Sunday, July 2, 2017

Our Ancestors From Palatine Germany

Today I was invited to join a facebook group, Palatinate German DNA and Ancestry.  Description - "A group to help us determine our German Palatinate ancestral roots in PA, NJ, NY, and anywhere else they may have ended up. We are primarily utilizing DNA to determine our connections."

I immediately joined.  And then I immediately realized I have no idea who our palentine German ancestors are (ok, so I have an idea, but I'm not really certain) nor, with the ever changing definitions and borders, was I completely clear on what Palentine Germany encompasses.  But hey - at least I have our dna results on gedmatch, right?  Nope, not quite.  I have two tests there (one is my brother in laws) but I have yet to upload my husbands and mine are not finished processing at ancestry.    First things first, lets get the results I DO have on gedmatch.  Then I will research the Palentines a bit, and try to make a list of our Palentine Ancestors.
Our Palentine Ancestors, by Gedmatch Kit

Related to Heather Kit # (still being processed)
Paternal 7th great grandfather Matthias Bruch immigrated in 1736 on ship Harle

Related to Heather's Maternal Line (Mother) Kit #A814099

Possibly the Welliver Line, although I have not yet documented the lineage that is given in several sources, and I am not SURE.  Yet.

Related to Daniel Truckenmiller  Kit #A827792

Sebastian Truckenmiller, Dan's 6th great paternal grandfather, immigrated here in 1732 on the Ship Pink, John & William.  He was from the Rhineland area of Gemany.

Anna Maria Maurer - Dan's 6th great paternal grandmother
Probably Johannes Sechler, her husband, as well?

Elias Lang/Long, Dan's Paternal 8th great grandfather

Possibly the Schmeck Line


Next, lets research Palentine Germany.  I strongly recommend reading The History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp.  I've quoted it extensively below, but tried to trim it down to the parts that I believe directly relate to our families, and in doing so, I have missed a lot of interesting facts, such as the settlements in Ireland and Virginia.

Where are they from?  What brought them here?  How can we find them in the records?  And what has been written on them as a whole?


According to Wikipedia (not a completely reliable source, but an ok place to start my research) The German Palantines were 18th century (January 1, 1701 to December 31, 1800) emigrants from the Middle Rhine region of the Holy Empire, including a minority from the Palantine."  Why the entire group became "German Palantines", if it was a minority from that region, I do not know.

So, WHERE was the Palentine Region of Germany?
The Palatinate, or German PFALZ, was in German history, the land of the Count Palatine. I don't know about you, but that definition was not exactly helpful for me.  So I found this map:

But I have to admit that I still am not understanding all of this completely and I may not have a map that encompasses all of the right area for the right time period.  You can see this map, and read more about it (which might be helpful!) here:

 Geographically, the Palatinate was divided between two small territorial clusters: the Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate, and the Upper Palatinate. The Rhenish Palatinate included lands on both sides of the Middle Rhine River between its Main and Neckar tributaries. Its capital until the 18th century was Heidelberg. The Upper Palatinate was located in northern Bavaria, on both sides of the Naab River as it flows south toward the Danube and extended eastward to the Bohemian Forest. The boundaries of the Palatinate varied with the political and dynastic fortunes of the Counts Palatine.

The Palatinate has a border beginning in the north, on the Moselle River about 35 miles southwest of Coblenz to Bingen and east to Mainz, down the Rhine River to Oppenheim, Guntersblum and Worms, then continuing eastward above the Nieckar River about 25 miles east of Heidelberg then looping back westerly below Heidelberg to Speyer, south down the Rhine River to Alsace, then north-westerly back up to its beginning on the Moselle River.

(That description is obviously well beyond my attention span, and I obviously cut and pasted it from somewhere, but unfortunately, I can't remember where.  Possibly wikipedia)

Why Did They Move?

Towards the end of the 17th century (so, late 1600s) this wealthy region of Germany was repeatedly invaded by troops from France, which caused widespread devastation and famine.  Around 13,000 formerly wealthy, but now "poor palentines", migrated to England between May and November of 1709.  (Why 1709?  What was the final straw that sent them all to a new country?)

Of the large number that came to England, in 1708 and 1709, seven thousand, after having suffered great privations, returned, half naked and in despondency, to their native country. Ten thousand died for want of sustenance, medical attendance, and from other causes. Some perished on ships. The survivors were transported to English colonies in America. Several thousand had embarked for the Silly Islands, a group south-west of England; but never reached their intended destination.  (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

And How Can We Find Them?
In 1710, the English transported nearly 3,000 German Palantines in 10 ships, into New York.  Many were first assigned to work camps along the Hudson River to work off their passage.

A list of ships carrying Palatines from Germany to Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808.

Before leaving on ships from England to New York, many of the Palatines stranded there received Letters of Denization. These were dated 25 August 1708 before the first wave of immigration from England to New York. Since the first ships passenger lists carrying Palatines to New York have not survived, we can refer to these Letters of Denization for the names of some of the first 52 German Protestants (Palatines) sent at Queen Anne's expense to New York.

Denization Records of Palatines (Germans) from England to NY 1708 Can be found here:
DENIZATION - English Law. The act by which a foreigner becomes a subject of England but he does not have the rights either of a natural born subject, nor of one who has become naturalized. DENIZEN - An alien born, who has obtained letters patent to make him an English subject.

