The Palatine Pooles – From Germany to Ireland
Choosing the most likely of the three options for my first in-depth look at history I needed to learn more about the Palatine Pooles. I discovered a website that focused on the Hartrick family, another family from this group. The name caught my interest because John Hartrick married Susanna Poole in Ossory in 1807.John George and George Hartrick were among the families who settled in Old Ross. Lester J. Hartrick, a Chicago descendant has documented his family’s story.[i]
From the Palatine
The families that eventually settled on the estates of Abel Ram originated in the Palatinate of Germany, part of the Old Holy Roman Empire situated along the Rhine River now known as the Rhineland Pfalz. Heidelberg is located in the central portion of this area. During the late 1600s and early 1700s this area was taxed heavily to provide funds for the building of castles by princes along the Rhine valley. Louis XIV had set a standard for opulence in the building of the palace of Versailles. In addition, the area had been ravaged by foraging armies for a number of years as a result of Louis XIV’s attempts to expand Frances borders via the Dutch wars and the War of the League of Augsburg. Families were starving. Then the severity of the 1708-09 winter weather froze their grapevines and animals in their barns, leaving people with no means of income if they were to rebuild their farms. Although the area was officially Roman Catholic, Lutherans and Calvinists lived peacefully in this area.
During the winter and spring Queen Ann of England, looking for settlers for the American colonies, had a pamphlet that became known as the ‘Golden Book’ circulated among these people. Six parties left Germany at British expense, two by private means. The early responders eventually made their way to New York and settlement in the colonies. The hesitators were prevented in leaving by an edict issued by Hans Wilhelm forbidding emigration. The vast majority, after paying departure tax and tolls along the Rhine River, after four to six weeks, made it to a departure camp near Rotterdam with few, if any, resources left. Troop ships returning from delivery of soldiers to the War of Spanish Succession were diverted to transport the waiting settlers to England.
The conditions in England were even worse than those at Rotterdam. The last group was transported 27 Jul 1709 and taken to campgrounds at Camberwell and Blackheath near London to join the ten thousand Palatines already there swelling the total to 13,500. Limited food, medical services and sanitary conditions resulted in the deaths of over 1000 people during the encampment. The people of London were furious with the impact on their food supplies and prices, health risks and other concerns and tried to drive them away. Some emigrants claimed religious persecution in the hope of getting assistance from religious charitable groups. The government was overwhelmed by the response to their emigration scheme and decided to require the people to swear allegiance to the British crown, to become British citizens, and to assume the faith of the Church of England before relocating them. 2,250 who refused were sent back to Germany to find their own way to relocate.
Eventually, Ireland agreed to accept some of these refugees. 3,070 were taken from London to Chester in September 1709 and many boarded ships to sail to Dublin. In Dublin they found further persecution and even worse conditions until the Lord Mayor of Dublin stepped in and encouraged Irish landlords to draw lots for Palatine tenants.
The Gorey and Old Ross Settlement
Many of the new tenants did not find themselves as well situated as those settled by Able Ram. One third of the settlers left Ireland by February 1711. In Old Ross they found prime agricultural land ‘suitable for high tillage’ and brought with them different tools and agricultural practices than those used by their neighbours. They were Protestant, German speaking and hardworking. Soon they were established and built good relationships with their largely Roman Catholic neighbours.
(to be continued)
Much of this info was gleaned from the lengthy article by Hartrick Lester J., The Hartricks of Ireland, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hartrickclan/article1.htm