Voyages of New Netherland


Explanation of Terms

Important general considerations:
- Spelling
standards did not exist in seventeenth-century Dutch. In order to make terms searchable, the following standardizations have been adopted for the database:

- ij is expressed as y
- Name endings ss, sz., or sen have been standardized to sz

- When searching, consider orthographic variations such as ae/aa and ck/k

- Dates follow the Gregorian calendar

- NA represents any data that is missing from the records. This makes it possible for some programs to sort missing values in their analyses

Voyage ID/Voyage Leg ID

- Each voyage has a permanent voyage number (not tied to chronological order)

- A voyage is defined as the entire round trip journey, from homeport to homeport. Legs refer to segments of the voyage between stops (i.e, Amsterdam to New Netherland and back would be two legs of one voyage)

- Each leg of a voyage (between stops) is represented by an extension of the main voyage number (i.e., 140_1, 140_2) and displays information specific to that particular leg of the voyage

Ship Name

- Ship names have been standardized using the most salient spelling

- Be aware that some ships have the same name but are different ships. Some of these have been differentiated by a number in parentheses following the name, i.e, Liefde (1), Liefde (2), and Liefde (3)

- Some ships were known by more than one name or renamed (i.e, Gulden Hay/Dolphyn/Diemen or St. Beninjo/Nieu Swol)

Other Names Noted

- Many ships appear in the records under varied spellings, nicknames, name changes, or have been translated into English (i.e., Bontecoe, Bontekoe, Spotted Cow, Brindled Cow)

Departure and Arrival Date Details

- Any known specifics about dates of departure and arrival

- Exact departure and arrival dates are known for relatively few voyages

- Departure and arrival dates can most often only be narrowed to a window deduced from letters, court records, and attestations

- Be aware that many inaccurate dates have been reprinted over the years as fact (i.e., dates taken from the "WIC Account Book" have been interpreted as date of departure, while these more accurately reflect the date passenger debt was recorded)

- Departure dates from Amsterdam and from Texel can vary by several weeks for a given voyage

Departure and Arrival Year

- Always check adjacent years when searching for a voyage

- Voyages to New Netherland often overlapped years, typically leaving in winter and arriving the following spring

- Whether a ship left in December or January (which is sometimes unknown) could shift the year of departure up or down

Departure and Arrival Place

- Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the island of Texel before heading into the Atlantic

- Amsterdam is listed as the default departure location from the Dutch Republic unless documents specifically name Texel

- Many more voyages likely stopped in Curaçao than is reflected in the document

- Ships showing "Wrecked" or "Taken" as their arrival place did not arrive at their destination

- Some ships arriving in New Netherland arrived from or departed to the Caribbean and previous or subsequent leg(s) are not known

Ship Type

- "Yacht" appears to be a broad and fairly generic term used for smaller transatlantic and local vessels

Ship Size

Size in tons is generally a measure of cargo capacity

- Two tons burden is approximately equal to a Dutch last

Owner or Charterer

Owner or Charterer reflects the person or group who financed the voyage

- Both the West India Company and private merchant outfitters often chartered ships for transatlantic voyages

- "Private" refers to a merchant outfitter though their identity may be unknown

Skipper, Crews, and Supercargoes

- It is assumed crews and supercargoes sailed on all legs of the voyage, unless evidence points otherwise


- Soldiers often left the Dutch Republic on one ship and voyaged to New Netherland on another after a stay at Curaçao and/or Brazil

Passengers Recorded

- All passenger information must be considered partial or incomplete

- West India Company "account books" are NOT passenger lists. These are accountings of money owed for passage (i.e., passengers who did not owe are not listed)

- Passenger names ending in ss, sz., or sen, have been standardized to sz

- When searching for names, consider orthographic variations such as ae/aa or t/d; try various spellings

- Not all passengers were immigrants; some were merchants who returned on the same ship

Enslaved Africans

- Any mention of the transport of enslaved Africans is entered here

- Unfortunately, very little is known about the identity and exact point of origination of enslaved Africans brought to New Netherland

- See for a database of voyages carrying enslaved Africans to the Americas

Cargoes Noted

- Cargo lists are usually partial or limited to brief mentions, though some cargo manifests are printed in the documents

- Cargo vocabulary has been standardized for common cargoes as follows:
- pelts (includes furs, skins, beavers)
- dyewood (includes Brasilwood)
- duffles (includes duffle cloth)


Many more animals were likely transported than are recorded in the documents

- Animals are also noted under cargoes

Voyage Notes

Any explanatory or additional information about the voyage is noted here

Source Notes

- Sources have been abbreviated or condensed (see list below)

- Sources listed may overlap individual voyage legs or different voyages of the same vessel

- Sources for Hart Summaries in the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam or on microfilm in the New York State Library include a reference to the full notarial document held in the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam, accessed as needed for clarification

- You are strongly encouraged to verify all data through primary sources

- Please feel free to get in touch for any questions or for more details:

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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