More Records, Palatines from England to New York 1709

Pennsylvania German Pioneers Pennsylvania German Pioneers contains the original lists of Palatine German pioneers who arrived at the port of Philadelphia from the years 1727 to 1808.
This is also searchable on -

Palatine Children Apprenticed by Gov. Hunter in New York 1710-1714

Those settled on Hudson river were under indenture to serve Queen Anne as grateful subjects, to manufacture tar and raise hemp, in order to repay the expenses of their transport and cost of subsistence, to the amount of ten thousand pounds sterling, which had been advanced by parliamentary grant. A supply of naval stores from this arrangement, had been confidently anticipated. The experiment proved a complete failure. There was mismanagement. (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

Next, the Palentines headed to the Schoharie Valley.  The Schoharie Valley is a corridor that runs through Schoharie County from Schoharie, New York to Gilboa, New York.

Why Did So Many End Up In Pennsylvania?

The Germans, being unjustly oppressed, became dissatisfied both with their treatment, and with their situation. Governor Hunter resorted to violent measures to secure obedience to his demands. In this, too, he failed. One hundred and fifty families, to escape the certainty of famishing, left, in the autumn of 1712, for Schoharie Valley, some sixty miles, northwest of Livingston Manor. They had no open road, no horses to carry or haul their luggage - this they loaded on roughly constructed sleds, and did tug those themselves, through a three feet deep snow, which greatly obstructed their progress - their way was through an unbroken forest, where and when the wind was howling its hibernal dirge through leaf-stripped trees, amid falling snow. It took them three full weeks. Having reached Schoharie, they made improvements upon the lands Queen Anne had granted them. Here they remained about ten years, when owing to some defect in their titles, they were deprived of both lands and improvements. In the spring of 1723, thirty-three families removed and settled in Pennsylvania, in Tulpehocken, some fifteen miles west of Reading. A few years afterward, others followed them.
The other dissatisfied Germans at Schoharie, who did to choose to follow their friends to Pennsylvania sought for and found a future home on the frontier in Mohawk Valley.  (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

From 1682 to 1776, Pennsylvania was the central point of emigration from Germany, France and Switzerland. Penn's liberal views, and illiberal course of the government of New York toward the Germans, induced many to come to this Province (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

Or, here's anotherversion of the above, from Peter Kalm's Travels in America, in 1747 and 1748, Vol I, pp. 270,271

Why Did German speaking Immigrants settle in Pennsylvania?
Though, says Peter Kalm, the Provices of New York has been inhabited by Europeans much longer than Pennsylvania, yet it is not by far so populous as that colony. This cannot be ascribed to any particular discouragement arising from the nature of the soil, for that is pretty good; but, I am told of a very different reason, which I will mention here.

In the reign of Queen Anne, about the year 1709, many German came hither, who got a tract of land from the English government, which they might settle. After they had lived there some time, and had built houses, and made corn fields and meadows, their liberties and privileges were infringed, and, under several pretences, they were repeatedly deprived of parts of their land. This at last roused the Germans. They returned violence for violence, and beat those who thus robbed them of their possessions. But these proceedings were looked upon in a very bad light by the government. The most active people among the Germans being taken up, they were roughly treated, and punished with the utmost rigor of the law.

This however, so far exasperated the rest, that the greater part of them left their houses and fields, and went to settle in Pennsylvania. There they were exceedingly well received, got a considerable tract of land, and were indulged in great privileges, which were given them forever. The Germans, not satisfied with being themselves removed from New York, wrote to their relations and friends, and advised them, if ever they intended to come to America, not to go to New York, where the government had shown itself so inequitable.

This advice had such influence that the Germans who afterwards went in great numbers to North America, constantly avoided New York and always went to Pennsylvania.

It sometimes happened that they were forced to go on board of such ships, as were bound for New York, but they were scarce got on shore, when they hastened on to Pennsylvania in sight of all the inhabitants of New York.

On The Hardiness Of The Germans:

We come from "hardy German Stock", according to my ancestors.  And according to several historians to, as I have come to find:

After 1716, Germans, a few French and Dutch, began to penetrate the forest or wilderness - some twenty, thirty, forty, others from sixty to seventy miles, west and north from the metropolis. Large German settlements had sprung up at different points within the present limits of Montgomery and Berks counties. At Goshenhoppen there was a German Reformed church, organized as early as 1717. Some Mennonites coming from the Netherlands, settled along the Pakilmomink (Perkioming) and Schkipeck (Skippack) a few years later.

The Germans were principally farmers. They depended more upon themselves than upon others. They wielded the mattock, the axe and the maul, and by the power of brawny arms rooted up the grubs, removed saplings, felled the majestic oaks, laid low the towering hickory; prostrated, where they grew, the walnut, poplar, chestnut - cleaved such as suited the purpose, into rails for fences - persevered untiringly until the forest was changed into arable field. They were those of whom Governor Thomas said, 1738: 'This Province has been for some years the asylum of the distressed Protestants of the Palatinate, and other parts of Germany; and I believe, it may truthfully he said, that the present flourishing condition of it is in a great measure owing to the industry of those people; it is not altogether the fertility of the soil, but the number and industry of the people, that makes a country flourish.'

England understood well the true policy to increase the number of the people in her American colonies - she retained at home her own subjects, encourage the emigration of Germans; by this England was the gainer, without an diminution of her inhabitants.
Unreasonable as it may seen, it was this class of Germans, that were so much feared, "whose numbers from Germany at this rate, would soon produce a German colony here, and perhaps such a one as Britain once received from Saxony in the fifth century." (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

About 1728 and 1729, the Germans crossed the Susquehanna, located within the present limits of York and Adams county, and made improvements under discouraging circumstances.

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