• City of Norwich: Transported the original 92 member Bonnema group from Harlingen to Lowestoft, England. They departed Harlingen on 26 Feb 1853.
  • William and Mary: The now 86 member group departed Harlingen on 21 Mar 1853. Note, "there are no records of passengers departing the UK before 1890" [1] A constructed list of the 86 Frisian passengers is available here.

Image:William and Marij illustration.JPG

  • Bark Schooner Time: This is the ship that took 72 of the Frisian passengers from Nassau and landed in New Orleans on 10 Jun 1853. The Time passenger list is available here. It was sworn that none of the passengers died on that ship. The schooner Rover carried the Irish and English passengers. The Rover passenger list is here
  • Pollux: Ship that rescued Ulbe Bergsma, O. M. Wagenaar, and Izaak Roorda from a lifeboat and transported them to Liverpool. DATE ARRIVED @ LIVERPOOL
  • Levee: Arrived at La Crosse, Wisconsin mid-July 1853 with 32 of the Frisian passengers from the William and Mary. "Omtrent twee of drie weken geleden, zegt de te La Crosse (in Wisconsin) gedrukte Democrat, landde de stoomboot Levee twee en dertig der ongelukkige passagiers, welke den dood ontkwamen op het onlangs aan de kust van Florida verongelukte schip de William en Mary. [2]

Names of those aboard

There are no surviving ship lists that document the passengers aboard the William and Mary. The following 3 images are from the writings of B. B. Haagsma [3] who was aboard the ship. He sent a letter to his friend P. Runia of Kimswerd which was published in book form in 1853. Since these are from Haagsma's recollection, they may contain errors, which are noted below.

Namen der overledene personen Namen van de in Leven zijnde Personen Namen der gehuwden

Number of passengers

The Bonnema group originally left Harlingen with 92 people. At Liverpool, the Schaafsma family turned back... "en Veijer Schaafsma met vrouw en 4 kinderen, uit Harlingen, is te Liverpool terug gebleven, om naar hun vaderland weder te keeren."[4]. This family consisted of husband Feye Schaafsma, wife Siementje Alberts Hilwerda, and three children: NAME 1, NAME 2, NAME 3. This is further proven by examining the bevolkingsregister for this family. It shows they left for "Noord America" on 26 Feb 1853. [5]

This left 86 Frisian passengers that embarked on the William and Mary.


Coming soon...

Personal accounts


  • Bekins blue book, centennial celebration: The family of Sjoerd Bekius, known as Bekins in America. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the pioneer arrival of his wife, Tiertje Bekius (Berkompas) in America--1847. (1947). Place of publication not identified. Dutch pgs. 20-25, English translation pgs. 25-29.


Haagsma, B. B. (1853). Lotgevallen van den heer O. H. Bonnema en zijne togtgenoten, op reis uit Friesland naar de Vereenigde Staten van Noord-Amerika. Harlingen: P. Runia.

de Jager

H. de Jager wrote a letter dated 29 Jun 1853. This was published in "De Hollander July 13, 20, 27, and August 3 and 10, 1853". [6] as well as in part in the Algemeen Handelsblad on 8 Aug 1853 page 1/6. A translation is available in Bekins blue book, 1947, pages 15-20. This letter was written by de Jager after encountering a group of the immigrants in Galena, Illinois and is not a first-hand account of the events.
Image:William and Mary, de Jager letter 1853.JPG


Included with the below referenced Kas letter. This is a short letter from Grietje Jans Jansonius informing her family that she was alive and well.


Kas, Henderik Jans. Letter, 1853. 1 item, photocopy, with translation. La Crosse, Wisconsin - Franekeradeel, Friesland; H. J. Kas to relatives. Part of the Dutch Immigrant Letter Collection at Calvin College Heritage Hall. A pdf scan of this letter with an English translation is here


Roorda letter (translated): NOTE ABOUT ORIGINAL SOURCE FOR THIS


Oene Martinus Wagenaar letter ADD DATE, SOURCE
Image:William and Mary, Wagoneer letter.JPG


Wesselius letter 22 Jun 1853 sent to de Nieuwsbode by J. Bijlsma of Grand Rapids

Historical newspaper articles

Image:City of Norwich, 1853.jpg

Additional articles


  1. Merseyside Maritime Museum FAQ
  2. De Sheboygan Nieuwsbode 2 Aug 1853, pg. 2/4. Note: Also translated in Bekins blue book, 1947, page 12
  3. Lotgevallen van den heer O. H. Bonnema, 1853
  4. de Jager letter originally published in De Hollander July 13, 20, 17, and August 3 and 10, 1853. Also published in Algemeen Handelsblad 8 Aug 1853
  6. Bekins blue book, 1947, pg. 15