Thursday, February 17, 2011

New York Palatines

Resources for Research
Map From "The Mohawk Valley and Its People by Barth Lefferts
The Palatine immigration of 1710, resulted in about 3,000 Palatine Germans being sent to America.  Exhausted by the frequent wars that ravaged their border-lands, many Palatines were able to reach Holland and England to meet their fate. Many refugees were sent to London and later  transported to New York.  The purpose was to relieve the financial burden to the Crown, and to support the English Crown’s (failed idea) of building its British Fleet from the north eastern pines (tar). It is said that these Palatines on the original 1710 Subsistence Lists were never really pleased with the idea of working with the Pine Tar, since their preference was land and farming, but they settled on both the east and west sides of the Hudson River to pay back their debts to the crown.

Although there are many places to research, my preference is to begin with the churches, you may wish to begin with the well documented Monument to the Palatines containing the names of the families who arrived at Hudson's River in the fall of 1710.  This monument was erected eight years ago on the grounds of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Camp and dedicated by the Saugerties Historical Society on June 13, 1998.

The refuges made up of about one third each: Lutheran, Catholic, and Reform.  So visiting the early settlement areas, and scouting for early church records may result in a successful search.  However, know that the British governor forced the Catholic refugees to convert to Protestant before emigrating to the new colony of NY. And it is possible that a few followed the Anglican missionary, at the risk of being an outcast in the German community.

A researcher of Palatine ancestors may also wish to get their eyes on the translation of Rev. Kocherthal’s Records of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at West Camp: Volume I (1708-1843), but know that it is possible that a non Palatinate subject may be listed, since Kocherthal worked outside the community also.  The translation was done in 1976 by Frederick S. Weiser.

Of course it is imperative that I list the valuable works of Henry Z. Jones, Jr: The Palatine Families of New York: A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710.  Jones also gives us More Palatine Families: Some Immigrants in the Middle Colonies 1717-1776 and their European Origins Plus New Discoveries on German Families who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710.

If you are in the area and you have NY Palatine ancestors, you may wish to visit a few places filled with Palatine settlements.  But remember due to discontentment, some of these early Palatines left NY to settle in Pennsylvania.

Using the map above, here are a few good resources per county. 
Ulster County
·        #1  West Camp.  Be sure to visit the Monument at the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
·        #3  Katsbaan Church.  The Kastabaan Church erected by the Palatines in 1732 was established in 1710.  Records can be found as early as 1730.

Greene County
The Greene County Historical Society offers the Bronck Museum and Barns.
·        #11  Vedder Library and  Bronck House Museum

Columbia County
·        #2   East Camp, Germantown, NY. Church records may be found at the Christ Lutheran Church, 1811.

 ·        #6   County Historical Society.  This research room has an index to the Columbia County Cemetery burials.

Dutchess County
For a good reference on this County I suggest you peruse the History of the Little Nine Partners by Isaac Huntting gives a thorough overview of the churches and history of Pine Plains NY. 
·        #12  Rhinebeck Museum.  Thirty-five families settled in the Rhinebeck area in (abt) 1714.

Happy Palatine Searching!

Kathleen Brandt

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kathleen.
    I guess you knew I'd see this, and I appreciate your writing this piece. Many of the locations, sources, etc. are familiar to me, but it is always nice seeing a posting. Many thanks.