When Genealogy Points to a Study of Religion

Palatinate (Germany)

Few passenger lists of the early German settlers from the lower Palatine regions of Germany into Philadelphia survived. They were probably the largest concentration of immigrants who came to America. However, we have to remember that the Palatines spoke German and for this reason established their own communities. From about 1735 to 1752 most of these people were Germans from the Palatines and Switzerland and they were usually acccompanied by their ministers.

Take special note of the names of the ministers and search for possible church records or log books. Their religion was being reformed into Presbyterian and Lutheran. In addition to the large Palatine movement coming to America during the 18th century, the Scotch-Irish were also landing in Philadelphia, taking the Wagon Road into Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The reason that we cannot find records is because they spoke German and Gaelic. In many instances, they were so poor that they could not read nor write.

Thus, as pioneers clanned together in the back woods, they lived amongst their own kind. Church records kept by the ministers was probably the only public data concerning their marriages, births and deaths. If you can find it. The South Carolina Gazette sometimes published information concerning the arrivals from foreign shores which provided the arrival date in South Carolina, and place. These are the sort of things to become familiar with.



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