Saturday, February 12, 2011

German Palatines and Tim McGraw

I found it interesting to hear about Tim McGraw’s German Palatine background when watching him on the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? .

The historian on the TV show said that the term Palatine is what the English called the Germans, and while that is so, the Palatine is actually a specific area of Germany.  See map.

Having Palatine ancestors myself, I feel a connection to Tim McGraw’s ancestry (and apparently Elvis’ ancestry too since his ancestors were on the same ship coming over as Tim’s). 

Palatines immigrated to the British colonies before the American Revolution and Tim McGraw’s Palatine ancestors, who were some of the first to arrive, came to New York in 1710.

My Palatine ancestors came to Pennsylvania in the mid-1700’s.  Since the English in Philadelphia didn’t want the German immigrants in the city of Philadelphia,  they sold them land outside the city so these German settlers could act as a buffer between the Indians and the English in Philadelphia.   That land which later became known as Lancaster county turned out the be some of the most fertile land in the country.  The descendants of these Palatines became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania Deutch or Pennsylvania German).

Other Palatines settled up and down the east coast.  Like other early settlers, they were subject to terrible privations and extreme hardships.

If you are interested in learning more about the story of the Palatines, where they settled, and the hardships they bore, there is an free online transcription of the fascinating History of the Palatine Immigration  written by Daniel Rupp in 1876.

Like Tim McGraw’s ancestor, Johan Jost Hayd, many of the German immigrants eventually prospered.

Some Palatine German Immigration books are free to read on

I read once that each Palatine who immigrated in the 1700s has 10,000 descendants, so there are many of us in the US who descended from these brave immigrants.  Have you been able to trace your ancestry back the the 1700s?  Start your FREE family tree online to enter what you already know about yourself and have help you find your family story.


rodohu13 said...

Another country music descendant from the Palatinate Emigration -- in addition to Tim McGraw and Elvis Presley -- was George Strait.

His direct-line ancestors arrived North America in 1710. They were: Johann Christian Streydt/Streit -m- Elisabetha Catherina Schulfhauss.

They were my 7G-grands. So were Palatinate emigres Johan (John) Adam Muller/Miller -m- Anna Maria Drath/Drauth.

A Miller/Muller married a Streydt/Streit and they were my 6G-grands.

Greta Koehl said...

I also felt a connection to McGraw's ancestry - both the Palatine connection and the rest of it; of all the celebrities featured so far, his "ancestral" makeup would be closest to mine - so I would love to see "the rest of the story" on this one.

Jennifer Sepulvado said...

Walter Chrysler's ancestors also had Palatine ancestors in that same group of immigrants. His fifth great-grandparents were Johann Phillip and Anna Caterina (Braun) Crysler, who arrived in New York in 1709. He was a fifth cousin to my great-grandmother, Mabel Ellen Crysler.