What interests me about genealogical research is the discovery of historical context. I was surprised to learn that I have Palatine ancestors. They suffered a horrible passage by sea only to be tricked by the government and left to fend for themselves. Hunger, extreme winter temperatures, high taxation, and religious intolerance motivated them to seek a new land. Eventually, new generations were born in America, worshiped, and owned land. A new world brought new opportunities.
Did this shared experience of immigration and religion create new bonds of connection? Sometimes it takes liminal experiences to create a new sense of self, a new identity. It seems that the Lutheran and Dutch Reformed churches became spiritual, communal, and social hubs for these immigrants. Through toil, all mentioned below became farming land owners. Marriages occurred within a local known pool of mates. Sons followed fathers’ footsteps until a time of access to education providing access to other vocational pursuits.
By following the stories of each immigrant, their children, and their grandchildren, it is possible to take a glimpse at an unfolding…
The Palatine Project‘s New York bound German Passenger Lists provide clues regarding connections. The following men are grandfathers of varying generational degree:
Herman Betzer — from Hackenburg — arrived 1710 on 8th ship — settled in Livingston Manor, Columbia County, NY. He and Jacob Best arrived on the same ship, lived in the same area and had children who married each other.
Henrig Talheimer — from Palinate, Upper Bavaria ? — arrived 1709/10 — Embarkation List from Holland Fourth Party — Embarked June 10 to June 19, Sailed June 21, 1709 — settled in Beekman, Dutchess County
After the massive immigration of 1709/10, other German/Dutch ancestors arrived.
Lewis Sicker — probably from Germany — arrived about 1755 — settled in Watervliet, Albany County, NY. His daughter married Frederick Roff’s grandson.
Johannes Runckel — probably from Runkle, Germany — arrived Philadelphia 1742 probably aboard ship Robert & Alice — settled in initially in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County and later in Colonie, Albany County, NY. He married daughter of Carl Neher above.
Jacob Fratt — possibly from Wurtemberg, Germany — arrival unknown but before 1758 — settled in Watervliet, Albany County, NY — His daughter married Lewis Sicker’s son.
Frederick Raaf — probably from Germany — arrival unknown but before 1762 — settled in Watervliet, Albany County, NY near Johannes Runckel. He married the grand daughter of Henrig Thalheimer mentioned above. Frederick’s grandson married Lewis Sicker’s daughter.
What is the psychological inheritance of these Palatine ancestors? Surely, there is something about overcoming obstacles and being resilient physically and mentally in order to survive a new world. I can only hope that I have inherited such a propensity.