Jan Harmsen van Roekel
Zoon van Barend (Berend) van Roekel en Willempje van de Hoef (Hoeven), geboren 2-7-1818 04:30 NL Bennekom , ingekomen van Geertruidenberg 3-8-1839, vertrekt 21-12-1865 naar de USA, overleden 4-1889 USA IA Sioux County
Trouwt 22-10-1847 NL Wageningen  Grada Jansen, dochter van Geurt Stevens Jansen - landbouwer en Martina Melissen, geboren 20-11-1823 NL Wageningen , overleden 3-9-1861 16:30 NL Bennekom 
Was married to Grada Jansen in the Netherlands. She was born 20 November 1823 in Wageningen and died in Bennekom 3 September 1861. Jan Harmsen Van Roekel was married to Grada Jansen on October 22, 1847 in Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands.
Jan Harmsen and Grada had eight children: Willempje (Winnie) Van Roekel 1848, Martina Van Roekel 1849, Albertus Van Roekel 1850, Geurt Van Roekel 1852, Grada Van Roekel 1855, No Name Van Roekel 1857, Abraham Van Roekel 1859 and No Name Van Roekel 1861.
On December 21, 1865, after the death of his wife, Jan and six children emigrate to America. His oldest daughter Willempje died during the voyage and was buried at sea. The family moved to Pella, Marion County, Iowa.
Merritje (Maartje) van Roekel 1816-1891 d. Netherlands
Bart van Roekel 1821- 1842 d. Netherlands
Geertruida van Roekel 1824- d.
Geertje van Roekel 1827-1909 d.Netherlands
Rut van Roekel 1829-1895 d. Pella, Iowa, USA
Willem van Roekel 1830-1908 d. Iowa, USA Memorial ID 94185399
Hendrik van Roekel 1835-1924 d. Iowa, USA Memorial ID 120190764
Jannis (Jannes) van Roekel 1838-1838 d. Netherlands
I am searching for some additional background on Willempje van Roekel who supposedly died during the familyís trip to America in 1865. Willempje was the eldest child of my great great grandfather Jan Harmsen van Roekel. I have heard rumors from several sources that she died during the voyage and was buried at sea. However, I believe this to be in error as her immigration records are also found in the Castle Garden immigration files in New York City.
My wife and I recently returned from a vacation, part of which was spent in Quebec City, Canada, which was the arrival port for the van Roekels in 1865. While there, we toured the Grosse Ile immigration and quarantine station just 50 km downriver from Quebec City. The van Roekel family would have been required to stop there for a medical inspection, and if anyone on the ship was found to be ill, all passengers would have been required to disembark and quarantine - perhaps for as long as 21 days. Conditions there were both gruesome and unsanitary in 1865. I know that Willempje did not survive the trip to Iowa. I am theorizing that she contracted some illness at Grosse Ile, which caused her death sometime during the trip from Quebec to Iowa. However, I am wondering if you can give me some more information on the source of the reports that she died and was buried at sea. Could this just be an undocumented rumor?
I have the passenger record for the ship the van Roekels traveled on. It was owned by the Allan shipping line of Liverpool and was named the SS Belgian. Iíve attached the page with the van Roekel listing at the top [see next fragment]:
It clearly identifies Jan and his children and lists their occupations. You will note that there are two columns totaling the passengers. The first column lists name, age, and sex at the embarkation point of Liverpool. The first column is totaled at the bottom. The right hand column lists the passengers at the disembarkation point of Quebec City. That column is also totaled and matches the total from Column 1. This suggests to me that Willempje was alive when the family disembarked at Quebec City. Iíve also seen the immigration records for the family at the Castle Garden immigration station in New York City when they arrived in America. Unfortunately, that database is not currently available so I canít send you the records. However, here is what Iíve noted about the records available at the two locations:
Jan is listed as Jan H.V. Roekel with the occupation of artisanAt Castle Garden:
Willempje is listed as a spinster
Martina and Albertus are listed as tailors
Jan is listed as Jan H. Van Roekel with the occupation of artistFrom these two passenger records, I can only assume that Willempje was alive upon her arrival in New York City. As you suggest, she may had an undiagnosed illness at Grosse Ile (or perhaps she contracted something there) and later died from that illness somewhere between New York City and Mahaska County, Iowa. There do no seem to be any records to indicate that she was alive at any time after the familyís arrival in Iowa.
Willempje is listed as Wilhelmina with the occupation of housewife
Martina is listed as a dressmaker
Albertus is listed as a tailor