The Old English cousin to Dutch , thiod or theod , simply meant “people or nation.” (This also helps explain why Germany is called Deutschland in German.) By the mid-1600s, Spain had spent away much of its American gold mine and had lost the commanding influence it had enjoyed for a century in European affairs. Other relative… Others decided to go for religious reasons. You may learn of your ancestor’s place of origin by talking to older family members. Dutch Americans (Dutch: Nederlandse Amerikanen), not to be confused with the Pennsylvania Dutch, are Americans of Dutch descent whose ancestors came from the Netherlands in the recent or distant past. In the 1630s, the new Director General Wouter van Twiller sent an expedition out from New Amsterdam up to the Connecticut River into lands claimed by English settlers. The colony was proving quite profitable, New Amsterdam had developed into a port town of 1500 citizens, and the incredibly diverse population (only 50 percent were actually Dutch colonists) of the colony had grown from 2,000 in 1655 to almost 9,000 in 1664. Sponsored by the West India Company, 30 families arrived in North America in 1624, establishing a settlement on present-day Manhattan. The Patroon system, a Charter of Privileges and Exemptions, was a document written by the Dutch West India Company in an effort to induce colonists to settle in New Netherland. Itinerary Home | List of Sites | Main Map | Learn More | Begin Tour. After arriving off the coast of Cape Cod, Hudson eventually sailed into the mouth of a large river, today called the Hudson River. German Immigration to America Around 1670 the first significant group of Germans came to the colonies, mostly settling in Pennsylvania and New York. To better understand why the Pilgrims left England to come to America, it may be helpful to briefly review the religious landscape of the time. Dutch interest in the Americas began in 1602, when the Dutch government issued a charter to the Dutch East India Company to discover a new route to the Indies, as well as to exploit any unclaimed territory they came across. Once you have traced your family back to a Dutch emigrant, you must find the town your ancestor came from if you wish to find earlier generations. Learn more about a place where European ideas of society no longer applied. French explorers came to the New World, including America, to find a route to the Pacific Ocean and to establish a successful colonial empire. Some came as servants. This unrest led conscientious believers to meet in extra-ecclesiastical “conventicles” to read the classic Reformed works as part of a movement sweeping across Protestant churches throughout Europe called the Revival. Unlike the French, the Dutch allowed no supernatural considerations—no desire to convert the Indians—to stand in the way of commercial success. Amish first began arriving in America in the early-to-mid 1700’s, attracted by the promise of religious freedom in “Penn’s land”. Many of the Dutch immigrated to America to escape religious persecution. After unsuccessful efforts at colonization, the Dutch Parliament chartered the "West India Company," a national-joint stock company that would organize and oversee all Dutch ventures in the Western Hemisphere. Although Wiltwyck, the second large settlement established north of New Amsterdam, grew quickly, the very successes of the Stuyvesant administration put New Netherland in danger. Hudson hoped to discover a "northwest passage," that would allow a ship to cross the entirety of the North American continent and gain access to the Pacific Ocean, and from there, India. Born of a long struggle against Hapsburg Spain, the Dutch Republic began its independent life as the world's premier commercial nation. Once in America, though, they found that the fur trade was very profitable and soon began to form colonies. Whether or not it is intentional, they usually maintain connections with their Dutch heritage, by having, for example, a Dutch surname or belonging to a Dutch community group. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish conquistadors were sending great quantities of gold and silver from America back to Spain. Several sources may reveal where your ancestor came from. Inevitably, land disputes brought the two sides to the brink of war, with both the Europeans and the Esopus Indians engaging in petty vandalism and kidnaping. Not only did the Dutch raise no eyebrow about immigrants from France, Germany, and England, but they also quietly ignored the assemblies of French Jews, English Quakers and Presbyterians, and German Lutherans in their midst. 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