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Surname Palmer - Meaning and Origin

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Untangling my Ancestral Threads: A DNA Journey into my Surname 'Palmer' with iGENEA

Turning the pages of my familial history, I ventured on a captivating expedition with iGENEA’s DNA test that revealed the origins of my family name, Palmer. A simple cheek swab led me to a revelation of my medieval English roots, tying me to a unique lineage of pilgrims, and forever altering my perception of my own identity.

G. Palmer

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Palmer: What does the surname Palmer mean?

The last name Palmer is of British origin and has a historical and occupational background. It originates from the Middle English term "palmere," which was used to refer to a pilgrim - specifically, a person who had been to the Holy Land and brought back a palm branch as a token of the journey. During the Middle Ages, going on religious pilgrimages was a popular practice. Pilgrims from western Europe traveled to Jerusalem to visit the birthplace of Christ, demonstrating their devotion and penance. Upon returning, they carried palm branches to show they completed their holy journey, hence they were called "palmers." Therefore, the surname Palmer is thought to have been an occupational name for someone who had made such a pilgrimage. The name spread across England, France, and Germany over the years, leading to variations of the spelling in different regions.

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Palmer: Where does the name Palmer come from?

The last name Palmer is a relatively widespread surname that can be found in many countries around the world. In Europe, Palmer is most commonly found in England, with an estimated 44,000 bearers of the name, making it the 42nd most common surname in the UK. Palmer is also one of the most common surnames in Sweden, ranking as the fifth most popular last name in 2020.

In the United States, Palmer is one of the most commonly-occurring surnames according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with over 111,150 people who bear the name. It stands as the 217th most popular surname in the country. The highest concentrations of those bearing the Palmer name are concentrated in the South Atlantic states, including Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Additionally, the largest numbers of people bearing the name live in California, Texas, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Palmer can also be found in other parts of the world, with many people bearing this name in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. As Palmer is a relatively common name, it is likely to be found in any region of the world, and its meaning is believed to be "pilgrim" or "someone from the palm tree grove."

Variations of the surname Palmer

The surname Palmer is derived from the Latin phrase “Palmarius”, meaning a person who brought palm branches from the Holy Land as a pilgrimage souvenir. This surname can have several variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin, including:

• Palme

• Palma

• Pilmoor

• Parmer

• Palmatier

• Palmor

• Palmour

• Palmiri

• Palmieri

• Palmeiro

• Polishak

• Pollmer

• Palmi

• Palmedo

• Palmio

• Parmeer

• Parmenter

• Pahlman

• Palmaer

• Palmas

• Palmes

• Palmino

• Palmore

• Palmenter

• Pelmore

• Pellmoor

• Pahlman

In addition, several nicknames have been linked to the surname Palmer, including Palms, Palmy, and Palmers. As the Palmers surname originated in England in the Middle Ages, many variations of the original spelling were recorded due to the pre-modern inconsistency of spelling convention. These slight variations have allowed many families to have spelling differences of their surname over the centuries, while still having the same origin.

Famous people with the name Palmer

  • Arnold Palmer: a professional golfer who was one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He was a major competitor on the professional tour during the 1950s and 1960s and became a worldwide figure due to his exceptional skill on the links.
  • Ryan Palmer: a professional golfer who has been a contestant on the professional tour since 2002. He has won six tournaments on the PGA Tour and has competed in three Ryder Cups.
  • Tracy Palmer: an Olympic gymnast who won a bronze medal in the 1976 Montreal games. She was considered a rising star in the sport and was an early pioneer in the sport as one of the first African-American gymnasts to compete at the Olympics.
  • Cory Palmer: an NFL football player who currently plays for the New England Patriots. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft and has become a prominent member of the Patriots defense.
  • Jimmy Palmer: a former Major League Baseball player who most notably played for the Texas Rangers during the 1970s. He was the first black player on the team and went on to a successful career as a coach.
  • Chris Palmer: a former NFL head coach who led the Cleveland Browns from 1999-2000. He is also credited for helping to develop quarterback Peyton Manning during his time as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts.
  • William Palmer: an English murder suspect who was accused of poisoning his wife and her lover in 1856. He was famously acquitted due to a lack of evidence and became something of a folk hero.
  • Graeme Palmer: a well-known Australian actor best known for his roles in the soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away.
  • Palmer Cortlandt: a fictional character from the long-running soap opera All My Children. He was a wealthy landowner who was involved in many of the storylines over the course of the show's run.
  • Kyle Palmer: a Canadian singer and songwriter who is best known for his singles "Take It From Me" and "Ride the Wave". He has released several successful albums and has opened for acts like Justin Bieber and The Weeknd.

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