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Courtright Surname Study

    Bastian or Sebastian was born in Kortryk, West Flanders circa 1586. This is all that is known about him. The question remains then who are we really descended from? Who was Bastian or Sebastian? What occupation did hold? Where did his parents come from? Was he really Spanish royalty? Was he running from religious persecution? Broel Towers
Broel Towers, Kortrijk
I retreived the following from a surname dictionary a while back. I do not recall the title.
Sebastian German: from the given name Sebastian(L,Sebastianus, originally an enthnic name meaning 'man from Sebastia', a city in Pontus named Gk sebastos revered). The name was borne by a 3rd cent. martyr who became the patron saint of Nuremberg, hence (in part) its popularity in Germany. The surname is also born by Jews, presumably as an adoptation of the Ger. surname.
Vars. Sebass; Ba(u)stian, Paustian.
Cogns.: Flem.:Bastiaen. Du.:Bastiaan. Eng.: Basti(a)n, Bast(i)en, Bastion. Fr.:Sebastien; Bastien. Prov.: Sebastian; Bastian. Sp.: Sebastian. Cat.: Sebastia. Port.: Sebastiao. It.: Sebastiani, Sebastiano; Bastiani, Bastiano. Pol.; Bach. Czech: Sebesta, Basta; Bach. Croatian: Basta. Hung.: Sebastyen.
Dims.: Ger.: Bast, Bastl(e), Best, Pest(lin). Low Ger.: Bastke, Bes(t)gen. It.: Sebastianelli, Sebastianini, Sebastianutto, Sebastianutti; Bastianel(li), Bastianelli, Bastia(n)ello, Bastianetto, Bastianini, Bastianutti, Bastianutto. Czech: Sebek. Hung.: Sebok.
Augs.: Fr.; Bastiat. It.: Bastianon.
Patrs.: Flem.: Basteyns. Du.: Bastiaanse(n). It.: DD Bastiani.
Russ.: Savasteev.
Patrs. (from dims.): Low Germ.: Basten, Basting, Bestges. Russ.: Savoskin, Savonichev.
sebastian coat

Patronym "BASTIEN"

This is from a French genealogy website.

BASTIEN est une des formes du nom de baptême "Sébastien", lui-même issu du grec Sebastos, signifiant "honoré". Le culte de Saint Sébastien était très populaire. Après aphérèse (disparition du début du mot) on est arrivé à "Bastien", la forme la plus fréquente. A la fin du XVIème siècle on ne faisait pas dans le peuple de différence notable entre nom et prénom et de nombreuses familles bastien avaient pour origine le prénom d'un aieul. Ceci explique que les différentes familles Bastien soient indépendantes et n'aient pas d'ancêtre commun . En France, 9500 personnes, environ, portent ce patronyme. De même origine on trouve : BASTIAN porté par environ 3000 personnes (en majorité en Alsace), BASTIA porté par environ 110 personnes, ou encore BASTIAT 320 personnes. on trouve des BASTIEN au Canada, aux USA, en Angleterre... BASTIAN se trouve plus couramment en Allemagne. On trouve assez souvent l'orthographe "Bastin" dans certains actes mélangé à "Bastien". L'orthographe retenue dans la banque est la plus usitée pour la lignée. ("Bastin" a été retenu en particulier dans le Nord et les Ardennes où cette orthographe est la plus courante.) Saint Sébastien est le patron des Archers. Une Archiconfrérie, dont le Grand Maitre est l’évêque de Soissons garde la mémoire de ce Saint.

Translated online by Babel Fish.

BASTIEN is one of the forms of the Christian name "Sebastien", itself resulting from the Sebastos Greek, meaning "honoured". The worship of Sebastien Saint was very popular. After apheresis (disappearance of the beginning of the word) one arrived at "Bastien", the most frequent form. With the end of 16th century one did not make the notable difference between name and first name and many Bastien families originated in the first name of a grandfather. This explains why the various Bastien families are independent and do not have a common ancestor. In France, 9500 people, approximately, carry this patronym. Of the same origin one finds: BASTIAN carried by approximately 3000 people (in majority to Alsace), BASTIA carried by approximately 110 people, or BASTIAT 320 people. one finds BASTIEN in Canada, in the USA, in England... BASTIAN is more usually in Germany. One rather often finds the orthography "Bastin" in certain acts mixed with "Bastien". The orthography retained in the bank is most used for the line. ("Bastin" was retained in particular in North and the Ardennes where this orthography is most current.) Saint Sebastien is the owner of the Archers. Archiconfrérie, whose Large Maitre is the bishop of Soissons keeps the memory of this Saint.

Also note there is no mention of Spanish origins.

