Dutch term – Kolonie

Kolonie is the Dutch word for colony.

As a result of the commercial activities of companies like the Dutch East India Company and West India Company, the Dutch had colonies and trade posts all over the world, including:

  • New Netherland in North America, which covered large parts of the current states of New York and New Jersey, where the Dutch obtained furs.
  • El Mina in Ghana, center of the Dutch slave trade in Africa.
  • Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, important stopping point for the voyages to the Indies to get fresh victuals.
  • Dutch East Indies, source of spices.
  • Surinam, Netherlands Antilles and parts of Brazil in South America, source of tobacco and sugar.

Fortress of El Mina in Ghana, 1706. Credits: Nationaal Archief (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Jane Pearson says

    They used the term for the settlement in Holland, Michigan, also, in the mid-19th century.

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