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Wabbe Rhoipalz - Feld.png
Historic flag of the Palatinate
Regions with significant populations
The Palatinate, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, New York, United States of America
Palatine German
Roman Catholic, Lutheran, German Reformed
Related ethnic groups
Pennsylvania Dutch, German Americans

Palatines (German: Pfälzers), are people who come from the Palatinate region of Germany. Their descendants are the Pennsylvania Dutch.[1]

In 1709 England found itself hosting thousands of Germans who were fleeing famine, war and religious persecution in their native lands. Many of the first arrivals came from the Palatinate, and the refugees became collectively known as the "Poor Palatines". They had been displaced by French invasions and famine during the Nine Years' and Spanish Succession wars. After arriving in London, many were resettled in Ireland and British America.

Towards the end of the 17th century and into the 18th, the wealthy region was repeatedly invaded by French troops during two wars. At that time the region had not yet fully recovered from the Thirty Year's War. They imposed a scorched earth policy and continuous military requisitions which caused widespread devastation and famine. The winter 1708 was notably cold, resulting in further hardships. The term "Poor Palatines" referred to some 13,000 Germans who emigrated to England between May and November 1709, seeking refuge. Their arrival in England, and the inability of the British Government to integrate them, led to a highly politicized debate over the merits of immigration.

The English tried to settle them in England, Ireland and British America to strengthen their position abroad. The Palatine settlements did not prove to be viable in the long term, except for those settled in counties Limerick and Wexford in Ireland and in the colony of New York in America. In Ireland, fewer than 200 families remained after the original settlement in 1709. But they maintained their distinctive culture until well into the nineteenth century, and Palatine surnames are now diffused across the country.[2] The largest concentration of descendants of Palatine immigrants lives around Rathkeale.

The English transported nearly 3,000 German Palatines in ten ships to New York in 1710. Many of them were first assigned to work camps along the Hudson River to work off the cost of their passage. Close to 850 families settled in the Hudson River Valley, primarily in what are now Germantown and Saugerties, New York. They produced stores for the Navy in work camps on each side of the Hudson. In 1723, 100 heads of families from the work camps were the first Europeans to acquire land west of Little Falls, in present-day Herkimer County on both the north and south sides along the Mohawk River. This settlement was halfway through the valley, on the frontier far beyond Schenectady and Albany. Later additional Palatine Germans settled along the Mohawk River for several miles, founding towns such as Palatine and Palatine Bridge, and in the Schoharie Valley.


French soldiers ravaged Palatine farms and towns during the Thirty Years' War
Warfare in the Palatinate

In the second half of the 17th century, the Palatinate had not yet fully recovered from the destructions of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), in which large parts of the region had lost more than two thirds of its population (see the dark red-brown area South of Frankfurt am Main on the map).

Throughout the Nine Years War (1688–1697) and the War of Spanish Succession (1701–1714), recurrent invasions by the French Army devastated the area of what is today Southwest Germany. During the Nine Years War the French had used a scorched-earth policy in the Palatinate. The depredations of the French Army and the destruction of numerous cities (especially within the Palatinate) created economic hardship for the inhabitants of the region, exacerbated by a rash of harsh winters and poor harvests that created famine in Germany and much of northwest Europe. The specific background of the migration from the Palatinate, as documented in emigrants' petitions for departure registered in the southwest principalities, was impoverishment and lack of economic prospects.[3]

The emigrants came principally from regions comprising present-day Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, and northern areas of Baden-Württemberg along the lower Neckar. During the so-called Kleinstaaterei ("small state") period when this emigration occurred, the Middle Rhine region was a patchwork of secular and ecclesiastical principalities, duchies and counties. No more than half of the so-called German Palatines originated in the namesake Electoral Palatinate, with others coming from the surrounding imperial states of Palatinate-Zweibrücken and Nassau-Saarbrücken, the Margraviate of Baden, the Hessian Landgraviates of Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Homburg, Hesse-Kassel, the Archbishoprics of Trier and Mainz, and various minor counties of Nassau, Sayn, Solms, Wied, and Isenburg.[4]

What triggered the mass emigration in 1709 of mostly impoverished people to England was the Crown's promise of free land in British America. Parliament discovered in 1711 that several "agents" working on behalf of the Carolina province had promised the peasants around and South of Frankfurt free passage to the plantations. Spurred by the success of several dozen families the year before, thousands of German families headed down the Rhine to England and the New World.[5]

Arrival in England[edit]

The first boats packed with refugees began arriving in London in early May 1709. The first 900 people to reach England were given housing, food and supplies by a number of wealthy Englishmen.[6] The immigrants were called "Poor Palatines": "poor" in reference to their pitiful and impoverished state upon arrival in England, and "Palatines" since many of them came from lands controlled by the Elector Palatine.

