Selina Augusta Palmer
Born: 1816; Died: 1902; Married: George Thomas Palmer (junior)
Selina Augusta Rowes was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Rowes (maiden-name unknown) who were probably from Hampshire, although Selina is reported as having been born in Essex.
She married George Thomas Palmer (junior) at Epping in Essex in 1838. They had ten children together.
By 1845 the Palmers took over the running of the burgeoning 11,729-acre Palmerville estate at Ginninderra on behalf of her father-in-law who had returned to Somerset in 1839. She resided there with her young family. Her fifth child (George) was the first to be born at Ginninderra in February 1846.
The Palmers contracted William Davis (junior) to manage Palmerville for them, which was an excellent decision, as Davis turned the estate into a model pastoral enterprise. In 1850, Davis became Palmer’s brother-in-law when he married Palmer’s sister, Susan Adriana Palmer. When George (senior) died in England in 1854, the estate was left to Susan. Her husband, William Davis, now found himself in effective control of Palmerville.
Despite the estate now being managed in trust for his sister, her husband stayed on. In 1859 he opened the ACT’s first post office, but only remained as postmaster for four months. At some stage George and Selina Palmer moved to Goulburn. George died there in 1889 and Selina in 1902.
- Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne, 1967
- Gillespie, L. L., Canberra: 1820-1913, Canberra, 1991
- Gillespie, L. L., Ginninderra: Forerunner to Canberra, Campbell, 1992
- Meyers D. (ed. K. Frawley), Lairds, Lags and Larrikins: an Early History of the Limestone Plains, Pearce, 2010
- Palmer, J., ‘The Palmers of Ginninderra’, CHJ, n.s. no. 2 (1978), pp. 26-31
- Shumack, S. An Autobiography, or, Tales and Legends of Canberra Pioneers (ed. J. E. and S. Shumack), Canberra, 1967