Source – Staten van Landverhuizers

Departure of an emigrant ship

In the 1840s, when religious tensions were high and crops were failing, many people left the Netherlands to start a new life in America. The national government wanted to know what was going on. Since 1848, they required each province to keep lists of emigrants, the "Staten van Landverhuizers" [tables of emigrants]. Between 1831 and 1847, … [Read more...]

Popular destinations per religion

Bird's eye view of Pella, Iowa

People who emigrated, usually did so in groups of like-minded people. One thing that bound them was religion. If your ancestor was Roman Catholic, he probably went where other Roman Catholics lived and where you find one Christian Reformed emigrant, you will probably find several. Here are some destinations I found in my own research of 19th … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Check for logical migration patterns

Departure of four couples to Canada

If you find a source that shows that your family originally came from elsewhere, check that the migration path they followed is logical. A few things to watch out for: People usually went from rural areas to urban areas. It's rare to find people moving from an urban area to a rural area, or from one rural area to another rural area. Before … [Read more...]

Lecture – From the Achterhoek to America

Fragment of a plat map of Clymer, Chautauqua county, New York in 1880, showing several Achterhoek names

Last week, I gave a lecture about emigration from the Achterhoek to America in the 19th century. I was invited by the historical society of Aalten, Dinxperlo and Wisch, of which I am a member. The interest was overwhelming, they kept having to find more chairs to seat everyone. The Achterhoek is the eastern part of the province of Gelderland. … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Landverhuizer

Emigrant ship leaving

The word landverhuizer means somebody who moved to another country. It's the term most 19th century records use when referring to emigrants. Knowing this term can help to find lists of emigrants ("staten van landverhuizers") in catalogs of repositories. Read more about landverhuizers in the column "Land movers." … [Read more...]

Cold Case: do you recognize these Frisian emigrants?

Group of Frisian emigrants

Tresoar, the Regional Historical Center for the province of Friesland, has a new Cold Case project. They are looking for the names of the people in two movies created in 1932 and 1936. The movies were show emigrants who came back to Friesland for Friezendei [Frisians day]. Since the late nineteenth century, thousands of people from Friesland … [Read more...]

Column: land movers

poster showing people on a crate moving across the globe

In the nineteenth century, thousands of people emigrated from the area around Winterswijk to the United States. "Land movers", they were called. Some left because of their religion, most in the hope of a better future. Among them there were several siblings of ancestors of mine. Curious what happened to them, I contacted their offspring on the … [Read more...]