Krotzer Clan

The Palatine MigrationPalatineMap

Many, if not all, of the 18th-century Krotzer ancestors were part of what historians have called “The Palatine Migration,” a wave of German immigrants from a troubled area of some 3500 square miles in western Germany on either side of the Rhine River, between Mainz and Baden.[1] A series of especially harsh winters and poor harvests coupled with recurrent invasions by the French resulted in continuous military requisitions, widespread devastation and famine—tribulations that drove the inhabitants, over several decades beginning in 1710, first to the Netherlands, then to England and, finally, to America. The initial arrivals settled in New York, in Newburgh. Soon others travelled inland and down the Susquehanna River, settling in Berks County, Pennsylvania.[2]  Many more later sailings disembarked in the port of Philadelphia. From 1735, settlements in Pennsylvania multiplied rapidly and extended over a wide region west of the Susquehanna. The Kratzer family settled along the banks of the Susquehanna River, in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, a locale that had become a popular destination for Scots-Irish and German settlers from around 1750.[3]  Virtually all the Krotzer ancestors were part of this movement. The Palatines included both Lutherans and Calvinists and both traditions had a long-lasting impact on the Pennsylvania and Ohio Krotzer offspring.

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[1] There are many historical studies of this era and the migration to America; in the Sources section, see Cobb, Roeber, and Otterness. The migration was monumental: historians estimate over 100,000 Palatines move to America between 1683 and 1783. By comparison, the Anglo population of the British colonies in 1700 was only about 275,000.
[2] A succinct overview of German settlement in the area can be found in: Rev. John Baer Stoudt, “The German Pioneers,” Chapter V of William J. Heller, History of Northampton County [Pennsylvania] and The Grand Valley of the Lehigh, Vol. I (Boston: The American Historical Society, 1920).
[3] Charles M. Snyder, Union County Pennsylvania, A Celebration of History (Lewisburg, Penn.: Union County Historical Society, 2000), pp. 6-9.
{last update: 16-Feb-2020}