The Situation in Germany in the 1600's
and early 1700's.
I have applied mathematical notations to denote the number of
"Greats", when referring to my ancestors. Thus my Great Great Grandfather
is designated as Great2 Grandfather.
Johan [Hans] Georg Hartrick is the oldest traceable member of the Hartrick
Clan and is thus considered the Clan's founder. He was my
Great6 [that's six greats], Grandfather. He was born
in the Lower, or Rheinish Palatinate of Germany about 1657. Here he
married, raised a daughter and one son named George. Johan and his
brother Matthew, were neighbor farmers. Their cousin Caspar Hartrick lived
nearby with his wife and three children. A second Caspar Hartrick lived some
distance farther away. Outside of a garden and a few animals for domestic
use, the main crop for these farmers was grapes, which were, used in the
making of wine.
||The Palatinate of Germany was one of the states of the old Holy
Roman Empire. It was situated along the Rhine River in what is now
the Rheinland Pfalls. Heidelberg was located in the central portion
of the Palatinate. Conditions in this area had been bad for many years.
The General Area From Which the Palatines Emigrated [*].
Louis XIV of France had completed his palace at Versailles.
This became the standard of grandeur to which the Rhenish princes aspired.
To this end they built ever larger and more imposing castles along
the Rhine. Their lavish lifestyles were matched to their castles.
The funds for all of this excess came from taxes levied on the farmers.
The burden on Johan and Matthew was severe. Off and on for many
years, wars had been fought in this portion of Germany. Foraging armies,
both foreign and domestic, had reduced their food supply to the extent that
they were actually on the verge of starvation. To make matters worse,
Johan's wife had passed away, leaving him with two children to raise.
The final crushing blow was the severe winter of 1708/1709. Even
the oldest of inhabitants could not remember a colder, more unrelenting,
totally devastating winter. Cattle were frozen to death in their stables.
Worst of all, the grape vines were frozen and withered. There
was no way to make a living after this, other than to start over from scratch
with new seedlings. It would be years before the newly planted grape
vines would be mature enough to bear the fruit that afforded them a
The only bright spot in their lives was that they were permitted to
worship as they pleased. Generally in Europe, the religion of the ruler became
that of the people. Germany had been Roman Catholic since the days
of the Holy Roman Empire, but Protestantism had been making inroads into
the religious scene for some time. In 1546, Palatine Elector Frederick
II, [ruler of the Palatinate], became a Lutheran and in 1562 Frederick made
the Palatinate Calvinist. The treaty of Westphalia in 1648, recognized
the Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist churches. The fact that there
were still practicing Roman Catholics in the Palatinate over 160 years after
Frederick's conversion, attests to the religious freedom practiced there.
Both Johan and his brother Matthew were Catholics.
|Finally a light appeared at the end of this dismal tunnel. In
an effort to populate the American Colonies with tax paying citizens, Queen
Anne of England sent agents throughout Europe and especially into the Palatinate
of Germany, to entice emigration. They distributed pamphlets with gold lettering
bearing the Queen's picture. In veiled language, it promised passage
to America and assistance in establishing farms there, to all who would but
come. This pamphlet became known as the "Golden Book." Although the
promises weren't specific, the enticement was sufficient for the Hartricks.
They, along with thousands of other Germans, decided to start anew
Now the Hartricks are not known for being bold and impetuous. On
the contrary, they were, and are circumspect, cautiously willing to take
a chance, as long as it is on their terms and if the odds are in their favor.
This trait almost cost them their chance at a home in America.
Caspar Hartrick was the first to go. He and his family safely
arrived in America in 1709.
The Journey From Germany to
|There were six parties of Palatines to leave Germany at British
expense and two by private means that year. Johan and Matthew
Hartrick and their families were members of the sixth British sponsored party.
Mary Hartrick and her husband waited so long as to be prohibited from
emigrating. So many Palatines were to leave Germany that the Kurfurst,
[Elector Palatine to the King], Hans Wilhelm, put a stop to further emigration
on pain of death.
In 1723 the British government gave Mary twenty shillings as payment
for her travel expenses, for the time when she and her husband would be allowed
to travel to England. The records do not indicate that they ever left Germany,and
they likely still owe the British government the twenty shillings!
