Shearers of Palmer, Mass.

James Shearer was born in County Antrim, 1678. He emigrated from Antrim, Ireland.  He settled first in Union, CT. In 1726-7 he came to Palmer, Mass. for100 acres in a land grant. He was an original land owner near the village of Three Rivers. He divided his property among his children (John, James, William).  Palmer cemetery records show Jan. 21, 1745, 67 yrs, Ireland, thus making his birth date c. 1679.
His three sons were born in Ireland.

James’s wife, Jennet, born c. 1686 in Derry, Ireland. She died 7 Jul 1759, age 73.

Antrim County was one of the major sources of the “Great Wave” of Scotch-Irish emigration to America. James’ departure would have been part of the “First Wave.” For more information on why these Scotch-Irish came to America, go to

John born in Ireland 1706 died 1802. Married Jane King. Children: Joseph, John, William, David, Jonathan, Noah, Jane, Betsy. Revolutionary War veteran.
Noah’s son Joseph was born April 13, 1824 in Palmer, Mass. moved to Wyoming Co. NY in 1855 and then to East Aurora, Niagara County (?). NY in 1864.
James Jr.
William. Information uncertain. William Shearer was a witness for a will dated 1775 and executed in 1784 (in Dutchess Co., NY?).  He appeared in 1790 & 1800 censuses for Hebron, Washington Co. NY and moved to Homer, Cortland Co NY in 1807.
Grandchildren in Palmer are Jonathan Shearer who was an early physician in town practicing early as 1800 and Daniel Shearer who was the first lawyer in town.

History of Connecticut Valley, Hampton Co., Mass.
Cortland Co. NY Pioneer History
History of Niagara Co.
Cornell University Making of America website.

New York Shearers information came from Douglas Shearer (with thanks to him).


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