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Migrations

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Xtra Links about European expansion, immigration and emigration:
In Search of Work in Europe, 1800-2000
(Paper, by Jan Lucassen of the International Institute of Social History)
Immigrants from West Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen to North America [mainly 20th-, 19th- and some late 18th immigrants]
Frisian Emigrants.[Find post-1800 Frisian emigrants in this database. Unfortunately in Dutch only]
Migrations.org (Migration to in inside the USA)
 

 

immigration

IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION TO AND FROM THE NETHERLANDS FROM 1500 -1900

 

 

 

Definition of the words immigration an emigration

 

emigration = to leave one's place of residence or country to live elsewhere
immigration = to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence

 

Definition of
'the Netherlands'

'The Netherlands' had different meanings at different times. It meant:
-the area of the 'Northern- and Southern Netherlands' till about 1580;
-the area commonly called 'the Northern Netherlandsfrom about 1580-1648;
-the area called 'the Republic' till 1795;
-the area called 'the Batavian Republic' from 1795-1813;
-the area called 'the Kingdom of the Netherlands' from 1812-now.
Population figures showing estimated growth of the Netherlands

1500 1 million [estimated]
1600 1.5 million [estimated]
1700 1.9 million [estimated]
1800 2.1 million [in fact]
1900 4.5 million [in fact]

Part of this growth was caused by a migration surplus (the number of immigrants exceeded the number of emigrants).

1.Immigration into the Netherlands

Immigration motives

Leading motives of the immigrants who came to the Netherlands were economic, political, religious or a combination of these three motives

Religious and political refugees who can be divided in 3 groups:
* The Protestants from the Southern Netherlands
* The Huguenots from France
* Smaller religious groups of religious and political refugees

Refugees with mainly economic motives who can be divided into 3 groups according to the duration of their stay:
* Laborers, seasonal workers and small traders, traffickers, artisans (less than a year)
* passing travelers ( several years)
* economic migrants (several years or permanent)

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Religious and political immigration.
Two main groups who emigrated to the Northern Netherlands were the Protestants from the Southern Netherlands who left their native soil after the start of the 80 Years War in 1568 and the Huguenots who came to the Netherlands after the Battle of St.Bartholomew in 1572. Larger groups of Huguenots came after the revocation of the Nantes Decree of 1685.Both Huguenots from France and the Protestants from the Southern Netherlands (as well as the other religious and political refugees I will mention later), chose the Netherlands as a refuge because of the relative tolerance, compared to the surrounding countries. There were, however, also other countries, like Switzerland, England and certain German principalities, which welcomed these religious refugees.

The Protestants from the Southern Netherlands.
These Protestants not only emigrated to the Netherlands, but they also went to German states (Pfalz, Alsace, Brandenburg) which had Protestant rulers, or to Wales, England and Scotland. These Protestants came for religious and political freedom, but not a few of them had economic motives too, which made them choosey when it came to picking a village or town in the Northern Netherlands in which to to settle.
Some towns in the Northern Netherlands, being aware of the economic motives of the refugees, offered premiums or tax-reduction to certain groups of immigrants.This was done because of the talents,skills and craftsmanship of large groups of these refugees, especially in the field of the textile industry.
The total number of people from the Southern Netherlands that came tothe Republic between 1580 and 1630 is estimated at about 150,000. The influence of the immigration on important towns in the Northern Netherlands was huge. Around 1620, one third of the population of Amsterdam and Rotterdam consisted of immigrants. In Haarlem and Middelburg, the population originating in the Southern Netherlands was 50%, and for Leiden it was about 66%!

The Huguenots from France
From the approximately 1 million Huguenots in France, about 25% fled.Of this group, 35,000 settled in the Dutch Republic. Some came directly, others came after a short stay in England, Switzerland or Germany.

Smaller groups of religious and political refugees
Among the much smaller groups of religious and political refugees we find the following groups:
1. Portuguese (Sephardic) Jews, 'Socians' from Poland, English Puritans in the 17th century, and
2. Swiss Baptists (who were not very welcome in Calvinist Switzerland) and Lutherans from Salzburg, Austria in the 18th century.
There's even proof that the Netherlands, -that is: the States-General and lobbies of private groups- actively encouraged some refugee groups to come to the Netherlands. The States-General, for instance, regularly sent diplomatic missions to Switzerland promising the Swiss Baptists better living conditions.
Many Baptist refugees from Switzerland did settle in the Dutch province of Groningen.

