Biography - Vinton Pierce Ostrander

Our Founder

Vinton P Ostander1906-1997
July 25, 1906 to August 3, 1997

In his working life, Vinton was an executive of the Boy Scouts of America. A few years after retiring in 1971, Vinton took up genealogical research and succeeded in tracing his Ostrander lineage back to the progenitor, Pieter Pieterzen of Amsterdam.
With wife Ruth as helpmate, Vinton contacted other Ostranders on their travels, especially in summers when they returned to New York from their home in Arizona. A small local reunion in Ithaca, New York, in 1979 led to others in 1980 and 1982. The Ostrander Family Association was founded in 1984 at an international family reunion in Kingston, New York, which drew Ostrander descendants from a number of states and Canada.
In addition to Vinton, the founding members who organized the reunion were Chester Ostrander, Peter H. Ostrander, Lynn Ostrander and Phyllis Feeney. Vinton drafted the Association’s constitution and by-laws and wrote guidelines establishing the duties of board officers. He was the Association’s first Ostrander Family Genealogist and the first editor of the family newsletter.
In its issue of March 21, 1983, Time magazine singled out Vinton Ostrander as one of the early users of the computer in genealogical research.
After graduation from high school in Ithaca, New York, Vinton studied business administration at the University of Buffalo. He worked at private companies in Buffalo and Ithaca for a time and continued his active interest in the Boy Scouts of America, which he had joined at age 15 in Ithaca.
In 1934, married and with one son, Vinton was selected for enrollment in the National Training School for Scout Executives. His planning and organizing abilities suited him well for a long career in scouting at the executive level and he felt personally rewarded in being able to bring the high principals for the Boy Scouts of America to the youth of our country. He retired in 1971 in Buffalo, New York, where he spent the last 20 years of his service in professional Scouting.
In 1930, Vinton had married Pauline Carolyn Fahr in Buffalo and in 1932 their son, Vinton, Jr. was born. Vinton and Pauline made their retirement home in Peoria, Arizona. After Pauline died in 1976, Vinton devoted himself to serious research on his Ostrander antecedents. Driving a travel trailer, he frequently called Ostranders listed in telephone directories of cities where he stopped for the night. His research journey took him to genealogical collections in serval cities, including Washington, D. C. and Albany, New York.
In his boyhood home of Ithaca, Vinton completed his lineage back to Pieter Pieterzen. There, he met his high school girl friend, Ruth Van Marter, whose husband had passed away. Vinton and Ruth were married November 19, 1977 in Ithaca with his son as best man. In Sun City, Vinton continued his long record of volunteer service to church and community.
In his last years, looking back at his busy life of service to society, Vinton said he was “proudest of being recognized as the OFA Founder”.