The Route of the Palatines From the Palatinate to Rotterdam, in the
The Hartrick families spent between four to six weeks on their journey
down the Rhein River to Rotterdam. Along the way they were subjected
to various departure taxes and to frequent tolls. This severely depleted
the meager funds generated from the sale of their personal possessions.
Charitable countrymen along the way made small donations to assist
them in their journey.
They encamped for a time In Rotterdam, while awaiting a ship that would
take them to England. This would be the second leg of their long journey
to the "New World." The five preceding parties of emigrating Palatines
had not left the tentage and campgrounds in the best of condition. Also
at this point, the resources and patience of the Dutch charitable organizations
had been stretched rather thin. Fortunately their encampment was brief.
The British ships that carried troops to the war of Spanish Succession,
were diverted to Rotterdam on their way home, to transport the Palatines,
[as émigrés from the Palatinate of Germany were known], to
England. On the 27th. of July 1709, the sixth and last party of emigrating
Palatines boarded their awaiting troopship. The next day they sailed
Sailing between Rotterdam and London took between six to eight days.
Landing at St. Catherine's dock, they were transported to campgrounds
at Camberwell and Blackheath, near London. As opposed to moving into
an empty campground as they had in Rotterdam, these campgrounds had a population
of 10,000 Palatines already encamped there. These latest arrivals and those
to follow were to swell these numbers to 13,500!
The Encampment Near
|If the Hartricks thought that they had seen hard times up to this
point, they were mistaken. Their hard times were just beginning.
London's population at this time was only 600,000. The influx
of Palatines represented a substantial increase that had to be fed and housed,
as well as be provided with medical and sanitary needs. Nearly 1,000
of the Palatines died during this encampment!
This figure represents almost 10% of the remaining Palatine population
during a relatively short encampment. Rising food prices, diseases,
overcrowding, air pollution and a host of other ills were all blamed on the
Palatine intruders. Feelings ran so high that at one point, a mob of
2,000 Londoners attacked the Palatines in an effort to drive them away.
Not being the stock of which heroes are made, the Hartricks, during
this fray, made themselves scarce and thus survived. This same skill
has served the clan well in many other wars and uprisings. Thus the
clan has prospered and survived to the present day.
During the encampment, some of the Palatines found it expedient to claim
that religious persecution had caused them to come to England. This
may have been true in a few cases, but generally the claim was made for their
own personal advantage. They were seeking the favor of local charitable
religious groups. They were soon to learn more of religious persecution
from the British than they had ever suffered in Germany.
The British had a little surprise awaiting the Palatines. They
were required to swear allegiance to the British Crown and become British
subjects. Now this seemed reasonable enough, in that their destination, America,
belonged to Britain at that time. The British however, imposed a second
requirement. In addition to being naturalized, the British required
that the Palatines become Protestants. This, by taking the sacraments
of the Anglican Church, before a witness. This was acceptable to the
expedient Johan and he became, "A poor Protestant, saved by the Queen".
This however, was unacceptable to Johan's brother Matthew. Rather
than change his religion, Matthew and his wife chose to be returned to Germany.
He was given five gilders expense money and along with 2,250 other
Catholics, was sent back to Rotterdam. From there they were to make
it on their own to the fatherland, as best they could.
Now the Hartricks had emigrated from the fatherland to make a new start
in America and wanted no part of camping out in England. Other Palatines
had been transported to America from there. Caspar Hartrick and his
wife were part of group of 3,000 Palatines that had been transported to New
York. Another 600 Palatines had been sent to Carolinas. Johan and his
two children were awaiting their transport to America, as others had before
The Journey from England to
However, the resources of the British government for this enterprise
had been exhausted. Substantially more Palatines than had been anticipated,
responded to the invitation of the "Golden Book". Considerable time
was spent by Parliament, "muddling through" the problem of what to do with
the excess of Palatines. Finally, the Irish Council offered to accept
a number of Palatines into Ireland. Hans and his children, along with
3,070 other Palatines, were taken by wagon across England to Chester.
There they boarded ships that took them to Dublin. The first
group landed in September of 1709; others followed in October.