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Refugees with mainly economic motives.
A stay for less than a year
People that came to the Republic for economic reasons had very different intentions concerning the length of their stay. There were, for instance, the seasonal workers. They came every year from the European hinterland to the coastal area of the North Sea. A small strip of land - no more than several tens of miles, stretching from Bremen in northern Germany to the northern French coast - was visited each springtime by tens of thousands of seasonal workers. Every Fall,these workers returned home. This started in the 17th century and stopped in the 19th century. Inevitably, some of these workers settled permanently in or near the place they visited (to marry a girl they met, or just to start a new life in a more prosperous region or country). Compared with all surrounding countries, the Netherlands had the highest standard of life and, from 1648, peace!
There are quite some examples of this large group:
* grass-mowers, workers in the brick-works (mainly in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland);
* workers for the linen-bleaching works (mainly in Haarlem in the province of Noord Holland);
* workers on bridges, roads and in the building-trade;
* workers in the peateries as cutters, diggers, porters, etc.
Another group that normally intended to stay less than a year consisted of people selling their home-made products like: piece goods and draper's goods. These travelling hawkers and peddlers, with their baskets on their back, were well known in the Netherlands. Their presence in the Netherlands culminated in the 18th century.Many Westphalian traders in draper's goods were seen on the Dutch roads.Some Westphalian traders settled in the Netherlands and not a few of their businesses developed into current leading department stores.

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A stay for several years
Among the large group of transient visitors who came here with the intention of staying several years, we find all kinds of nationalities and occupations:
* craftsmen,like chimney-sweepers from Piemonte, Italy and travelling tinkers and umbrella-makers from Auvergne in France;
* soldiers, mainly from Germany and Belgium but also a large group -about 4000- from Scotland and some smaller groups of French and Swiss soldiers;
* seafaring man (mainly German and Scandinavian);
* servant girls mainly from Germany;
* Italian rope dancers, clowns and east European bear fighters;
* intellectuals like clergymen, doctors, teachers and principals of gymnasiums (grammar schools) and university professors;
* merchants, mainly from England and Scotland but also from Greece and Armenia. Among this group we can also find quite a few persons who established pawnshops of all kinds.

A permanent stay
The number of immigrants from the Southern Netherlands and the Huguenots of France -mainly political/religious refugees- culminated in 1620.
At this time 10% of all inhabitants of the Republic were born in foreign countries. This percentage dropped to 7% in the course of the 17th century. It didn't change until the end of the 18th century after which it dropped to 1% in 1900.
It has to be stressed that, in the period from the second half of the 17th century and throughout the 18th century, the high percentage of immigrants was maintained especially by the economic immigration of large groups of mainly German laborers, craftsmen and seasonal workers, especially from Westphalia. Lucassen estimates that during the 17th and 18th century at least 5% of the Dutch population must have been of German descent.
Striking among this group are the German confectioners (sugar-refiners), bakers and butcher's hands, shoemakers, drapers, tailors and office clerks.

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2.Emigration from the Netherlands

[There's far less literature about the emigration from the Netherlands to other countries than about the immigration to the Netherlands.  The reason for this is the relatively small number of emigrants, compared with the immigrants. But there are groups and individuals who emigrated from the Netherlands, and it had started by the middle ages].

Emigration motives

Because there was a relative religious tolerance in the Netherlands, the emigration which occurred was mainly for economic reasons. But there were exceptions. Roughly we can divide the group of emigrants in:

* Religious refugees
* Political refugees

* Economic refugees
* Emigrants to colonies and trading posts [note: see map of colonies and trading posts in a new window]
* Knowledge export emigrants
* 'Invited' emigrants

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Let's have a look at the different groups of emigrants:

Religious refugees
In the 16th century small groups of Anabaptists and Mennonites fled to the eastern parts of Germany (for example the Vistula delta near Danzig in Poland). Persecuted Calvinists flew to Wezel and Emden in Germany and to Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and Great Yarmouth in England. People in the Netherlands who sided with Spain fled to the south (Southern Netherlands and France) when several towns in the Northern Netherlands fell into the hands of the Calvinist rebels.

Political refugees
Dutch Patriots -opponents of the Orangists- fled to the Southern Netherlands and France in 1787. Many of them returned in 1795 at the start of the Batavian Republic. Some probably married French women. At this time many Orangists in turn fled to Germany; some to England.

