Archive for the ‘Palatine’ Category

Report of Palatines to America Conference Fishkill, New York

Thursday June 17 through Saturday June 19, 2010.

Holiday Inn Conference Center at Fishkill, New York

This is the 300th year anniversary 1710 – 2010 of the arrival of the group of some 3,000 people that have been collectively called Palatines that had left the war torn and poor crops area of what is now Germany dubbed the Palatinate.

This band of families had first been accepted in to England by the young Queen Anne and then sent to America with the prospect of paying their passage by service the Royal Navy in collecting pitch and spars.  The Palatines were abandoned by England and they were not paid their subsistence money so had to fend for themselves.

The first few years were very rough on the new settlers and some were helped by the local Native Americans and they learned the methods of survival.  The descendants of this hardy group of people are today spread out all across America and other places.

Over 120 members have registered for the 2010 PALAM Conference.
A local bus tour was arranged and led by Barbara de Mare and the first bus filled with early registration and they put on a second bus to handle all the happy convention goers.

A convention like this is only accomplished by a whole lot of hard work by many.  Some of those to thank were;
Joe Lieby Chairman
Nancy Timmerman Cioch
Martha Foland
Sylvia Van Houten
Grace Saatman
leslie Huber
Sarah Timmerman Israel
and Katherine Seerden.

An extremely talented group of speakers were presented;
Alice Clark on the Palatine DNA Project
Richard Haberstroh on German Vital Records and Locating Towns of Our Ancestors
Leslie Albrecht Huber on 300 Years of German immigration
Joseph Lieby, Ed.D on Kleindeutschland, Researching your Ancestors in Manhattan’s little Germany
Philip Otterness, Ph.D on a Pictorial History of the 1709 Migrants and the Story Behind the Book, the Research and Writing of “Becoming German”
Elsie Scharph Saar on Reading German Church Records
Meldon J. Wolfgang III on Researching German on the Internet and Understanding and Using Archival Collections.

Though it is impossible to attend all of the lectures as some run concurrently, the take away syllabus and the discussions with other conference attendees was well worth the cost of admission.

A good time was had by all and we look forward to meeting again next year possibly in the Pittsburgh area.  Details will be forthcoming as this is finalized.

Personally, this conference in Fishkill is right in the heart of where my German family of Keeler’s lived so I was able to tour some of the old family areas and take photos, visit cemeteries and in general received double bang for my buck.

I arrived home to an email from Wilford Whitaker which answers a question that we have had on our KEELER-WOOLSEY connection and we now have another researcher helping out with information on this family that went to Vermont and Canada.  That might not mean much to you, but it is breathtaking to me after toiling on these people for so many years.

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