Quick tip – Emigrants sometimes went to a Notary

Before getting on board, an emigrant may have gone to a notary to:

  • have a will drawn up (you never know if the ship will go down)
  • give a power of attorney to a trusted friend or family member to handle their affairs
  • enter into a work contract, including an agreement about the payment of the passage.

This is especially true for richer emigrants, who had business affairs to put in order. They may have gone to a notary in their place of origin or to a notary in the their port of departure.

Amsterdam was the main port of departure for emigrants to New Netherland (modern day New York and surrounding areas) in the 1600s. I have solved several New Netherland cases using Amsterdam notarial records.

Office of the notary

Office of the notary. Jan Woutersz. Stap, ca. 1629. Credits: Rijksmuseum (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Yvette,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2016/07/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-july-8-2016.html

    Have a great weekend!

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