From the website
Behind the name
The etymology and history of first names

Gender: Masculine Usage: English, German, Polish, Finnish Pronounced: se-BAS-chen, se-BAS-tee-an

From the Roman name Sebastianus which meant "from Sebaste" in Latin. Sebaste was the name a
town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek (sebastos) "venerable"
(a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). Saint Sebastian was a
3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian.
This was also the name of a king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

Short form of SEBASTIAAN

BASTIAN m German, English
Short form of SEBASTIAN

BASTIEN m French
Short form of SEBASTIEN

Spanish form of Sebastianus (see SEBASTIAN).

Spanish Connections ?

Samuel Courtright

Link to the original document (downloadable) of Samuel W. Courtright's controversal family history. Samuel W. Courtright

The following text file is a collection of Courtright e-mail queries in the late nineties concerning the origin of the surname.Courtright E-mail Queries.

From the Courtright Family Genealogy Forum

What’s in a name

Posted by Gregory Thompson Dated: November 24, 2001

To COURTRIGHT-cousins all: the following was provided to
me back in March, 1989, from KORTRIGHT-cousin, Mrs. Martha
Donovan of Sun City West, Arizona/Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvannia, her mother is Evelyn
Kortrright Shaffer (nee:
KORTRIGHT) & her grandfather is John C. Kortright of Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvannia. Following
excerpts are transcribed
from "Supplement" to an Anniversary Booklet of South Kortright Church (Reformed/Presbyterian),
Kortright Centre,
South Kortright, New York (1958), said "supplement" is
entitled: "WHAT's IN A NAME?" by Major Robert Adair Clark,
son of James Leal Clark (printed 1958): "...But how many of us know the actual manner of our aquiring
the name, or the genesis of the word; or how the name "KORTRIGHT" (a synthetic word) came
into our area?...KORTRIGHT (actually a
fabricated word) was acquired from a DUTCH FAMILY who in
HOLLAND bore such a name; whereas those DUTCH EMIGRES
so came over from the NETHERLANDS in 1663 and so arrived in
America at NEW AMSTERDAM during the year preceeding the complete fall of DUTCH RULE, to
what thereat became the English Province of New York." [taken from pg. 1]
"As for COURTWRIGHT, or KORTRIGHT, that latter "adopted"
name originated on Manhattan Island during "Province of New York" times and in 1770 fastened upon a
small clearing in the wilderness, to which "Patent" land, granted to Lawrence
"KORTRIGHT",..." [taken from pg. 2].
"...After reading all available relevant genealogies and the
writings of such competent historians as Riker (whose recognized authentic History of Harlem is an
invaluable plenary record of the important characters in New Amsterdam), my findings are as
follows: One "SEBASTIAN" is
HOLLAND. SEBASTIAN had two sons he
named JAN and MICHELE, born in LEERDAM; these sons (JAN and
MICHELE) of plebian SEBASTIAN, became known in HOLLAND as
"SEBASTIAN-SEN". Those two sons married, and in 1663 they with families to passage to Ne
Amsterdam. They arrived on the same DUTCH sailing vessel, the "BENTEKOE" (BRINDLED
COW)....At least one of the immigrants "SE-BASTIEN-SEN",
perhaps JAN, had lived for a time in the NETHERLANDS area
latterly known as BELGIUM (or FLANDERS) in a well-known city
which once boasted a population of 200,000, and is very near the present border of France, namely in
the DUTCH language its name equivalent is Kort-rijk...But we
are told that the DUTCH-speaking farm boy brothers, JAN and
MICHELE, who some say "became known" after arrival in the DUTCH COLONY of NEW
SEN(s) from KORT-RIJK" (note spelling), ere long seemingly found it convient, especially after the
abrupted "conquest" of the NEW NETHERLANDS (by the British fleet under the Duke
of York), to be known ONLY by the surname of KORTRIJK, or the readily-accomplished Anglicization
to something sounding like the honorable old English guild name of
Cartwright...". [taken from pgs. 6-7].
"Historian Riker, descended from good Holland ancestry, found that as the progeny of JAN and
increased that the REFORMED CHURCH records (baptismal, etc.), as per preserved records of those
days of little schooling and "easy" (phonetic) spelling, show that the offspring were known by
many adopt variations or "corruptions" including KORTREGT, KORTRECHT,
etc....Now...almost completely become "CORTRIGHTs"!" [taken
from pgs. 7-8].
"Be as it may, we find the SEBASTIANSENs renamed "KORTRIGHTs"..." [taken from pg. 9].
"...a Dr. Cortright, who wrote a family genealogy and based
much of his conclusions on the writings of Riker (for whose family an island in the East River is
named), the larger family branch (stemming from the two HOLLAND-born
SEBASTIANSENs), who were once populous in lower ULSTER COUNTY, seem mostly to have
migrated to the Middle West."
[taken from pg. 10.
signed on the last page, being pg. 11, by R. A. Clark of
Winter Haven, Fla., July, 1958. And addressed to Rev. John
Currie, Pastor, South Kortright, N.Y.
your COURTRIGHT-cousin, Gregory Thompson, great-great-great

