Palatine Records in the United States

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Henry "Hank" Jones, FASG, is the leading authority on these immigrants. To contact him, visit his website: http://www.hankjones.com. He has identified the origins of 600 of the 847 Palatine families involved in this migration.[1] Three principal sources documenting the identities of individuals involved in this large migration are: (1) The Rotterdam Sailing Lists of 1709 (Holland), (2) The London Census of Palatines of 1709 (England), (3) The Hunter Subsistence Lists 1710-1712 (New York). His chief German researcher, Carla Mittelstaedt-Kubaseck literally went village to village searching old church books seeking 1709ers origins. Despite the term "Palatine," Jones discovered that many of the families did not originate in the area of Germany known as the "Palatinate" (Pfalz in German). "Palatine" was a term applied to Germans in general. Many of the migrants who lived near each other in New York, came from the same hometowns in Germany. His findings, which include beautiful photographs of the villages where immigrants originated, and the old churches where they worshipped, have been published:

  • Jones, Henry Z., Jr. The Palatine Families of New York: A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710. Two Volumes. Universal City, Calif.: Henry Z. Jones, 1985. FHL Book 974.7 D2j. Includes births, marriages, deaths, and source citations.
  • Jones, Henry Z., Jr. "Some Additional Discoveries on the German Origins of the Palatine Families of New York," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 117, No. 4 (Oct. 1986):193-198. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 117.
  • Jones, Henry Z. Jr. and Annette Kunselman Burgert. Westerwald to America: Some 18th Century German Immigrants. Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1989. FHL Book 943.42 W2b.
  • Jones, Henry Z., Jr. More Palatine Families: Some Immigrants to the Middle Colonies, 1717–1776, and Their European Origins, Plus New Discoveries on German Families Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710. Universal City, Calif.: Henry Z. Jones, 1991. FHL Book 973 W2jo.
  • Jones, Henry Z., Jr. and Lewis Bunker Rohrbach. Even More Palatine Families: 18th Century Immigrants to the American Colonies and Their German, Swiss, and American Origins. 3 vols. Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 2002. FHL Books 974.7 D2je v. 1-v. 3.
  • Jones, Henry Z., Jr. "Some Newly-Discovered German Origins for the Palatine Families of New York-1710," The American Genealogist, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan. 2011):46-62.

Jones shares the following strategies, learned from experience, for genealogists who wish to trace the German origins of Colonial Americans:

  1. Study the neighbors
  2. Study the sponsors
  3. Use original sources
  4. Remember even original sources may be wrong
  5. Study naming and spelling patterns
  6. Use family traditions as guides, never gospel
  7. Use indices with caution
  8. Follow your intuition as well as your intellect in genealogical searches[2]

Many of these families appear in Reformed and Lutheran church books in New York. Jones notes the religious flexibility of these early German immigrants. Many switched from Catholicism to Protestantism in the New World.[3]


The 1709 London Census of Palatines was published by The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Their publication is available online:

  • "List of Germans from the Palatinate Who Came to England in 1709," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Jan. 1909):49-54; Vol. 40, No. 2 (Apr. 1909):93-100; Vol. 40, No. 3 (Jul. 1909):160-167; Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct. 1909):241-248; Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan. 1910):10-19. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 40-41. Internet Archive has digitized Vol. 40 and Vol. 41 - free.[4]

Dr. Marianne S. Wokeck created a detailed list of "German Immigrant Voyages, 1683-1775" to Colonial America. Destinations include New York (1708-1766). She published the list in an Appendix to:

  • Wokeck, Marianne S. Trade in Strangers: The Beginnings of Mass Migration to North America. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999. FHL Book 970 W2w.

Frank Diffenderffer extensively documented the origins, reasons for leaving, escape routes and living conditions of these Palatine refugees throughout their journey:

  • Diffenderffer, Frank Reid. The German Exodus to England in 1709. Lancaster, Pa.: The Pennsylvania-German Society, 1897. Digital version available through Open Library.

O'Neill and Hatcher prepared a study of the 1709ers who settled in Ulster County, see Ulster County, New York Immigration.

Before 1776 Germans and Dutch settled the Mohawk Valley.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Henry Z. Jones Jr., "Some Newly-Discovered German Origins for the Palatine Families of New York-1710," The American Genealogist, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan. 2011):46-62.
  2. Henry Z. Jones, The Palatine Families of New York: A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710 (Universal City, Calif.: H.Z. Jones, 1985), iv-xxvii. FHL Books 974.7 D2j v. 1-v. 2.
  3. Henry Z. Jones, More Palatine Families: Some Immigrants to the Middle Colonies, 1717-1776, and Their European Origins, Plus New Discoveries on German Families Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710 (Universal City, Calif.: H.Z. Jones, c1991), xxi-xxiv. FHL Book 974.7 D2ja.
  4. WeRelate contributors, "Source:New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (New York Genealogical and Biographical Society)," in WeRelate, http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:New_York_Genealogical_and_Biographical_Record_%28New_York_Genealogical_and_Biographical_Society%29, accessed 9 February 2012.