I have two convict ancestors who were transported to Australia from England and Ireland in the early nineteenth century. See here for the story of Thomas Wilson. My other convict ancestor, William Warren (1765-1850), came from Wexford in southeast Ireland and was my 4th-great-grandfather. His wife Eleanor Jeakle (1773-1849) remained in Ireland when her husband was transported to Australia in 1816. I was recently updating my family tree and an Ancestry.com hint led me to a family tree which showed that Eleanor Jeakle had German grandparents who lived and died in the Rhineland-Palatinate.
Family trees on Ancestry.com often contain spurious information because people accept hints based on no more than similarities in names and dates, without checking for evidence of relationship. I researched the German grandparents and indeed found that there was absolutely no evidence of a relationship my Irish ancestors. However, in doing so, I came across a website that talked about the Irish Palatines and their emigration from Germany in 1709. And there in a list of families who settled at Old Ross near Wexford was the name ‘Phil Jeakle’. I was astonished. The link to the Rhine-Palatinate that seemed too fantastical to be true was in fact probably true.
Philipp Jeakle (Jäkell) – emigrant from the Rhine-Palatinate in 1709
I did some more due diligence and found that Jeakle/Jekyll/Jekell was a common surname in the Old Ross and New Ross parishes where the Palatines settled, and that Jäkel/Jökel/Jekell/Gäckel were reasonably common surnames for births and deaths for that period in the Rhine-Palatinate. Note that ä is pronounced identically to the “e” in Jekell. I then found a list of names of the Germans from the Palatinate who came to England in 1709. Among the arrivals in London in May 1709 was Philip Bekell together with his wife, son and five daughters.
There is no other surname similar to Jekell in the list, and Bekell does not occur in the Irish Palatine name lists or in the birth and death records of the Palatinate. The webpage with the list explicitly warns that there may be transcription errors from the old records. Given all this, and the matching forename Philip, I think we can conclude with fair certainty that the German immigrant was Philipp Jekell/Jeacle. The 1709 record notes that he was 53 years old (so born in 1656), a husbandman and vinedresser, accompanied by his wife, a 10 year old son, 12 year old and 8 year old daughters, 6 year old twin daughters, and a fifth presumably younger daughter.
The Palatine emigration from the Rhineland to Ireland
Throughout the Nine Years War (1688–97) and the War of Spanish Succession (1701–14), recurrent invasions by the French Army devastated the region of Germany known as the Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). The French Army pillaged and destroyed numerous cities (especially within the Palatinate) and created economic hardship for the inhabitants of the region, exacerbated by a rash of harsh winters and poor harvests that created famine in Germany and much of northwest Europe. There were nearly 700,000 military deaths and even more in the civilian population. For more information on Palatine history and the events leading to the Palatine emigration of 1709, see the article Palatine History by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, appended at the end of this post.
The mass emigration in 1709 to England, of mostly impoverished people, was triggered by the promises of free land in the American Colonies. Between May and November 1709, some 13,000 Germans travelled down the Rhine River to Rotterdam and boarded ships bound for London, England, in the hopes of being transported to America. Around 3,000 of them were sent to America in 1710; and around 5,000 remained in England, many entering the English army. About 3,000 of them were sent to Ireland in September 1709. They were settled as tenant farmers on the Southwell Estate near Rathkeale, County Limerick, and in a second colony at Gorey (20 families) and Old Ross (15 families) in Wexford County. Surnames of these new settlers in Wexford included names such as Fissel, Hornick, Jekyll, Poole, and Rhinehardt (Wikipedia).
Each of the Palatine families was allocated eight acres of land at a nominal rent of five shillings per acre and leases of “three lives”. This was much less than the 30 shillings per acre that other tenants paid. They were also given a not inconsiderable grant of 40 shillings a year for their first seven years in residence. This caused hostility among the local community, and by February of 1711, only 188 of the 533 Palatine families remained on the lands allotted them and 300 had gone to Dublin to seek other work. In all, about 1,200 Palatines remained in Ireland. A significant number of the Palatines emigrated to North America (and particularly Canada) or returned to Germany. After a visit from John Wesley, many of the Irish Palatines converted to Methodism and quite a few of them chose to leave for North America in 1760.
Those who remained in Ireland retained their language and customs as late as 1830, and by 1840 it was said that they could still be distinguished from the Irish population by their names. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, there was no trace of a German dialect left in the Palatine settlements, and their German names were mostly changed in form.
