Early Dutch migrants to North America settled mostly in the United States. Some of the earliest Dutch settlers in Canada were United Empire Loyalists who fled to the Canadian colonies during the American Revolution. Later, there were three major periods of Dutch immigration to Canada.
The first was from the late 1880s to 1914. Many of these migrants were from the United States. As available agricultural land became more scarce there and in the Netherlands, settlers looked to land in the Canadian West. Having already been in North America for many years, Americans of Dutch descent easily integrated into Canadian society.
Although the Dutch settled all across the Prairie Provinces, there were also a few community settlements created, such as those at New Nijverdal (now Monarch), Alberta, Neerlandia, Alberta, and Edam, Saskatchewan. These people owned their own farms or ranches or worked as farm hands. Many others settled in and around the larger cities of Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg.
The next large migration period occurred between 1920 and 1929. During this time, there was a high demand for labour in the farming, industrial, construction and domestic sectors. The majority of these people settled in southern and southwestern Ontario.
The third and last large wave of Dutch immigration began in 1947 following the end of the Second World War. Many of these migrants came from the agricultural sector, but there were also large numbers of skilled labourers and professionals, as well as war brides. The primary destination for most of these immigrants was Ontario and urban centres in the Western provinces. Although the immigration of Dutch peoples slowed after the 1950s, it would never fully cease as people continue to arrive in Canada in lesser numbers to this day. The population of people of Dutch descent today in Canada is approximately one million.
Research at Library and Archives Canada
Immigration Branch, Central Registry Files (RG 76)
Other series of Records
Library and Archives Canada also holds other private records regarding Dutch families. Consult the Archives Search database using keywords such as a surname or the name of an organization.
Library and Archives Canada also holds many documents regarding Loyalists. Consult the page on Loyalists for further information about these sources.
Research in Other Institutions
Gemeente Amsterdam Stadsarchief (Amsterdam City Archives)
Gemeentearchief Rotterdam (Municipal Archives of Rotterdam)
Nationaal Archief (National Archives)
Nederlandse Genealogische Vereniging (Dutch Genealogical Association)
Stichting Indisch Fanukue Archief (SIFA) (Dutch East Indies Family Archive)
Genalogical Society of South Africa
Research in Published Sources
Finding Your Dutch Ancestors by Esther Perry.
Dutch Immigrants in U.S. Ship Passenger Manifests, 1820-1880: An Alphabetical Listing by Household Heads and Independent Persons by Robert Swierenga.
Dutch Emigrants to the United States, South Africa, South America and Southeast Asia, 1835-1880 by Robert Swierenga.
Netherlanders in America: Dutch Immigration to the United States and Canada 1789-1950 by Henry S. Lucas.
Search for other books on the Dutch in AMICUS, using authors, titles or subject keywords such as:
Consult our Bibliography for further information on this topic.
Windmill Herald online website
Digital Resources Netherlands and Belgium
Nederlandse Familienamenbank (Dutch Family Names Database)
Trace Your Dutch Roots