The majority came from regions outside the Palatinate and, against the wishes of their respective rulers, they fled by the thousands on small boats and ships down the Rhine River to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, whence the majority embarked for London. Throughout the summer, ships unloaded thousands of refugees, and almost immediately their numbers overwhelmed the initial attempts to provide for them. By summer, most of the Poor Palatines were settled in Army tents in the fields of Blackheath and Camberwell. A Committee dedicated to coordinating their settlement and dispersal sought ideas for their employment. This proved difficult, as the Poor Palatines were unlike previous migrant groups — skilled, middle-class, religious exiles such as the Huguenots or the Dutch in the 16th century — but rather were unskilled rural laborers, neither sufficiently educated nor healthy enough for most types of employment.

Political controversy[edit]

During the reign of Queen Anne (1702–1714), political polarization increased. Immigration and asylum had long been debated, from coffee-houses to the floor of Parliament, and the Poor Palatines were inevitably brought into the political crossfire.[7]

For the Whigs, who controlled Parliament, these immigrants provided an opportunity to increase Britain’s workforce. Only two months before the German influx, Parliament had enacted the Foreign Protestants Naturalization Act 1708, whereby foreign Protestants could pay a small fee to become naturalized. The rationale was the belief that an increased population created more wealth, and that Britain’s prosperity could increase with the accommodation of certain foreigners. Britain had already benefited from French Huguenot refugees, as well as the Dutch (or "Flemish") exiles, who helped revolutionize the English textile industry.[8] Similarly, in an effort to increase the sympathy and support for these refugees, many Whig tracts and pamphlets described the Palatines as "refugees of conscience" and victims of Catholic oppression and intolerance. Louis XIV of France had become infamous for the persecution of Protestants within his realm. The invasion and destruction of the Rhineland region by his forces was considered by many in Britain as a sign that the Palatines were likewise objects of his religious tyranny. With royal support, the Whigs formulated a charity brief to raise money for the "Poor Distressed Palatines", who had grown too numerous to be supported by the Crown alone.[9]

The Tories and members of the High Church Party (those who sought greater religious uniformity), were dismayed by the numbers of Poor Palatines amassing in the fields of southeast London. Long-standing opponents of naturalization, the Tories condemned the Whig assertions that the immigrants would be beneficial to the economy, as they were already an acute financial burden. Similarly, many who worried for the security of the Church of England were concerned about the religious affiliations of these German families, especially after it was revealed that many (perhaps more than 2,000) were Catholic.[10] Although the majority of the Catholic Germans were immediately sent back across the English Channel, many English thought their presence disproved the claimed religious refugee status of the Poor Palatines.

The author Daniel Defoe was a major spokesman, who attacked the critics of the government’s policy. Defoe’s Review, a tri-weekly journal dealing usually with economic matters, was for two months dedicated to denouncing opponents’ claims that the Palatines were disease-ridden, Catholic bandits who had arrived in England "to eat the Bread out of the Mouths of our People."[11] In addition to dispelling rumors and propounding the benefits of an increased population, Defoe advanced his own ideas of how the Poor Palatines should be "disposed".


