Zemira Palmer is my third-great grandfather. In 2010 I was given tons of information about him by two angel cousins. With their permission I share it all!! - Deniane Kartchner

Contact: denianek@gmail.com

Sally Knight Palmer

Sally Knight Palmer

Zemira's Wives

The photos of Zemira's two wives were contributed by Lucile Brubaker

and her mother, Lenna Cox Wilcock. Thanks!

Caroline Jacques Palmer

Caroline Jacques Palmer


Unless otherwise noted, the main source for this blog (including the introduction) is a history titled “ZEMIRA PALMER, 1831 – 1880, His Life and Family in Early L.D.S. Church History.” This history was prepared by Lenna Cox Wilcock and sent to Deniane Kartchner via email by Lenna's daughter, Lucile Brubaker, with Lenna and Lucile's permission to post on this blog with the stipulation it be used for family history purposes only and not for financial gain. Lenna and Lucile are descendants of Zemira Palmer through his wife Caroline Jacques.

I have posted the history in segments exactly as Lenna wrote them (with the exception of adding details needed to help the sections stand alone).


Zemira Palmer was born the year after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints was organized in Fayette, New York. Living amongst the earliest “Mormon” converts, his entire life and that of his family was inextricably inter-woven with that of the early Saints.

The faith of the Palmer and Draper families, as with all the Saints, was severely tried and tested as they were swept along in the turbulent stream of Mormonism in its desperate struggle for survival while defending their freedom to worship their God as they chose. As Utah Pioneers they contributed greatly in making the desert blossom as a rose in the rugged western American frontier.

One month before his death, in a letter to his sister Zemira made the following statement, and by living according to what it expresses, he was worthy to gain the great reward of which it speaks:

“. . . There is one thing which seems to be true, the Lord is fulfilling His promises. He has said by the mouths of His prophets that He would send judgments on the wicked & trials on the faithful, so that everyone that can be shaken, will be, and those who cannot be shaken, shall gain the great reward of eternal life & supreme happiness.”1

1- Excerpt from letter written by Zemira Palmer to his sister Lovina Palmer Munroe Sept. 18, 1880.

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Zemira Palmer History on this blog


(8) Phebe's mother Lydia descendant of Rev. John Lathrop

A few paragraphs taken from the book The Mormon Drapers, reveal some traits of the Reverend John Lathrop. They are included here because Rev. Lathrop is our ancestor also.

“The following account gives some idea of the strength of his convictions which, in all probability was transmitted to his descendants through many generations.”  (These characteristics are evident in our Draper/Palmer people, and hopefully they have been passed on down to us who are of the present generation.)

“If one were to search among all the Prophet Joseph Smith’s progenitors for the one who best typified his righteous zeal for true freedom and his dauntless devotion to truth perhaps no finer example could be found than his fifth great-grandfather, Rev. John Lathrop.

“Born in 1584 he was a young minister of the Church of England in which capacity he labored faithfully until his conscience rebelled against the doctrines he had to teach. He resigned his position . . .  left the Church and in 1623 became Pastor of the First Independent Church of England. Persecution raged against him and his little band of devoted followers. They were forced to meet secretly to escape the anger of the opposing bishop. One day as they met in worship they were discovered by agents of the bishop who suddenly invaded their meeting place, seized forty-two of their number and sent them in fetters to the old prison in Newgate. Finally all but one, the Rev. Mr. Lathrop, were released on bail but he was deemed too dangerous to be set at liberty.”

He was cruelly tortured –until he was almost unrecognizable–in an effort to force him to renounce his stand. After wasting away for months in miserable dark isolated imprisonment, during which time his wife died, and his orphaned children wandered about in helpless misery, eventually he was released by the Archbishop upon his promise to go as an exile to America.

Then with his children and some of his devoted followers he came to America, and became one of the great Puritan fathers of his day. “No pastor was ever more loved by his people and none ever had a greater influence for good . . .  He fearlessly proclaimed views far in advance of his time.”10

A quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury who had finally taken pity on the Reverend and released him from the dreadful Newgate prison, succinctly summed up the situation. He stated: “Freedom of conscience! and the King be d-----!  That is what the Reverend John Lothrop is all about.”11 Yes, that is what the Reverend Lathrop was all about.  He would have continued to submit to torture in prison until he died rather than to compromise.

Little did the William Draper group in Canada realize that some of their future persecutions would result from their own staunch stand for those very principles–-Freedom of Conscience and Devotion to TRUTH!
* * * * *

10- Ibid, pp. 34-35 – Rev. John Lathrop beloved by his followers.

11- Hellene Hole, Exiled, p. 234 – Archbishop releases Rev. Lathrop.

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Lucile Brubaker (and her mother Lenna Cox Wilcock) are also contributing to this blog.