Location: United States
Surnames/tags: Vantine Van Tine Vantyne
This One Name Study follows the descendants of Carel Fonteyn and Catharine de Baile. The name quickly changed to Vantine, Van Tine, Vantyne, and Vantyne. There are few families which have the Vantine surname which are not descended from them, most notably the Warren Vantine photography family of Massachusetts. However, they will be included in this study to help any researchers interested in those lineages.
But The Name's Spelled Wrong!
What has this to do with the Fonteyn (Van Tine, Van Tyne, etc.) family, you are certainly asking. The legal language of New Amsterdam was Dutch, but most people were illiterate in any language. Henry Fiske says in his Dutch and Quaker Colonies that there were at least 26 languages being spoken in a town with only about four thousand inhabitants. I have never found proof that Charles Fonteyn could read or write either French or Dutch, the one signature existing being his mark "X" only. Throughout these records, wild variations in spelling the name Fonteyn are evident.
First Known Signature Mark 28 Jan 1666
|Carel Fonteyn's Mark|
As Rosalie Fellows Bailey remarks in "Dutch Naming Systems": "In the seventeenth century, it was the custom of Dutch magistrates and scribes to translate foreign names into what they believed to be equivalent Dutch names and so enter them on the court records or other series of records kept in that language. If the foreign name was difficult to translate, the seventeenth century Dutch magistrate or scribe usually entered a phonetic approximation. Such might take the form of a Dutch name similar in sound to the foreign name, but often quite different in meaning; or the foreign name might merely be spelled phonetically by translating the sound of the name in letters as the Dutch pronounced their letters."
Through my years of research on this family, I have discovered that the change from Fonteyn to Vantine follows many different paths. In the following chart, there are a few listed:
Fontaine Fonteyn Vontine Vantine Van Tine Tine
Ffontaine Vonteyn Vantyne Van Tyne Tyne
Fantine Fontime Phantine
Fountin Fontijn Fanton
To further complicate matters, the name is frequently misspelled. Valentine, Vandine, Van Dyne, Van Line, or Van Fine are some of the many variations. It can be confused with the "real" Dutch names of Van Tyn and Van Tien. Given names suffered similar mistreatment as evidenced by the name Jacques Fonteyn. In the late 1780's, a perplexed tax enumerator in Adams County, Pennsylvania, scratched his head and gave it his best effort and listed Zwacks Vantine as a taxable male head of household.
Rosalie Fellows Bailey also came to the same conclusion, "The Van Tyne or Vantine family of central New Jersey has a misleadingly Dutch connotation since the family is of French origin." As late as 1814, I have clear evidence that the family continued to use both variations of the name. The documents that I have which were signed by Cornelius Vantine to receive his War of 1812 land grant are clearly signed Cornelius Fantine in two separate places (I believe this to be John Vantine's, my third great grandfather's, brother--but no proof). The early tax and church records of Dutchess County use many variations of Fonteyn/Vantine.
The only clear exception is William Vantine who always seems to be Vantine. Since his father William Fonteyn, who married Kniertje Wiltsie 29 Nov 1741, died shortly after William (son) was born, I feel certain that this steadfast spelling can be attributed to his mother's second husband, Koenradt Applie, a literate Swiss-German.
|Affidavit of Marriage for Carel Fonteyn|
- #OneNameTuesday showcase: Vantine Name Study Apr 11, 2023.