Here is a journal of Pieter VanWingen's voyage to America. Jeff VanWingen sent this to me.He is the grandson of Adrian VanWingen, Jr. who is the grandson of Pieter and Lucy VanWingen. I also have this on my website as a genealogy report. http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/c/r/o/Scott-T-Crowley/http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/c/r/o/Scott-T-Crowley/
THE VANWINGEN VOYAGE TO AMERICA.
Notes for THE VANWINGEN VOYAGE TO AMERICA: Events of the voyage of Peter and Lucy VanWingen
Departing: Oudlande province of zeeland, netherlands april 15, 1881 arriving: Grand Rapids, Michigan May 1, 1881
At 5 o'clock in the morning on April 15, 1881 we departed from Oudelande to sail for America. At 11 o'clock we boarded the steamship Telegraaf and arrived in Antwerp, Belgium at 2:30. The weather was fine. We were directed to our lodging which consisted of a bedroom containing 3 beds. Ir reminded us of soldiers' barracks and we were a little upset because we were thinking about the welfare of our eight children. We were in our room only half hour when a severe thunderstorm came up. At 7 o'clock we retimed being weary from the day's journey. We awakened in the morning giving God thanks for a good night's sleep. Most of the other travelers were troubled with the presence of lice in their room, but we were not bothered. With a family of children it is not pleasant to be in Antwerp.
On Saturday, April 16 at 2 o'clock we sailed from Antwerp to Schelde. I did not see Baarland again because I was below deck with my children. When I did come up on deck in the evening, we were in the Norgh Sea. We then retired for the night. It was not very comfortable. I and Leu and two of the children slept in a small compartment. We do not have much room on the ship because of the number of people on board but the first night we were able to rest and were strengthened by the amount of sleep we received.
Sunday morning April 17. I went up on deck and noticed we were sailing near the White Cliffs of England. By 10 o'clock we were in the English Channel. Today is Easter Sunday, the day Jesus arose from the dead. I read the 16th Chapter of St. Mark in my Bible. The 5th and 6th verse tells of the perplexity of the women because his body was not in the grave. But He is not to be found on the ship either and I was also bewildered. Music and dancing on the deck and beneath in the inside of the ship. At 12 noon, we passed England and the Cliffs which were very beautiful to behold. How great is the work of the Creator by whom all this was formed. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction today among the German people because of the food. More than a hundred went to complain to the Captain which caused quite an uproar. We saw the last of the English mountains by evening.
Monday April 18. At midnight we reached the ocean. What a sight that was. Huge waves like mountains bouncing against the ship which caused us to be tossed to and fro.
Tuesday April 19. It is nice weather but the sea is rough causing the ship to continually move from side to side. A boy from the city of Ierseke broke his leg falling down the stairs. Jan Proos also fell while carrying his small daughter Maria in his arms. Fortunately they were not hurt in any way. Maatje and Cornelis are seasick and Leu is in bed the whole day. The people stumble against each other. I am reminded of Psalm 107- "They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man." It is always clear weather so far.
Wednesday April 20. Nothing to see but sky and water. Still much wind. Jan's birthday but no cake baking. According to the sun table the sun rises at 5 o'clock and sets at 7 o'clock here but where we lived it set at 9 'clock thus a difference of 2 hours. Here we can watch the sun go down very well seeing there not trees or houses to obstruct the view. It is very nice to watch the sun sink in the western sky.
Thursday April 21. This morning it is raining. Still nothing to see but sky, water and occasionally another ship. By noon the weather cleared but very strong wind is blowing. Leu has a fever but the children are as healthy as fishes and are playing and romping which is a pleasure to see.
Friday, April 22. Very strong wind and high seas which cause the ship to rock. The front end of the ship dove into the sea causing water to roll over the deck. It sprayed foam which looked like snow. Many people are seasick. Leu and Cornelis are very sick. Afternoon very stormy. At night everything was tossed around. Some of the binks with the people on them were thrown below. A very stormy day and night. We did not make any progress in fact we lost ground. Many people were afraid but by God's brace I was not.
Saturday April 24. Heavy fog this morning which is the case most of the time in this area of the ocean. It is God's day but his is not feared of honored here. We saw five whales and many small birds which swim in and under the water. This ship is sailing with the wind today so is riding smoothly and everyone is feeling much better. We are going to try to get some rest but we are surrounded by German people who are dancing, singing and shouting. We are not accustomed to so much noise. I would rather be in a barn than here but I thank God I am in good health also the three smallest children. We have taken the trip very well.
Monday April 25. Nothing of importance happened today. The weather is fair but a very stiff wind. Nothing but sky and water. During the night a storm came up. We were not able to get any sleep that night. We must get out of our beds and try to keep our belongings together because everything was being thrown around. Leu was afraid. Two babies were born on the ship during the night.
Wednesday April 27. We awoke rested and refreshed this morning. It was a quiet night so we all slept well. Heavy fog throughout the morning. The ship's fog horn sounded continuously. We are all longing for land. The ship's officers tell us we are not far from America. I am weary of the life on the ship. With so many children, it is difficult to get food for the small children because we are not allotted a portion for them. But among the German people were some who showed me much friendship and also gave us food. I and Leu also received from the ship's officers many times fried meat with potatoes. This was very good because the potatoes we received for our fare were large and unpeeled. It was difficult for me to eat the good given us by the ship.
Thursday April 28. At on o'clock in the morning the ship's engines stopped which was a sign that we were near the coast of America. We leaped out of bed and ran up on deck but could see nothing because of the heavy fog. The ship waited to proceed until the mist lifted. When it cleared up we were able to see the trees and mountains of America. At 12 o'clock we approached New York and were told to go upstairs to be examined by the doctor. At 6 o'clock our luggage was brought up and we were put into small steam boats to go to Castle Garden were we were all registered and directed to our hotel where we ate and slept.
Friday April 29. We are still here in our hotel. We have a wonderful view of the city from here. The wagons ride above our head through the city. You can count thousands of vehicles in a moment going by. While we were sitting watching we saw nine wagons with 40-50 hogs in each wagon going to be slaughtered. It is impossible to put in writing what is to be seen here. Streets which are so long we are unable to see where they end from here. Wonderful things which are not known in Nederland are to be seen here in New York. - Peter VanWingen 1835-1896
Peter VanWingen, Sr. Was born on January 15, 1835 to Pieter and Maria VanWingen of Oudelande, Zeeland Netherlands. He married Lucy (Leentje) VanLiere, daughter of Martinus and Maatje (Boon) VanLiere. They emmigrated to America aboard the passenger ship Waesland and arrived in New York harbor on April 28, 1881. Peter died May 24, 1896 and Lucy died in 1928. They are burried in Greenwood Cemetary, Grand Rapids.