Palatines to Ireland and Canada


The Palatinate was land belonging to a prince of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe that consisted of two territories; Upper Palatinate (Bavaria) and the Lower Palatinate.  Our ancestors lived in the Lower Palatinate, an area where there were many dramatic changes in the 9th century.  In 1623, the Lower Palatinate was given to Bavaria but was eventually restored (1648) because of the Peace of Westphalia.  The upper section remained with Bavaria.  The War of the Grand Alliance (1689-1697) again caused upheaval when French troops under Louis XIV ravaged the area resulting in many of the citizens of Lower Palatinate to flee their homes and emmigrate to other countries such as England, Ireland and America.


Thousands of Palatines debarked in Ireland where the government was providing subsidies to Irish landlords who agreed to allow some of the refugees settle on their estates.  Each Palatine (man, woman & child) received 8 acres of land at a rent of 5 shillings per acre (Irish tenants were paying far more) and each family were provided with 40 shillings a year for utensils and stock.  In the time following the government agreed to pay their rent for 25 years and each home was given a musket for protection.  The Fitzells (Fizzells) lived at Courtmatrix, owned by Sir Thomas Southwell of Castle Matrix in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick. 


In 1740-1760 the Irish landlords began to raise the rents drastically and then almost a century later the Irish Famine occurred.  It is said that the Irish Famine was not as hard on the Palatines as their farming techniques were further advanced than the Irish farmers but they still suffered great hardships.  This resulted in many of the Palatine families to again emigrate to a new country.


My great, great grandfather, Amos Fizzell was born and lived in Courtmatrix but he came to Canada with his wife Margaret Scanlan in the early 1800’s and settled in Camden Township, Lennox and Addington.  There are many other families with surnames from Courtmatrix who settled nearby to Amos & Margaret:  Teskey, Switzer, Doupe, Dulmage, Bowen, Shire, Embury et al.  Many intermarried.


Amos and Margaret had four children born in Canada…Amos Jr (married Rhoda Rikley), William (married Elizabeth Rikley), Sarah Ann (married John Teskey) and John (married Mary Rebecca Burdick)  After Margaret’s death, Amos married again to Maria Jane McKim Schryver. 


I am descended from William and Elizabeth’s oldest son Herbert.  The name Frizzell has been spelled different ways throughout the years-Fitzell, Frishel, Fizzell, Frizzell, Frizelle…) William was the last member of our family to spell his name Fizzell.  My grandfather, Herbert Andrew Frizzell, married Vera Meeks and they had 13 children, all of whom are still living today.   Members of the Frizzell family still live on property that was part of the original family homestead on Frizzell Road, just outside of Tamworth, Ontario.