If you are just beginning your work on Teeples, you may wonder what the term Palatine has to do with the first Teeples in America. Well, leading up to the 1700s, part of Europe was called The Holy Roman Empire. It was divided into hundreds of independent political units, each ruled by a local prince who was subject to the emperor of the whole shebang. The Palatinate was one of these political units in the general vicinity of the Rhine River in what is now Germany, as was the Upper Palatinate a bit further east. From this region came a great emigration of Germans to America beginning in 1709.
The story has been well told by historians - it's a good read. Various documents of the time have yielded the names of the incoming settlers and this information about the Palatine immigration to New York appears to be the sole source for mention of the earliest Teeples in America. No other grouping of early immigrant records carries a surname resembling Teeple. Therefore, Teeple researchers have focussed their attention on the Palatine records. Since its first use, the term Palatine has gradually broadened its meaning and now often refers to German immigration to America from all areas of Germany at several different periods of modern history.
Keeping to the earlier, stricter definition, by now, everyone knows of Henry Z. Jones and his landmark work on the genealogy of the New York Palatines. It is well worth your time to read the introductory sections of his book to teach yourself the history of the times and to follow Jones' research methods. The bibliography at the back is also very very useful. Here is an exerpt that sets the tone.
'Excellent historical background material on the Palatines, largely unexplored by previous researchers, has been found in the 17th and 18th century churchbooks of the towns and villages where the emigrants resided. These old registers are treasure-troves of data on the local level, for ever so often the Pastors, after recording a baptism, marriage, or burial entry in their churchbooks, would comment on important matters of the day affecting their congregations. Their notations often were written with a such poignancy that they capture the spirit of the times the flavor of life in the local Palatine community better than any other sources I have seen. For example, the churchbooks often reflected the devastation and havoc caused by the repetitive wars fought on German territory - a major factor leading to the 1709 emigration.'
Much earlier than Jones, other writers of NJ material have mentioned the Teeples in connexion with Germany. Please see the following:
Early Germans of New Jersey
Story of an Old Farm