Not long after the Palatines' arrival, the Board of Trade was charged with finding a means for their dispersal. Contrary to the desires of the immigrants, who wanted to be transported to British America, most schemes involved settling them within the British Isles, either on uninhabited lands in England or in Ireland (where they could bolster the numbers of the Protestant minority). Most officials involved were reluctant to send the Germans to America due to the cost, and to the belief that they would be more beneficial if kept in Britain. Since the majority of the Poor Palatines were husbandmen, vinedressers and laborers, the English felt that they would be better suited in agricultural areas. There were some attempts to disperse them in neighboring towns and cities.[12] Ultimately, large-scale settlement plans came to nothing, and the government sent Palatines piecemeal to various regions in England and Ireland. These attempts mostly failed, and many of the Palatines returned from Ireland to London within a few months, in far worse condition than when they had left.[13]

The commissioners finally acquiesced and sent numerous families to New York to produce naval stores at camps along the Hudson River. The Germans transported to New York in the summer of 1710 totaled about 2800 people in ten ships, the largest group of immigrants to enter British America before the American Revolution. Because of their refugee status and weakened condition, as well as shipboard diseases, they had a high rate of fatalities. They were kept in quarantine on an island in New York harbor until ship's diseases had run their course. Another 300-some Palatines reached Carolina. Despite the ultimate failure of the Naval stores effort and delays on granting them land in settled areas (they were given grants on the frontiers), they had reached the New World and were determined to stay. Their descendants are scattered across the United States and Canada.

The experience with the Poor Palatines discredited the Whig philosophy of naturalization, and figured in political debates as an example of the pernicious effects of offering asylum to refugees. Once the Tories returned to power, they retracted the Act of Naturalization, which they claimed had lured the Palatines to England (though few had in fact become naturalized).[14] Later attempts to reinstate an Act for Naturalization would suffer from the tarnished legacy of Britain’s first attempt to support mass immigration of foreign-born peoples.

Re-settlement in Ireland[edit]

In 1709, some 3,073 Palatines were transported to Ireland.[15] Some 538 families were settled as agricultural tenants on the estates of Anglo-Irish landlords. However, many of the settlers failed to permanently establish themselves and 352 families were reported to have left their holdings, with many returning to England.[16] By late 1711 only around 1,200 of the Palatines remained in Ireland.[15]

Some contemporary opinion blamed the Palatines for the failure of the settlement. William King, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, said, "I conceive their design 'tis but to eat and drink at Her Majesty's cost, live idle and complain against those that maintain them." But the real reason for the failure was apparently lack of political support for the settlement from the High Church Tories, who generally opposed foreign involvement and saw the settlers as potential Dissenters rather than buttresses to their own established church.[15]

The Palatine settlement was successful in two areas: Counties Limerick and Wexford. In Limerick, 150 families were settled in 1712 on the lands of the Southwell family near Rathkeale. Within a short time, they had made a success of farming hemp, flax, and cattle. In Wexford about the same time, a large Palatine population was settled on the lands of Abel Ram, near Gorey. The distinctive Palatine way of life survived in these areas until well into the nineteenth century. Today, names of Palatine origin, such as Switzer, Hick, Ruttle, Sparling, Tesky, Fitzell, are dispersed throughout Ireland.[16]

Re-settlement in North America[edit]

Initial Palatine settlements in the Hudson River Valley
Palatine settlements in Pennsylvania
Both images are taken from The Story of the Palatines: An Episode in Colonial History by Sanford Hoadley Cobb

Migration to New York[edit]

Germans had trickled into British America since their earliest days. The first mass migration, however, began in 1708. Queen Anne's government had sympathy for the Protestant Germans and had invited them to go to America and work in trade for passage. Official correspondence in British records shows a combined total of 13,146 refugees traveled down the Rhine and or from Amsterdam to England in the summer of 1709.[17] More than 3500 of these were returned from England either because they were Roman Catholic or at their own request.[18] Henry Z Jones, Jr. quotes an entry in a churchbook by the Pastor of Dreieichenhain that states a total of 15,313 Germans left their villages in 1709 "for the so-called New America and, of course, Carolina".[19] The flood of immigration overwhelmed English resources. It resulted in major disruptions, overcrowding, famine, disease and the death of a thousand or more Palatines. It appeared the entire Palatinate would be emptied before a halt could be called to emigration.[20] Many reasons have been given to explain why so many families left their homes for an unknown land. Knittle summarizes them: "(1) war devastation, (2) heavy taxation, (3) an extraordinarily severe winter, (4) religious quarrels, but not persecutions, (5) land hunger on the part of the elderly and desire for adventure on the part of the young, (6) liberal advertising by colonial proprietors, and finally (7) the benevolent and active cooperation of the British government."[21]

