Saturday, September 18, 2010

German Palatine Naming Patterns

I found an interesting note on a web site that has a bunch of information on the Palatines.

They have a pattern for naming children.

First son named after the father's father.
Second son named after the mother's father.
Third son named after the father.
Fourth son named after the father's eldest brother.

First daughter named after the mother's mother.
Second daughter named after the father's mother.
Third daughter named after the mother.
Fourth daughter named after the mother's eldest sister.

This is great if you know who the siblings and parents are and if they had more then one child other then the ancestor you are searching.

It does give one hope anyway.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Christian comes to America

Hank Z. Jones did extensive research on the group of 3,000 Palatines that came to New York in 1710. His book 'The Palatine Families of New York'  lists them as they appeared on Governor Hunter's Subsistence List. Christian appears as #160. His name is spelled in so many different ways in this very short paragraph. I will list them all here.


His son was baptised in West Camp on April 8th 1711 and his name is spelled:


Andreas had a son and his name was spelled:


So you can see that in just 50 years we have numerous ways to find these ancestors and their descendants.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Failure

The failure of the experiment to make Navy stores with indentured servants was on course at this point. The home country (England) did not follow through with the promises of stipend for the the Palatines, the Palatines were not going to be mistreated and work too, and the very simple fact of the matter is that the trees in that part of New York did not produce very much pitch/tar and the stuff they did produce was not very good quality. (wrong kind of pine).

The mutiny of the Palatines was such that it is noted in journals "They would rather lose their lives than remain where they are". The more soldiers that Governor Hunter gather the more determined the Palatines were of moving to a different place, such as Schoharie as promised to them by the Indians.

The Governor in the end had to let all the Palatines disperse due to lack of funds. The home country only paid him $8,000 pounds and he spent another $20,000 pounds of his own estate in cash and credit to take care of the Palatines and the venture. As far as anyone knows Governor Hunter was never repaid.

We come to some sort of end to the story. The point of the book review was to get a sense of how the Palatines of this large group came to America. I will now take up the task as first pointed out in the blog description. I will attempt to discover the changes of the name that is my Ancestor's.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ghost Stories

One of the 10 ships that left England for America with the 3,000 Palatines was the Herbert.  Governor Hunter says "All of the Palatine ships, separated by the weather are since arrived, except the Herbert Frigate. She was cast away on the East end of Long Island, on the 7th July. The men are safe, but our goods are much damaged. The poor people are mighty sickly, but recover apace. We have lost above 470 of our number."

It is believed that the loss of the Herbert is what gave rise to the legend of the Palatine Ship and Light. In the legend the name of the ship is Palatine and the tradition says that the vessel was decoyed ashore by false beacons and then rifled and burned by islanders. The spirits are said to remind those responsible frequently. There is some thought that although Hunter stated Long Island, it could have been Block Island. That is where the legend actually takes place in the stories and the fact that there are Palatine Graves on block island leads everyone to believe that the Herbert actually went down on Block Island.

They say that at times there is a light off shore which resembles a burning ship under full sail, this they call the Palatine Light and Palatine Ship.

John G. Whittier wrote a poem about this legend, it is called 'Tent On The Beach: The Palatine'

It is quite long and the author of the book I am reading called it 'exquisite.

John G. Whittier has a prologue to his poem that puts a bit of a different slant to what Mr. Cobb had on the loss of the frigate, the Herbert.

'Block Island in Long Island Sound, called by the Indians Manisees, the isle of the little god, was the scene of a tragic incident a hundred years or more ago, when _The Palatine_, an emigrant ship bound for Philadelphia, driven off its course, came upon the coast at this point. A mutiny on board, followed by an inhuman desertion on the part of the crew, had brought the unhappy passengers to the verge of starvation and madness. Tradition says that wreckers on shore, after rescuing all but one of the survivors, set fire to the vessel, which was driven out to sea before a gale which had sprung up. Every twelvemonth, according to the same tradition, the spectacle of a ship on fire is visible to the inhabitants of the island.'

I think that would be something to see.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Servants to the Crown

It was decided by the Lords of Trade that Robert Hunter would be the Governor of New York and it was further decided that the Palatines left (3,000) would follow him to New York and be servants to the Crown and be employed in making naval stores*. Up until this time England had a hard time enticing anyone to make their naval stores for them. They could not offer enough for the colonist to employ their time doing this. England thought then it would be a good thing to have a ready work force to go over to America and do just that.

So the Queen was asked to provide for the Palatines for 1 year until they got their feet under them so to speak. The the Palatines would be providing for themselves and providing naval stores for England 'forever more'. The thought at the time was that New York had enough trees for this endeavor to last forever.

The author states here in this chapter that alludes to doom and gloom later in the book: '...also from the fact that the whole transaction was foredoomed to failure, because involving the presumption that naval Stores could be produced in places where the natural conditions forbade.'

