Christian (—?—) (Palmer)1,2

b. 1654, d. 28 September 1740

6th great-grandmother of William Lemuel Horn Jr.
8th great-grandmother of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Horn and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for William Lemuel Horn II
     Christian (—?—) (Palmer) was born in 1654 in Cleveland, Yorkshire, England.2 Christian married John Palmer circa 1683 in England.1 She died 28 7m 1740 (28 September 1740) in Fallsington, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.3
NOTE: In most records her given name is written "Christian;" in a few, "Christiana" or "Christianna." In all the records searched to date, her surname is nowhere mentioned, but some researchers say it was Joses.

     The Society of Friends, or Quakers, grew out of the religious ferment of seventeenth century England. William Penn, who had shocked his upper-class associates by his conversion to the beliefs of the then persecuted sect, but remained socially acceptable because he was trusted by the Duke of York, later King James II, used his inherited wealth and rank to benefit and protect his fellow believers. To that end he petitioned and was granted land between Lord Baltimore's province of Maryland and the Duke of York's province of New York. The King signed the Charter of Pennsylvania, so named by him to honor Penn's father, on 4 March 1681, and it was officially proclaimed on 2 April.4

     Quaker organization is characterized by a pyramid of business meetings differentiated by how frequently they meet, the fundamental unit being the monthly meeting for business. Meetings for worship were held in local communities under the oversight of the Monthly Meeting. Friends became members of a meeting in one of three ways, request by non-members of the Society of Friends, transfer from another meeting, or birthright. They also left a meeting in one of three ways, removal to another Quaker meeting, death or disownment. Each time a Friend in good standing moved his membership from one meeting to another, he took with him a transfer certificate from his home meeting and presented it to the meeting he wished to join, which was almost always the one nearest his home.

     Just before the end of of October 1683, the Providence, Robert Hopper (Hooper), master, a small ship, less than 50 tons burthen, came from Scarborough on the east coast of Yorkshire. It had crossed the ocean the year before, having first stopped at London to pick up a passenger or two and some cargo for Pennsylvania. This time it skipped London—no mention of goods loaded on it consigned to Pennsylvania is to be found in the London port books—and apparently headed directly for the Delaware. Aboard were at least two Quaker families, both of which registered their arrival, giving the date as 10 9m (November) 1683. But warrants of survey had been granted to the two families ten days before on 31 8m 1683, for land which was surveyed in Bucks County 7 9m 1683. These must have been obtained when the ship first dropped anchor, and the arrival date they gave was when they were actually on their own land in Falls township.5,6,7,8

     The two known families were John Palmer of "Cheadland" [Cleveland] in Yorkshire, husbandman, and Christian his wife, and Joshua Hoopes "of Skelton in Clunland" [Cleveland], Yorkshire, husbandman and Isabell his wife. Children: Daniel, Mary and Christian Hoopes. It is not known if the families were related by anything other than circumstance. According to most sources, John and Christiana (or "Christian" as it is often written) settled in Makefield township, now Lower Makefield township, rather than the adjoining township of Falls. Both the Palmers and the Hoopes joined Falls Monthly Meeting.5,7,8,9

     On the Second of Third Month, 1683, a few months before John and Christiana arrived in America, probably as newlyweds, Falls Monthly Meeting, the first religious organization in Bucks County, was formed with permission from Burlington Meeting located across the Delaware. Friends living in that area had held meetings for worship in their different homes since 1680, and that practice no doubt continued as the first meeting house wasn't built until 1692 at Fallsington. Later that same year, 1683, members of Falls who lived at or near Middletown petitioned to "have a meeting at the Neshamina." In December 1684 the first Neshamina Meeting was held. Although it retained that name until 1706 when it was renamed Middletown Monthly Meeting, all of the records are generally under the latter name.

     John Palmer and his wife Christian brought a certificate dated 4 3m 1683 (4 May 1683) from "Gilburgh Monthly Meeting held at Rowsby" (Guisborough, Roxby, in the North Riding of Yorkshire), which was entered in the records of Falls Monthly Meeting.10,11,10 The date they were received at Falls is not entered in the records. The certificate reads in part:
This is to acquaint whom it may concern, John Palmer ye bearer hereof was born at Hutton Rudby near Stokesley, in Clevland, in Yorkshire in Old England, and there descended of honest parents and from his childhood hath honestly demeaned himself and not lead or debauch company, having lived with his father till about ye age of twenty four years in honest and godly duties and obedience to him and his mother.9
     Elsewhere in the Falls records it appears as follows:
From Gilsburg monthly meeting for John Balmer (Palmer), born at Hatton ...near Storby in Yorkshire in Old England, having lived with his father till about the age of 24 years, about which time he began to frequent the meeting of the people called Quakers and for those three years and half, hast lived with one John Robinson near Gainsborough within the said county.12
     John Robinson brought a certificate bearing the same date from the Monthly Meeting in "Gainsborough" to Falls Meeting, and must have also come on the Providence. There is no further record of him."13,10

