Webinar:  The Irish Palatines – New Perspectives
with Claire McCormick

Join us on Saturday, September 24th at 2 p.m. (EDT) for a webinar presented by Claire McCormick, direct from Ireland.

Claire McCormick is a final year Ph.D. student at the University of Limerick under the joint supervision of Dr. Ciara Breathnach and Dr. Alistair Malcolm. Claire’s dissertation, on Palatine immigration, builds on her 2017 M.A. (History of Family) thesis Whispers on a Landscape – the Irish Palatines 1709-1831. In April 2021 Claire was invited to post a blog on the British History of Parliament website available at: https://thehistoryofparliament.wordpress.com/2021/04/08/whispers-on-a-landscape-palatine-migration-to-england-ireland-and-beyond/

Claire will share some interesting new perspectives on the Irish Palatines based on her extensive research into the archival records and the Irish landscape. To register, visit our Events page.

Welcome to the Irish Palatine Special Interest Group (IP-SIG).  We’ve been around since 2008, the first Special Interest Group established by the Ontario Genealogical Society.


Webinar:  Explore the Rhineland-Palatinate
with Claire Gebben

On Sunday, April 3rd at 2 p.m. (EDT) Claire Gebben gave more than 100 people a tour the land of our Irish Palatine ancestors.

The Rheinland-Pfalz, or Rhineland-Palatinate, is nestled in the rich Rhineland valley in the southwest of Germany, a region known for its warm, sunny climate and a wine-making culture that extends back to Roman times. A hotbed of political and religious turmoil over the centuries, the Palatinate was also the source of historic movements for human rights and religious freedom. This presentation explored the history of the Palatinate from Celtic times to the present, why so many people emigrated or were forced to flee over the centuries, and sights of interest today. It spoke to genealogists, travelers, foodies, oenophiles, and those who enjoy learning about other cultures, places, and times. Members can find the video recording on the Past Webinars page.

Claire Gebben is the author of a memoir and an historical novel and has had articles published in Your Genealogy Today (formerly Family Chronicle) and German Life magazines, as well as genealogical society newsletters and other publications. Her award-winning memoir How We Survive Here: Families Across Time (Coffeetown Press, 2018) recounts the discovery of rare letters written by her German immigrant ancestors in an attic in Germany and her transatlantic quest to trace and write about their lives. Her historical novel The Last of the Blacksmiths (Coffeetown Press, 2014) is based on the true story of mid-19th century Palatine German immigrants to the U.S. The novel was named a Notable Book at Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library and Book of the Month by the German American Heritage Foundation. Before quitting her day job to write full time, Claire worked in desktop publishing, ghostwriting, and communications. She’s a public speaker on genealogy, history, and writing, and is currently working on a novel about Highland Scots immigrants to Ohio in the early 1800s. An adventurer at heart, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, traveling, and even on occasion, blacksmithing.  http://clairegebben.com.

Thank you, Philip Otterness

On Sunday, January 23rd Philip Otterness presented a fascinating webinar entitled Die berühmte Landschaft Carolina and the Palatines:  The Founding of New Bern, North Carolina in 1710.

The 1709 migration from the Palatinate to Queen Anne’s England not only affected Ireland, but it had an impact on America as well. Some of those people who sailed in boats from Rotterdam to London with our Irish Palatine ancestors made their way to New Bern, North Carolina in 1710. This is the subject of historian Philip Otterness’s most recent research and he shared his findings with us in this webinar.

Philip Otterness is professor emeritus of history and political science at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He has degrees in history from the University of Pennsylvania (BA), Cambridge University (MA) and the University of Iowa (PhD). He is the author of Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York (Cornell University Press, 2004), which won the Dixon Ryan Fox Award for the best manuscript on New York state history in 2003. He continues his research on all aspects of the 1709 Palatine migration and is currently working on a book about the Palatine and Swiss migrants who founded the town of New Bern, North Carolina in 1710.

Join our SIG or renew your membership. Go to the OGS website and click on “Membership.”


Did you miss our webinar on the Irish Palatines in Quebec?

If you missed our webinar on Saturday, September 25th—an exploration of the Irish Palatines in Quebec—members can view it on the Past Webinars page. Carolyn’s talk explored the experience of Irish Palatine Loyalists who had first left Ireland in 1760 and settled in New York and then arrived in Quebec during the American Revolution. Most of them moved on to Upper Canada (Ontario) but a few of them set up home in Quebec’s Missisquoi Bay. She also talked about a group of Irish Palatines who emigrated directly from County Limerick, Ireland in the 1820s to Sherrington Township in southwestern Quebec, south of Montreal. Many of these people did not stay in Quebec due to their poor experiences with the land-granting system. Finally, she spoke about traces of other Irish Palatines pulled from various online historical records sources—hints that many more had settled in Quebec than previously recognized. Speaker and IP-SIG Director Carolyn Heald has been researching the Irish Palatine experience for many years.

