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August 20, 2007

Palatine (German Palatinate) History

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Olive Tree Genealogy
Copyright © 1996


"The Palatinate or German PFALZ, was, in German history, the land of the Count Palatine, a title held by a leading secular prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Geographically, the Palatinate was divided between two small territorial clusters: the Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate, and the Upper Palatinate.

While the land of the Palatinate was good for its inhabitants, many of whom were farmers, vineyard operators etc., its location was unfortunately subject to invasion by the armies of Britain, France, and Germany. Mother Nature also played a role in what happened, for the winter of 1708 was particularly severe and many of the vineyards perished. So, as well as the devastating effects of war, the Palatines were subjected to the winter of 1708-09, the harshest in 100 years.

The scene was set for a mass migration. At the invitation of Queen Anne 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....."

Read the complete article History of the Palatines or start your search for Palatine ancestors in

Palatine Ships' Lists to PA

Palatine Ships' Lists to NY

Palatine Child Apprentices 1710-1714

Family Names

Palatine Denizations (Naturalizations) 1708

[The full article has been published, with my permission as Irish Palatine Story on the Internet in Irish Palatine Association Journal, No. 7 December 1996]

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