     The births of all the Palmer children are recorded in the records of Middletown Monthly Meeting, and the youngest two are also recorded in the Falls records.14 This is somewhat of a mystery because John is named in several sources as an original settler at Falls or Makefield, but is nowhere mentioned as a settler at Middletown. By today's reckoning, the townships are minutes apart, but at that early date, ten or so miles through the woods was quite a distance (see map). Also, transfer certificates for removal to or from Middletown Monthly Meeting have not been located, and the family once again begins to appear in the Falls records in 1705. John and Christian's deaths are recorded in the Falls records.

     UPDATE: The "mystery" is probably solved by a message posted 20 February 2006 on the RootsWeb Quaker board by Christopher Densmore, Curator, Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. In response to a discussion about birth dates recorded in Hinshaw, he wrote:
Remember, Hinshaw is an index, not the actual records. Births and deaths are rarely if ever recorded in older meeting MINUTES. Such information would be recorded in membership registers of various forms. Just because a membership record of one meeting records birth and/or death dates, doesn't mean that the individual was born or died as a member of that particular meeting. It is evidence that they were (probably) at one time a member of the meeting that so recorded their birth and/or death. It is often impossible to know when a particular membership register was compiled. A volume containing births and deaths from the 1650s to the 1890s might have been compiled in the 1850s from earlier, perhaps incomplete, registers and lists, and then updated whenever the recorder learned of new information. Such a volume may or may not be accurate about births and deaths that took place a century or more earlier, depending on the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the earlier records.
     Furthermore, information from Watring in volume 2 of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Church Records, is that the "Falls records prior to 1700 were previously thought to be lost but were supplied... by a copy held in a Quarterly Meeting book of records, covering the period, 1683 through 1715 with births as early as 1662." These records are included in the book, and all but Amos and Christiana, the two youngest Palmer children, appear there. The birth dates of Amos and Christiana are found together elsewhere in the Falls records, and the names and birth dates of all fourteen children are found together in the Middletown records. In both instances, they are listed as children of John and Christian, so it is indeed likely that the entries were taken from some sort of membership register. The conclusion reached is that John and Christian were never members of Middletown, but that either the names were mistakenly entered in the Middletown records, or more likely, that one of several Palmer children who married members of that meeting registered the names and dates.

Children of Christian (—?—) (Palmer) and John Palmer


  1. [S1021] Von Mechow Family - Sellersville, PA, online <…>.
  2. [S1018] Cathy Whitacre Reisinger, online <>, Cathy Whitacre Reisinger (unknown location), downloaded 2006.
  3. [S358] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 5 vols. (Ann Arbor: Edwards Borthers, 1938), 2: 966.
  4. [S1024] Pennsylvania State History, online <>. "The Quaker Province: 1681-1776."
  5. [S1039] Marion Balderston, trans., "Pennsylvania's 1683 Ships And Some of Their Passengers", The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine vol. 24 (1965): 2: 93-94.
  6. [S1022] Michael Tepper, "A Partial List of the Families who Arrived at Philadelphia between 1682 and 1687," in Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819, A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979), 10.
  7. [S1023] Michael Tepper, "A Partial List of the Families who Resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Prior to 1687," in Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819, A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979), 23.
  8. [S1019] William W.H. Davis, A Genealogical and Personal History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2 vols. (New York and Chicago:, 1905; reprint Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999). Originally published as Volume III of History of Bucks County Pennsylvania, second edition, 2: 366.
  9. [S1021] Von Mechow Family, online <…>, citing Sarah M. Foll, Palmer Family in America, p.10.
  10. [S1039] Marion Balderston, "1683 Ships", 2: 94.
  11. [S358] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 2: 1018.
  12. [S1034] Anna Miller Watring and F. Edward Wright, Quaker Records: Falls and Middletown Monthly Meetings, Bucks County, Pennsylvania Church Records of the 17th & 18th Centuries Series (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2003), 151. Hereinafter cited as Quaker Records: Falls and Middletown.
  13. [S358] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 2: 1023.
  14. [S1020] John T. Humphrey, Pennsylvania Births, Bucks County, 1682-1800 (Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Publications, 1993).