No doubt the biggest impetus was the harsh, cold winter that preceded their departure. Birds froze in mid-air, casks of wine, livestock, and whole vineyards were destroyed by the unremitting cold.[22] With what little was left of their possessions, the refugees made their way on boats down the Rhine to Amsterdam, where they remained until the British government decided what to do about them. Ships were finally dispatched for them across the English Channel, and the Palatines arrived in London, where they waited longer while the British government considered its options. So many arrived that the government created a winter camp for them outside the city walls. A few were settled in England, a few more may have been sent to Jamaica and Nassau, but the greatest numbers were sent to Ireland, Carolina and especially, New York in the summer of 1710. They were obligated to work off their passage.

The Reverend Joshua Kocherthal paved the way in 1709, with a small group of fifty who settled in Newburgh, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River. "In the summer of 1710, a colony numbering 2,227 arrived in New York and were [later] located in five villages on either side of the Hudson, those upon the east side being designated as East Camp, and those upon the west, as West Camp."[23] A census of these villages on 1 May 1711 showed 1194 on the east side and 583 on the west side. The total number of families was 342 and 185, respectively.[24] About 350 Palatines had remained in New York City, and some settled in New Jersey. Others travelled down the Susquehanna River, settling in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The locations of the New Jersey communities correlate with the foundation of the oldest Lutheran churches in that state, i.e., the first called Zion at New Germantown (now Oldwick), Hunterdon County; the 'Straw Church' now called St. James at Greenwich Township, Sussex (now Pohatong Township, Warren County); and St. Paul's at Pluckemin, Bedminster Township, Somerset County.


Robert Livingston the Elder (13 December 1654 – 1 October 1728) was a New York colonial official and first lord of Livingston Manor.

Settlement by Palatines on the east side (East Camp) of the Hudson River was accomplished as a result of Governor Hunter's negotiations with Robert Livingston, who owned Livingston Manor in what is now Columbia County, New York. (This was not the town now known as Livingston Manor on the west side of the Hudson River.) Livingston was anxious to have his lands developed. The Livingstons benefited for many years from the revenues they received as a result of this business venture. West Camp, on the other hand, was located on land the Crown had recently "repossessed" as an "extravagant grant". Pastors from both Lutheran and Reformed churches quickly began to serve the camps and created extensive records of these early settlers and their life passages long before the state of New York was established or kept records.

The British Crown believed that the Palatines could work and be "useful to this kingdom, particularly in the production of naval stores, and as a frontier against the French and their Indians".[25] Naval stores which the British needed were hemp, tar and pitch, poor choices given the climate and the variety of pine trees in New York State. On 6 September 1712, work was halted. "The last day of the government subsistence for most of the Palatines was September 12th."[26] "Within the next five years, many Palatines moved elsewhere. Several went to Pennsylvania, others to New Jersey, settling at Oldwick or Hackensack, still others pushed a few miles south to Rhinebeck, New York, and some returned to New York City, while quite a few established themselves on Livingston Manor [where they had originally been settled]. Some forty or fifty families went to Schoharie between September 12th and October 31, 1712."[27]

In the winter of 1712–13, six Palatines approached the Mohawk clan mothers to ask for permission to settle in the Schoharie River valley, a tributary of the Mohawk River.[28] The clan mothers, moved by the story of their misery and suffering, granted the Palatines permission to settle; in the spring of 1713 about 150 Palatine families moved into the Schoharie valley.[29] The Palatines had not understood that the Haudenosaunee were a matrilineal kinship society, and that the clan mothers had considerable power. They headed the nine clans that made up the Five Nations. The Palatines had expected to meet male sachems rather than these women, but property and descent were passed through the maternal lines.


A report in 1718 placed 224 families of 1,021 persons along the Hudson River while 170 families of 580 persons were in the Schoharie valley.[30] In 1723, under Governor Burnet, 100 heads of families from the work camps were settled on 100 acres (0.40 km2) each in the Burnetsfield Patent midway in the Mohawk River Valley, just west of Little Falls. They were the first Europeans to be allowed to buy land that far west in the valley.

