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Heritage Hall

In-House Genealogy Resources

Heritage Hall genealogy

The roots of Calvin University, Theological Seminary, and the Christian Reformed Church of North America can be tied back to the secessionist movement from the Netherlands church in the mid-19th century. This movement, called the Afscheiding, created pockets of Dutch immigrant communities in west Michigan and Iowa. 

Heritage Hall holds several resources for Dutch Americans to trace their family histories. Explore our in-house resources below or in our genealogy guide here

Birthday, Marriage, Anniversary and Obituary Announcements

The Banner - 1945-2016. A card file of death, birthday, and wedding anniversary notices published in The Banner and De Wachter, from the 1870s through 1999, alphabetically arranged by surname, is located in the reading room. In addition, hard copies of the entire run of each periodical are available in the reading room.

Christian Courier, formerly Canadian Calvinist and Contact - 1946-2015. Births, Marriages, Anniversaries, and Deaths from Christian Courier, formerly Canadian Calvinist and Contact, arranged alphabetically by surname. From databases available in the reading room.

Historical Church Records

Search Instructions

To perform a keyword search of this index, use the "Find" function of your browser.

On Windows: CTRL + F

On Mac: + F


Drenthe (Michigan) Presbyterian Church - Family records. The remaining members of this congregation joined the Drenthe Christian Reformed Church. 1852-1883.

Maxwell, New Mexico Christian Reformed Church - Family information. The church supported the Bethesda Sanatorium (tuberculosis hospital) located in the community. The congregation existed 1893-1908.

Perch Lake (Michigan) Christian Reformed Church - Family information. The congregation existed 1896-1899.
Pillar Church (Holland, Michigan) - The church still exists in Holland, Michigan and has been known as First Reformed Church and Ninth Street Christian Reformed Church. 1847-1880.

Rilland, Colorado Christian Reformed Church - Membership information. The congregation existed 20 January 1893 - 11 December 1893.

South Holland Presbyterian Church (Holland, Michigan) - Family records. The congregation had a building near the intersection of 32nd Street and Washington Street in Holland, Michigan. 1849-1867.

Vriesland (Michigan) Christian Reformed Church - The congregation disbanded. 1857-1893.

Emigrants from the Netherlands

Drenthe, the Netherlands Emigrants to North America - 1845-1872. This is a list of emigrants to West Michigan provided by Ger de Leeuw based on sources in the Netherlands.

Dutch Emigrants to North America - 1946-1963. Information about emigrants, primarily to Canada via Pier 21, assisted by the Immigration Committee of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Local Dutch Wedding Histories

Graafschap Weddings (1864-1889) - Graafschap, Michigan Marriages, 1864-1872; 1879-1889. Marriages performed by Revs. Douwe J. Vander Werp and Roelof T. Kuiper while pastors in Graafschap (Michigan) Christian Reformed Church.

Beets Weddings (1896-1913) - Weddings performed by Rev. Henry Beets, a minister in the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Van Raalte Weddings (1847-1875) - Weddings performed by Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte, a minister in the Reformed Church in North America.

Young Calvinist Obituaries

Gold Star (military) deaths of members of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, 1941-1973 collected by the Young Calvinist magazine. (List is not complete.)

Immigrant Letters

The Immigrant Letters are some of the more heavily used collections in Heritage Hall. While some letters have been digitized and are available to download, the majority of letters have not yet been digitized. These collections are open to the public for viewing at Heritage Hall. If you are unable to visit Heritage Hall in person, contact archives staff to inquire about our limited scanning services. 


Dutch Immigrant Letters

German Immigrant Letters

Family Histories

Browse our collection of published and unpublished family genealogies that have been compiled by independent researchers using Heritage Hall resources. Copies of these materials are available for viewing in Heritage Hall.

Holland-America Line Passenger Indexes 1900-1940

Microfiches copies of the lists with annual indexes, includes all passengers sailing on the Holland-America Line and is not limited to a single nationality. 

Background on the Holland America Line:

Detailed description of the lists:

Swierenga Passenger Index

NOTE: Some microfilm copies of the original records of Swierenga's research are deposited in Heritage Hall, but these copies contain no data in addition to what is in the published sources. These indices contain detailed indexes of people who emigrated from the Netherlands to America between 1820 and 1904. 

Browse the Swierenga Collection