Philipp Jëkell: Palatine settler at Old Ross in 1709
Philipp Jëkel was 53 when he took his family to Ireland and so was born in 1656. I searched the Rhineland-Palatinate birth records and found a record of a Philipp Ludwig Jäckel (also transcribed as Jaeckle) born in Frankfurt on 16 September 1656 to parents Philipp Jeremias Jäckel and Catharina Elisabetha Jäckel. Frankfurt was within the Palatinate in the 18th century, though the Rhine River, about 30 km west of Frankfurt, now forms the eastern border of the Palatinate. This is quite probably the right Philip Jekell, but this cannot be confirmed.
Eleanor Jeakle’s father George was born about 1748 in Wexford County, but there is no information on his parents. Based on the birth dates, his father was probably the son of Philipp Jëkel, ten years old in 1749 and who would have been 49 at the time George was born. That would make Philipp Eleanor’s great-grandfather.
John or Jacob Poole: Palatine settler ancestors of William Warren
In researching the convict William Warren’s Irish ancestors, I also found that his grandmother was Emily Elizabeth Poole (1728-1804). I remembered seeing the name Poole in the list of Palatine settlers. John and Jacob Poole are listed in 1710 as heads of households in the Palatine settlement at Gorey, Wexford. By 1720 a third Poole, William Poole, believed to be a son of John or Jacob Pool, is listed as head of a Wexford household as well. Emily Poole was probably the daughter of William Poole rather than his father or uncle (John and Jacob). She was born in Toombe, which is a little over 5 km southwest of Gorey. By 1850 some of the family moved from Gorey Wexford to Old Ross where Emily Poole may have met her husband William Henry Warren (1710-1770).
A quite unexpected connection to Germany
My paternal grandmother was an Engel whose grandfather George Peter Engel (born in Frankfurt in 1821) migrated to Australia in 1849. I was not expecting to find German ancestors on my maternal grandfathers side. I have 6th or 7th-great-grandparents from two German Palatine families who emigrated to Ireland in 1709, and one of them may well have also been born in Frankfurt. And have learnt quite a bit about European history in the 18th century that I knew very little about, apart from a very sketchy awareness of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). And that mainly through reading and very much enjoying Michael Moorcock’ 1981 novel, The War Hound and the World’s Pain, set during the Thirty Years War.
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Olive Tree Genealogy http://olivetreegenealogy.com/
Copyright © 1996
[This article has been published, with my permission as Irish Palatine Story on the Internet
in Irish Palatine Association Journal, No. 7 December 1996]
The Palatinate or German PFALZ, was, in German history, the land of the Count Palatine, a title held by a leading secular prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Geographically, the Palatinate was divided between two small territorial clusters: the Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate, and the Upper Palatinate. The Rhenish Palatinate included lands on both sides of the Middle Rhine River between its Main and Neckar tributaries. Its capital until the 18th century was Heidelberg. The Upper Palatinate was located in northern Bavaria, on both sides of the Naab River as it flows south toward the Danube and extended eastward to the Bohemian Forest. The boundaries of the Palatinate varied with the political and dynastic fortunes of the Counts Palatine.
The Palatinate has a border beginning in the north, on the Moselle River about 35 miles southwest of Coblenz to Bingen and east to Mainz, down the Rhine River to Oppenheim, Guntersblum and Worms, then continuing eastward above the Nieckar River about 25 miles east of Heidelberg then looping back westerly below Heidelberg to Speyer, south down the Rhine River to Alsace, then north-westerly back up to its beginning on the Moselle River.
The first Count Palatine of the Rhine was Hermann I, who received the office in 945. Although not originally hereditary, the title was held mainly by his descendants until his line expired in 1155, and the Bavarian Wittelsbachs took over in 1180. In 1356, the Golden Bull ( a papal bull: an official document, usually commands from the Pope and sealed with the official Papal seal called a Bulla) made the Count Palatine an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. During the Reformation, the Palatinate accepted Protestantism and became the foremost Calvinist region in Germany.
After Martin Luther published his 95 Theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg on 31 October 1517, many of his followers came under considerable religious persecution for their beliefs. Perhaps for reasons of mutual comfort and support, they gathered in what is known as the Palatine. These folk came from many places, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and beyond, but all shared a common view on religion.
