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The name Van Nostrand comes in many versions. My brother has collected nearly fifty of them, including Vannostrand, Van Ordstrand, Van Ostran, Van Osttrander, etc., etc., all derivations of Van Noordstrandt.

Van, in Dutch, means from the or of the. Noord means north, and Strandt means the land bordering a body of water; a beach. Put them all together, and Van Nostrand means: From the North Beach.

An uncommon name, there are rarely many in any city's phone book, although New York City has the most. A favorite pastime of my brothers has been to look in phone books of cities where we travel to see if there are any Van Nostrands living there - a rare occurence. When I first traveled to the Netherlands, I went straight to the Amsterdam phone book to see how many of my ancestors lived there. I was stunned to find there are no Van Nostrands in the Amsterdam phone book. Later I learned that Van Nostrand was never a name, but only a geographic descriptor.

The first "Van Nostrands" were actually three brothers named Jansen, who arrived in the U.S. in the mid-1600s.

In those days, people described themselves first by name and then by where they were from. When asked upon arrival to identify themselves, the eldest of the Jansen brothers, said, speaking only Dutch "I am Jacob Jansen, from North Beach." This was written by the immigration authorities as Jacob Van Nostrand.

David van Nostrand

Oldsmar, FL David is right in many aspects. Literally, the name translates to "from North Beach" or "from North Coast" however, some aspects of the story that don't jibe with history. The Jansen's arrived in the dutch colony of New York and Albany in the early 1600's. They arrived from an island in the Frisian chain known as Nordstrandt Island. It is in an oft disputed area between the Netherlands and Germany. In 1634 there was a devastating flood that cut the island into 3 separate islands. Most records were destroyed so there appears to not be any definitive proof that the two Jansen's that emigrated were brothers although it is widely believed to be so (please correct me if this is incorrect). Below are two links describing the Frisian Island of Nordstrand (Noordstrandt, Nordstrandt),_Germany The two brothers (?) were Hans Jansen and Jacob Jansen. Jacob took the oath of the patroon in Albany, NY appx 1648 and Hans appears to have landed in the New Amsterdam region, present day Manhattan. They went by the names Jansen. It wasn't until their children were born that they started taking the name describing their origin. Jacobs son was known as Aaron Jansen Van Noorstrand, meaning "Aaron Jansen from Noordstrandt Island". There were apparently many Jansens around. A brief aside, Jansen means "Son of John (Jan)" so with the preponderance of Johns in the world one could see their offspring being quite numerous and the need to identlfy ones origin. I don't have any proof of the number of "Jansens" in the Dutch colonies, just theorizing. There was no Ellis Island or United States for that matter so there were no immigration officials to rightly or wrongly record their names. They also landed in Dutch colonies so everyone spoke the Dutch language Throughout US history, many branches changed their spelling for many reason, one of the most popular being that once NY became an English colony, one branch dropped the "Van" in an attempt to anglicize the name. One other reason I found is that census enumerators that didn't bother to get the correct spelling and just phonetically recorded what the inhabitants said. Just a brief update. It's kind of a long and confusing history but I hope this sheds some light. If anyone has any corrections or clarifications, feel free to add... Don Van Nostrand

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Q: What does the name van nostrand mean in dutch?
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