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Palatine Migration Project Reliable Sources

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This page is a work in progress. -- Smith-62120 05:12, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

For sources related to German research in general, see German Roots Project Resources.


Reliable Sources

Ship Lists

Passenger lists are available for some Palatine migration ships, in most cases recorded on or after arrival. Note that the spellings of names on these lists should not be assumed to match the spellings that the people's baptisms and marriages were registered under in Europe.

Settlement and Subsistence Lists

  • Hunter Lists
  • "Simmendinger Register": True and Authentic Register of Persons who in the Year 1709 Journeyed from Germany to America by Ullrich Simmendinger - Alphabetical list of approximately 500 Palatine families who settled in or near the Mohawk Valley of New York as of 1717.
  • The Book of Names, Especially Relating to the Early Palatines and the First Settlers in the Mohawk Valley. by Lou D. MacWethy. N.Y.: The Enterprise and News, 1933. Originally published: St. Johnsville. Republished by Genealogical Publishing Com, 1969. Includes the Kocherthal records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1708-1719; Palatine heads of families, from Gov. Hunter's Ration Lists, 1710-1714; Lists of Palatines in 1709 (comprised of the 4 London lists of Palatines who emigrated to England from Germany, the majority emigrated to America, with a secondary migration of many to Canada after the Revolutionary War); Palatines remaining and newly arrived in New York, from the colonial census of 1710; Names of Palatine children apprenticed by Gov. Hunter, 1710-1714; various lists of Palatines in the colonial militia of New York. Available on Family Search; Partial preview on Google Books.

Henry Jones Books

Henry Jones' research regarding several Palatine groups is highly regarded and generally can be considered reliable. His books, which are available for purchase and widely held by libraries, include:

Secondary Sources to be used with Caution

Family Genealogies

There are numerous published books -- dating from the early 1800s through the day before yesterday -- that present the genealogy of a particular family. Other family genealogies may be published on websites maintained by a family organization (possibly with a name like "The So-and-So Family Association, Inc.") or distributed privately to the members of a family organization. Often these sources are the best (or only) information we have to work with regarding an individual or a family group. Unfortunately, however, family genealogies range in quality from superb to horrifyingly bad. Some are even fraudulent. In evaluating the reliability of a particular genealogy, we should consider whether the author cited their sources, and consider whether those cited sources are reliable. In reviewing citations, consider the age of the work. A book published recently should be considered doubtful if it lacks good standard reference citations. However, because 19th-century authors typically did not use modern-style citations, we need instead to look for informal descriptions of where their information came from. Regardless of the citation formats, spot-check their information against those sources you are able to access, to see whether the primary sources validate the information found in the family genealogy. See this short essay by Alicia Crane Williams for advice on evaluating the citations in a genealogy. Check the credentials and reputation(s) of the author(s). Consider where and how the work was published. Do not treat the "official" work of a family association as having any special credibility or legal authority over a family's history -- their publications should be evaluated the same way that we would evaluate another author's work. Finally, don't hesitate to ask other WikiTreers (in G2G) for advice regarding the reliability of a particular work.

Unreliable Sources

  • User-contributed trees: Family trees published on FamilySearch, Ancestry, Geni, MyHeritage, Rootsweb, etc. If a tree cites sources, find those sources and use them.
  • Find A Grave memorials: Many memorials come without an actual burial place and burial details, and are in fact reconstructed from trees. These cannot be used as sources. Only those memorials with photographic evidence of the burial should be used as a source.
  • Published databases containing information of uncertain origin: There are a number of "records" collections available on websites such as Ancestry and MyHeritage (and in some instance formerly distributed on CD-ROM) that do not identify their information sources and in fact are built in whole or in part from doubtful publications and user-contributed content. These include the "Family Data Collection" and similar sources associated with Edmund West, the "Ancestral File," the "Millennium File," the "Pedigree Resource File," and "U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900."

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Comments: 2

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Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for drawing attention to more sources for our Palatine Project.

FYI - The main research resources page is at: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Palatine_Migration_Research_Resources

I have added the resources which you listed on that page.



posted by Dave Rutherford
I hope it is ok to post this here. I have "A History of Herkimer County" by Nathaniel Soley Benton, "Early Families of Herkimer County New York" by William V.H. Barker, "Immigrant Ancestors, a List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750" by Frederick Adams Virkus, and "The Book of Names, especially relating to The Early Palatines and the first settlers in the Mohawk Valley" by Lou D MacWethy.

Sorry if this is inappropriate. Cheryl J Smith Hess Smith-159364