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Emigrants leaving Europe by way of Rotterdam, 1908

Photo: Hotel for Emigrants of the N.A.S.M.

Photo: Hotel for Emigrants of the N.A.S.M.

Emigration, as will be readily understood, is most intimately connected with the economic state of European countries and of the nations to which the emigrants are going.

Up until 1908, emigrants, leaving by way of Rotterdam, are mostly bound for North America.

The ensuing figures will give an idea of the emigration during the last 14 years through 1906

Emigrants Leaving Europe via Rotterdam

Years Number of emigrants who took ship at Rotterdam Number of those that passed through Rotterdam, but took ship elsewhere Total
1894 7,860 5,173 13,033
1895 9,931 4,212 14,143
1896 9,706 1,375 11,063
1897 5,972 1,033 7,005
1898 10,177 2,382 12,559
1899 13,985 4,977 18,962
1900 22,121 11,260 33,381
1901 22,300 10,605 32,905
1902 28,304 17,231 45,535
1903 32,657 20,173 52,835
1904 26,650 22,366 49,016
1905 40,836 14,738 55,574
1906 42,511 6,410 48,921

 A board of control, appointed by H.M. the Queen, regularly supervise both the lodging houses where these poor people have to stay and the vessels that are to carry them. Definite rules have been laid down by Royal Decree for their lodgings on board ship. The board sees to it that these rules are carried out.

The Holland-America Line carries the more significant part of these emigrants.

Since 1893, this Company has had a hotel for emigrants, in the immediate neighborhood of its own quay, where a thousand persons can find shelter. 

This excellent hotel, which comes up to the most exacting requirements of modern hygiene, has some barracks connected with it, where such persons as suffer from infectious diseases can be isolated, and emigrants coming from infected countries, can be kept in quarantine for some time.

The vast flow of Jewish emigrants from Romania and South Russia has given the Montefiore society, who try to alleviate the sufferings of Jewish fugitives, an occasion to build a shelter for these emigrants in this town. The Municipality has allowed the Society the use of a house belonging to them, free of charge.

Of late years, scarcely 5% of the emigrants are Dutch.   In 1890 this percentage amounted to 20%.

Chapter 30, Emigrants, The Port of Rotterdam by Hendrik Albert van Ysselsteyn, C.E., Deputy-Director of the Department of Works at Rotterdam, Third Edition, 1908, Printed in Rotterdam by Nijgh & van Ditmar's Publishing Co., Pages 197-198

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The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies - a terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.