gahetNA in the National Archives

I'm looking for an emigrant

Religious tension and poor economic circumstances in the 1840s led to the start of emigration from the Netherlands. Emigration peaks were seen from 1845 to 1855, from 1865 to 1874, in the 1880s and after World War II. The Nationaal Archief mainly contains records for finding people who emigrated from 1840 to 1940.

How do I proceed?

At the Nationaal Archief you will find lists of emigrants for the period between 1848 and 1877 in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Statistics department (catalogue reference 2.04.23.02, inventory numbers 26 I - 26 XII). An index of names has been compiled from these lists. You will find this in the archive inventories with catalogue references 2.04.28 and 2.04.29. The lists themselves are available on microfiche. You will find them in the reading room, in stack D7 of the microfiche repository.
You will find the lists of emigrants from the province of South Holland in the archives of the South Holland provincial government (catalogue reference 3.02.27.01, inventory number 6460). An index of names has also been compiled from these lists (catalogue reference 3.02.27.02).

Which country?

To find out more information you will need to know which country this person emigrated to. The summaries listed below will tell you which sources are available for each destination.

- Dutch emigrants to the USA
- Dutch emigrants to Canada
- Dutch emigrants to South America
- Dutch emigrants to Australia
- Dutch emigrants to South Africa
- Foreign migrants who departed from the Netherlands

Other sources

Provincial archives

Provincial records offices also have emigrant lists:

  • Groningen: for the period 1847-1904; with index of names 1835-1901
  • Friesland: for the period 1845-1880; with index of names
  • Overijssel: for the period 1847-1919;
  • Gelderland: for the year 1816, and for the period 1832-1865
  • Utrecht: limited records
  • North Holland: copies; for the period 1851-1877;
  • Zeeland: for the period 1839-1900; with index of names

The emigrant lists held by the provincial records offices are also available on microfilm at the Central Bureau for Genealogy.

References

More information about Dutch emigrants can be found in the following reference works:

  • Hartland, J.A.A. De geschiedenis van de Nederlandse emigratie tot de Tweede Wereldoorlog (The Hague 1959) Call number 41D12
  • Hinte, J. van, Nederlanders in Amerika; een studie over landverhuizers en volksplanters in de 19e en 20e eeuw in de Verenigde Staten van Amerika. 2 vols. (Groningen 1928) Call number 160F 22A-B
  • Swierenga, R.P. Exodus Netherlands, Promised Land America. Dutch emigration and settlement in the United States' in: J.W. Schulte Nordtholt and R.P. Swierenga, eds. A bilateral bicentennial. A History of Dutch-American relations 1782-1982 (Amsterdam 1982) Call number 201A18
  • Swierenga, R.P. Faith and family: Dutch immigration and settlement in the United States, 1820-1920 (New York, London: Holmes & Meier, cop. 2000) Call number 160E2

Dutch emigrants to the USA

Lists of names

There are a number of published lists of names that will form a good starting point for your research into an emigrant to the United States. The lists of names below are available at the Central Bureau for Genealogy. The second and third lists of names mentioned below are also available in the Nationaal Archief's reading room (stack ZB3A):

  • Filby, P.W. Passenger and immigration lists index. A guide to published Arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 3 volumes (Detroit 1981) (+ suppl. volume 1983-1994)
  • Swierenga, R.P. Dutch Emigrants to the United States, South Africa, South America, and South-East Asia, 1835-1880; an alphabetical listing by household heads and independent persons. Pref. by P.W. Filby; Scholarly Resources Inc. (Wilmington, Delaware 1983)
  • Swierenga, R.P. Dutch immigrants in US ship passenger manifests 1820-1880. An alphabetical listing by household heads and independent persons. Pref. by P.W. Filby; Scholarly Resources Inc. (Wilmington, Delaware 1983)
  • Swierenga, R.P. Dutch Households in U.S. population censuses 1850, 1860, 1870. An alphabetical listing by family heads. Scholarly Resources Inc. 3 vols. (Wilmington, Delaware 1987)

Websites

You may also find the following websites useful:

  • The website of Ellis Island in New York provides information about European emigrants who arrived in the United States between 1890 and 1924.
  • This is the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). It provides information from various American sources.
  • The website geneaknowhow provides various American sources in which you can do a name-based search.

Further research

You can do further research into emigrants to America in the following archives:

Nationaal Archief

  • Dutch Society for Emigration/Emigration Central Holland 1913-1953 (catalogue reference 2.15.30, inventory numbers 50 and 53). The correspondence contains occasional references to emigrants (inventory numbers 20, 58 and 124).
  • Dutch Mission in the United States of America 1814-1940 (1948) (catalogue reference 2.05.13, inventory numbers 167 and 496-620). This contains records relating to the deaths and estates of individuals.
  • Consulate General in New York (1818) 1855-1954 (catalogue reference 2.05.48.23, inventory numbers 317 and 328-335). Here you will find records relating to estates.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, A-files 1871-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.03, inventory numbers 290-293).
  • Directorate-General for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1919-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.37, inventory number 4217)

Rotterdam municipal archives:

Archives of the Holland America Line (HAL) passenger lists, 1900-1962

State Archives in Friesland:

Records concerning emigrants in various genealogies and private archives.

