Family:Henry Rowley and Sarah Palmer (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage? ABT 1624 London, England
11 AUG 1625 England
est 1632

Identity of Henry's Wife

Florence Barclay, in her article on WILLIAM PALMER of Plymouth, supplied the evidence in favor of the position that the mother of Moses Rowley was a daughter of William Palmer (see also PCR 3:45-46); she thought that Sarah Rowley who married Jonathan Hatch was a daughter of Henry Rowley, but not necessarily with the Palmer wife (which would imply yet another wife before the presumed _____ Palmer) [ TAG 32:40-41].

 There are many unresolved problems with this identification. Moses Rowley, who was certainly a son of Henry, married in 1652, which should place his birth no later than 1632, and probably somewhat earlier. Was Moses Rowley born in England or at Plymouth? If he was born at Plymouth, then Henry Rowley must have arrived before 1632, the earliest date which we may assume from surviving records. Since Rowley was not in Plymouth in 1627, he could have come in 1629 or 1630 when additions were made to the Plymouth population; but if this were the case he would have had to marry William Palmer's daughter immediately after getting off the boat, and even this just barely leaves enough time for Moses to be born by 1630, say, and it makes it almost impossible for Sarah Rowley also to have been born in Plymouth as a child of the Palmer wife. On the other hand, Rowley may have married _____ Palmer in England, in which case both Moses and Sarah could be children of this wife, born in England. The terms of William Palmer's will make it clear that he had at least two other children who are never seen in New England, Henry and Bridget. There are other possibilities. [2]

The name Sarah comes from a quote in the Colonial Genealogist in 1984: “In the summer of 1632 a fever epidemic hit Plymouth and abt 20 colonists died; Sarah Palmer Rowley among them.”[3]

The same article theorizes that Sarah was the daughter of William’s first wife, who died before 1620. After her death, Sarah eloped with Henry Rowley when she was only 14, “incurring the wrath of her father”. William and Frances may have been planning to accompany her father on the Speedwell in 1620, but instead delayed their departure. William was still upset over 10 years later when he made his will and left out Henry (Sarah was dead) and their children except for Moses.

Additional Children

Brainard and Brindle include in their genealogies of Henry Rowley a third child for Henry, a son Joseph "living at Barnstable, 1655," and "said to have gone to Barbados" [ NYGBR 37:58; Gillespie Anc 394], but neither provides documentation for this statement. Perhaps a record for Moses has been misread as for a Joseph who did not exist. Joseph exists here and can be reconnected if evidence is found.[4]

A Rebecca is also attributed to this couple, based probably on the reference to "Rebecca my grandchild and Moyses Rowley whom I love" in William Palmer's will, but Great Migration does not even acknowledge any reputable source with a daughter Rebecca.

Text References

  1.   Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), Henry Rowley Entry.
  2. Great Migration Begins
  3. “The Circumstantial Evidendence Leading to a Possible Solution to the “Palmer-Paddock Puzzle”,” The Colonial Genealogist, Vol XII, No. 1-2, The Augustan Society, 1984.
  4. Great Migration, supra