Summer Research 2000

An effort was made during the beginning of this summer to document
Jan and Michael Bastiaensen (Van Kortryk) and/or their children in Leerdam, Beesd,
and Schoonrewoerd. Two researchers, one a professional genealogist, and a
contact from the internet researched the above. The results were disappointing
as no documentation could support the presence or residence of Jan and Michiel
Bastiaensen in Holland as reported by Riker and Abbott, et al. We quote from their
communications to the three Courtright descendants who requested their services:

Pertinent quote from Odette Franssen: "However, in the Netherlands the search
is more problematic (and we have a little bad luck) because the city of Leerdam
has the best archives (baptisms from 1622 onwards) but the children that were born
in Leerdam, Jan and Michiel, probably are born before that, and their children were
not born in Leerdam. From Schoonrewoerd there are a few fragments of the
churchbooks starting in 1627 but they, nor the children are noted in these books.
Beesd is more difficult for me to research because it (and its archives) is/are located
in Gelderland, in the Rijksarchief of Arnhem. The churchbooks on microfiche in the
CBG on Beest start only in 1684 (bad luck again, the Roman Catholic churchbooks
start in 1615). I wonder where Abbott has his information from?"

" I did search the old archives of Leerdam for testaments, inventories, estates etc.
but came up with no trace. That is to say: I gave to it a broad hour, the maximum
for the no-cure-no-pay promise. You must know that these papers are written in 17th
century manuscript and are not indexed so you can imagine how time-consuming it is.
There is a small possibility that a trace can be found in Leerdam, but it will take hours
and hours and the result is not guaranteed at all. "
Odette Fransen

"I have had a good look at your family tree after I came back from the
Hague. It would not have helped though. I looked at Leerdam and the
system they have in the archive is beautiful. They list the whole family.
Births in Leerdam start from 1620. Weddings unfortunately not till about
1660. I looked under Jan and Michiel and could not find either of them.
Their did not seem to be a family with a Sebastian as the father at all.
There were a few families named Bastiaense, but not the right ones."

"Well, I am afraid I have bad news for you. I rang the municipal archive in
Beesd and the chap there informed me that their records did not start
until 1672. However, he advised me to ring Arnhem (the provincial archive)
where their original records are kept. I did and they also gave me the same

"I spoke at length to the man in Beesd and asked him how it was possible
that you had records of those four children of their birthdates between 1640
and 1650. He told me of an instance where someone showed him a family tree
with a reference to a church book that had never existed. He thinks that
someone must have taken a guess at those birthdates you have as it cannot be
proven. The earliest church book is 1772, both for births and marriages."

"A thought came to me if Sebastiaan's oldest son was named Jan, then
Sebastiaan would most likely have been called Sebastiaan Janszoon. Van
Kortrijk would just have been the name of the town he came from."

Date: 7/13/00 1:08:48 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: (coryn cornelissen)

Submitted by:

Two Separate Families Kortright (Courtright) and Cartwright

Dear Friends and Cousins,

Some Cartwright descendants claim to descend from Jan Bastiaensen Van Kortrijk (now Kortright and Courtright). After reading 'Introduction' in "Narratives of New Netherlands: 1609-1664," edited by J. Franklin Jameson [1909], in which a Colonel George Cartwright is mentioned as having been in March 1664 appointed as one of four commissioners by King Charles II., it is very convincing that the Cartwright family and the Courtright (Kortrijk) family are two separate families. Cartwright is of English descent; Kortright / Courtright is of Flemish descent.

"Introduction:The wars of the seventeenth century between England and the Netherlands grew out of the keen commercial rivalry existing between the two nations. The first occurred in 1652-1654. The second was preceded by a bitter struggle for trade, particularly on the African coast. In March, 1664, King Charles II., having resolved to achieve the annexation without waiting for any formal declaration of war, issued letters patent granting all the region from the Connecticut to the Delaware, without mention of New Netherland or the Dutch and quite as if it were and always had been in the possession of his crown,, to his brother James, Duke of York. The actual taking of New Netherland into possession was intrusted to Colonel Richard Nicholls, Sir Robert Carr, Colonel George Cartwright and Mr. Samuel Maverick, four commissioners whom the King appointed to reduce the Puritan colonies of New England, particularly Massachusetts, into due subordination, and whom he provided with a military force of about four hundred men, embarked on four frigates. They arrived at Boston late in July,and appeared at the entrance of New York Bay at the end of August, accompanied by additional forces from New England. Nicholls, as chief commander of the expedition , summoned Stuyvesant to surrender Manhattan. The popular voice was all for compliance., Stuyvesant resisted stoutly as long as he could, protesting that he would rather be carried out dead than surrender; but finally he was forced to yield, and appointed commissioners who agreed upon terms of capitulation. Thus, on Sept 6 1664, the history if "New York" began, and that of New Netherland ended,save for one brief postscript. In August, 1673, in the course of the third war between England and the United Provinces, two Dutch naval commanders recaptured the town and province, and they remained in Dutch hands until November, 1674, when the war had been ended by a treaty restoring these possessions to England...."Source Narratives of New Netherlands: 1609-1664Edited by J. Franklin Jameson [New York: Charles Scribner'sSons, 1909]. pp. 449-450

