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Jannes was born in 1789. He passed away in 1862.
From family records: Jannes was born at the beginning of the French Revolution in the village of Hoofdplaat in Cadzand, one of the small islands in Zeeland. Cadzand was south of and near the mouth of Wester Schelde River. The Zeeuwsche (Zeeland) Flanders were the soldest Zeeland Islands and included the land of Cadzand, which was also the name of a village.
He was a hired man on a farm. After the death of his father, he took over the management of the family farm.
He and Diana moved to Borssele in April 1817, buying a 137-acre farm he called Bamisse. Purchased from Jacob Brand for 34,582 guilders.
April 6, 1847, they left Goes on a barge. Arrivaed at Antwerp. Ship "Plato" declared unseaworthy. Second ship, Koonprinz von Hanover.
June 4, 1847, saw land. June 6, 1847, 4 a.m., anchored in the Hudson River, 10 p.m. arrived in New York City. Journey of 35 days. Left New York on June 7 by steamboat to Albany, arrived there the following day.June 18, arrived in Buffalo. Van de Luyster had bought a ticket for himself and his family to go to Iowa. Decided to go to Michigan. June 19, left Buffalo by steamer. June 26 arrived at the mouth of Black Lake.
People and baggage brought to shore in smaller boats. On Jun 27, group went to Holland.
Land chosen for a settlement for the Zeelanders, became the city of Zeeland. Six miles to the east of Holland. Van de Luyster bought 1680 acres. He built a house on the hill overlooking Cedar Swamp near a spring.
1850 Federal Census Ottawa County, Michigan (Holland
21 | 366 366 | Jan Van de Luister | 60 M | Farmer 600 | Holland | | V534 |
22 | 366 366 | Dina Van de Luister | 53 F | | Holland | | V534 | 23 | 366 366 | Janna Van de Luister | 16 F | | Holland | | V534 | 24 | 366 366 | Maatje Van de Luister | 14 F | | Holland | | V534 |
"When the Dutch emigration began in earnest in the mid-1840s, more than one-half crossed in groups of ten or more. In 1846-1847 several groups, including the Zeeland congregation of Dominie Cornelius Van der Meulen, numbered over nine hundred. Leaders divided the very large groups into smaller contingents because of the limited carrying capacity of the sailing vessels and for the practical reason that smaller parties were easier to manage and to obtain decent travel accommodations. The Zeelanders divided into three groups, led by Van der Meulen, Jannes Van de Luyster, and Jan Steketee."
Going to America: Travel Routes of Zeeland Emigrants
Robert P. Swierenga, Research Professor, A.C. Van Raalte Institute for Historical Studies, Hope College. Paper for the conference "Zeeuwse emigratie in de negentiende eeuw," Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, The Netherlands, September 6, 1997. link: http://www.swierenga.com/Middelbg_pap.html
In 1847, a group of immigrants in search of religious freedom made plans to fulfill their dream. An alternative explanation for the group's motivation to emigrate is their opposition to scientific and social advances (e.g., contraception, vaccination, insurance, chemical fertilizers) and their resulting failure to thrive under the economic and agricultural conditions of the time in their homeland (Zeeland, Netherlands).
The group was led by a wealthy landowner, Jannes van de Luyster, who decided to sell all his holdings in the Netherlands in order to advance money to group members to settle their debts and pay for passage to America. The site of the original village, some 16,000 acres (65 km²) of land originally occupied by the Odawa people, was named after the province of Zeeland, their former home in the Netherlands.
Van de Luyster arranged for three ships to make their way to Holland, Michigan. His group was on the first ship to arrive, on June 27, 1847. This ship was followed by the Steketee group on July 4, 1847, and Reverend Van Der Meulen’s group on August 1. The total number of immigrants who embarked on this journey was 457.
... In February 1847 the two leaders helped form the Zeeland Association for Emigration to the United States of America.
Van de Luyster then prepared himself to depart. In his diary, he noted that God had freed him "from all earthly ties." He proved it by selling his entire landed estate--worth f60,000 ($24,000)--and for the rest of his long life he donated and lent his capital to fellow believers. His generous spirit earned him the accolade here in Zeeland, "banker of the forest." Van de Luyster advanced f6,000 to pay the passage to America on the Kroonprins von Hanover for 10 poor families with 77 members. He also advanced money to pay off their debts. "Children," he declared, "we may not go to America as bankrupt people. Anyone who has debts must let me know about them, and I will pay them."
...Van de Luyster's group departed second from Antwerp (May 4) but arrived first (June 6); it took only 35 days.
Reverend Henry Beets in 1949 in his biography of Van de Luyster
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