Netherlands Passenger Lists Holland-America Line (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Netherlands, Passenger Lists Holland-America Line, 1900-1974 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Netherlands
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Flag of the Netherlands
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Record Description
Record Type: Passenger Lists
Collection years: 1900-1974
Languages: Dutch, Flemish
Title in the Language: Nederland, passagierslijsten van de Holland-Amerika Lijn Steamship
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Rotterdam Municipal Archives


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes records from 1900 to 1974.

This collection consists of passenger lists for the Holland-America Line (Holland Amerika Lijn), which transported numerous refugees from war-torn Europe to the United States prior to 1941. The passenger lists show the name of the ship, its destination, and the date it left port. The passenger's name is included, along with various details of passage arrangements, fees, etc. Passenger lists are available from 3 May 1900 through 14 October 1974.

Original records are available through the Rotterdam City Archive (Gemeentearchief te Rotterdam), Netherlands. This collection is being published as images become available. The text is handwritten in Dutch in a ledger type register. Passengers are listed by passage contract number.

It was necessary to keep a record of all the passengers boarding on to the company’s different steamships traveling from the Netherlands to North America. These passenger lists are from the voyages of the Holland-America Line, a Dutch steamship company that covered transatlantic routes, mainly between the ports of Rotterdam and New York, and occasionally calling on the ports of Boulogne-sur-mer, Plymouth, Southampton, Boston and Halifax. The names of the vessels were: Potsdam, Rotterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Statendam, Ryndam, Veendam, and Volendam.

The data in these records is only as reliable as the person who gave the information; the spelling depended on the recorder.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. These images can be viewed online by members of the supporting organization(s), at a family history center near you, or the Family History Library.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Netherlands, Passenger Lists Holland-America Line, 1900-1974.

Collection Content

These records usually contain the following information:

  • Passage contract number
  • Name of passenger
  • Number of persons traveling together
  • Departure and destination places
  • Date of departure
  • Price of passage
  • Ship name
  • Passenger’s cabin class

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Netherlands, Passenger Lists Holland-America Line, 1900-1974.

To search the collection by image:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select "Origin Continent-Destination Continent"
⇒Select the "Departure Year"
⇒Select the "Month and Day of Departure"
⇒Select the "Ship's name" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection images one by one, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details and lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example, you can use passenger lists to:

  • Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
  • Confirm their date of arrival
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age in the citizen to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records indexes in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Netherlands, Passenger lists Holland-America Line, 1900-1974." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Holland America Line. Rotterdam Municipal Archives.

Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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