I can see we haven't been real active of late, and want to bring something to the attention of the collaborators. How many realize that The Palatine Families problems correspond with what history now calls the Little Ice Age?
Another topic that may be reaching, but could the Palatine circumstances have contributed to the growth of the Mormon Church? It would be interesting to see how many Palatinate descendants became Mormon. Some contributing facts from my perspective:
# Timing is there.
# Decades of hunger made Mormon fundamentals of taking care of each other very enticing.
# As far as I know, my entire line of Drollingers after the first immigrants became Mormon, even if they did not stay in the faith.
It seemed that there were several factors contributing to the mass emigration from the Palatinate in the early 18th C. -- harsh winters and poor harvests (no doubt caused by the Little Ice Age), recurring attacks by the French Army and the promise from the British government of better land in the American Colonies.
Your second point is interesting, but I'm afraid that I don't have much insight into it. My Ermentraudts/Armentrouts did not come to America until 1739, so after the first wave of Palatine immigration, and seemed to be Presbyterians, and Lutherans. However, I can imagine given the hardships the earlier immigrants suffered, both at the hands of the Catholic French and the Anglican British, that they would have been drawn to a new religion that promised a sense of community and support.
The first description I read of how the Palatine Families were affected left me with the image of Quartermasters going door-to-door to feed their troops and it mattered little whose troops those were. One account said it was the Spanish who were the worst. They demanded stores and left these families, who had little enough anyway because of poor crops, were left with even less. It was the Little Ice Age that caused those poor crops. This was a complicated situation of religious bigotry, tyranny, and numerous other factors, but the Little Ice Age was as big a factor here as it was in the defeat of Napoleon. I just brought it up as a point of discussion, but I can imagine that hunger as a youth playing a major part in decisions by members of my Drollinger family.
The Drollingers too came to America as Lutherans, persecuted for their faith by the Holy Roman Empire. They seem to have skipped the British Isles and came directly to America. My second point is that every branch of my first immigrant's family, Gabriel Drollinger who arrived in 1743, that I am aware of were Mormons within 2 generations. I have no idea of his brother Adam Trollinger's spiritual direction. I don't have any insight either, just curiosity and imagination.
Hey, Danny! The correlation with the Little Ice Age is fascinating, and deserves a deeper look. Joseph Smith didn't found the LDS Church until 1830 (1831?), though, a hundred years later. It's my understanding that there was an explosion of revivalism, spiritualism, and reformation during the period that the LDS Church - and many other modern churches - was founded, corresponding with the tremendous social upheaval that was taking place in Europe and the U.S... You've made me wonder if oral histories of famine and hardship, passed along through the generations, contributed!
Part of a Palatine story I read (and of course can't find) involves these folks being predominately Loyalists and moving to Canada after the Revolution. The Drollingers and Trollingers were an exception. However I have many Mormons in the family, and several Canadians, who all became Mormons. Though I have not checked it yet, I wonder how many of these were Palatine descendants. As you say oral stories...
I am working on two related projects: Germans in Jamaica.