Plebiscite in PalmerstoWn

A Plebiscite will take place (possibly November) to decide the official name of Palmerstown Village. For those who haven’t noticed or have, and are not aware of the history of this debate, see the comment from local historian, Hugh O’Connor, below. I trust Hugh’s word in relation to all things historical here in Palmerstown over that of any other person I have met.

The Plebiscite will be held in the area known as Palmerstown Village, North of the N4 (R148).

Hugh O’Connor:
To whom it may concern: re plebiscite Palmerston Village to Palmerstown Village.
This plebiscite is misnamed; it should read ‘restoration of name Palmerstown’ It was misnamed in 1837 by the Ordnance Survey. This survey was carried out by the British Army. The word ‘ton’ is in widespread use in Britain. In Ireland we tend to prefer town, as in Ashtown, Blanchardstown, Irishtown, Adamstown, Waterstown, Finnstown, Hartstown, Huntstown and Abbotstown etc.
I think I can produce enough evidence to prove that Palmerstown is the correct name for my native place. I am 80 years old and I have never heard any of my contemporaries use the name Palmerston, my brother in law who is 94 ditto.
In the old graveyard in Mill Lane there are four headstones with Palmerstown engraved on them. Three predate the survey, 1645, 1803 & 1807. These dates indicate that these people knew the name of the place in which their loved ones were buried. One other stone dated 1887 comes after the survey and shows that as far as ordinary people were concerned nothing had changed.
The memorial plaque of Doctor Henry Hutchinson Stewart in Saint Lawrence’s Church is dated ‘Palmerstown 1897’ surely this great man’s family would have known if there was a name change to the area.
The following is a list of cartographers on whose maps Palmerstown appears;
1. William Petty 1683
2. John Roque 1750’s
3. Taylor & Skinner 1783
4. Taylor 1816
5. Duncan 1821
6. Baldwin & Craddock 1837
All materials related to transport in the 1800’s is headed Palmerstown i.e. fares, stops, timetables etc.
1856-present day:
All material relating to schools is headed ‘Palmerstown NS’ i.e. Rolls, registers, daily report books and even the punishment book.
The foregoing might help to clarify the issue or confuse it some more. It seems to me that Palmerstown wins by a claim as it has been (and is) in common usage for hundreds of years and is likely to remain so.
An easy solution would be to correct the mistake made by Ordnance Survey in 1837 by giving a sign writer a tin of paint and a brush and a ladder.
Some years ago I was given a list of properties in Mill Lane dated 1885, Lord Palmerston’s name was on the list as: yes you’ve guessed it ‘Viscount Palmerstown’ so you see everybody who was anybody knew that Palmerstown was correct.

To check if your home is on the draft register you can download it here

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