Source Information

Swierenga, Robert P. Dutch Immigrants to America, 1820-1880 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data:

  • Various Ports. Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and at Ports on the Great Lakes, 1820--1873. M575. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • Baltimore, Maryland. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, MD, 1820--1891. M255. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • Boston, Massachusetts. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, MA, 1820--1891. M277. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, LA, 1820--1902. M259. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • New York, New York. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, NY, 1820--1897. M237. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, PA, 1800--1882. M425. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • About Dutch Immigrants to America, 1820-1880

    Since the founding of New Netherland in 1615, the Dutch have been coming to America. While ongoing since that time, Dutch immigration has ebbed and flowed based on economic conditions and world events. The primary reason for Dutch immigration was not religious persecution, political ideology, or cultural change. Instead, most often, the Dutch chose the United States based on a practical decision that such a move presented their best chance for prosperity. From the seventeenth century forward, the Dutch in America have been a culture largely defined by a highly religious social order, strong work ethic, and commitment to family and education. Historically, most Dutch immigrants were farmers or artisans and made their way through America's cities to settle in its rural areas. That rural predominance has decreased over time, given the world's increased industrialization.

    This database contains information on over 56,000 Dutch immigrants who came to America between 1820 and 1880. The information was extracted from the National Archives passenger lists of ships arriving at various Atlantic and Gulf ports. The list includes vessels disembarking at Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and other smaller ports. The passenger lists used in this compilation includes approximately 100,000 separate ship manifests.

    The following information is included in this index: name; gender; age; occupation; last residence; port of embarkation; port of arrival; date of arrival; intended destination; family status; National Archives microfilm series number; National Archive microfilm roll number; name of vessel. It is important that you use the National Archives microfilm information to locate your ancestor in the original records as more information is usually found in an original record than is found in an index. These records may also be found on microfilm at the Family History Library (FHL). Both the NARA and FHL copies may be available through your local National Archives branch and Family History Center.

    Partly in an effort to alleviate overcrowding of passenger ships, Congress enacted legislation (3 Stat. 489) on March 2, 1819 to regulate the transport of passengers in ships arriving from foreign ports. As a provision of this act, masters of such ships were required to submit a list of all passengers to the collector of customs in the district in which the ship arrived.

    The legislation also provided that the collector of customs submit quarterly passenger list reports to the Secretary of State, who was, in turn, required to submit the information to Congress. The information was then published in the form of Congressional documents. A further Congressional act passed on May 7, 1874 repealed the legislative provision requiring collectors to send copies of passenger lists to the Secretary of State. Thereafter, collectors of customs were to send only statistical reports on passenger arrivals to the Department of Treasury.

    These passenger lists are important primary sources of arrival data for the vast majority of immigrants to the United States in the nineteenth century. With the single exception of federal census records they are the largest, the most continuous, and the most uniform body of records of the entire country.(Michael Tepper. "American Passenger Arrival Records." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. 1993. Page 64.)