Not much has been written
To the Editor:
Bill Birns’ article about Palatine German immigrants in the June 27 to July 3 issue of the Catskill Mountain News was interesting and informative. Not a great deal has been written about this sizable population group, other than genealogical publications. Many present-day residents of the Catskill Mountains are not even aware of their own Palatine ancestry.
Until I got involved in genealogy I didn’t know that my surname traces back to such immigrants named Rau or Rauh, before the English got hold of it and changed it to Rowe. They were some of the ones who settled on the east side of the Hudson River. But it was only a generation or two before some of them moved to Greene County, and a generation later to Delaware County.
John D. Monroe in his Chapters in the History of Delaware County, New York, notes that some of the Palatines who came to America at the same time as my ancestors were probably the “first white men” to come to Delaware County, although they were only passing through.
“So far as known, the first white men to set foot on what is now Delaware County were members of some 33 German families, who, on their way from Schoharie to Berks County, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1723, made canoes and put them into Charlotte River at what became known as the “Canoe Place,” about five miles west of where Christopher Servoss had a grist mill at the time of the Revolution, or at about Davenport.”
My wife, who always wanted to have New York roots when she was growing-up in Ohio, was not aware of those 33 German families until fairly recently. Among those who made this trip to Pennsylvania were some her ancestors, Johann Abraham Lauck and his wife, Anna Catharina Becker, who were married in the West Camp Lutheran Church in Ulster County. They settled in the Tulpenhocken region of Pennsylvania in May, 1723.
Anyone living in the Catskills with a German sounding name, as well as translated German names, such as “Carpenter” (which was “Zimmerman”), again, before the English got a hold of it, should search the genealogical web sites, on the Internet.
Robert A. Rowe,