Archives of North Holland:

Archives of the Staatscommissie van toezicht over de doortocht en het vervoer van landverhuizers (Government committee overseeing the passage and transport of emigrants) in Amsterdam, 1861-1934

Archives of Utrecht:

Archives of the Hervormde Emigratie Commissie (Reformed Emigration Committee) 1948-1968

Archives in the United States (National Archives Washington)

  • Passenger Arrival Lists, 1820-1957
  • Census Schedules, 1790-1910 (forms from the 10-year censuses)
  • Naturalisation Records 1790-1950 (files concerning naturalisations)

Dutch emigrants to Canada

The Nationaal Archief has a number of consulate archives from Canada which contain information about emigrants.

  • Consulate General in Montreal 1922-1954 (catalogue reference 2.05.48.10, inv. nos. 91-95, 98)
  • Consulate (General) in Toronto 1926-1954 (catalogue reference 2.05.48.12, inv. nos. 31, 35)
  • Consulate in Winnipeg (1937) 1946-1955 (catalogue reference 2.05.48.11, inv. no. 6)

You can also consult the following archives:

  • Dutch Society for Emigration/Emigration Central Holland 1913-1953 (catalogue reference 2.15.30, inventory numbers 50 and 53)
  • Directorate-General for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1919-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.37, inventory numbers 4217, 4222 and 4223)

The following websites may also be useful to you:

In the Canadian national archives in Ottawa:

  • Ships Manifests 1865-1919
  • Naturalisation files 1854-1940 (from 1954-1917 index cards only)

Dutch emigrants to South America

The Nationaal Archief has the following relevant archives:

  • Dutch Mission in Argentina 1875-1920 (catalogue reference 2.05.10.01, inventory number 91)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs B-files (catalogue reference 2.05.38, inventory numbers 2789-2790)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs A-files 1871-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.03, inventory numbers 290-293)
  • Directorate-General for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1919-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.37, inventory numbers 4218-4265)

Further sources in South America can be found on the following website:

The website geneaknowhow provides information about emigration to South America.

Dutch emigrants to Australia

Two consulate archives from Australia are held at the Nationaal Archief. These archives provide information about emigrants.

  • Consulate-General in Sydney 1927-1954 (catalogue reference 2.05.48.14)
  • Consulate-General in Melbourne 1928-1954 (catalogue reference 2.05.48.14)

The following archives may also provide relevant information:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs A-files 1871-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.03, inventory numbers 290-293)
  • Directorate-General for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1919-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.37, inventory number 4220)

You can find Australian sources on the following website

geneaknowhow

If you are looking for someone who emigrated to Australia between 1946 and 1991, you can request a copy of the emigration card at the Nationaal Archief. But you must be able to prove that the person in question is now deceased. You can do a name-based search in the index Dutch emigrants in Australia (in Dutch).

Dutch emigrants to South Africa

Very few Dutch people emigrated to South Africa before 1940. You can search the Emigrant Lists and the following archives:

  • Dutch Society for Emigration/Emigration Central Holland 1913-1953 (catalogue reference 2.15.30, inventory numbers 50 and 53)
  • Directorate-General for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1919-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.37, inventory numbers 4216)

Foreign migrants who departed from the Netherlands

Nationaal Archief

At the Nationaal Archief you can search for transmigrants in the archives of the Ministry of Justice 1813-1876 (catalogue reference 2.09.01, inventory numbers 4799-4804). The records only cover the period 1821-1836. If you are interested in the emigrants from Württemberg who left for the USA on the ship The Emma and arrived in 1819-1820, you can find correspondence about this emigration in the archives of the Mission in the United States of America 1814-1940 (catalogue reference 2.05.13, inventory number 163.

At the State Archives of Gelderland

Archives of the courts of justice, single judges in the province of Gelderland 1811-1838, Dept. II Procureur-Crimineel (inv. no. 109)

At the State Archives of North Holland

Archives of the Staatscommissie van toezicht over de doortocht en het vervoer van landverhuizers (Government committee overseeing the passage and transport of emigrants) in Amsterdam, 1861-1934 (various lists of emigrants)

At the Rotterdam municipal archives

Archives of the Holland America Line (HAL) passenger lists, 1900-1962)

gahetNA is a website of the Society for the Nationaal Archief in cooperation with the Nationaal Archief and Spaarnestad Photo.
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