Gerrit Hendrik te Kolstee emigrated from Winterswijk to the United States in 1848 together with his wife and three children. During his trip, he kept a diary that still exists today. The family settled in Clymer, NY.
Garrit Hendrik te Kolstee was born in Winterswijk on 28 April 1794 as the son of Garrit Jan te Kolstee and Janna Geertruit Veerink. On 21 March 1819, he was married in Winterswijk to Engelina Nijenhuis. Engelina was born in Winterswijk on 28 October 1788 as a daughter of Jan Berent Nijenhuis and Anna Catharina Rotmans.
They had the following children together:
- Janna Geertruid te Kolstee, born Winterswijk 28 February 1822, died Winterswijk 1 April 1823.
- Anna Geertruid te Kolstee, born Winterswijk 17 May 1823.
- Garrit Jan te Kolstee, born Winterswijk 9 February 1825, died Winterswijk 2 April 1826.
- Garrit Jan te Kolstee, born Winterswijk 29 July 1826, died Winterswijk 7 December 1828.
- Jan Willem te Kolstee, born Winterswijk 3 August 1830, died Clymer, NY, 2 April 1895.
- Janna Berendina te Kolstee, born Winterswijk 11 January 1832.
In 1848, the family emigrated to the United States. At the time they were living at the Landewer farm in Huppel, a hamlet north of Winterswijk. Garrit Hendrik kept a diary of the trip which is sometimes a bit hard to follow.
10 August 1848. We left from Huppel [hamlet near Winterswijk, ed.] at 6 PM on Friday. We staid with Willem Woords. The 11. In the morning at 2, in the afternoon at 1 in Zutveen [Zutphen, ed.] and in the evening we staid in Dieren The 12 in the morning at 4 AM and at 9 we were in Arnhem and at 10 in the steamboat, off at 5 o'clock and then we went into the big ship with our goods. The 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and the 18 in the morning at 6 o'clock we left from Rotterdam until we were in the harbor. The 19 we went further. The 20 we went to Hellevoetsleuis [Hellevoetsluis, ed.]
Monday the 21 we had a storm such that in the evening at 12 o'clock most had to throw up because of the movement the ship made. Tuesday the 22 we had head wind. 23 head wind. 24 head wind. Friday 25 head wind. 26 head wind. 27 head wind. Monday 28 head wind. The 29 head wind. The 30 the 31 we left from Hellevoet [Hellevoetsluis, ed.] at 5 o'clock in the afternoon but in the night we lay still.
Friday 1 September we went into the big sea in the morning at 6 o'clock and then we had good wind but very strong so that most had to throw up and the pots were turned upside down and in the afternoon at 12 o'clock we couldn't see anything but sky and water and the 2 in the morning we saw England and France. The 3 the wind was quiet and we didn't get forward very much we saw the houses and mountains of England the whole day. Monday the 4 in the evening we saw the mountains of England again. The 5 we saw the mountains of England the whole day. The 6 also the 7 also. Friday the 8 we saw the mountains of England. The 9 also.
The 10 in the morning we came into the big sea and Tuesday we had a storm such that people had to hold onto the ship. Monday the 11 the storm became less. Tuesday 12 September favorable weather. The 13 the waves went over the ship. The 14 we had good wind and caught a fish of 15 to 20 pounds. The 15 the waves went over the ship. The 16 too. The 17 nice weather Monday the 18 good strong wind. The 19 again strong but good. The 20 incredible storm. The 21 better. Friday the 22 no wind. The 23. The 24. The 25. The 26. Wednesday the 27. The 28 storm. The 29 lay still. The 30 head wind. Sunday 1 October. The 2 good wind. The 3. The 4. Thursday the 5. The 6. The 7.
Erie Canal, nineteenth century
The 8 the guide came on board in the morning at 8 o'clock and that night at twelve o'clock we saw the lighthouse of Nijork [New York, ed.]. The 9 we came from board in Nieuwork [New York, ed.] in the afternoon at 2 o'clock. The 10 onto the steam boat in the evening at 6 o'clock. The 11 we came to Albanij [Albany, ed.]. In the morning at 6 o'clock: channel. Thursday the 12. The 13. the 14. The 15. The 16. The 17. The 18. Thursday the 19 we came in Buffelo [Buffalo, ed.] in the evening at 5 o'clock.
From here, the family moved on the Clymer, where they spent the rest of their lives.
Landscape near Clymer, NY in 1997.