Emigration from Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen

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Drenthe, Netherlands
Friesland, Netherlands
Groningen, Netherlands
Year range
1815 - 1920



During the years 1845-1920 many people from the Netherlands left their homestead and migrated to the United States of America. This article, however, is limited to the emigrants from the provinces:

Friesland &

("known" emigrants from other provinces like Gelderland, Overijssel, Zeeland are mentioned and I added an article for Emigrants from Overijssel)

There are many reasons why people might choose to emigrate. Most people left because of the bad life conditions (Late-blight, epidemics (like cholera)) in those days. Some, especially during the first wave, left because of a combination of bad life conditions and their religion and their story starts with Albertus van Raalte , and the years after the Secession.

The second wave during the 1860's was mainly because of the fear for a new war and failed harvests.

Around 1880 a new third emigration wave started. During this period most people migrated from the provinces Groningen and Friesland, again due to bad harvests and life conditions and a maybe religion see also Most of these landverhuizers migrated to the United States, mostly to the younger states where land could be easily obtained or to the states with earlier Dutch Settlements.

The main States where migrants from the Netherlands settled were: Illinois - Iowa - Michigan - New Jersey - Washington - Wisconsin

This Timeline starts in 1815, the year that the Kingdom of the Netherlands came into being.

"Note: The year-numbers are linked to the decades and years on the Dutch Wikipedia Pages"


September 21 - William I becomes King of the Netherlands and started reorganizing the "Nederlands Hervormde Kerk"


November 29 - Ordination Hendrik de Cock, in Ulrum, from where he was banned in 1833.


September 19 - Founding of Grand Rapids (from:www.mlive.com)
- Hubertus Luitweiler from Vlissingen, settled in Rochester see: The First Dutch Settlers in Milwaukee
December 14 - The secession (Hendrik de Cock)
- Emigrants from Groningen 1835
July 23 - Klaas Janszoon Beukma Who might be the first Groninger Settler in Lafayette
- Emigrants from Groningen 1836
May 19 - Immigration of Hindrik Kamphuis & Jan Kamphuis from Hoogezand on the Elise
- Emigrants from Groningen 1837
June 12 - Immigration of Jan de Wijk from Oude Pekela with the Isabella and settles in Washington, Indiana
March 21 - Albertus van Raalte became minister in Ommen and started a Theological school
November 22 - Cornelius van der Meulen [1] became minister in Middelharnis and later in Goes (Mar 1841).

