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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Palatine. (Palatinetown)

Co Carlow

Old Palatine Cottages

PALATINETOWN as mentioned in Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis 1837:

PALATINETOWN, a hamlet, in the parish of URGLIN, barony and county of CARLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 2 3/4 miles (N. E.) from Carlow, on the road to Castledermot; containing 88 inhabitants. It is said to derive its name from a colony of German refugees, who were driven from their native country, and settled here, in the reign of Louis XIV. The Rt. Hon. B. Burton obtained a patent for four fairs, of which that on the 26th of March is the only one at present held. A constabulary police force is stationed in the village.

Source of photo:

Source of Image c.2008


From "Irish Pedigrees", by John O'Hart, vol.2
Transcribed by Patrick Traynor 
The following notice of the "Poor Palatines" occurs in the Memoirs of Thomas, Marquis of Wharton, by Sir E. Steele, p. 66:

"In this year (1709) the Poor Palatines came into England, and my Lord Wharton, whose wisdom was too extensive to be confined to the narrow views of an ignorant selfish faction, procured the Privy Council of Ireland to join with him in an humble address to Her Majesty, that as many of the poor Palatines as Her Majesty should think fit, might be settled in that kingdom; where they should be very kindly received, and advantageously settled."

Other notices of the Palatines will be found in the "Annals of Queen Anne", 1709, 8vo, pp.166-168 ; in Boyer's "Political State of Great Britain", Vol. I, pp.133, 276-280; Ferrar's "History of Limerick", pp.409-412, edition 1787; Mr. and Mrs. Hall's "Ireland", Vol. I., p.353, 355, 372 ; Lord Dunraven's "Memorials of Adare; Lenihan's History of Limerick"; Fitzgerald and McGregor's "History of Ireland; "Irish Lords' Journal", Vol.11., p.312; "History of Queen Anne", Vols. I. and II. In Marsh's Library, Dublin, there is a Manuscript, classed V, 3. i. 27, which contains documents relative to the Palatines, and lists of their families; and in the Treasury there is, according to "Notes and Queries", a bundle of papers which contains particulars of the numbers, arrivals, and expenses of the Palatines. In June, 1709, there were 6,600 of them in London: those of them who were lodged in barns were to be removed at Midsummer. The Queen had ordered them a thousand tents, but there was no place to pitch them.

According to the "Irish Evangelist", Vol. I., No. 9, June, 186O, the following is a short history of the Palatines:

"In the year 17O9, seven thousand Protestant Lutherans were driven from their homes in the Palatinate, by the French, under Louis XIV. On hearing the intelligence, Queen Anne sent ships for them, and conveyed them to England. Grants were given by the Crown to permit of their settling in these countries; but about half of the number proceeded to North America. Probably a few families stayed in England; and the rest came to Ireland, and were chiefly located on the Southwell property, near Rathkeale, county Limerick. Each man, woman, and child was allowed eight acres of land, for which was to be paid five shillings an acre, yearly, for ever. The Government agreed to pay their rent for twenty years, in order to encourage the Protestant interest in Ireland, and make them all freeholders. They supplied every man with a good musket (called a Queen Anne piece) to protect himself and his family. They were embodied in the free yeomanry of the country, and were styled True Blues, or German Fusiliers; and were commanded by one Captain Brown."

Some of the Palatines settled in the Co. Carlow, some in the Queen's County, some in the county Tipperary, some in the county Wexford, some in the county Kerry, some in the county Limerick, etc. In Carlow there is a hamlet named "Palatinetown"; so called, no doubt, from a settlement of those refugees in that neighbourhood, under the auspices of Mr. Burton, of Burton Hall, at the commencement of the 18th century; but, with the exception of those of Keppel, Hanbridge, and a few others, families of the Palatine race have disappeared from that neighbourhood. Mr. Dogue, of Wells, of that period, was also a patron of the Palatines; many of whom settled on his estate in the county Wexford. In the county Limerick some of them settled at Castle Oliver, near Kilfinnan, southwest of Knocklong, and others of them in Ballyorgan, in the barony of Coshlea; but it would appear that the Palatines were introduced upon the Adare property, about A.D. 1777-8.

In Carlow, a hamlet named Palatine Town indicates one of their settlements. The vast majority of them were farmers and vineyards - men by trade and their numbers included carpenters, smiths, wheelwrights, bakers, masons, shoemakers, weavers, coopers, schoolmasters, tailors, herdsmen, butchers and a few (surgeons? indecipherable).

To this day their names have changed but only slightly and are characteristically German, such as Baker, Barrowbier (Barrow), Barkman (Bartman), Bethel, Benner (Binner), Bovenizer (Bobanizer), Bowerman (Bowman), Coach, Cole, Dobe (Doupe), Dulmage (Delmege), Fizelle (Fitzell), Fyffe, Glazier, Legear, Ledwig (Ludwig), Lowes, Mich, Millar, Pyper, Rhinehart (Reynard), Rodenbucher, Ruttle (Ruckle), Schmidt (Smythe), Schumacher, Shier (Shire), Shoultace (Shouldice), Sparling, Stark, Switzer, Teskey.

The Palatines still use their distinctive Christian names, such as Adam, Absolom, Ebenezer, Ernest, Frederick, Jacob, Jasper, Julius, Ethel, Rebecca, but native Irish names like Aongus, Ciaran, Kevin, Oscar, Nuala, and Una may also be found amongst them.

A number of 18th century travellers who visited the Palatines Colonies gave interesting impressions of their mode of life. John Wesley visited them several times between 1756 and 1789, as the following entries in his journal show:

In 1709 several hundred families of German origin settled in Ireland. Known as the Palatines, they established roots mainly in Counties Carlow, Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary and Wexford. From there they emigrated to many parts of the English-speaking world–Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and the USA.

Some twenty Protestant families from Lower Palatinate on the middle Rhine settled adjacent to the estate of Benjamin Burton in county Carlow circa 1711.  Burton was appointed a Palintine Commissioner in 1709 and invited the German colonists to Carlow. A settlement called Palatinestown was established, where according to a traveller writing in 1780 "the industrious settlers had transformed bog-land into fertile ground" this area is today known as Palatine. Within a short period after their arrival  (1720 - 25) the families had scattered or emigrated. The reason for the disappearance of the Palatinates from county Carlow remains a mystery but for some reason they abandoned the area . Today only the name of the present-day village Palatine and the survival of the family surname Keppel in the county are the only reminders of the Palatinate presence in Carlow,

Mike Purcell - May 2007

Other Sources: Lecture given by Ambassador Sean G. Ronan to the German -Irish Society at the House of the Rhineland-Palatinate Representation in Bonn, 8th February 1973

Palatine G.F.C.

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