I attended a National Genealogical Society conference when I first became interested in genealogy. Where, I don’t remember. While wandering around the exhibitors’ hall, I found a booth sponsored by the Palatines to America. My first reaction was that I had no Palatine ancestors, so the organization could not be for me. However, when I explained that my father’s parents came from Mulhouse in Alsace, they assured me that the organization was for anyone who had German speaking ancestors. With that information I joined Palatines to America, and its New York Chapter.
While that chapter has a number of members who are descended from the Palatines who came to New York with the Lutheran minister, Joshua Kocherthal in the first decade of the 18th century, there are many like myself who have no Palatines ancestors. But, we do have German speaking ancestors, and that is our common bond.
It has been several years now that I have been involved with the organization. I was asked to edit the newsletter of the NY Chapter in 2005, and continue in that role today. For the past two years, I served as president of the Chapter, until I was asked to become the national president of Palatines to America. For the next two years, I will work to promote this organization as the place to be for those with German speaking ancestors. I hope that those of you who are not yet members will make the step and join us.