After hearing Palatine accounts of poverty and suffering, the clan mothers granted permission for them to settle in the Schoharie Valley.[28] The women elders had their own motives. During the 17th century, the Haudenosaunee had suffered high mortality from new European infectious diseases, to which they had no immunity. They also had been engaged in warfare against the French and against other indigenous tribes. Finally, in the 1670s–80s French Jesuit missionaries had converted thousands of Iroquois (mostly Mohawk) to Catholicism and persuaded the converts to settle near Montreal.[31]

Historians referred to the Haudenosaunee who moved to New France as the Canadian Iroquois, while those who remained behind are described as the League Iroquois. At the beginning of the 17th century, about 2,000 Mohawk lived in the Mohawk River Valley, but by the beginning of the 18th century, the population had dropped to about 600 people. They were in a weakened position for resisting encroachment by English settlers.[31] The governors of New York had showed a tendency to grant Haudenosaunee land to British settlers without permission. The clan mothers believed that leasing land to the poor Palatines was a preemptive way to block the governors from granting their land to land-hungry immigrants from the British isles.[31] In their turn, the British authorities believed that the Palatines would serve as a protective barrier, providing a reliable militia who would stop French and Indigenous raiders coming down from New France (modern Canada).[32] The Palatine communities gradually extended along both sides of the Mohawk River to Canajoharie. Their legacy was reflected in place names, such as German Flatts and Palatine Bridge, and the few colonial-era churches and other buildings that survived the Revolution. They taught their children German and used the language in churches for nearly 100 years. Many Palatines married only within the German community until the 19th century.

The Palatines settled on the frontiers of New York province in Kanienkeh ("the land of the flint"), the homeland of the Five Nations of the Iroquois League (becoming the Six Nations when the Tuscarora joined the League in 1722) in what is now upstate New York, and formed a very close relationship with the Iroquois. The American historian David L. Preston described the lives of the Palatine community as being "interwoven" with the Iroquois communities.[33] One Palatine leader said about the relationship of his community with the Haudenosauee that: "We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers".[33] The Haudenosauee taught the Palatines about the best places to gather wild edible nuts, together with roots and berries, and how to grow the "Three Sisters", as the Iroquois called their staple foods of beans, squash and corn.[31] One Palatine leader, Johann Conrad Weiser, had his son live with a Mohawk family for a year in order to provide the Palatines with both an interpreter and a friend who might bridge the gap between the two different communities.[31] The Palatines came from the patriarchal society of Europe, whereas the Haudenosaunee had a matrilineal society, in which clan mothers selected the sachems and the chiefs.

The Haudenosaunee admired the work ethic of the Palatines, and often rented their land to the hard-working immigrants.[31] In their turn, the Palatines taught Haudenosaunee women how to use iron plows and hoes to farm the land, together with how to grow oats and wheat.[31] The Haudenosaunee considered farming to be women's work, as their women planted, cultivated and harvested their crops. They considered the Palatine men to be unmanly because they worked the fields.[citation needed] Additionally, the Palatines brought sheep, cows, and pigs to Kanienkeh.[31] With increased agricultural production and money coming in as rent, the Haudenosaunee began to sell the surplus food to merchants in Albany.[31] Many clan mothers and chiefs, who had grown wealthy enough to live at about the same standard of living as a middle-class family in Europe, abandoned their traditional log houses for European-style houses.[31]

In 1756, one Palatine farmer brought 38,000 beads of black wampum during a trip to Schenectady, which was enough to make dozens upon dozens of wampum belts, which were commonly presented to Indigenous leaders as gifts when being introduced.[33] Preston noted that the purchasing of so much wampum reflected the very close relations the Palatines had with the Iroquois.[33] The Palatines used their metal-working skills to repair weapons that belonged to the Iroquois, built mills that ground corn for the Iroquois to sell to merchants in New York and New France, and their churches were used for Christian Iroquois weddings and baptisms.[34] There were also a number of intermarriages between the two communities.[34] Doxstader, a surname common in some of the rural areas of south-western Germany, is also a common Iroquois surname.[34]

