A Traverse of the German Colony of Courtmatrix

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Date(s) - 23/09/2023
10:00 am - 11:30 am

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Courtmatrix is the site of the first Irish Palatine settlement at Rathkeale, County Limerick and is one of only four parent settlements that were successfully colonised in Ireland. The landlord Thomas Southwell’s main motivation in settling the Palatines on his estate was to develop a linen industry at Rathkeale, an idea he got from his father-in-law who had done similar with Huguenot refugees in England. While none of the original families remains at Courtmatrix, the area still has an air of old-world charm with many of he old Palatine homes still standing. This presentation is a personal viewpoint from Austin Bovenizer who was born into the nearby Palatine settlement of Killeheen. His childhood was spent on the family farm that has served nine generations of his ancestors since the arrival of Johann Adam Bovenizer in 1709. Austin will talk about the Courtmatrix homes, their original occupants and the numerous  landmarks in the area. Along the way we hope to meet a few of the present day inhabitants including a Switzer family who returned from the UK to renovate and live at the old Christopher Switzer home on Courtmatrix Square.

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