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.

Louise Ann Palmer as a child

Louisa Ann Palmer as a child

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.

The dog

Charlie Palmer (aged 14) drawing and painting of a dog.

Charlie Palmer aged 14 drawing & painting1

Charlie Palmer (aged 14) drawing & painting of a domestic cock.

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.

B. Freemantle letter page 2.

Barbarina Fremantle letter page 2.

B. Freemantle letter page1

Barbarina Fremantle letter page 1.

Louisa Ann Palmer, Samuel Palmer's niece; 1859-1948.

Louisa Ann Palmer, Samuel Palmer’s niece; 1859-1948.

Louise Ann Palmer aged 16

Louise Ann Palmer aged 16

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.

Louise Ann Palmer aged 23, soon after arrival in Nebraska.

Louise Ann Palmer aged 23, soon after emigration from Swanbourne to Nebraska.

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.

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