Droppers, Garrit Jan and Janna Geertruid Vardink

Photograph of tombstone

Garrit Jan Droppers and Janna Geertruid Vardink were one of the families who decided to emigrate even though they were already middle aged. The benefit of this was that they had grown up children who could help them build a new life. Because several letters of this couple still exist, a lot is known about their experiences in the United States. … [Read more...]

Duenk, Evert Jan and Willemina Rensink


Evert Jan DUENK and Willemina RENSINK emigrated from Aalten to Sheboygan, WI. Later in life, they did not get along, as can be seen from an advertisement in the Dutch newspaper Nieuwsbode. … [Read more...]

Voskuil, Derk Antony


Derk Antony VOSKUIL and Hendrika LANDEWEERD was two of the few survivors of the Phoenix disaster. They probably met during the voyage to the United States. … [Read more...]

Woordes, Jan Willem and Johanna Dora Bloemers


Jan Willem Woordes and Johanna Dora Bloemers both worked as hired hands on the Heemink farm in the hamlet of Huppel near Winterswijk. They emigrated independently from each other and were married in the United States. … [Read more...]

Meerdink, Garrit Hendrik

four women

One of the many emigrants from Winterswijk was Garrit Hendrik MEERDINK. He emigrated when he was still a bachelor and settled in the United States. Here he was first married to Janna Hendrika NIJENHUIS and later to Janna Berendina LENSINK. … [Read more...]

Kastein; Roelof, Willem and Theodora

Several members of the Kastein family emigrated from the Dutch/German border towns of Dinxperlo and Süderwick to the United States. They ended up in Alto,WI. … [Read more...]

The passengers

The passengers of the Phoenix consisted almost exclusively of Dutch emigrants. Most of them came from Afgescheiden (seceder) backgrounds, following in the footsteps of Van Raalte. They came mostly from the eastern part of the Netherlands. … [Read more...]

Winterswijk Dutch reformed emigrants

Most of the people who emigrated from Winterswijk in the middle of the nineteenth century belonged to the Dutch Reformed religion. This religion kept records of it's members. The records also contain a list of people who emigrated to America. Please keep in mind only part of the emigrants were officially unregistered. … [Read more...]

Farm names

Farm near Winterswijk

In the days before the Civil Registration forced everyone to stick to a surname, people in the eastern part of the Netherlands were named after the farm they lived at. You can still see that in the surnames today: Derk te Kolste, Piet te Lintum, Gerrit Jan Hoitink, etc. Since the surname might change every time a person moved, this sometimes offers … [Read more...]