Palmer Family History

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Palmer Name Meaning

English: from Middle English, Old French palmer, paumer (from palme, paume ‘palm tree’, Latin palma), a nickname for someone who had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Such pilgrims generally brought back a palm branch as proof that they had actually made the journey, but there was a vigorous trade in false souvenirs, and the term also came to be applied to a cleric who sold indulgences. Swedish (Palmér): ornamental name formed with palm ‘palm tree’ + the suffix -ér, from Latin -erius ‘descendant of’. Irish: when not truly of English origin (see 1 above), a surname adopted by bearers of Gaelic Ó Maolfhoghmhair (see Milford) perhaps because they were from an ecclesiastical family. German: topographic name for someone living among pussy willows (see Palm 2). German: from the personal name Palm (see Palm 3).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Palm, Balmer, Almer, Paley, Hammer, Galler, Kalmer, Hamer, Palmero

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Palmer Family Origin

Where is the Palmer family from?

Palmer Family Occupations

What did your Palmer ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, a less common occupation for the Palmer family was Carpenter. The most common Palmer occupation in the USA was Farmer. 35% of Palmer's were Farmers. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Palmer.

View Census data for Palmer | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Carpenter


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Palmer ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Palmer Historical Records

What Palmer family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Palmer. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Palmer census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Palmer

Passenger List

There are 145,000 immigration records available for the last name Palmer. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Palmer immigration records

Draft Card

There are 208,000 military records available for the last name Palmer. For the veterans among your Palmer ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Palmer military records

You've only scratched the surface of Palmer family history.

Palmer Life Expectancy

What is the average Palmer lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Palmer life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Palmer in 1940 was 39, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Palmer

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Palmer ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Palmer Family Ancestors

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