The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center will be hosting a conference titled, The Dutch-American Experience in Wisconsin: 1840-present, to be held September 25-27, 2008. Experts from the Netherlands and the U.S. will work side-by-side with local historical groups and historians to present a picture of the vibrant Dutch-American culture which thrives in Wisconsin.
Yvette Hoitink, the creator of this website, will be one of the speakers during the conference. She will give a lecture about ‘Winterswijk to Wisconsin’, detailing the reasons why so many people from this town emigrated to Wisconsin in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately she is not able to attend the conference personally, but she will give a prerecorded speech and answer questions using teleconferencing.
These experts will include Dr. Robert Swierenga and Dr. Elton Bruins, Research Professors at the Van Raalte Institute, Hope College, Holland, MI; Dr. Hans Krabbendam, Assistant Director of the Roosevelt Study Center, Middleburg, Netherlands; Dr.
James Schaap, English Professor, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA and Yvette Hoitink, Project Manager at the National Archives, The Hague, Netherlands.
These researchers will be joined by others who will discuss Dutch immigration history, the various settlements throughout Wisconsin, differences and similarities between the Dutch Catholics and Dutch Protestants, the Dutch language as it exists in Wisconsin and Dutch-American authors discussing their influences and publications.
Participants will be able to envision what it was like to live in the Netherlands prior to emigrating. They will understand the fear of a new world and a different language, but also the stories of strength and success as the new immigrants settled in Wisconsin and formed new communities.
Conference sessions will be held at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls, WI. The third day will consist of a Genealogy Contact Day, where organizations and individuals from around the state will showcase their resources and research. Genealogy workshops ranging from reading Dutch documents to internet resources available worldwide will be offered. There will also be historical bus tours throughout Sheboygan County highlighting points of interest including cemeteries, churches and early settlements.
For more information and booking, see the conference page on the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center website.