Banta last names - different? why?

+5 votes

look at Banta-296, Epkese-1, Hendrickse-33, Banta-29.

Epkese-1, Hendrickse-33, and Banta-29 are descended from Epke Jacobs Banta-296.

This is confusing.  Why not change last name at birth (LNAB) to "Banta" on Epkese-1 and Hendrickse-33?




WikiTree profile: Hendrick Banta
asked in Genealogy Help by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (145k points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

New Netherland names are confusing to modern Americans because New Netherland settlers didn't follow modern American naming customs. But WikiTree tries to identify people by the names they actually were known by, not the names we think they ought to have used. This means looking at the original records for the person's name -- not later genealogical publications that treated all of the author's paternal ancestors having had the same surname as the author.

When Hendrick (Epkese-1) was born in the Netherlands, most Dutch people were known primarily (or more often, exclusively) by patronymic names. That seems to the case for Hendrick. (I'm not familiar with this family, so I'm going by what I can see in the profiles.) His father's given name was Epke, and from his profile it appears that all of the original records for Hendrick show him using Epkese, or some other patronym derived from Epke, as his last name. The name Banta was adopted later.

I also don't see any indication that records show that Hendrick's father, Epke Jacobs, ever used the name Banta.

And since Hendrick apparently was using a patronymic name at the time his children were baptized, it stands to reason that his son was called Hendrick Hendrickse (or variants like Hendrick Hendricksz) at the time of his baptism, although he might have adopted the name Hendrick Banta later in life.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (849k points)
selected by Cheryl Skordahl
Thank you for your explanation. I understand your reasoning, Ellen.  Thank you.

It just seems strange that these Wikitree profiles begin with the older member of the family using the name "Banta"

here -

then skips two generations

here -

and here -

then once again begins using the name "Banta."

here -

It is probably true as you say, Ellen, that "the name Banta was adopted later."  But then perhaps the older profile (Banta-296) should have the LNAB of "Jacobs?"  It seems to me that would be more consistent.

These Banta folks are ancestors of my step-mother.  I want her to look at her family on wikitree, so that is why I am trying to sort this out.

Thank you.

Cheryl (Aldrich-908) Skordahl

The basic problem there is that has the wrong LNAB. His LNAB should be Jacobs. (His full name was Epke Jacobs.) One factoid I've seen repeated in his profile and a couple of the sources is a statement that the name Banta first appears in the records on 22 August 1696, which is about 10 years after Epke Jacobs is thought to have died.

The information sources on that profile aren't great (how many different citations to Edmund West can one profile possibly stand?), but even the family history books from about a century ago agree that he used the patronym Jacobs, and was never called Banta during his lifetime.

Yes, that is what I mean, Ellen.  I am in full agreement.  Banta-296's name should be Epke Jacobs, not Epke Jacobs "Banta."

Do you have time to make the corrections to the profile?  Or will someone else from New Netherlands, please?

Thank you.


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