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March 15, 2011

Finding a Palatine Ancestor

About 18 years ago I discovered I had Palatine ancestors. I had no idea what a Palatine was. This is where research of historical events and peoples comes into play. Finding a new group of ancestors often means you need to research what that group experienced, where they lived, why they immigrated and when, and just about anything you can find out about them.

The Palatinate or German Pfalz was subject to invasion by the armies of Britain, France, and Germany. As well as the devastating effects of war, the Palatines were subjected to the winter of 1708 and 1709, the harshest in 100 years. 

Spotlight On Palatine Genealogy
Search for Palatine Denizations (Naturalizations) 1708 at

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. 

Palatine Immigrants to New York
Search for Palatine ancestors in Palatine Ships Lists to New York or Palatine Child Apprentices 1710-1714 at

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. 

Pennsylvania Palatine Ancestors
Start your research with Palatine Ships to Pennsylvania 1727 to 1808 online at

Over the next 100 years, impoverished Palatines fled from Germany to America - many arriving in Pennsylvania. Olive Tree Genealogy has a Pennsylvania German Pioneers Project which includes the list of ships carrying Palatines from Germany to Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 as well as names of passengers, Oaths of Allegiance and Ships Passenger Lists. 


txlynnage said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I too have Palatine Ancestors........Mine arrived in 1710 (the third wave) and have been in North America ever since! They were my Eoff line (pronounced Oaf).

Rosemary said...

Henry Z Jones has written a number of books on the Palatines in America. I found some of them on Amazon.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Rosemary - Jones' books are invaluable. There are links to them on my site at the PALATINE section

Howland Davis said...

Another book was written and published by my mother-in-law, Mary Near, titled Our Canadian Nears And Early Kin. This book is not available for sale but I will respond to look-up requests as I have copies of the first and second editions as well as some up-to-date changes. The Nears were part of the third wave and went to the RedHook area of the Hudson River Valley where, in a quirk of fate, my father's maternal ancestors sold them land for a church and cemetery.

Howland Davis

DeeZee said...

Maybe this is WAY off, but I have found several Palatine ancestors and we moved to the area of Germany where they came from last summer. I have 2 years here before my husband's job moves us again. Any suggestions for what I can accomplish here??