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Cornelia Woutera Petersen

Dutch Immigrant
Veendam
March 12, 1953

Got married on January 21, 1953 then left Netherland with my husband Mr. Antonius Petersen in February 1953 to make a better life for us and our future family. I was sea sick the whole trip on the Veendam ship. Once we were landed and checked through customs. We left Halifax and went to Cantley (Quebec?) to work on a farm. We worked there for two weeks and then went to a farm and worked there for about two years.

Within the two years we started a family. The first baby was s daughter and her name is Antonia. After the two ears we moved to Ottawa and stayed there for several years. In those years we had another daughter Engelina, a son Evert and another son Henry. We moved to Blackburn Hamlet (Ontario?) and had our last child, a daughter Rosemary. One year after our last child was born we moved to Vars, Ontario where we still are today. In the year 2011 my husband passed away from cancer. We would like to share our story with the people that have families that came through Pier 21.

Additional story included in file:

Boat Trip for Mr. Antonius and Mrs. Cornelia Petersen on February 1953

They were to leave Netherlands in the beginning of February 1953; however, there was a flood in Southern Netherlands. The people from that area were to leave first because their homes were destroyed from the flood. Mr. and Mrs. Petersen left Netherlands at the end of February 1953 and came to Canada to start a new life together. Mr. and Mrs. Petersen left Amsterdam to go on the Veen Dam ship.

It took three weeks before they landed in Halifax on Pier 21. During that time on the ship they were separated in different rooms. The rooms had a wall between the couple. In that time, Cornelia Petersen spent her time downstairs because she was very sick and could not go up on the deck. She did not eat much food because she was unable to keep food down.

When they first landed in Halifax they were to go to a family in Quebec, however, that family had chicken pox. Mr. and Mrs. Petersen then went to a family of three children and stayed there for two weeks. The Petersens then went to Cantley. There they were to be farm hand and housekeeper. They stayed for two and a half years. During this time Cornelia Petersen gave birth to a daughter named Antonia Petersen. With the birth of their daughter, the person responsible of the farm had asked them to give the girl up for adoption because Cornelia had to spend her time with the baby daughter most of the day.

Mr. and Mrs. Petersen left the farm to move to Ottawa and stayed there for several years. In this time they had four more children. On 1962 they moved to Vars and started the family live there. They are still living there. It is now 63 years that they are in Canada. They are happy and settled in. Mr. Petersen has passed away in 2011.

The immigration story of Antonius and Cornelia Petersen, author unknown.

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Stories in our Collection are available in the language in which they were submitted.