The following is an excerpt from

Palatine migration to New York and Pennsylvania

Palatines had trickled into British America since their earliest days. The first mass migration, however, began in 1708. Queen Anne's government had sympathy for the Palatines and had invited them to go to America and work in trade for passage. Official correspondence in British records shows a combined total of 13,146 refugees traveled down the Rhine and or from Amsterdam to England in the summer of 1709.[38] More than 3500 of these were returned from England either because they were Roman Catholic or at their own request.[39] Henry Z Jones, Jr. quotes an entry in a churchbook by the Pastor of Dreieichenhain that states a total of 15,313 Palatines left their villages in 1709 "for the so-called New America and, of course, Carolina".[40]

The flood of immigration overwhelmed English resources. It resulted in major disruptions, overcrowding, famine, disease and the death of a thousand or more Palatines. It appeared the entire Palatinate would be emptied before a halt could be called to emigration.[41] Many reasons have been given to explain why so many families left their homes for an unknown land. Knittle summarizes them: "(1) war devastation, (2) heavy taxation, (3) an extraordinarily severe winter, (4) religious quarrels, but not persecutions, (5) land hunger on the part of the elderly and desire for adventure on the part of the young, (6) liberal advertising by colonial proprietors, and finally (7) the benevolent and active cooperation of the British government."[42]

No doubt the biggest impetus was the harsh, cold winter that preceded their departure. Birds froze in mid-air, casks of wine, livestock, and whole vineyards were destroyed by the unremitting cold.[43] With what little was left of their possessions, the refugees made their way on boats down the Rhine to Amsterdam, where they remained until the British government decided what to do about them. Ships were finally dispatched for them across the English Channel, and the Palatines arrived in London, where they waited longer while the British government considered its options. So many arrived that the government created a winter camp for them outside the city walls. A few were settled in England, a few more may have been sent to Jamaica and Nassau, but the greatest numbers were sent to Ireland, Carolina and especially, New York in the summer of 1710. They were obligated to work off their passage.

The Reverend Joshua Kocherthal paved the way in 1709, with a small group of fifty who settled in Newburgh, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River. "In the summer of 1710, a colony numbering 2,227 arrived in New York and were [later] located in five villages on either side of the Hudson, those upon the east side being designated as East Camp, and those upon the west, as West Camp."[44] A census of these villages on 1 May 1711 showed 1194 on the east side and 583 on the west side. The total number of families was 342 and 185, respectively.[45] About 350 Palatines had remained in New York City, and some settled in New Jersey. Others travelled down the Susquehanna River, settling in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The locations of the New Jersey communities correlate with the foundation of the oldest Lutheran churches in that state, i.e., the first called Zion at New Germantown (now Oldwick), Hunterdon County; the 'Straw Church' now called St. James at Greenwich Township, Sussex (now Pohatong Township, Warren County); and St. Paul's at Pluckemin, Bedminster Township, Somerset County.

Indentured servitude

Robert Livingston the Elder (13 December 1654 – 1 October 1728) was a New York colonial official and first lord of Livingston Manor.

Settlement by Palatines on the east side (East Camp) of the Hudson River was accomplished as a result of Governor Hunter's negotiations with Robert Livingston, who owned Livingston Manor in what is now Columbia County, New York. (This was not the town now known as Livingston Manor on the west side of the Hudson River.) Livingston was anxious to have his lands developed. The Livingstons benefited for many years from the revenues they received as a result of this business venture. West Camp, on the other hand, was located on land the Crown had recently "repossessed" as an "extravagant grant". Pastors from both Lutheran and Reformed churches quickly began to serve the camps and created extensive records of these early settlers and their life passages long before the state of New York was established or kept records.

The British Crown believed that the Palatines could work and be "useful to this kingdom, particularly in the production of naval stores, and as a frontier against the French and their Indians".[46] Naval stores which the British needed were hemp, tar and pitch, poor choices given the climate and the variety of pine trees in New York State. On 6 September 1712, work was halted. "The last day of the government subsistence for most of the Palatines was September 12th."[47] "Within the next five years, many Palatines moved elsewhere. Several went to Pennsylvania, others to New Jersey, settling at Oldwick or Hackensack, still others pushed a few miles south to Rhinebeck, New York, and some returned to New York City, while quite a few established themselves on Livingston Manor [where they had originally been settled]. Some forty or fifty families went to Schoharie between September 12th and October 31, 1712."[48]

In the winter of 1712–13, six Palatines approached the Mohawk clan mothers to ask for permission to settle in the Schoharie River valley, a tributary of the Mohawk River.[49] The clan mothers, moved by the story of their misery and suffering, granted the Palatines permission to settle; in the spring of 1713 about 150 Palatine families moved into the Schoharie valley.[50] The Palatines had not understood that the Haudenosaunee were a matrilineal kinship society, and that the clan mothers had considerable power. They headed the nine clans that made up the Five Nations. The Palatines had expected to meet male sachems rather than these women, but property and descent were passed through the maternal lines.


William Burnet, Governor of New York and New Jersey.