Preston wrote that the popular stereotype of United States frontier relations between white settler colonists and Native Americans as being from two racial worlds that hardly interacted did not apply to the Palatine-Iroquois relationship, writing that the Palatines lived between Iroquois settlements in Kanienkeh, and the two peoples "communicated, drank, worked, worshipped and traded together, negotiated over land use and borders, and conducted their diplomacy separate from the colonial governments".[35] Some Palatines learned to perform the Haudenosaunee condolence ceremony, where condolences were offered to those whose friends and family had died, which was the most important of all Iroquois rituals.[31] The Canadian historian James Paxton wrote the Palatines and Haudenosaunee "visited each other's homes, conducted small-scale trade and socialized in taverns and trading posts".[31] Unlike the frontier in Pennsylvania and in the Ohio river valley, where white settlers and the Indians had bloodstained relations, leading to hundreds of murders, relations between whites and Indians in Kanienkeh were friendly; between 1756 and 1774 only 5 colonists or British soldiers were killed by Native Americans, while just 6 Natives were killed by soldiers or settlers.[36] The New York frontier had no equivalent to the Paxton Boys, a vigilante group of Scots-Irish settlers on the Pennsylvania frontier who waged a near-genocidal campaign against the Susquehannock Indians in 1763–64, and the news of the killing perpetrated by the Paxton Boys was received with horror by both whites and Indians on the New York frontier.[36]

However, the Iroquois had initially allowed the Palatines to settle in Kanienkeh out of sympathy for their poverty, and expected them to ultimately contribute for being allowed to live on the land when they become wealthier. In a letter to Sir William Johnson, the Superintendent of Northern Indian Affairs, in 1756, Oneida sachems and clan mothers complained that they had allowed the Palatines to settle in Kanienkeh out of "compassion to their poverty and expected when they could afford it that they would pay us for their land", going on to write now that the Palatines had "grown rich they not only refuse to pay us for our land, but impose on us in everything we have to do with them".[34] Likewise, many Iroquois sachems and clan mothers complained that their young people were too fond of drinking the beer brewed by the Palatines, charging that alcohol was a destructive force in their community.[37]

Despite the intentions of the British, the Palatines showed little inclination to fight for the British Crown, and during the Seven Years' War, tried to maintain neutrality. After the Battle of Fort Bull and the Fall of Fort Oswego to the French, German Flatts and Fort Herkimer become the northern frontier of the British Empire in North America, causing the British Army to rush regiments to the frontier.[38] One Palatine, Hans Josef Herkimer, complained about the British troops in his vicinity in a letter written in broken English to the authorities: "Tieranniece [tyranny] over me they think proper ... Not only Infesting my House and taking my rooms at their pleashure [pleasure] but takes what they think Nesserarie [necessary] of my Effects".[38]

The Palatines sent messages via the Oneida to Quebec City to tell the governor-general of New France, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, of their wish to be neutral while at the same time trading with the French via Indian middlemen.[39] An Oneida Indian passed on a message to Vaudreuil in Quebec City, saying: "We inform you of a message given to us by a Nation that is neither English, nor French nor Indian and inhabits the lands around us ... That Nation has proposed to annex us to itself in order to afford each other mutual help and protection against the English".[32] Vaundreuil in reply stated "I think I know that nation. There is reason to believe they are the Palatines".[32] Another letter sent by the Palatines to Vaudreuil in late 1756 declared that they "looked upon themselves in danger as well as the Six Nations, they are determined to live and die by them & therefore begged the protection of the French".[39]

Vaudreuil informed the Palatines that neutrality was not an option and they could either submit to the King of France or face war.[39] The Palatines tried to stall, causing Vaudreuil to warn them that this "trick will avail nothing; for whenever I think proper, I shall dispatch my warriors to Corlac" (the French name for New York).[32] At one point, the Oneida sent a message to Vaudreuil asking that "not to due [do] them [the Palatines] any hurt as they were no more white people but Oneidas and that their blood was mixed with the Indians".[34] Preston wrote that the letter may have been exaggerating somewhat, but interracial and intercultural sexual relations are known to have occurred on the frontier.[34]

