While pursuing your own family research some of you have felt the pride of seeing ancestors mentioned in books, or have had passed down to you narratives written by earlier genealogists for their own families. This short piece about the role of the Mayer/Myers Family in the Palatine Emigration, written in 1931 by Mrs. A. E. Myers Barnes, was contributed by Dee Myers. Members of the extended Mayer/Meyers Family have been mentioned elsewhere on this site, most recently in our article about Herkimer County in the War of 1812. Dee looks forward to sharing information with other Mayer/Myers descendants.


The Myers Family were of the Palatine Colony who left their home in the valley of the Rhine owing to the religious persecution of Louis XIV; They left their homes at the head of a massacring army, as they were given three days to renounce their religion, having been converted from Catholicism to Protestantism during the Martin Luther Reformation. About 35 years ago, before the fire in the State Library, I found a small volume written by the Historian Cobb which gave a complete list of the Colony at its start.

This Colony after wandering about for several years in Germany and Holland seeking a home site, finally at their petition to the English Parliament were fitted out with passage, provisions, implements, etc., to be worked out in the new country by these refugees at stipulated sums of valuation. There were 3000 in this Colony which left the shores of England in December 1699 for a new home in a new country. They landed on what was then called Netting Island, now Ellis Island; there quarantined the length of time required, then were taken up the Hudson River to Livingston Manor, supposedly to work out what they owed the British Government by sending back tar, resin and corn and whatever crops they might raise.

The voyage took six months enroute and the colony had become so depleted that of the original 3000 there were only 1700 at landing, and in the entire list there were only two men named Myers (or Mayer) (German rendition) Hendrick Mayer and his brother Christian Mayer.

What I as a descendent am so proud of is that of the entire Colony (and History says of them that in their native country they were a prosperous and well-to -do people composed of farmers and trades people of various kinds, who left all because of their willingness to give all this up for religious principles), that of all this Company of 3000 people the British Parliament selected our ancestor Hendrick Mayer (or Henry Myers in the British spelling) as head, or as they termed it, Commissary Agent of this Colony. In the French and Indian War which began in 1758 lasting two years, Hendrick Myers was retained by the British Parliament as Commissary Agent as of former service, and served the entire two years and in fact until the Revolutionary War, and from that comes our eligibility as Colonial Dames and Sons. Any doubt of this can be verified by a trip to the Albany State Library and consulting documentary history of early Palatine Settlements of New York State Vol. 3 where will be found ample proof of this statement.

Copied from Mrs. A. E. Myers Barnes, Frankfort, NY, September 23, 1931
by Georgia D. Myers-Felker, November 1, 1998.

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Copyright © 1998 Georgia D. Myers-Felker/ M. Magill
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