The protestant Elector Palatine Frederick V (1596-1632), called the “Winter King” of Bohemia, played a unique role in the struggle between Roman Catholic and Protestant Europe. His election in 1619 as King of Bohemia precipitated the Thirty Years War that lasted from 1619 until 1648. Frederick was driven from Bohemia and in 1623, deposed as Elector Palatine.
During the Thirty Years War, the Palatine country and other parts of Germany suffered from the horrors of fire and sword as well as from pillage and plunder by the French armies. This war was based upon both politics and religious hatreds, as the Roman Catholic armies sought to crush the religious freedom of a politically-divided Protestantism.
Many unpaid armies and bands of mercenaries, both of friends and foe, devoured the substance of the people and by 1633, even the catholic French supported the Elector Palatine for a time for political reasons.
During the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-97), the troops of the French monarch Louis XIV ravaged the Rhenish Palatinate, causing many Germans to emigrate. Many of the early German settlers of America (e.g. the Pennsylvania Dutch) were refugees from the Palatinate. During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the Palatinate’s lands on the west bank of the Rhine were incorporated into France, while its eastern lands were divided largely between neighbouring Baden and Hesse.
Nearly the entire 17th century in central Europe was a period of turmoil as Louis XIV of France sought to increase his empire. The War of the Palatinate (as it was called in Germany), aka The War of The League of Augsburg, began in 1688 when Louis claimed the Palatinate. Every large city on the Rhine above Cologne was sacked. The War ended in 1697 with the Treaty of Ryswick. The Palatinate was badly battered but still outside French control. In 1702, the War of the Spanish Succession began in Europe and lasted until 1713, causing a great deal of instability for the Palatines. The Palatinate lay on the western edge of the Holy Roman Empire not far from France’s eastern boundary. Louis wanted to push his eastern border to the Rhine, the heart of the Palatinate.
While the land of the Palatinate was good for its inhabitants, many of whom were farmers, vineyard operators etc., its location was unfortunately subject to invasion by the armies of Britain, France, and Germany. Mother Nature also played a role in what happened, for the winter of 1708 was particularly severe and many of the vineyards perished. So, as well as the devastating effects of war, the Palatines were subjected to the winter of 1708-09, the harshest in 100 years.
The scene was set for a mass migration. At the invitation of Queen Anne in the spring of 1709, about 7 000 harassed Palatines sailed down the Rhine to Rotterdam. From there, about 3000 were dispatched to America, either directly or via England, under the auspices of William Penn. The remaining 4 000 were sent via England to Ireland to strengthen the protestant interest.
Although the Palatines were scattered as agricultural settlers over much of Ireland, major accumulations were found in Counties Limerick and Tipperary. As the years progressed and dissatisfactions increased, many of these folk seized opportunities to join their compatriots in Pennsylvania, or to go to newly-opened settlements in Canada.
There were many reasons for the desire of the Palatines to emigrate to the New World: oppressive taxation, religious bickering, hunger for more and better land, the advertising of the English colonies in America and the favourable attitude of the British government toward settlement in the North American colonies. Many of the Palatines believed they were going to Pennsylvania, Carolina or one of the tropical islands.
The passage down the Rhine took from 4 to 6 weeks. Tolls and fees were demanded by authorities of the territories through which they passed. Early in June, the number of Palatines entering Rotterdam reached 1 000 per week. Later that year, the British government issued a Royal proclamation in German that all arriving after October 1709 would be sent back to Germany. The British could not effectively handle the number of Palatines in London and there may have been as many as 32 000 by November 1709. They wintered over in England since there were no adequate arrangements for the transfer of the Palatines to the English colonies.
In 1710, three large groups of Palatines sailed from London. The first went to Ireland, the second to Carolina and the third to New York with the new Governor, Robert Hunter. There were 3 000 Palatines on 10 ships that sailed for NY and approximately 470 died on the voyage or shortly after their arrival.
In NY, the Palatines were expected to work for the British authorities, producing naval stores [tar and pitch] for the navy in return for their passage to NY. They were also expected to act as a buffer between the French and Natives on the northern frontier and the English colonies to the south and east.
After the defeat of Napoleon (1814-15), the Congress of Vienna gave the east-bank lands of the Rhine valley to Bavaria. These lands, together with some surrounding territories, again took the name of Palatinate in 1838.
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