Source: Emigrants to New Netherland (1650-1664)

The New York State Archives in Albany houses many colonial Dutch records. Among those records is an account book of the West India Company, which includes payments for passage to New Netherland from 1650 to 1664. This is a great source of information about New Netherland ancestors. Example: Teunis Kraij This entry for Teunis Kraij translates … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch Emigrants to Australia database

The National Archives has a database of Dutch emigrants to Australia between 1946 and 1991. The database may only be used for historical research. The database is compiled based on the card catalogs that were created by the Dutch consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane between 1946 and 1991. The cards were organized by heads of household … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Dutch Immigrants may not have Understood Each Other

Dutch immigrants sometimes settled in places where Dutch people from other parts of the Netherlands came too. This doesn't mean they could understand each other. Before the age of radio and television, there was no common Dutch language that everybody understood. Different regions had different dialects, different languages even. Frisian and Low … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Passagierslijst

A passagierslijst is a passenger list. Most passenger lists are kept in the country of arrival. Passenger lists for people who emigrated from the Netherlands to another country, are rarely found in the Netherlands. But the passenger lists of people who travelled to the Netherlands may be found in Dutch archives. The Stadsarchief Rotterdam … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Haven

A haven is a harbor. The Netherlands had and has some of the largest harbors in the world. They provided work for a range of occupations, both for people working at sea like fishermen and skippers, and for people working in the harbor like merchants, innkeepers and carriers. The harbors of Rotterdam and Amsterdam were also major ports of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Emigrants sometimes went to a Notary

Before getting on board, an emigrant may have gone to a notary to: have a will drawn up (you never know if the ship will go down) give a power of attorney to a trusted friend or family member to handle their affairs enter into a work contract, including an agreement about the payment of the passage. This is especially true for richer … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t stop looking after they left

Don't stop looking for your family in a town just because they don't live there anymore. They may still own property there, have business partners there, or may be heirs of people who stayed behind. In notarial records, I often find references to children living abroad, for instance when one of their parents died and their estate needed to be … [Read more...]

Why are the Dutch so tall?

When I visited Salt Lake City earlier this year, I was once again reminded that the Dutch are the tallest people on earth. At 1.75m (5'9"), I'm a bit above average height for a woman in the Netherlands, but in the US I was taller than most men and women. Here in the Netherlands, almost all of my male friends and some of my female friends are over … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Emigrants often used agents

Did you ever wonder how your emigrant ancestors bought their tickets and how they knew where to find a ship to go to America? By the end of the 1840s, many shipping companies had agents in most of the emigration hot spots. Emigrants would be able to purchase tickets form these agents, who would arrange for their travel to the harbor and for the … [Read more...]