The Palatines Route From Rotterdam to London, Chester and finally
The Palatines found conditions in Dublin to be far worse than they were
in England. Dublin was a town of only 60,000 at that time, so the
influx of over 3,000 Palatines was proportionally more than twice that
experienced by London. Merchants were charging the Palatines inflated
prices for food and passed counterfeit half pence coins to them as change.
This, while they were being sold watered down milk. These and
other such frauds and hardships were practiced to such an extent, that the
Lord Mayor of Dublin issued a proclamation promising prosecution of future
offenders, "with the utmost rigor of the law".
This is the point at which Johan's fortunes were finally to turn for
the better. Since the earliest times, Ireland had been enmeshed in
wars, uprisings, clan fights, foreign invasions and civil strife. However
from about 1700 on, all of this ceased and an unaccustomed peace settled
over the land, that lasted almost 100 years. During this century, the
Hartrick Clan grew and flourished in Ireland. The specific turning
point was the selection of Palatine tenants by their Irish landlords. This
was accomplished by drawing lots and it was Johan's good fortune to be drawn
by the honest, if not benevolent landlord, Able Ram of County Wexford. The
second Caspar Hartrick was settled in County Limerick. Nothing more is known
of him or his family.
The Palatine Settlement at Old Ross,
County Wexford, Ireland.
|The Ram estate in County Wexford was located in arguably the most
desirable portion of Ireland. The area around Old Ross in particular, is
especially suitable for "the art of high tillage", practiced by the Palatines
there. The land is not rocky as in western Ireland, but is gently rolling
rich farmland, protected from storms approaching from the west by the Blackstairs
County Wexford's Verdant Farmland.
|This is an area very reminiscent of the Palatinate of Germany in
which Hans must have felt quite at home. His farm even had a peat bog
from which he was able to cut fuel for his fire. Johan and his Palatine
neighbors formed a small, close knit, closed community. They were Protestant
[even if newly so], German speaking, hard working farmers. They used
different tools and farming methods and were conspicuously more successful
than their Irish neighbors.
In all, seven Palatine families were assigned to the Ram estate and
all seven remained. This was not so with other Palatine families.
Their landlords often treated their tenants badly and a number of families
left Ireland. By February 1711, fully one third of the Palatine families
||The Hartrick home in the Townland of Moorfields, near Old Ross,
in County Wexford, Ireland. Built circa 1709, burned during the "Rising"
of 1798 and then rebuilt. Note the German style of building the stables onto
the house in order that the animals would provide some of the heat for the
home. This is the last remaining example of a Palatine home of this style
in existence in County Wexford.
The Hartrick Farmhouse and Stables.
| As protection against their more hostile neighbors, Hans
and his Palatine neighbors had each been given a musket. These were
called "Queen Anne's," after the ruling British monarch of the time. The
Palatines were enrolled in The FreeYomenry of Ireland, which was a home guard
or Militia. They were known as "The German Fusiliers", or more commonly
as "The True Blues".
The venerable John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, preached
to the Palatines at Old Ross in 1787. Until that time they had been
under the religious guidance of the Church of Ireland. The impact of his
preaching is not recorded ,but it must have been akin to the enthusiastically
fervent reception of the Palatine communities in County Limerick. The
message of faith that he brought has endured for all of the succeeding
generations of Hartricks, even to this writer.
Genesis of the Hartrick
The Hartrick Clan was remarkably devoid of inspiration in their choices
of given names for their male offspring. Boys were almost all named
either John, George or William. This made sorting them all out a difficult
task indeed. I liken the process to knitting a sweater out of barbed
wire; you must proceed very slowly and very carefully.
By ca. 1710, George Hartrick, [my great5 grandfather],
married and by 1720, he was registered on the Ram Estate, at the Townland
of Moorfields, near Old Ross, in County Wexford, Ireland. In due course
his children were born. These were, Matthew, [after his repatriated Catholic
uncle], born ca. 1710, John George, born ca. 1712,and William, my
great4 grandfather, born ca 1714.
About 1744, William married and had two sons. John, born about
1744 and William, my great3 grandfather, born about 1745.
About 1775, this latter William married and had a son William, [my
great2 grandfather], in 1778. He also had two daughters,
Catherine and Anna, born to him in Ireland.