The English government made a contract with the Palatines and this contract made them 'Servants of the Crown'. The government would transport them to America and 'subsist' them there; they would settle in places that were allotted to them and they would be engaged in making naval stores, all of which would be put in her Majesty's storehouses. They would not make 'woollen' goods, they would not leave the settlement without permission of the Governor. After they had repaid the government for the expenses they would get 5 pounds and forty acres of land for each family.

At the time of the contract, it seemed to be a win win situation for both the Palatines and the English government. The government would get laborers and the Palatines would get employment a trip to a new land.

It is safe to say that we are in for some sad times later in the book. We shall see.

*Naval Stores: Tar, Pitch, Masts, planks, knees, etc.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Indians in England

During this time (1708/1709) there was a delegation of 5 chiefs of the Mohawk Indians in England. They toured the streets of England and came upon the Palatine emigrants and the Indians pitied them so much the Indian chiefs offered a track of land to the Queen for these poor people. The track of land was in Schoharie New York.

The author states 'Certainly, the larder portion of these three thousand emigrants left London with Schoharie as the synonym of their hope, ..'

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Religion played such a key roll in the Palatines emigration. One of the reasons they left the homeland and the way the English people dealt with you when you arrived.

About 1/10th of approximately 13,000* Palatines emigrating to England were Roman Catholic. The book states it this way about these peoples: ' The (English) government would not send men of their faith to the colonies, neither was it willing to permit their prolonged residence in England.'  So some became Protestants (Reformed Church) and others were sent back to the homeland.

*To clarify: the number of Palatines that showed up on English soil was a total of about 13,000, all between May and October of 1709.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Where did the Palatine name come from?

Why were this one group of immigrants/emigrants/colonist called Palatines?

The name, Palatinate is derived from the title of its ruler, it means principality of the Palatine.

The World Dictionary has Palatine listed:

palatine 1 (ˈpæləˌtaɪn) — adj
1. (of an individual) possessing royal prerogatives in a territory
2. of, belonging to, characteristic of, or relating to a count palatine, county palatine, palatinate, or palatine
3. of or relating to a palace — n
4. feudal history the lord of a palatinate
5. any of various important officials at the late Roman, Merovingian, or Carolingian courts
[C15: via French from Latin palātīnus belonging to the palace, from palātium; see palace ]

So if you were a Palatine, it only meant that you were under the rule of the Palatinate.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Education Started

I have started my education with reading the book 'The Story of the Palatines, An Episode in Colonial History' by Stanford H. Cobb. The story was written in 1897 and published in 1988 by Heritage Books.

One thing I have noticed is that they sure wrote funny in 1897. Sometimes I have to re-read a passage to get the gist, at first read it seems in the negative with the words that were used, but in reality it was on a positive note. Maybe that was just the tired brain syndrome, but I will let you know.

In the introduction he says that the Palatines were overlooked because many thought of them as paupers and not worthy of note.

I had marked two passage last night that I thought were worth sharing.

"The volume of it was very remarkable. The doors of the Palatinate seemed to be set open wide, and through them poured for forty years an almost continuous stream of emigrants, their faces set steadfastly towards America. There was nothing else like it in the colonial period, for numbers and steadiness of inflow. There were nearly three thousand of these people in the company landed in New York in June and July of 1710. Though the arrivals in port of the ships bringing them were at intervals through five weeks, stormy seas having separated the vessels, yet the company was one, and sailed as such from England under one command and with one destination. This was the largest single company of immigrants to this country until long after the Revolution."


"Equally unexampled in the history of our colonial period is the story of the privation, distress, fraud, and cruel disappointment to which were subjected that large immigration to New York in I 7 10. Their experience was utterly unlike that of all other bodies of colonists."

Sounds like the beginning of a great drama, Privation, distress, fraud and cruel disappointment!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Palatine History Books

There are many books that detail the history behind the Palatine's and their movements. All told, there was an estimated 15,000 that moved out of Germany and headed to England. I own many of the books and have yet to read them all. Hank Z. Jones has many volumes detailing the lists and facts about the 3,000 that came to America on ten ships, of which I own most of them. I am still trying to choose the one to begin with.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Palatines

Christian Eigler and his wife were part of a group of immigrants that were called the Palatines. I have read some stories about how this group of 3,000 came about. There are numerous books on the subject and as time permits I will try and summarize the stories here.

Some lists have him and his wife alone and some lists have him starting the journey with his wife and 4 or 5 children. Once they arrived in New York, there is only one child. By all accounts he was born in New York. I will try and glean as much information as I can to sort this all out.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Christian Aigler b.1680

Greetings all!


This will be the journey of my Ancestor that came to America in 1710. As time goes on I will be filling in his story and that of his descendants. I will be tracking the various spellings of the last name as it has changed over time. There are several groups of people in the United States that have different spellings of the same name that all descended from him. I will also be trying to go further back and find out his story in the Pfalz Bayern (Palatinate Bavaria)

So the tale begins!