On 10 November 1757, the Oneida sachem Canaghquiesa warned the Palatines that a force of French and Indigenous combatants were on their way to attack, telling them that their women and children should head for the nearest fort, but Canaghquiesa noted that they "laughed at me and slapping their hands on their Buttucks [buttocks] said they did not value the Enemy".[40] On 12 November 1757, a raiding party of about 200 Mississauga and Canadian Iroquois warriors together with 65 Troupes de la Marine and Canadien militiamen fell on the settlement of German Flatts at about 3:00 am, burning the town down to the ground, killing about 40 Palatines while taking 150 back to New France.[41] One Palatine leader, Johan Jost Petri, writing from his prison in Montreal, complained about how "our people have been taken by the Indians and the French (but for the most part by our own Indians) and by our own fault".[42] Afterwards, a group of Oneida and Tuscaroras came to the ruins of the German Flatts to offer food and shelter for the survivors and to bury the dead.[35] In a letter to Johnson, Canaghquiesa wrote "we have condoled with our Brethren the Germans on the loss of their Friends who have been lately killed and taken by the Enemy ... that Ceremony was over three days ago".[35]


Because of the concentration of Palatine refugees in New York, the term "Palatine" became associated with German. "Until the American War of Independence 'Palatine' henceforth was used indiscriminately for all 'emigrants of German tongue'."[43]

The Pennyslvania Dutch[edit]

Many Pennsylvania Dutchmen are descendants of Palatine refugees.[44] The Pennsylvania Dutch language, spoken by the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch in the United States, is derived primarily from the Palatine German language which many Mennonite refugees brought to Pennsylvania in the years 1717 to 1732.[45] The only existing Pennsylvania German newspaper, Hiwwe wie Driwwe, was founded 1996 in the village of Ober-Olm, which is located close to Mainz, the state capital (and is published bi-annually as a cooperation project with Kutztown University). In the same village one can find the headquarters of the German-Pennsylvanian Association.

Many more Palatines emigrated in the course of the 19th century, and the great majority of them to North America, so that in the US temporarily "Palatine" was a common designation for German Americans. Johann Heinrich Heinz (1811-1891), the father of Henry John Heinz who founded the H. J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, emigrated from Kallstadt, Palatinate, to the United States in 1840.

Notable Palatines and descendants[edit]

Engraving of the Rev. Henry Muhlenberg, patriarch of the Lutheran Church in the United States.

Included are immigrants that came during the Colonial Period between 1708 and 1775 and their immediate family members.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chapter Two – The History Of The German Immigration To America – The Brobst Chronicles". Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Irish Palatine Family Surnames".
  3. ^ Otterness, Philip (2004). Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9780801473449.
  4. ^ Otterness, Philip (2004). Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780801473449.
  5. ^ Statt, Daniel. Foreigners and Englishmen: The Controversy over Immigration and Population, 1660-1760. Newark (DE): University of Delaware Press, 1995. pp. 122-130
  6. ^ "A Representation of what Several private Gentlemen have done towards the Relief of the poor Palatines", 4 June 1709, National Archives, SP 34/ 10/129 (236A)
  7. ^ For an in-depth examination of this debate, see H.T. Dickinson, "Poor Palatines and the Parties", The English Historical Review, Vol. 82, No. 324. (July, 1967).
  8. ^ Vigne, Randolph; Littleton, Charles (ed). From Strangers to Citizens : The Integration of Immigrant Communities in Britain, Ireland and Colonial America, 1550-1750, 2001.
  9. ^ "Brief for the Relief, Subsistence and Settlement of the Poor Distressed Palatines", 1709.
  10. ^ H.T. Dickinson, "Poor Palatines and the Parties", p. 472.
  11. ^ Daniel Defoe, The Review, June 21 – August 22, 1709.
  12. ^ H.T. Dickinson, ‘Poor Palatines and the Parties’, pp. 475-477.
  13. ^ Journals of the House of Commons XVI, p. 596.
  14. ^ Statt, Foreigners, pp. 127-129, 167-168.
  15. ^ a b c Connolly, S.J. (1992). Religion, Law and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland 1660-1760. p. 302. ISBN 0-19-820587-2.
  16. ^ a b "The Palatines". Irish Ancestors. Irish Times. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  17. ^ Knittle, Walter Allen, Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration, Genealogical Publishing, 2019 reprint, p. 65
  18. ^ Knittle (2019), Emigration, p. 66
  19. ^ Jones, Henry Z, Jr. The Palatine Families of New York 1710, Universal City, California, 1985, p. viii
  20. ^ Knittle, Emigration, p. 65
  21. ^ Knittle (2019), Emigration, p. 31
  22. ^ Knittle (2019), Emigration, p.4
  23. ^ Smith, James H., History of Dutchess County, New York, Interlaken, New York: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, p. 57
  24. ^ Documentary History of New York, III, 668.
  25. ^ Knittle (2019), p. 38
  26. ^ Public Record Office, London, C. O. 5/1085, p. 67
  27. ^ Knittle (2019), pp. 189–191
  28. ^ a b Paxton, James Joseph Brant and His World, Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 2008 page 12
  29. ^ Paxton (2008), Joseph Brant and His world, pp. 12–13
  30. ^ Paxton (2008), Ibid. p. 195
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Paxton, James, Joseph Brant and his world, Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 2008, p. 13
  32. ^ a b c d Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008, p. 183.
  33. ^ a b c d Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008, p. 181.
  34. ^ a b c d e f Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008, p. 185.
  35. ^ a b c Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008, p. 188.
  36. ^ a b Preston, David. The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667–1783. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009. p. 180.
  37. ^ Paxton, James. Joseph Brant and his world. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 2008. p. 14.
  38. ^ a b Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008. p. 182.
  39. ^ a b c Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008. pp. 182–183.
  40. ^ Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008. pp. 186–187.
  41. ^ Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008. p. 179.
  42. ^ Preston, David. "'We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers': Palatine and Iroquois Communities in the Mohawk Valley". pages 179–189 in New York History, Volume 89, No. 2, Spring 2008. pp. 187.
  43. ^ Roland Paul and Karl Scherer, Pfalzer in Amerika, Kaiserslautern: Institute for Palatine History and Folklore, 1995, p. 48
  44. ^ "Chapter Two – The History Of The German Immigration To America – The Brobst Chronicles". Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  45. ^ Astrid von Schlachta: Gefahr oder Segen? Die Täufer in der politischen Kommunikation. Göttingen 2009, p. 427.