First Emigration Wave


November 28 - William II becomes King of the Netherlands. He didn't want to interfere in Religion.
- Emigrants from Groningen 1842
June 30 - Arrival of Jacob Niewold from 't Zandt with the Westphalia and settles in New Holland, Illinois
Low economic situation in the Netherlands:bad life conditions ( Late-blight, epidemics like cholera & influenza).
December 5 - Arrival of 26 People from Nieuw- Schoonebeek (most of them were Roman-Catholic and travelling with relatives from Germany)
October 3 - arrival Alexander Hartgerink with the Caledonia, who was asked to look for the possibilities in the U.S.
June 25 - The Zeeveld family from Zeeland settles in Holland, Sheboygan (Ship Fanny)
April 15 - Foundation of the "Vereeniging van Christenen voor de Hollandsche volkshuisvesting naar de Vereenigde Staten in Noord -Amerika" (The Foundations of the Union of Christians for the Dutch Emigration to the United States in North America")
May 28 - First 14 settlers (from Gelderland) left with a Letter from Rev. van Raalte (Derk Arnoud, Louize Cramer, Willem Kwinkelenberg, Neeltje Francyna Arnoud, Jan Jacob Arnoud, Nieske Gerritse and their children. Isaac Wyckoff , minister in Albany, reads the letter from van Raalte and decides to help them
July 14 - Arrival of de Hollander with about 50 people from Gelderland (Aalten, Dinxperloo, Varseveld, Velp, Arnhem) and Zeeland they headed for Milwaukee[2]
September 24 - Albertus van Raalte departs from Arnhem
October 2 - Southerner departs, arriving at New York, 19 November 1846
October 18 - Arrival of the Philadelphia in Philadelphia (Ships Arrivals 1846 1850)
November 19 - Arrival of the Wakema in New Orleans. Most of the settlers went to Pella.
December 16 - Arrival of the Katherina Jackson in Baltimore (Ships Arrivals 1846 1850)
December 19 - Isabella (Bath) with Jan Rabbers and Willem Kremers arrives in New York, they walked from Buffalo to Detroit.
January 23 - Arrival of Plato in New Orleans with settlers from Drenthe
February 9 - Arrival at the house of Isaac Fairbanks and rev G.N. Smith : Albertus van Raalte , Evert Zagers, Egbert Frederiks, Jan Laarman, Willem Notting and his wife, Jannes Lankheer. 5 of them from Drenthe. After the sufferings during the winter of 1846-1847, they started on the 9 February 1847 with building the first log cabin in the woods of Michigan. During the year 1847 many migrants found their way to ‘de stad Holland ’ and soon many of them bought their own piece of land and founded small hamlets and villages which they named after their county of origin, such as Groningen, Vriesland , Overisel , Zeeland , Graafschap (after Graafschap Bentheim ), which lies next to Drenthe and Overijssel). Specific there was no "real" border between Bentheim, Drenthe and Overijssel. Many people had family in both Bentheim and Drenthe/Overijssel.see: [3] Duitsland) and also Drenthe .
February 23 - First Log Cabin, Founding of: Holland, Michigan!!
April 6 - Immigration of Jannis van de Luijster In Zeeland (Netherlands) the farmers use infected bird fertilizer from South America and the potato harvest failed. (For Zeeland migration see also: Going to America: Travel Routes of Zeeland Emigrants by Robert P. Swierenga) He and his followers founded Zeeland
April 27 - Harvest arrives in New York with emigrants mainly from Drenthe.
April 27 - IJssel arrives in New York with emigrants (Some from Groningen) from which many went to South Holland Illinois
May - Founding of New Groningen by Jan Rabbers. Jan Rabbers , who hailed from the village of Noordbarge founded Groningen. He had hoped that many settlers from Drenthe would join him at his saw mill on the tributary of the Black river, but most moved towards an area nearby.
May - Founding of Drenthe by Jan Hulst, First "Drent": Arend Smeding Jan Hulst who originally came from Staphorst, a village in Overijssel . At first it looked as if the village would also take this name but the Drenthen, who were in the majority, stopped this. It was called Drenthe He made the point, however with, a sign in his front garden which read ‘hier begint Staphorst
May - Arrival of Rev. Peter Zonne in Milwaukee [4]
May 23 - Antoinette Marie arrives in New York with settlers from Bentheim and Drenthe
May 27 - Vesta arrives at New York, with Rev. Marten Ypma and 49 Frisians, they founded Vriesland, Michigan .
Jun 2 - Arrival of Maasstroom with Henry Hospers
June 4 - Dankbaarheid (instead of Dank Caasliest) arrives with Riekeltje Schuring from Nieuwe Pekela wife of Rev. Klaas Wildeboer
June 5 - Kroonprinz von Hanover arrives with Jannis van de Luijster and the settlers from Zeeland
Jun 12 - Pieter Floris arrives in Baltimore with settlers for Pella
June 20 - Founding of Graafschap.
July 6 - Princess Sophia arrives in New York with Rev. Cornelius van der Meulen (However, he never wanted to emigrate)(see:[5]).
July - Founding of South Holland (Low Prairie ) (SEE:[6]):The South Holland area's first settlers were Dutch. Hendrik De Jong, his wife Geertje, and their 12 children had traveled west from New York to Holland, Michigan, then on to Illinois. In mid-1847, Hendrik De Jong purchased 300 acres along the Little Calumet River in what is now South Holland. The presence of the De Jong family attracted other Dutch immigrants to the area and soon a community called de Laage Prairie (the Low Prairie) was established. Among other early settlers were Jan Killewinger, Huip Scheuurwater, Antonie Rombout, Antje Paarlberg, and Jakob Duim.
July 12 - Albatros arrives in New York with the rest of the first Frisians.
July 26 - Emigration of Gijsbert Haan on board of the Centurion
August 1 - Arrival of the Frisian Jelle Abrahams van der Meer in Grand haven. he wrote a letter on August 15 1848
August 6 - Doggerbank arrives in New York: The passengers were all farmers, and settled in the "Kolonie" in Holland, Michigan, and Roseland, Illinois.
August 6 - Caledonia arrives with Reverend Hendrik Pieters Scholte . He decides to go to Iowa with abt 800 people and founded Pella . His followers arrived on the Katherine Jackson (arrival 22 May 1847); Maasstroom (2 Jun 1847), Nagasaki[7]; Pieter Floris (12 Jun 1847) - all arrived in Baltimore
August 20 - Arrival of Erasmus with many settlers from Drenthe
August 26 - Arrival Rev. Scholte at what would become Pella
1847/1848 - Founding of Noordeloos Immigrants had arrived in the US in 1847/1848, residing a few months in Old Groningen, before moving to what is called Noordeloos in 1856.
November 21 - Disaster with the lake steamer Phoenix , abt 127 Dutch passengers died.
May 5 - Arrival of Father van den Broek with 900 Dutch (Catholic) settlers mainly from Brabant in Little Chute, Wisconsin
May 13 - Immigration of 4 families, who settled in Fox Point and Bayside, Wisconsin. These families were: Koeslag, deSwarte, Vruwink and Tellier
May 17 - Arrival of Katherine Jackson with settlers from Groningen
May 29 - Arrival of Angelique and Scandia with Settlers from Groningen and Drenthe (Evert Everts co-founder of Zeeland)
Jun 29 - Arrival of Abeona with Settlers from Groningen
July - Rev Seine Bolks founded Overisel with 87 people from Hellendoorn [8]
Augustus 23 - Arrival of Emblem, with many Groningers
October 11 - New Dutch Constitution by dr. mr Thorbecke : Freedom of Religion in the Netherlands
November - Founding of North Holland(New Holland)
First Settlers from Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland in Chicago Groninger Hoek Rudolf Keun, Roelof Pieters from Drenthe,and Gosse Vierstra from Friesland, a ship's carpenter's hired hand who advanced to become a ship carpenter in Chicago.
June 6 - Worp van Peyma arrives in North America with a group of friends from Het Bildt and Barradeel on board of Steamship Hermann
July 5 - Arrival of Louise with 7 emigrants from Friesland
July 6 - Arrival of Proteus with 120 migrants from Friesland
July - Founding of Hooge Prairie (Roseland, Cook, Illinois) by: Johannes Ambuul, Jacob de Jong, Pieter de Jong, Klaas Dalenberg, Pieter Dalenberg, Jan Jonker, Cornelis Kuijper, Jan Ton, Leendert van der Sijde from Noord-Holland


