Diaspora

The Viergever clan stem from the Netherlands, but the USA, Australia and Canada are important Viergever countries as well.

Check out more on our global distribution here.

America

Between 1831 and 1877 many Dutch people migrated to America, some 20% of those (13.000) were from Zeeland. Reason being the deterioration of economic, social, and religious circumstances in the Netherlands around 1845. Potato famine, Price drops for agricultural products, high infant mortality, bad hygienic cirumstances, high taxes, and little hope for a better future drove people to migrate. The abolition of slavery also created a huge market for new labourers in America.

For people from Zeeland an added factor was the discrimination of the Separatists, who separated from the Reformed Church in 1834. Wealthy farmer Jannes van de Luijster and Reverend Cornelis van der Meulen founded their own community in Michigan, and named it Zeeland...  He financed the migration of many, and stimulated and financed the necessary infrastructure.

Many of the Viergever migrants ended up in Michigan, with Grand Rapids as the centre of gravitation. From there some branched out to Kansas and New York. More recent hotspots are California and Florida.

Australia

Two separate branches settled in Australia end 1956 and1963 in South Australia and Victoria.

Canada

Two influxes here: a migration from the Netherlands to the Toronto area, and a re-migration from Australia to British Columbia.

Belgium

A few Viergevers ended up in Belgium, albeit just over the border with Zeeuws Vlaanderen (The Zeelnad portion of Flanders).

South Africa

Unfortunately I have not been able to find the story behind this migration. I know of two persons (who are probably related), one of which studied in the Netherlands and now lives in the UK. The other is married, hence the two SA facebook profiles

Brasil

One person migrated to Brasil due to his work, married there with a Brasilian woman and got children (two I believe).

UK

A few Viergevers presently live there.

Other

Other countries where Viergevers lived at given times are Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain, Germany, though not any more, I think.

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