Further reading[edit]

  • Defoe, Daniel. Defoe's Review. Reproduced from the original edition, with an introduction and bibliographical notes by Arthur Wellesley Secord. 9 vols. in 22 (Facsimile Text Soc., 44). New York, 1938-9.
  • Dickinson, Harry Thomas. "The poor Palatines and the parties". English Historical Review, 82 (1967), 464-85.
  • Heald, Carolyn A. (2009). The Irish Palatines In Ontario: Religion, Ethnicity, and Rural Migration (2nd ed.). Milton, Ontario: Global Heritage Press. ISBN 978-1-897446-37-9. OCLC 430037634.
  • Jones, Henry Z, Jr. The Palatine Families of Ireland. 2nd. ed., Picton Press: Rockport, Maine, 1990.
  • Knittle, Walter Allen. Early eighteenth century Palatine emigration; a British government redemptioner project to manufacture naval stores, by Walter Allen Knittle.. Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration: A British Government Redemptioner Project to Manufacture Naval Stores]. Philadelphia: Dorrance, 1937.
  • Statt, Daniel. Foreigners and Englishmen: The Controversy over Immigration and Population, 1660-1760. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 1995.
  • O'Connor, Patrick J. (1989). People Make Places: The Story of the Irish Palatines. Newcastle West, Ireland: Oireacht na Mumhan Books. ISBN 9780951218419.
  • Olson, Alison. "The English Reception of the Huguenots, Palatines and Salzburgers, 1680-1734: A Comparative Analysis" in Randolph Vigne & Charles Littleton, (eds.), From Strangers to Citizens: The Integration of Immigrant Communities in Britain, Ireland and Colonial America, 1550-1750. Brighton and Portland, Ore.: The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Sussex Academic Press, 2001.
  • O'Reilly, William. "Strangers Come to Devour the Land: Changing Views of Foreign Migrants in Early Eighteenth-Century England". Journal of Early Modern History, (2016), 1-35.
  • Otterness, Philip (2007). Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-7117-9. JSTOR 10.7591/j.ctt5hh0sn.
  • Richter, Conrad. The Free Man. Fictional account of a Palatine who emigrated to the United States in the early 1700s and lived during the Revolutionary War.

External links[edit]