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October 24, 2004

What is a Palatine?

© Lorine McGinnis Schulze

The German Palatinate was divided between two small territorial clusters: the Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate, and the Upper Palatinate. As well as the devastating effects of war, the people living in that region, called Palatines, were subjected to the winter of 1708-09, the harshest in 100 years. The scene was set for a mass migration to America ......

In the spring of 1709, about 7 000 harassed Palatines sailed down the Rhine to Rotterdam. From there, about 3000 were dispatched to America, either directly or via England, under the auspices of William Penn. The remaining 4 000 were sent via England to Ireland to strengthen the protestant interest there.

In 1710, three large groups of Palatines sailed from London. The first went to Ireland, the second to Carolina and the third to New York with the new Governor, Robert Hunter. There were 3 000 Palatines on 10 ships that sailed for New York and approximately 470 died on the voyage or shortly after their arrival.

Their plight did not end there for they were subjected to harsh conditions under the British once in America.

To read more about Palatines see Palatine Genealogy at

Also see

This article © Lorine McGinnis Schulze and may be reproduced as long as all identifying URLs remain intact and nothing is altered