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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Annie Palmer, "The White Witch of Rose Hall" in Jamaica - or NOT


Breathless at the so-called tomb of Annie Mary Paterson Palmer

Although the tour guides at the Rose Hall Plantation near Montego Bay, Jamaica, say this is the grave of Annie Mary Paterson Palmer (born 1802), the so-called "White Witch of Rose Hall,"  that's not the case. No one knows who is truly buried here, or even if anyone is buried here at all.  It makes a nice ghost story though which brings lots of tourists to Rose Hall.  In my mind, though, the plantation was interesting enough without having to make up any stories and malign this poor woman.

Indeed, Geoffrey S. Yates, Assistant Archivist at the Jamaica Archives back in 1965, provided lots of evidence that Annie Palmer did not do the things she is accused of in the legends (murdering three husbands, taking slave lovers, one of whom ultimately murdered her, etc.).  Indeed, the only truth at all is that she was married (her only marriage) to the plantation's owner, John Rose Palmer, and that she lived on the plantation from their marriage in 1820 at least until his death in 1827.

Just goes to show - don't believe all the stories you hear about an ancestor - find some evidence to back them up.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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