View Full Version : Irish Palatines of County Limerick

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008, 11:06 PM
Here is a good example of a group from the Isles reacting to the physical appearance/complexion of a group of people from continental Europe. It is concerning an Irishman's perceptions of the Palatines in Ireland who were settled in places such as Limerick in 1709. In author Gerald Griffin's (1803-1840) novel, Suil Dhuv, the coiner , he notes a Palatine to have a "brick-red complexion, sloping forehead, and small eyes."


The Irish Palatines would have been of the same stock as the Pennsylvania Dutch. Any comments on the reaction to their appearance?

Thankyou, Resurgam - I'd never heard of these before, despite having a fair bit of Limerick in me! :) Seems to me that these Pfaelzer deserve a thread of their own.

As Wiki says, this is 'only a stump', for others or myself to later add things to, but I thought it only fair that the guts of these settlers in sailing off to a foreign land should receive its proper acknowledgement here.

As far as I can tell so far, Palatine settlers were brought to County Limerick in and after 1709, especially around Ballingrane and Rathkeale, 25 miles southwest of the County Town.

There is an active Irish Palatine Association with a website here:

Irish Palatine Association History & Achievements
Since its inception in 1989 the Irish Palatine Association has endeavoured to preserve the rich heritage of Irish Palatine culture by encouraging and developing a sense of identity among Palatine families and their descendants, wherever they live in the World. This kindred spirit has been nurtured by re-kindling a relationship with their ancestral homelands, Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany and the Palatine settlements in Ireland. Also, through inter-marriage between the original refugee families, many of our members are related to one another.

One of the Association's original aims was to establish a purpose-built centre, housing an exhibition and archive to assist descendants researching their families. A period of tremendous activity and fund-raising ensured the opening of the Irish Palatine Museum and Heritage Centre in Rathkeale, County Limerick, Ireland in 1992. The majority of the Association's modest income is used to develop and administer the Centre. Most of this work is done by volunteers, so it has limited opening hours.

The Association has organized a number of events in Ireland that brought together members from most of the English-speaking countries as well as parties from Germany and other interested groups. The IPA organized a successful visit by 50 members to Germany in 1994, and a similar venture in May 2004. The IPA has also assisted with specific family gatherings in Ireland.

The generosity of its patrons and members has enabled the Association to gather a library of books relating to the history of Irish Palatines and the development of the Methodist church, together with a unique collection of family histories covering many of the Palatine families.

The same site contains a list of typical Palatine surnames, some interestingly Anglicised - http://www.irishpalatines.org/palfams.html - and an online tour of the places that formed a backdrop to the story of their settlement.

A rather more user friendly site concerning the Association is to be found here:

For German speakers, and Methodists in the USA, there seems to be something of interest here, concerning the story of Barbara Heck who played a vital role in founding Methodism in America;

Monday, December 15th, 2008, 06:59 AM
Well, you learn something new every day! :)

I am interested both in Ireland and in German minorities worldwide.

But until now I had not heard of the Irish from the Palatinate.
Thank you for this valuable information. :)

The Horned God
Monday, December 15th, 2008, 05:21 PM
I remember they received a one or two line mention in one of my secondary-school history books, but I assumed they'd died out centuries ago.

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 03:21 AM

Of course the Irish Palatines from Rheinland-Pfalz. I have heard of them but it was many moons ago in a book about county Limerick which I must try and dig out of the olde library. They were quite a hard working lot.

Yet more Germanic DNA to bolster that of the Vikings, Normans and Anglo-Saxons. Hmmm Ireland must certainly be more Germanic than Scotland at this rate ; )

Fascinating and thank you indeed for sharing this information.