The Palmore surname appeared during the earliest years of both Cumberland and Buckingham Counties, Virginia. It was spelled several ways including Palmore, Palmer and Parmer. The Palmores may have descended from one of the Palmer families who lived in 17th century Colonial Virginia. There were at least 15 different adult Palmer males who came to the Colony of Virginia between 1623-1666. John and Thomas Palmer were jointly granted 365 acres of land in Westmoreland County, Virginia on March 23, 1664. In 1667, they were listed as John and Thomas Palmore, landowners in Stafford County, Virginia. Their land adjoined Robert Howson, described as being on the “South Side of Upper Machotique River Dam” near the Horse Path and Bridge. These two citations are important because they show two spellings, Palmer and Palmore, for the same persons during a very early period of time. We have no way of knowing whether John and Thomas Palmore were brothers or father-son. Neither can we prove at this time their relationship with the Palmores who later settled in Cumberland County, Virginia.
One reason why we know less about the Palmores in Virginia is due to the destruction of records in numerous counties, including Buckingham County whose records burned in a courthouse fire in 1869. My information is based on the earliest land patent records and information constructed from court records in Cumberland County plus the surviving tax and personal property records (1782-1870) of Buckingham County that were submitted to the Commonwealth in Richmond. These tax records were not kept prior to 1782. Unfortunately, few private records have survived, which creates a difficult research task.
One James Palmore Sr. was a landowner in Buckingham County before 1782 and until his death in 1796. One John Palmore Sr. died in Buckingham County in 1789. A John Palmore Jr. died in the same county in 1837, after being a land owner from 1782 or earlier. William Palmore of Cumberland County owned land in Buckingham County from 1782 (or earlier) to 1792 when he sold 200 acres to William Johnston Berryman. This may have been the William Palmore who married Elizabeth Boatwright. Isaac Palmore owned land from 1782 (or earlier) until 1828 when he sold to G(arland) Brown. Nixon Palmore owned land in Buckingham County from 1788-1793. Joseph Palmore owned land on David’s Creek, 18 miles west of the Buckingham County Courthouse, from 1782 until his death in 1804-1805. This may have been the Joseph Palmore who married Sally Price, daughter of Joseph Price, July 8, 1774 in Cumberland County, Virginia. The estate of Joseph L. Palmer was not settled until 1838, when it was divided between Ann Bellamy and Polly Bowles (of Tennessee), who both received 100 acres. This land was located 18 miles southwest of Buckingham Court House (then known as Maysville). Isham Palmore owned land in the same county from 1810 until his death in 1823.
The name Palmore surfaced in several adjoining counties. Elijah Palmore married Judith Hubbard on July 24, 1783 in Amelia County, Virginia. Frances Palmore married Benjamin Lewis on March 21, 1791 in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Elizabeth Palmer, daughter of John Palmer, married Richard Marot Booker on Nov. 22, 1770 in Amelia County. Benjamin Palmore settled in Bedford County, Virginia during the colonial period. Marriage records of his nine children, dating from 1790-1819 are found in Bedford County records. A William Palmore filed his will in Cumberland County in 1786. One of his sons was named Fleming Palmore, whose name was passed down to descendants in Cumberland County.
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