Palatines to America has always been, and still is, a society open to all who are interested in German genealogy. It does not require any German ancestors, let alone those from a particular area or time period. In an effort to expand the experience of members, the Governing Board offers an opportunity to join others whose ancestors came in the same migration.

Note: These groups are only open to members. Members go to the Members Only section of the website  to review the the Circle Application and instructions for filling out the form.

Kocherthal Circle

The first lineage group established is the well-publicized group who came to New York under the leadership of Joshua Kocherthal during the period 1708-1711, known as the Kocherthal Circle.

Members are required to prove descent from one of the Palatine immigrants to New York between 1708 and 1711. There is an application form and a fee to cover the expenses of the Circle. All applicants that are approved are inducted into the Kocherthal circle at the Palatines to America Annual meetings.

Kocherthal Church Marker


Christoph deGraffenried

The deGraffenried Circle are members who descend from Christoph deGraffenried’s group in New Bern, North Carolina, where he established a colony of Swiss refugees who were either poor or religiously persecuted. The Lords Proprietors of Carolina granted the Swiss venture 19,000 acres along the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina. In January 1710, deGraffenried sent 650 Palatine settlers to Carolina under the leadership of John Lawson.

de Graffenried and Lawson enslaved 1711 Artist's depiction of the capture and trail of Von Graffenried and John Lawson by Tuscarora Indians in 1711.
Bern Civic Library, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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