A report in 1718 placed 224 families of 1,021 persons along the Hudson River while 170 families of 580 persons were in the Schoharie valley.[51] In 1723, under Governor Burnet, 100 heads of families from the work camps were settled on 100 acres (0.40 km2) each in the Burnetsfield Patent midway in the Mohawk River Valley, just west of Little Falls. They were the first Europeans to be allowed to buy land that far west in the valley.

After hearing Palatine accounts of poverty and suffering, the clan mothers granted permission for them to settle in the Schoharie Valley.[49] The women elders had their own motives. During the 17th century, the Haudenosaunee had suffered high mortality from new European infectious diseases, to which they had no immunity. They also had been engaged in warfare against the French and against other indigenous tribes. Finally, in the 1670s–80s French Jesuit missionaries had converted thousands of Iroquois (mostly Mohawk) to Catholicism and persuaded the converts to settle near Montreal.[52]

Historians referred to the Haudenosaunee who moved to New France as the Canadian Iroquois, while those who remained behind are described as the League Iroquois. At the beginning of the 17th century, about 2,000 Mohawk lived in the Mohawk River Valley, but by the beginning of the 18th century, the population had dropped to about 600 people. They were in a weakened position for resisting encroachment by English settlers.[52] The governors of New York had showed a tendency to grant Haudenosaunee land to British settlers without permission. The clan mothers believed that leasing land to the poor Palatines was a preemptive way to block the governors from granting their land to land-hungry immigrants from the British isles.[52] In their turn, the British authorities believed that the Palatines would serve as a protective barrier, providing a reliable militia who would stop French and Indigenous raiders coming down from New France (modern Canada).[53] The Palatine communities gradually extended along both sides of the Mohawk River to Canajoharie. Their legacy was reflected in place names, such as German Flatts and Palatine Bridge, and the few colonial-era churches and other buildings that survived the Revolution. They taught their children German and used the language in churches for nearly 100 years. Many Palatines married only within the German community until the 19th century.

The Palatines settled on the frontiers of New York province in Kanienkeh ("the land of the flint"), the homeland of the Five Nations of the Iroquois League (becoming the Six Nations when the Tuscarora joined the League in 1722) in what is now upstate New York, and formed a very close relationship with the Iroquois. The American historian David L. Preston described the lives of the Palatine community as being "interwoven" with the Iroquois communities.[54] One Palatine leader said about the relationship of his community with the Haudenosauee that: "We intend to live our lifetime together as brothers".[54] The Haudenosauee taught the Palatines about the best places to gather wild edible nuts, together with roots and berries, and how to grow the "Three Sisters", as the Iroquois called their staple foods of beans, squash and corn.[52] One Palatine leader, Johann Conrad Weiser, had his son live with a Mohawk family for a year in order to provide the Palatines with both an interpreter and a friend who might bridge the gap between the two different communities.[52] The Palatines came from the patriarchal society of Europe, whereas the Haudenosaunee had a matrilineal society, in which clan mothers selected the sachems and the chiefs.

The Haudenosaunee admired the work ethic of the Palatines, and often rented their land to the hard-working immigrants.[52] In their turn, the Palatines taught Haudenosaunee women how to use iron plows and hoes to farm the land, together with how to grow oats and wheat.[52] The Haudenosaunee considered farming to be women's work, as their women planted, cultivated and harvested their crops. They considered the Palatine men to be unmanly because they worked the fields.[citation needed] Additionally, the Palatines brought sheep, cows, and pigs to Kanienkeh.[52] With increased agricultural production and money coming in as rent, the Haudenosaunee began to sell the surplus food to merchants in Albany.[52] Many clan mothers and chiefs, who had grown wealthy enough to live at about the same standard of living as a middle-class family in Europe, abandoned their traditional log houses for European-style houses.[52]

In 1756, one Palatine farmer brought 38,000 beads of black wampum during a trip to Schenectady, which was enough to make dozens upon dozens of wampum belts, which were commonly presented to Indigenous leaders as gifts when being introduced.[54] Preston noted that the purchasing of so much wampum reflected the very close relations the Palatines had with the Iroquois.[54] The Palatines used their metal-working skills to repair weapons that belonged to the Iroquois, built mills that ground corn for the Iroquois to sell to merchants in New York and New France, and their churches were used for Christian Iroquois weddings and baptisms.[55] There were also a number of intermarriages between the two communities.[55] Doxstader, a surname common in some of the rural areas of south-western Germany, is also a common Iroquois surname.[55]

Palatine and Indian relationship

Palatines maintained good relations with the Indians.