1709 London Lists Now Available in Searchable Database

The London Lists, compiled for Great Britain’s Board of Trade listing the first four arrivals of Palatines in London in 1709, are a valuable resource for Palatine research—both research on the Irish Palatines and those Palatines who settled in America. Until now, historians and genealogists have had to rely on the flawed transcription published in 1909/10. A completely new transcription of these lists has been compiled and is now available to search. Members can find photographic images of the lists in the Members Only section. Search the London Lists now.

Virtual Tour of the Irish Palatine Heritage Centre

More than one hundred people joined us on Saturday, May 8, 2021 for a guided tour of the Irish Palatine Heritage Centre direct from Rathkeale, County Limerick, Ireland, presented by Austin Bovenizer.

Austin Bovenizer is a founder member of the Irish Palatine Association and has been Chairman since its inception in 1989. He lives at Killeheen one of the parent colony settlements, established in 1709 and can trace the male line of his Bovenizer ancestry uninterrupted back to the village of Undenheim in the Palatinate. With the help of villagers in that town he has been shown records and houses associated with his family. Along with his Bovenizer ancestry Austin has connections to the Delmage, Shier, Switzer and other Irish Palatine surnames.

Members can view the tour on our Past Webinars page.

New Book:  Some German Origins of the Irish Palatines

Renown Palatine genealogist Henry Z (Hank) Jones has published a companion volume to his seminal The Palatine Families of Ireland. Some German Origins of the Irish Palatines reflects some of his recent discoveries about the definite, probable and possible German origins of some of the Irish Palatine families.  You can purchase his book through the Irish Palatine Association for 20 euros.

Names included are Altimes, Altimus, Ashbagh, Baker, Barkman, Barraban, Bart, Bercus, Bisherne, Bonus, Bovenizer, Bowen, Bredhour, Brough, Buckholtz, Cave, Copp, Corneille, Cough, Crips, Cronenberger, Crowe, Danner, Danninger, Daub, Domage, Embury, Filme, Fitzelle, Glazier, Golliday, Gudzeit, Guier, Hargitt, Heavenor, Heck, Hoopf, Hoost, Hutz, Kirchoffer, Keyser, Konig, Kuntz, Legear, Lesch, Lowe, Lower, Ludolt, Mace, Neazor, Nitchburne, Rapple, Real, Rhinehart, Rodenbecker, Ruckel, Rüfenacht, Ryling, St. John, Shimmel, Shire, Shoneweiss, Siebard, Smeltzer, Snitzer, Snitzerling, Sparling, Steeble, Steevell, Stingill, Strosser, Strough, Switzer, Teskey, Tyse, Vice, Willich, Zigler.

First World War Memorial Book Available to Order

With Remembrance Day fast approaching, the Irish Palatine Special Interest Group is proud to announce that our book We Remember has been printed and is ready for sale.

The book is 120 pages long and has a 2-page write-up for each of 46 Irish Palatine soldiers we were able to identify who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War.

You can find an excerpt of the book and information on how to order your copy on our Publications page.


Do you have Shiers in your family tree?

The Shiers were one of the largest Irish Palatine families in Ontario, with concentrations in Brock and Blanshard Townships. Roger Shier, who runs the shiergenealogy.ca website, has generously donated a store ledger that belonged to his great-great-uncle, Jonathan Shier, who lived in Woodham, a village in southwestern Ontario straddling the Blanshard/Usborne township line. The ledger will be of interest not only to those with Shier ancestry, but to anyone with ancestors in that part of Ontario. Find it under “Family Data & Research” in the Members Only section of the website.

Roger was our featured speaker for a webinar held on 31 October 2020. His talk, The Travels, Toils and Triumphs of the Shiers of Brock (and their cousins), can be viewed by members on our Past Webinars page.

Did you miss our first online webinar?

On Saturday, June 13, 2020, the Irish Palatine Special Interest Group offered its first online webinar.  Seventy-six people joined us on Zoom to see Garry Finkell‘s excellent presentation called Seeing Clear Across the Border: Palatine Loyalists from the Hudson Valley.  If you missed it, or want to watch it again, members can find the recording on our Past Webinars page.

Palatine Ancestral Homeland Tour – Postponed

The Irish Palatine Association in County Limerick, Ireland, is sponsoring a bus tour through the Rhineland Palatinate in Germany.  Due to the current world pandemic, the tour originally scheduled for September 2020 has now been postponed indefinitely.  For more information, visit the Irish Palatine Association website.