Passenger registers of departures by the Holland America Line (HAL) from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. - Updated.


John W. Kitz
 

To whom it may interest,

 

This is an updated version a message I sent to this list before.

 

Introduction

In the past I've seen some messages sent to this list that mentioned passenger lists pertaining to departures by ship from the port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands to what is sometimes referred to as the 'New World', i.e. the United States of America. With that in mind I'd like to make subscribers to this list aware of a project that is being worked on in The Netherlands by several hundred volunteers lead by a small number of project leaders.

 

Passenger registers of the Holland America Line (HAL)

According to an article[1] in the most recent issue of Gen.magazine[2], a magazine for family history published by the CBG|Center for Family History (CBG) in The Netherlands, between 1880 and 1920 some one million Eastern-Europeans, often of Jewish descent, made the crossing over the Atlantic Ocean to the 'New World'. At the time the HAL had small offices in countries like Bulgaria, Latvia and Russia from which tickets were sold for a train trip to (the port of) Rotterdam, from there an Atlantic crossing by ship to America and subsequent travel to any train station in the United States of America. Ships sailed on different lines to the East coast of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba and back. There also used to be a so-called Java-New York Line, a connection from Europe through the Panama Channel and on to destinations on the West coast of the United States.

 

Passenger registers[3] from the 19th century have not been preserved, but from the period 1900-1969 the lists of the HAL can be consulted. According to the article the passenger lists are among the most frequently consulted sources of the Rotterdam City Archives and contain more than three million personal details, a treasure trove of information for professional and hobby genealogists alike. Since 2018 a digitized version of the lists is being indexed by the team of volunteers. In 2019 the first results[4], passenger lists covering 1900 to 1920, were made available to the general public through https://www.wiewaswie.nl/en/.

 

Project Status

According to the project's page, on the website that hosts this as well as many other similar projects that are being outsourced to the crowd by Dutch archive institutions through an initiative known as 'Vele Handen' (in English: 'Many Hands'), at this time 1,440 volunteers are collaboratively transcribing 114,572 scans that comprise the passenger registers of the Holland America Line (HAL) between 1900 and 1969. At present about 63% or 62,828 scans are reported to have been transcribed, of those about 55% or 53,810 transcribed scans have been checked. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2022, at which time all passenger lists of the HAL should have been scanned, transcribed and made available on the Internet.

 

Interested?

For more information see:

 

[1] Gen.magazine, Volume 26, Issue 3, September 2020, p. 38-43 (in Dutch, printed copy for paying friends of the CBG)

[2] https://cbg.nl/over-het-cbg/gen-magazine/ (in Dutch, online copy for paying friends of the CBG)

[3] https://www.wiewaswie.nl/en/sources/passenger-registers-holland-america-line-hal/ (in English)

[4] https://www.wiewaswie.nl/en/news/first-lists-of-the-passenger-registers-holland-america-line-hal-online/ (in English)

 

Regards, Jk.

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