A Susquehannock Indian fort, 1671

Preston wrote that the popular stereotype of United States frontier relations between white settler colonists and Native Americans as being from two racial worlds that hardly interacted did not apply to the Palatine-Iroquois relationship, writing that the Palatines lived between Iroquois settlements in Kanienkeh, and the two peoples "communicated, drank, worked, worshipped and traded together, negotiated over land use and borders, and conducted their diplomacy separate from the colonial governments".[56] Some Palatines learned to perform the Haudenosaunee condolence ceremony, where condolences were offered to those whose friends and family had died, which was the most important of all Iroquois rituals.[52] The Canadian historian James Paxton wrote the Palatines and Haudenosaunee "visited each other's homes, conducted small-scale trade and socialized in taverns and trading posts".[52]

Unlike the frontier in Pennsylvania and in the Ohio river valley, where English settlers and the Indians had bloodstained relations, leading to hundreds of murders, relations between the Palatine Dutch and Indians in Kanienkeh were friendly. Between 1756 and 1774 in the New York frontier, only 5 colonists or British soldiers were killed by Native Americans, while just 6 Natives were killed by soldiers or settlers.[57] The New York frontier had no equivalent to the Paxton Boys, a vigilante group of Scots-Irish settlers on the Pennsylvania frontier who waged a near-genocidal campaign against the Susquehannock Indians in 1763–64, and the news of the killing perpetrated by the Paxton Boys was received with horror by both whites and Indians on the New York frontier.[57]

However, the Iroquois had initially allowed the Palatines to settle in Kanienkeh out of sympathy for their poverty, and expected them to ultimately contribute for being allowed to live on the land when they become wealthier. In a letter to Sir William Johnson, the Superintendent of Northern Indian Affairs, in 1756, Oneida sachems and clan mothers complained that they had allowed the Palatines to settle in Kanienkeh out of "compassion to their poverty and expected when they could afford it that they would pay us for their land", going on to write now that the Palatines had "grown rich they not only refuse to pay us for our land, but impose on us in everything we have to do with them".[55] Likewise, many Iroquois sachems and clan mothers complained that their young people were too fond of drinking the beer brewed by the Palatines, charging that alcohol was a destructive force in their community.[58]

Palatines during the French and Indian War (1754–1763)

Despite the intentions of the British, the Palatines showed little inclination to fight for the British Crown, and during French and Indian War, tried to maintain neutrality. After the Battle of Fort Bull and the Fall of Fort Oswego to the French, German Flatts and Fort Herkimer become the northern frontier of the British Empire in North America, causing the British Army to rush regiments to the frontier.[59] One Palatine, Hans Josef Herkimer, complained about the British troops in his vicinity in a letter written in broken English to the authorities: "Tieranniece [tyranny] over me they think proper ... Not only Infesting my House and taking my rooms at their pleashure [pleasure] but takes what they think Nesserarie [necessary] of my Effects".[59]

The Palatines sent messages via the Oneida to Quebec City to tell the governor-general of New France, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, of their wish to be neutral while at the same time trading with the French via Indian middlemen.[60] An Oneida Indian passed on a message to Vaudreuil in Quebec City, saying: "We inform you of a message given to us by a Nation that is neither English, nor French nor Indian and inhabits the lands around us ... That Nation has proposed to annex us to itself in order to afford each other mutual help and protection against the English".[53] Vaundreuil in reply stated "I think I know that nation. There is reason to believe they are the Palatines".[53] Another letter sent by the Palatines to Vaudreuil in late 1756 declared that they "looked upon themselves in danger as well as the Six Nations, they are determined to live and die by them & therefore begged the protection of the French".[60]

Vaudreuil informed the Palatines that neutrality was not an option and they could either submit to the King of France or face war.[60] The Palatines tried to stall, causing Vaudreuil to warn them that this "trick will avail nothing; for whenever I think proper, I shall dispatch my warriors to Corlac" (the French name for New York).[53] At one point, the Oneida sent a message to Vaudreuil asking that "not to due [do] them [the Palatines] any hurt as they were no more white people but Oneidas and that their blood was mixed with the Indians".[55] Preston wrote that the letter may have been exaggerating somewhat, but interracial and intercultural sexual relations are known to have occurred on the frontier.[55] The descendants of the Palatine Dutch and Indians were known as Black Dutch.[61]

On 10 November 1757, the Oneida sachem Canaghquiesa warned the Palatines that a force of French and Indigenous combatants were on their way to attack, telling them that their women and children should head for the nearest fort, but Canaghquiesa noted that they "laughed at me and slapping their hands on their Buttucks [buttocks] said they did not value the Enemy".[62] On 12 November 1757, a raiding party of about 200 Mississauga and Canadian Iroquois warriors together with 65 Troupes de la Marine and Canadien militiamen fell on the settlement of German Flatts at about 3:00 am, burning the town down to the ground, killing about 40 Palatines while taking 150 back to New France.[63] One Palatine leader, Johan Jost Petri, writing from his prison in Montreal, complained about how "our people have been taken by the Indians and the French (but for the most part by our own Indians) and by our own fault".[64] Afterwards, a group of Oneida and Tuscaroras came to the ruins of the German Flatts to offer food and shelter for the survivors and to bury the dead.[56] In a letter to Johnson, Canaghquiesa wrote "we have condoled with our Brethren the Germans on the loss of their Friends who have been lately killed and taken by the Enemy ... that Ceremony was over three days ago".[56]

Data found on, verified through personal records. 

Kasselmann in Germany

The chart above was generated March 16, 2023 in my account on which is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  Living people are not shown in the interest of their privacy.