Monday, January 14, 2008

Y-DNA and mtDNA Studies Being Used to Track Palatine German Descendants

Modern technology is being used by Family Tree DNA to track the various groups of descendants of the 1709-1710 Palatine German Emigrants.

Wars and weather were unkind to this large section of the southern part of what is now Germany, and a mass migration occurred. These poverty stricken and hungry families numbered in the thousands and they went first to Holland and then were invited by the young Queen Anne of England to come to London.

Well that was a mistake. London already was overflowing with poor and hungry citizens. The basic story is that these so-called Palatines were split into groups and sent to various colonies of England. One large group went to Ireland to farm the lands of the wealthy Scottish landlords, and another group of over 800 families were sent to the Province of New York in 1710.

The New York group settled along the Hudson River just a little north of New York City. The premise was that they were to work off their passage by gathering "spars and pitch" for the Queen's Navy. Well that did not work out too well and they were abandoned by the British Government.

The winter hardships and starvation took their toll, but the Native Americans took pity on these newcomers to the land, and many of the Palatines did survive and eventually prospered. Many of the people throughout this country can trace their lineage back to these hearty souls that survived.

Now there is a program to gather DNA samples from male and female descendants to show connections back into Europe and even back as far as the beginnings of time.

Read the full story and then check the program out if you are interested, by going to Upstate New York Genealogy at: and clicking on the "UNYG Blog" tab.


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