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, CG® 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 certificate 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. Jane Pearson says

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

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