- A Tree
of Many Branches
Genealogy Committee Project
- Old Dutch
Church, Kingston, 1679
PATRONYMICS AND SURNAMES
Our ancestor Pieter(2) Pietersen was first
reported in the marriage records of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston
in 1679 as Pieter Pietersse and his patronymic Pietersen denotes
that he was "the son of Pieter." It was originally presumed
that his father was the cadet listed as Pieter Petersen on the passenger
manifest of the Dutch ship De Bonte Koe in 1660. Almost 340 years
later it was discovered that his father was indeed named Pieter,
but he was Pieter(1) Carstensen of Husum (or Nordstrand) indicating,
perhaps, that Pieter(1) Carstensen’s father may have been
baptized Carsten or Karsten, but this has not yet been confirmed.
The children of Pieter(2) Pietersen and Rebecca Traphagen (as well
as Pieter(2) Pietersen himself) were variously reported with the
patronymic spelled Pieters, Pieterse, Pietersen, Pietersz, Pieterz
and Pieterszen. It seems that the first time that a member of the
family adopted a surname in compliance with the British mandate
to abolish the Dutch patronymic system was August 13, 1699 when
Pieter(2) Pietersen was reported as Pieter Pieterse Noordstrand.
The following year the family began to adopt different versions
of a surname. They composed one presumably referring to a locale
in Holland - "oost" for east, "rand" for bank,
side, or edge: the personal suffix, "er", and frequently,
"van" for from - Oostrander or van Ostrander. Anglicized,
this would mean "Eastbanker", or "Eastsider".
But as with patronymics, the spelling of surnames was far from standardized.
Among the variations and at times exotic spellings to be found in
church and public records are:
• Ostrandar, Ostranda, Van Noortstrande, Van Noorstrant, Van
Nostrandt, Van Nostrant, Van Ostrand, Van Nostrunt, Vanostran, Osterander,
Ostervanter, Ostranck. Ostrancer, Ostronder, Ostronden, Ostrandt,
Ostrandter, Oustrande, Osatrander, Onstrander, Osstander.
More than a century went by before the variants disappeared and
Ostrander emerged as the favored spelling, but the exact rationale
for the adopted surname remains a mystery. Nevertheless it is evident
that the surname originated in Ulster County, NY and is unique to
the descendants of Pieter(2) Pietersen and Rebecca Trapahgen.