|Migrants boarding a ship|
The family arrived in Rio Grande Harbour in Brazil on August 15, 1858. Travelling further with the ss Rio Pardense, they arrived on August 26 in the Colônia Santo Angelo.
They had been hoping for an "amelioration of existence". Alas, during their early years in Brazil most migrant families lived in squalor and were nearly starving. The people were exploited and their children had to work in the jungle.
Josephus van Immerseel, also known as "Judocus Francies", was born on January 10, 1824, in Graauw, Zealand, The Netherlands. He was a son of Judoca Neve and her husband, labourer Francies van Immerseel, son of an earlier Judocus van Immerseel who had originated in Doel, East-Flanders, Belgium. Francis van Immerseel was locked up in jail in 1843 in Middelburg, and in 1849 in Goes.
At the age of 27, while working as a bargeman's mate, Josephus was married on January 18, 1851, in Hontenisse to Maria Kriekaart, aged 20. Maria was born on April 4, 1830, in Hontenisse, Zealand, The Netherlands, as daughter of Jacobus Kriekaart and Anna Maria Lauwers/Lauwaert, who weren't married until 23 days after the birth of their daughter.
Josephus and Maria had the following children:
- Petrus, born on April 18, 1851, in Hontenisse.
- Jacobus, born on May 13, 1852, in Hontenisse.
- Francies, born on April 15, 1853, died on June 27, 1853, both in Hontenisse.
- Anna Maria, born on February 26, 1857, in Graauw