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Monday, August 31, 2009

Finding a Ships Passenger List circa 1640s to New Netherland (New York)

Carolyn's Question:
How do I access info regarding my early Dutch ancestor in New Amsterdam 1642, specifically what ship he came on from Holland? His name was Sybout Syboutszen, later changed to Krankeit/Kronkheit/etc. then to Cronkhite /Conk /Cronk /Conkwright etc.

Olive Tree Answer: Carolyn, I'm glad you asked this question! It gives me an opportunity to explain about ships passenger lists to New Netherland (present day New York) before 1664. Briefly, the known names of passengers on board ships to New Netherland before 1664 are taken from the DEBIT side of the WIC (West Indies Company) account book. . That is, the lists that are known to exist only contain the names of passengers who OWED money for the voyage. The names from the CREDIT side, that is, those who paid before the ship sailed, are not known. These lists are published online at Ships to New Netherland

This is a favourite subject of mine and a few years ago I began a project to reconstruct the names of passengers on board the known ships that sailed from Holland to New Netherland. There are several sources that can be used to determine the names of other passengers - namely

  1. Abstracts from Notarial Documents in the Amsterdam Archives by Pim Nieuwenhuis published in New Netherland Connections in series Vol. 4:3,4; Vol. 5:1-3

  2. Early Immigrants to New Netherland 1657-1664 from The Documentary History of New York

  3. Settlers of Rensselaerswyck 1630-1658 in Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts

  4. E. B. O'Callaghan's Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY

  5. New World Immigrants: List of Passengers 1654 to 1664 edited by Michael Tepper

  6. Emigrants to New Netherland by Rosalie Fellows Bailey, , NYGBR; vol 94 no 4 pp 193-200

  7. De Scheepvaart en handel van de Nederlandse Republiek op Nieuw-Nederland 1609-1675 unpublished thesis by Jaap Jacobs

  8. The records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674

The first ship with names of passengers that is known to exist is the Eendracht in 1624. My project to reconstruct passenger names is found here It includes the prevoiusly published lists of names from the DEBIT side of the WIC Account books. If your ancestor's name is not found there, it is not available. There may be other Notarial documents in the Amsterdam Archives that will still turn up bearing more names, but at the present time, no new names have been discovered.

For records of New Amsterdam specifically, you can consult the online records of the New Amsterdam (New York City) Reformed Dutch Church. You will find Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam/New York -- Baptisms 1639 to 1801 and Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam/New York -- Marriages 1639 to 1801 online. Also freely available are the Membership Lists of the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam (New York) 1649-1701

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