Ruurd Smid (aka Ruurd J Smith) and Ruurd Symensma lead a group of Mennonites from Balk to Jackson and Union Townships in Indiana.
June 11 - Arrival in New Orleans of 87 Dutch travelers of the William and Mary who shipwrecked (Article: Passagierslijst ‘William and Mary’)
Jul 1 - Arrival of Isabella with many immigrants from Groningen
Sep 21 - First burial on Pilgrim Home Cemetery
May 16 - Rev. Koene van Den Bosch arrives in Noordeloos
New Groningen Cemetery

Second Emigration Wave


Cholera pandemic, Phytophthora infestans, Rinderpest and the fear for war with Prussia made many think about migration
Emigration wave from Groningen & Friesland
Jun 11 - Arrival of Arnold Böninger in New York with many emigrants from Groningen, on 34 people on board died during the voyage


Founding of Orange City by Henry Hospers, Jelle Pelmulder, Henry John van der Waa, Leen van der Meer and Dirk van den Bos

Third Emigration Wave


Emigration wave from Groningen, Friesland
July 11 - Doleantie schism in the Dutch Reformed Church
In around 1886 Jan Boschma from Kubaard, Friesland arrived in Whitinsville, bringing with him a herd of dairy cows from the Netherlands and settles there
May 16 - Wytze Feddema (Brother in law of Jan Boschma and Pieter Feddema settle in Whitinsville


New emigration wave from Friesland and Groningen, about 25.000 Frisians leave between 1890 and 1910 because of the great poverty in and around the "peat-areas"



20th Century

Main Emigration wave was after 1945,reasons were the economical situation and the fear for a 3th World War.

Popular destinations were: United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.


Image:Graph emigration.jpg


Emigrants Province/Year:

Emigrants from Drenthe

INDEX. 1845. 1846. 1847. 1848. 1849. 1850. 1852. 1853. 1854. 1855. 1856. 1857. 1858. 1859. 1860. 1861. 1862. 1864. 1865. 1866. 1867. 1868. 1869. 1870. 1871. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. www.drenlias.nl/emigranten.

Emigration from Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen

Emigration from the Netherlands

Emigrants from Friesland

INDEX . 1848 . 1849 . 1850 . 1851 . 1852 . 1853 . 1854 . 1855 . 1856 . 1857 . 1858 . 1859 . 1860 . 1861 . 1862 . 1863 . 1864 . 1865 . 1866 . 1867 . 1868 . 1869 . 1870 . 1871 . 1872 . 1873 . 1874 . 1875 . 1876 . 1877 . Terschelling

Emigration from Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen

Emigrants from Groningen

INDEX . 1847 . 1848 . 1849 . 1850 . 1851 . 1852 . 1853 . 1854 . 1855 . 1856 . 1857 . 1858 . 1859 . 1860 . 1861 . 1862 . 1863 . 1864 . 1865 . 1866 . 1867 . 1868 . 1869 . 1870 . 1871 . 1872 . 1873 . 1874 . 1875 . 1876 . 1877 . 1878 . 1879

1880 . 1881 . 1882 . 1883 . 1884 . 1885 . 1886 . 1887 . 1888 . 1889 . 1890 . 1891 . 1892 . 1893 . 1894 . 1895 . 1896 . 1897 . 1898 . 1899 . 1900 . 1901

Emigration from Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen

Emigrants from Overijssel

INDEX. 1848. 1849. 1850. 1851. 1852. 1853. 1854. 1855. 1856. 1857. 1858. 1859. 1860. 1861. 1862. 1863. 1864. 1865. 1866. 1867. 1868. 1869. 1870. 1871. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877

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