From Palmyra, NY to Palmyra, MI
Our Migrating Ancestors

While researching our Palmyra, Wayne County, NY ancestors we discovered that some had migrated to Michigan in the 1830's. Looking in the census records, we found them living in a town called Palmyra, MI and knew it had to be more than just a coincidence. What we found was a number of Wayne County, NY residents that purchased land (usually in lots of 80 acres) in Lenawee County, MI starting in the early 1820's. While many did settle on those lands, we also found a number of people who purchased land in Michigan but never left Wayne county. We can only guess that perhaps land was purchased as an investment to lease out or to give to their children as a wedding present. In our case, it was the father's name that appears on the deed but it was his daughter and son-in-law who settle in Palmyra, MI shortly after they wed.

"Although the first purchase of land in Palmyra Township was made October 7, 1823, by N. W. Wadsworth, settlers did not arrive until 1826 when Ezra Goff and Henry J. Paddock established their residence here. These two pioneers were soon followed by Timothy B. Goff, William Foster, Benjamin Mather, Americus Smith, Nathan Gibbs, Jr., Julius Gibbs, Daniel Clark, Lester P. Clark, Walter P. Clark, John Comstock, Wait Chapin, William Beldin, Benjamin Clark, Stephen Warner, Alonzo Mitchell, Horace Whitmarsh, Robert Craig, Orrin and Nathaniel Gleason, Dr. C. C. Robinson, Rueben Harvey, Gershom Noyes, Alexander R. Tiffany, Asahel Brown, George Colvin, Edwin Hollaway and Edward Underwood. Another early settler in Palmyra Township was William Fuller. Mr. Fuller purchased eighty five acres from the government at the rate of 85 cents per acre............."

"Historical Sketch of Palmyra, Michigan Through 1949" from the Lenawee County Historical Society Museum Archives
      Courtesy of Carol Stevens

From land deeds we learned that the Goff, Beldin, Gleason, Robinson, Fuller, Hathaway, and Field families came from Wayne County, NY.* A number of others came from surrounding counties. Many of these surnames can be found in the 1830 Federal Census, Lenawee County, MI. The township of Palmyra, Lenawee County, MI is enumerated for the first time in the 1840 Federal Census and listed the following residents:

Albro, A.
Aldrich, Keith
Aldrich, William
Austin, Isaac
Baily, Bendiah
Baily, Nathan
Baker, David W.
Baldwin, Samuel D.
Barnard, Lucus
Belding, Stephen J.
Bennett, Erastus
Betly, Peter
Bird, William
Borilton, William J.
Bramand, Jessey C.
Brockway, Austin
Brockway, Eusebuis
Buck, Henry
Burr, Allen
Butler, David
Carrier, Joel
Carter, Richard
Casaday, Abram
Clark, Benjamin
Clark, Daniel
Clark, Lester P.
Clark, Samuel
Coan, Erstus
Cole, James
Cole, Solomon
Colvin, George
Colvin, John
Colvin, Nehemiah
Comstock, Thomas
Cooper, Thomas J.
Corbet, Ziba
Craig, Benjamin
Craig, Rost W.
Crane, George
Culver, Hezekiah
Davis, Charles
Davis, Isaac
De Camp, Denis
Dearborn, Jessey A.
Delingham, Joseph
Dodge, Hiram
Dryer, Horatio
Field, James
Fisher, Nelson
Foote, Peter H.
Fox, Abram
Fox, Charles R.
Fuller, Thomas
Fuller, William
Gibbs, Julia
Gibbs, Nathan
Gleason, Nathaniel
Goff, Sally
Grinnel, Spencer
Hall, Henry
Hardey, George C.
Harrison, Albert
Harrison, Jerusha
Harrison, Suther B.
Harver, Barrilla J.
Hathaway, George A.
Hess, Amos
Hill, Hiram
Hill, Pelom
Hoaldcomb, Levi
Horse, Lenard
Horsia, Hosea S.
Hovce, John
Hurck, John
Jeffords, David
Jones, Selas
Lamb, Curtis
Lamber, Ansel C.
Lennom, Patrick
Lennom, Thomas
Lewis, Benjamin H.
McConnell, David
McCraken, Loring
Mash, Lewis
Matteson, Peleg
Miles, William
Mitchel, Alonzo
Mitchell, William
Moloney, John
Molony, Jolly
Moore, Levi
Murphey, John
Nagle, Laurence
Owen, Calvin
Paddock, Nathan
Parker, Asa
Parker, William
Pierce, Horace
Pomeroy, Henery B.
Porter, Ashel
Prince, Ephraim
Ragen, Frederick
Randall, Alexander
Randall, Clinton
Ranger, Joel
Ranger, Orren
Reynolds, James C.
Richardson, George
Rodgers, Samuel
Rodges, Comfort
Sales, Simon
Scott, George
Sherwin, John
Sherwood, John
Skane, John
Slade, Benjamin
Spalding, Olney
Spalding, Susan
Springer, Isaac N.
St Clair, Oscar
Stebbins, Cortland B.
Stewart, Ransom
Street, Rost
Surca, Shelden
Teller, James
Terrist, Calvin
Thayer, Lemon D.
Thayer, Mowry
Throop, Lorren
Tiffany, Alexander R.
Tooker, Ira
Tooker, Reuben
Turner, Joseph
Underwood, Edward
Underwood, John
Van Tassel, Samuel
Walker, Joel
Warner, Norton D.
Warner, Stephen
Webster, Aaron
Whitmarsh, Horace
Whitmarsh, Nahum
Wilcox, Catharine
Wilder, Artmas
Wilson, Thomas
Wood, Nathan N.
Wooster, William


* Bureau of Land Management Website

Suggested reading - "There Was A Place Called What???" In Lenawee County Michigan, by Carol Stevens

For more info about the book, and what's in it, check out Old Settlement and Post Office Names of Lenawee County

Be sure and visit Lenawee County, MIGenWeb!

Submitted by Ed & Sherry Golem. Please contact us with any corrections or additions.

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Created: 10/25/02
Copyright © 2002 - 2012 Ed & Sherry Golem
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