Economic emigrants
This group was much larger than the number of people that fled (emigrated) for religious/political reasons.
As we know, the Netherlands was a rich and wealthy country, although there was poverty among the lower classes. Despite the fact that the Dutch system of poor relief was much better than that of France, England and Germany, there were people in the Netherlands for which -seasonal- emigration was a way to improve their standard of life.
From the Kempen region in the province of Brabant (both Southern- and Northern Netherlands) travelling craftsmen (hawkers/peddlers, with baskets on their backs) went to different Germanic regions. This started in the 17th century and lasted till the middle of the 19th century. They were selling textiles, metalware, brushes and bristles and several other varieties of goods. In the second half of the 19th century many Dutch went to the German mines and industrial areas.


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Emigrants to colonies and trading-posts
Large groups of people went to the West- and East Indies, Brazil,
the Wild Coast , New Netherland, the other Dutch colonies, plantations and the almost countless Dutch trading posts (about 40) all over Asia and Africa. Some did so in search of better life conditions. Others were just sent. The VOC (the East Indies Company), for example, yearly needed about 4000 soldiers and sailors (half of this amount coming from Germany and Scandinavia.) Planters, farmers, officials, prostitutes and public servants made up the rest of this group of emigrants.

In this group can also be included the merchants who settled in important trading posts and trading ports, and along main trading routes like Archangelsk at the White Sea ,and the port of Smyrna in the Ottoman Empire. Bordeaux, France, situated at the mouth of the Garonne river, was, from the latest decades of the 16th century, another commercial center for a large group of Dutch merchants, together with towns like Rouaan, La Rochelle in France and Livorno in Italy.

Knowledge export emigrants
One of the export products of the Republic was knowledge. Craftsmen with specialized knowledge, for instance the millwrights of the Zaandam-area (north of Amsterdam) and draining experts, were sent to marshland areas in eastern England and to Bordeaux and the Medoc area, a region north of Bordeaux.


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'Invited' emigrants
From the first half of the 17th century, Dutch farmers and agriculturists were emigrating to surrounding countries regularly. Quite often, not always, they emigrated because they were invited by foreign rulers. Following the Thirty Year War, Frederic William of Brandenburg invited Dutch farmers to his partly depopulated principality. North of Berlin, along the river Havel we can find an area called "Hollanderbruch' or 'Neuholland' (=New Holland).
From 1516, Dutch families from Waterland (an area north of Amsterdam) settled at the Isle of Amager, south of Copenhagen. They were invited by the Danish King Christian II. These Dutch colonists brought their agricultural expertise to Amager. Later, in 1564 a village called Store Magleby was founded by permission of the Danish King on this island. Part of the agreement was that they would provide free vegetables whenever they were needed by the Danish Court. This 'colony' maintained their Dutch language, customs jurisdiction and administration for more than two centuries.

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2001,willem rabbelier

Sources:
'Nederland en Europa in genealogisch perspectief'
by R.F.J. Van Drie, an article in the 1992 yearbook from the Central Bureaufor Genealogy, the Hague. pp. 51-73;
'Hannekemaaiers en Kiepkerels'
by K.Mulder, Knoop & Niemeijer, Haren(Gr), 1971;
'Nieuwkomers. Immigranten en hun nakomelingen in Nederland 1550-1985',
by J.Lucassen and R.Penninx, Amsterdam, 1985;
‘A History of the Kingdom of Denmark’,
by Palle Lauring, Host & Son, Copenhagen 1960.

Shiplists from 1609-1675

These lists are part of the thesis of Jaap Jacobs ["De Scheepvaart en handel van de Nederlandse Republiek op Nieuw-Nederland 1609-1675". Translated: "The Shipping and Trade from the Dutch Republic to the New Netherland 1609-1675".], going for his Master's degree on history at the University of Leiden in 1989. Only five copy's of Jacobs' thesis exist: one in the museum in Amsterdam, one in the library of the University in Leiden, two somewhere in the US and one copy in the author's hands.

These lists -and more- are also published on Lorines Schulze's Olive Tree Genealogy Site with permission of the author Jaap Jacobs. For more information about ships to New Netherland and passengerlists please take some time to explore Lorine's excellent site. Recommend pages of her site are:

Complete list of 81 ships and passenger lists from Netherlands to New Netherland

Passenger Lists to New York all years

Search Engine for online Internet Passenger Lists

Other fine shiplists and passenger-resources
South African Passengers Lists
[Including a list of Huguenots who arrived in South Africa between 1683 and 1756]
Extensive list of VOC-ships. In Dutch but very comprehensable
Dutch VOC ship-types. In Dutch but nice illustrations
CLIWOC ship-voyages database. Nice graphical representation of voyages of Dutch, Spanish and English ships from 1760-1854. There's also an option to find ships and their routes/travel-dates individually on shipname!
The extensive VOC shiplist. (Unfortunately in Dutch only!)