The Rising of
The luck of the Old Ross Palatines and Ireland's century of peace ended
the night of June 5th, of 1798. Civil strife is called a "Rebellion,"
if it succeeds and a "Rising," if it fails. The Hartricks of Old Ross
were well aware of the oncoming Irish revolt against the British, [and
Protestants in general] and had fled to the safety of the heavily defended
town of New Ross County Wexford. There they were "given accommodations",
by Charles Tottenham, who was a Church Warden of St. Mary's Church, [Church
of Ireland], in Old Ross and was also Sovereign of the town of New Ross.
Captain Tottenham, [later Colonel], had just finished construction
of several new homes on the Rosbercon side of New Ross and these were made
available to the refugees.
Others of the Palatine community weren't so fortunate. George Hornick
of Killanne, was the victim of a revenge slaying. He was the first target
of the rebels, led by Fr. Philip Roche, one of the priest-leaders of the
"Rising." Phillip Hornick was captured by the rebels and was shot at
Scullabogue, of Whitechurch. After his ritualistic execution, his body
was stripped and then cut into quarters. The pieces were then burned. His
remains were identified by his distinctive watch that was found in his clothing.
This has been handed down from generation to generation for
The Hornick Watch.
almost 200 years. I was fortunate enough to meet the present owner of
the watch and to photograph his historic relic.
||The only church to be burned during the "Rising"' was St. Mary's
Church, [Church of Ireland], at Old Ross. Also burned were all but
four of the community's 100 homes. However, by far the most heinous
of the rebel actions, was the holocaust of Scullabogue Barn near Old Ross.
The rebels rounded up over 120 of the local population and herded them
into a thatched roof barn.
St.Mary's Church; [COI], Old Ross.
|This they set afire. Those in the barn
|who were not suffocated or trampled to death were burned alive.
Those attempting to escape were piked to death outside the barn by
the guards. Although the victims were mostly Protestants, about 15
Irish Catholics, who were the household servants of the Protestant families,
were included in this group.
When the Hartricks returned to Old Ross, they found their homes had
been reduced to smoldering ashes. Their livestock had been burned ,along
with their provisions and personal possessions. All that they had were
the clothes on their backs and what they were able to carry with them when
The personal qualities of independence, hard work and thrift however,
could not be burned. These came to the fore and served them well during the
reconstruction to follow. They petitioned the government for compensation
for their losses. Their own hands rebuilt their homes and stables.
The mutually beneficial relationships with one of their Catholic neighbors,
undoubtedly provided them much help and succor in their hour of need.
|The Catholic Cloney family operated a water powered mill on the
townland adjoining the Hartrick occupied townland of Moorfields. This
was appropriately called "Millquarter". The Hartricks and the Cloneys
had a close interdependent relationship. The Hartricks raised grain
that needed to be ground into flower to be marketable. The Cloneys
needed grain to be brought to their mill, in order to make their living.
|Thus it was the Cloneys that helped the
The Cloney Mill, Townland of Millquarter.
|Hartricks and other local farmers to get back on their feet, after
they were burned out by the rebels.
During a trip to Ireland in September of 1996, I met the present owner
of this mill. Although not operated in half a century, the mill remains
just as it was when it ceased operation in 1946. The son of the owner,
who is a prominent County Wexford historian and author, gave me a personalized
tour of the mill. I was able to photograph both the mill's interior
and exterior. A mill has been located on this site since 1170 AD.
The Palatines of County Wexford survived, but the Rebellion of 1798
was to prove a turning point in their lives and fortunes.
The Hartrick Genesis
||About 1803, William, my great2 grandfather, married
Elizabeth and they had two sons, William in 1803 and Charles Edward, my great
grandfather, in 1815. They also had a daughter, Mary. These children
were all born to them in Ireland. In 1816, William, with his wife Elizabeth
and their three children, emigrated to Ontario Canada. In Canada, a second
daughter, Catherine,was born in 1816 and a third son, Benjamin in 1824.
|Gt. Grandfather's Headstone.
I correspond and visit the descendants of William, who
are now living in Michigan. The descendants of Charles Hartrick, [my
line], are chronicled in the following article entitled, The Hartricks
of America. This details the Clan's fortunes in the "New World."
* Maps courtesy of Dr. Patrick J. O'Connor, Newcastle West, County Limerick,
by the author.