ann Palmer. Unfortunately, Mrs Ann Palmer died in 1863, aged 25.
In 1871 Charles Palmer was then living life as a widower, with his son Charles Richard (“Charlie”)who was born in 1861, and his daughter Louisa Ann Palmer. Both Louisa Ann and Charles Richard Palmer were christened at St Swithun’s Church, Swanbourne, in 1867, and the family lived in Church Street.
Charles Palmer died in Swanbourne in 1875 aged 51, leaving his two children Charles Richard Palmer and Louisa Ann Palmer on their own in Swanbourne. Then Charles Richard Palmer (“Charlie”) died in London in 1880, aged 19.
Charlie was a creative young man who gave his poems, paintings and drawings
to his beloved sister., Louisa Ann. From the Palmer family keepsake letters, it appears that Charlie attended school in Fenny Stratford. He loved drawing, painting and colouring. Some of Charlie’s paintings are shown here.
Louisa Ann Palmer
Barbarina Fremantle was the wife of Rear Admiral Edmund Fremantle. When in Swanbourne, she lived in The Cottage in Church Street. The letter shown below is from Barbarina Fremantle to Louisa. The ‘Charlie’ referred to is of course Louisa’s younger brother Charles who only lived to the age of 19. Charlie died at the Brompton Consumption Hospital and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.
By 1880, with her parents and her brother all dead, Louisa Ann Palmer was left alone in Swanbourne aged 21.
In 1883 she went to Nebraska to join her uncle Samuel James Palmer’s family in the USA. However, her uncle (Samuel Palmer) in Nebraska had already died in late 1877, but he was succeeded by his two son’s who had originally been born in Geelong, Australia, and had gone to Nebraska with their father; these were her first cousins.
In 1887 she married John Vallis at Lincoln, Nebraska, living at 3175 South 16th St, Lincoln, Nebraska. This is where she died in 1948.
The descendants of the Palmer family of Swanbourne now all live in the USA.
Sources:- Bucks Herald, Swanbourne parish registers, census returns, especially 1861.
Additional sources:- Ancestry website. The Swanbourne History Group is grateful for the sending of recent family information and photographic supplements very kindly supplied by LeAnn Vallis Fekjan, Great Granddaughter of Louisa Palmer.