Many of the sources for research at Herrick pertain to the Dutch who immigrated to Western Michigan in the mid-19th century; however, Herrick does have some materials for earlier immigrants from the Netherlands. The earliest Dutch came to New York (originally named New Amsterdam) in the 17th century. Following are some sources for early New York records:
DUTCH IN NEW YORK
Church Records (located in the Main Library's genealogy department). Most of the records are of the Dutch Reformed Churches in New York City and the nearby counties. We have some church records for other eastern states also.
Lists of Inhabitants of Colonial New York (begins in 1689)
DUTCH IMMIGRATION TO WESTERN MICHIGAN – 19TH CENTURY
Germans to America - Available through the National Archives. It's a good idea to check here because some Dutch ancestors came from Germany.
Germans to America--series II - Available at Loutit Library.
DUTCH IN WESTERN MICHIGAN
A group of Dutch settlers came to Holland, Michigan in 1847. They crossed the ocean on the ship The Southerner from Rotterdam. Their leader was Albertus VanRaalte, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church.
More sources for Dutch Research at Herrick (located in the genealogy section of the Main Library):
Cemetery Records – Books on local cemeteries with indexes.
Church Records – Includes records from many local churches, some dating to the 1800s. Many of them are written in Dutch. In addition to church records on the shelves, there is a file cabinet of Michigan churches, and also information on churches in our Vertical Files.
Family Genealogies – Family histories donated by library patrons.
Family Files – Genealogical information on families from the Holland area.
Four Generation Charts – Genealogical information on families compiled by the Holland Genealogical Society.
Pioneer Certificate Files – Genealogical information compiled by descendants of original Holland settlers. During Holland’s sesquicentennial in 1997, the genealogist at Herrick and the Holland Sesquicentennial Committee gave certificates to residents who completed information on their pioneer ancestor.
Vital Records – We have some—not nearly all—for Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon Counties.
LIST OF DUTCH RESEARCH RESOURCES AT HERRICK
In addition to the information at Herrick about Dutch in New York and in Western Michigan, there are some materials covering Dutch in other states, especially those who came to the US in the mid-later 1800s and early 1900s.
Herrick has some books containing Netherlands records, and there are also websites listed on our genealogy page. One of the most helpful databases is Wiewaswie—it lists many vital records. As of today there is no charge for access.
Each province of the Netherlands has its own archives and many of the provinces have their own websites with genealogical records. Another place to check which contains a vast amount of records from the Netherlands is www.familysearch.org.
For many years, the Dutch used Patronymics (using father’s name plus an ending such as zoon-son or dochter-daughter). In 1811, the Netherlands became a province of France and Napoleon required the Dutch to register and adopt a surname. Many Dutch made the patronymic their new family name or used their occupation or where they lived as their surname. For more information on Dutch names, check out:
Names From the Netherlands
Official registration of births, marriages and deaths (Civil Register) began in the Netherlands in the south in 1795 and the north in 1811. Prior to this church records can be used—births, christenings/baptisms, marriages, deaths burials are available, many back to the 16th and 17th centuries.