Robert Palmer Payne
Name Robert Palmer Payne (male)
Birth Details Date & Place 9 October 1844, Compton Bishop, Somerset, England

Robert was an ex-nuptual child born while his mother and elder sister Louisa were living with the Hemens family. Given that Robert's mother married Charles Payne some 14 months after Robert's birth it is unlikely Charles is Robert's birth father but not impossible.
Father Charles Payne, born 1822, Axbridge, Somerset, England
Mother Mary Ann Palmer, born about 1822, East Brent, Somerset, England
Death Details Date & Place 10 March 1893, Victoria, Australia
Cause of Death  
Age at Death 48.5 years
Marriage Details Date & Place 26 February 1867, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Kilmore, Victoria
Spouse Annie O'Halloran, born 1849, County Galway, Ireland
  1. Louisa Frances Payne, born 1868 - 17 June 1892, Broadford, Victoria ... possibly named for her paternal aunt Louisa.
  2. Letitia Payne, born 1869, Broadford, Victoria
  3. Esther Rebecca, 1871-1882, Broadford, Victoria
  4. Maria Flora Payne, born 1873, Broadford, Victoria
  5. Ernest Vincent Payne, born 1876, Broadford, Victoria (twin?)
  6. Robert Payne, 1876 Broadford, Victoria, died 1891 Katamatite, Victoria
  7. Ellen Matilda Payne, born 1879, Broadford, Victoria
  8. John Christopher Allen Payne, born 1882, Numurkah, Victoria, died 1897 Drumbulbalane, Victoria, Australia
  9. Mark Elias Payne, born 1883, Victoria
Occupation Prior to 1858 Robert was a seaman having gone to sea at age 11 (so the family stories tell). After settling in Victoria after 1861, he was a labourer and carrier.
  1. 1851, Yardley Way, Sidcot Hamlet, Winscombe, Somerset, England (1851 Census)
  2. 1867-1882 , Broadford, Victoria, Australia
  3. 1882, Numurkah, Victoria
  4. 1891, Katamatite, Victoria
  5. 1892, Goroke, Victoria
Religion Although brought up Protestant, he married in a Catholic Church and thus given Catholic policy at that time one assumes he at least took instruction in the Catholic faith and promised to bring up his children in that faith.

Robert did not accompany his parents and siblings to Botany Bay. The story within the family is that he had already gone to sea at the time they came out to Australia. His age was believed to be 11 when he went to sea.

Further, for some reason, when he was 15 he jumped ship with a mate in Melbourne and headed for the gold fields. At some point on the journey he went to ask a woman hanging washing in a field for a drink of milk. He came face to face with his mother. It is believed he did not know his family had come to Australia not having had contact after he went to sea..

Robert then settled in the same area as his family.

In late January 2006, Mrs. Pat Hase, Research Consultant of the Weston Super Mare family history society advised that Robert was born to Mary Ann Palmer, Single Woman of Winscome.

It appears that Charles Payne, who later married Mary Ann Palmer, accepted Robert as his son. Charles was certainly not living with Mary Ann during the 1841 census but boarding with the family he worked for. Perhaps he is his natural father, perhaps not. Either way it does not really matter.


Robert was illiterate. He "signed" his marriage certificate with his mark only.

  1. Victoria Marriage Certificate 1867/486 and family stories.