Towards the end of the 16th century, the Dutch started to expand their trading empire to territories in Asia, Africa and Brazil, the main incentive initially being the lucrative trade in spice. The Dutch Republic cleverly catered to the growing demand for spices in Europe. Expeditions to the far-flung East Indies attracted substantial investments.
Plantations in Suriname were capital-intensive agricultural businesses that grew products for the world market. Their main motive was profit. The plantations usually specialised in one product in order to make as much money as possible. They were generally financed by Dutch trading houses. These trading houses sold the produce to consumers in the Netherlands or elsewhere.
There were no large plantations on the island of Curaçao such as those in Suriname, for example; that is why they are often referred to as ‘plantations and gardens’. Virtually none of the produce grown on the approximately 100 plantations was exported; most of it was used to feed the islanders themselves.
I’m searching for non-commissioned officers and soldiers in the army in the Dutch West Indies 1815-1950
The Nationaal Archief holds the service book records of regular service personnel in the Dutch West Indies. These contain information on the service personnel who were stationed in the Dutch West Indies, i.e. in Suriname (Dutch Guiana), the Netherlands Antilles or along the coast of Dutch Guinea in Africa. There are various series of service books, each with a different name.
I’m looking for non-commissioned officers and servicemen in the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL)
The Nationaal Archief holds the service book records of non-commissioned officers and men of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL). The records relate to European or equivalent regularservicemen and to servicemen recruited from Africa.
Slavery was abolished in all Dutch West Indies colonies in 1863. The freed slaves were then officially given both a first name and a surname. The lack of surnames before 1863 makes it very difficult to search for ancestors. And in fact it is almost impossible to track down ancestors before 1830.
Slavery was abolished in Curaçao in 1863. The many freed slaves were officially given both a first name and a surname then. The lack of surnames up to that point makes it very difficult to search for ancestors. It is almost impossible to track down ancestors before 1828.
If you are looking for a resident of Suriname, the Nationaal Archief has many records that you can consult. Housed here are the archives of the population records, servicemen and civil servants, slaves and plantations and private companies, for example. The Nationaal Archief also holds databases and many publications that may make your search easier.
If you are looking for residents of the Moluccas, the Nationaal Archief has many records that you can consult. The list below is subdivided into the archives of the Dutch government, the archives of the government in the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia and New Guinea, and the archives of private organisations in both the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (later Indonesia).
You can find a lot of information about the residents of Curaçao, such as the administrative archives, the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Burgerlijke Stand) and the emancipation registers, in the Central Historical Archive in Willemstad. But you can also find out a great deal about the residents of this island at the Nationaal Archief.