Rhineland Palatine Irish Heritage

Rhineland Palatine Irish Heritage

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This collection consists of oral history recordings conducted with twenty-one descendants of the almost 3,000 German Palatines who travelled to south west Ireland in September 1709 to escape persecution.

This was a time when the landlords of Irish estates wanted to increase the Protestant tenant population. Of the landlords who successfully persuaded their allotment of Palatine immigrants to remain in rural Ireland, the most successful was Sir Thomas Southwell of Castle Matrix near Rathkeale, Co. Limerick. In 1711, he had retained only 10 families but by 1714 he had settled about 130 families on his lands. Some of the families relocated to Kerry in the succeeding generations.

The Palatines were industrious and diligent people, and their descendants in West Limerick and Kerry who were recorded for this project reveal their entrepreneurial spirit, their skills in land management and their customs and traditions.

We are grateful to the Irish Palatine Association for their generous funding and for the support and involvement of Austin Bovenizer of the Irish Palatine Museum in Rathkeale in facilitating the Limerick interviews, in providing library materials and backgrounds on the interviewees.

Purchase the full Collection of 21 digitised recordings on USB Key

Browse the Individual Recordings in Rhineland Palatine Irish Heritage Oral History Collection here.

The project was supported with funding from the Irish Palatine Association and Dingle Benner’s Hotel.

Additional information


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Date Recorded