Ask Yvette – Are there Passenger Lists in Dutch Archives?

I often get asked if there are any passenger lists in Rotterdam or Amsterdam, of the people who departed from these ports to America, Canada, or Australia. Depending on the period, there may not be any. Passenger lists often went with the ship and were archived in the port of arrival, not in the port of departure.

The archives of the shipping companies sometimes have passenger lists. For example, the Rotterdam City Archives have the archives of the Holland Amerika Lijn and its predecessors, which include many 20th century passenger lists. But many of these passenger lists are also available on Ancestry, like in the New York Passenger Lists database, so you may not need to come to Rotterdam to see them.

For the 1800s, it is rare to find passenger lists in Dutch archives. The archives of the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland, kept at the Rotterdam City Archives, include lists of passengers to the Dutch East Indies. For the New Netherland period (1600s), I do not know of any passenger lists in Dutch archives.

ship in port with passengers flocking to the side

Tabinta departing to South Africa, 1948. Credits: Steenkamp, collection Nationaal Archief (CC-BY)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ 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 diploma 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. Jenny Fryer says

    I always look forward to your post every week. I feel that I am in touch with my mother land. Its funny I was 10 when we came her but Ihave this strong pull for Holland.

  2. Johann Zandberg says

    Hi Yvette, I’m trying to trace the Zandberg family line who settled in South Africa during the 1600-1700’s. Wouls there be a way of tracing the family name?

    • “Zandberg” means “sand mountain,” indicating a higher piece of sandy land. It’s a name that occurs in several places in the Netherlands. I recommend you focus on your earliest known ancestor in the place where you know they lived and look for clues there.

    • Annelize Zandberg says

      Hi Johan, family surname is also Zandberg (from Namibia, South West Africa as it was known) maybe we can exchange details and possibly find history of Zandberg

  3. Simone Vollbrecht says

    Hi Yvette! Do you know if there are records kept for passenger ships leaving Amsterdam in the 1920’s to South America? I’ve been trying to locate lists for the ship Orania so far without success…

    Thank you very much!

  4. Richard (Rinke) Strikwerda says

    Hi Yvette,
    Our family (Tjeerd Strikwerda) came on the Tabinta and arrived in Canada (Montreal, I believe) in September 1947. Do you have a list of the passengers on this ship as well as the dates of departure or arrival? I’d love to hear some more information of this trip when i was a little boy of seven.

    • Berend Veltheer says

      I came on the same trip and gad my 7th birthday on it remember that a lot of passengers got sea sick our family was one that didn’t we were allways going on deck to see the waves

  5. Pierre Bezuidenhout says

    Hi Yvette,
    I am trying to trace my wife’s family, Reitzema, who emigrated in 1951 on board the SS Zuiderkruis from Holland to Cape Town. Do you know of any passenger lists in existence?
    Thanks and regards,

  6. Wieland Lickfeld says

    Hi Yvette,
    I am looking for the passenger list of the Orania on his journey to Brazil and perhaps other south american countries. The Orania belonged to the Royal Dutch Lloyd must have left Amsterdam on Feb 28th or 29th, 1924. Any ideas about the whereabouts of that list?
    Kind regards from Brazil,
    Wieland Lickfeld

  7. Heather Griffiths says

    Members of my family Otto Broedelet, his wife Emma Louisa Broedelet (nee Horn) and their son Otto Christiaan Broedelet left Amsterdam on 1 April 1861 on the 617 ton vessel Provincie Drenthe to sail to Cape Town, South Africa. Is there any information regarding this vessel at all? And where could I find information.
    Many thanks from Scotland
    Heather Griffiths

  8. Deborah Van Lierop says

    Can anyone help me i am trying to find the crew list of a ship “Incoming passenger list to Fremantle “Johan van Oldenbarnevelt” arrived 30 July 1953 from Amsterdam. I have the passenger list but would like to get a copy or view the crew list. Can anyone help. Thank Debbie Van Lierop

  9. Good Day Yvette,
    I am of the the 3rd generation of the Gieselbach family in South Africa. My grandfather Marinus Lukas Gieselbach settled in South Africa in the 1800,s. I understand he was a sailor admitted 29.05.1886 at the age of 15. I believe he stayed behind when the ship left at about or on 05.01.1892. is there any crew lists and passenger lists at about that time.

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