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The migration of the Hutlet family

When the Hutlet Family moved to America it was a major undertaking. They took their eight children with them as well as a lot of familiar household effects from home with them on their exciting journey to an unknown country.

HUTLET family – father Jozef, mother Félicité and their large family
Sailed to Halifax, Canada on the SS Mongolian in 1892
Item in the museum’s collection: CAST-IRON WAFFLE IRON

One of their trunks was a treasure chest full of trustworthy stuff for their new life in Canada: a cast-iron waffle iron, a frying pan to make Ardennes meat pies, tools, etc.


Mass migration

And what an undertaking it was. On 15 February 1892 Jozef, the father and Félicité, the mother and eight of their children left their village in the Ardennes, in the Province of Luxembourg. Their final destination was Manitoba but first they had to undertake a long and arduous journey. One of their cases was a treasure trove chock-full of familiar objects for their new life in Canada, including a cast iron waffle maker and a pan for preparing Ardennes pâté and all kinds of tools.



First it was transported to Antwerp by train. Then they crossed the North Sea to Harwich on a small boat. The British railway brought them to Liverpool; that’s where the real journey began. The family boarded for the long trip to Halifax. It was not a pleasurable outing. They had to share the SS Mongolian, a Cunard Line ocean liner, with a lot of other fortune hunters, ‘rowdy, bickering people from Russia’, and a load of cattle. Everyone was seasick.


New home

After a 25-day trip, the exhausted travellers arrived in the station of Holland, Manitoba on 10 March 1892. They were greeted by Emile and Gustave, the two oldest sons of the family who had lived in Canada for a year, looking for an ideal new home for the large family. The newcomers had to get used to the severe cold that still dominated the prairie at that moment. The contents of the treasure chest came in handy in their new home.

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