Jean B.,


Will the real wife of Jan Bastiansen please speak up!

There has been much debate about this topic. Past research has indicated that Iolanta De La Montagne may be the wife of Jan Bastiansen of Leerdam who immigrated to Niew Netherland in 1663. I am not sure if this information is based on fact or fiction. Current research had speculated that Annetje Cornelis could be the wife of Jan. This statement is supported by researching the baptismal records of Amsterdam. She appears many times as a sponser of family members in the Amsterdam baptisms. Further documentation will be required to confirm this theory.

This from an e-mail by Jean Boucher, Courtright list administrator:
In 1999, Kindred Kollection published Gordon Courtright's error for the name of Jan Bastiaensen's wife. It was one of Jan's young brother Michiel "Giel" Bastiaensen's sons whom Jean de la Montagne's daughter married. The error also entered in the New York Huguenot Society. Experts on Dutch-Colonies-L show Annetje Cornelissen as the wife of Jan Bastiaensen. She showed up for the baptism of her son Hendrik Jansen Van Beesd (now Kortright)'s oldest son Jan Hendriksen Kortright in Harlem, New York, in 1672. Annetje Cornelisse also showed up for the baptism of her grandchildren by the oldest son, Cornelis Jansen Kortright and by the youngest child Isabella "Beletje" Janse who married Jacob Jan Boersen Decker. While Cornelis Jansen, who was named in honor of his mother's father Cornelis_______, and Hendrik Jansen used their toponymic (birthplace) name "Van Beesd." I do not know exactly when they dropped their toponymic name and adopted their grandfather Sebastiaen Van Kortrijk. Maybe it was some time in or after the Conquest of the Duke of York who mandated all Dutch settlers to have a permanent surname. Jan Bastiaensen's third son Laurens Jansen's children and Michiel Bastiaensen's children did not adopt the "Kortright" surname except Michael's s first son Bastiaen Kortright. Bastiaen's brothers's children used the patronymic surnames as their permanent surnames: Michaelsen and Reyersen -- all of whom lived in Westchester County, New York, where a haven was reserved for French-speaking Huguenots between 1600s and 1700s (mostly new New Rochelle and Poiters, France). It was in Westchester Co. NY where Michiel built a church ( I do not know his occupation). Now to Jan Bastiaensen's youngest child, Isabella "Beletje" Janse, New York Kingston RDC Baptismal records show spelling variants of Beletje's surname when she sponsored her children as follows:

1679: Belytie Bastiaansse (grandfather's surname)
1681: Belytie Jansdr (father's surname)
1687: Beritje Bastiantje (grandfather's surname)
1696: Belitje Jans (father's surname)
1696: Bielitje Jans (ditto)
1697: Beeldje Jans (ditto)
1701: Beeltje Van Beest (her birthplace)
(Beletje died at the age of 42 in 1701 after giving birth to a child.)

I believe that Jan and Michiel may have had an older brother who never came to New York. In 2001, I found a Bastiaen Bastiaensen ("Junior") in Leerham, Netherlands He was born in 1615. He may have to have to stay in Leerham where Sebastiaen Van Kortrijk willed his real estate and personal poessessions. Therefore, I feel that Sebastiaen was born much earlier than 1586.

Best regards,
Jean Boutcher

Our Dutch Connection

dutch flagarms of LeerdamPast research has assumed that the family name came from the country of Belgium. To be precise Kortrijk, Belgium in West Flanders. Current research from the past few months has discovered that there are actually three Kortrijks in the Dutch speaking community. One in west Flanders that everyone is familar with, the second in North Brabant just west of Brussells near Leuvan, and lastly the village or hamlet just north of Utrecht which is about 20 kilometers from Jan's birthplace in Leerdam, Zuid Holland. So where does that leave us? Comments are welcomed.


From Cor Snabel
Dear friends,

I know a lot of you have ancestors, who came from Schoonrewoerd and Leerdam in Holland and I like to give you some information about those places. About two years ago I found a book written in 1858 about the Netherlands. Eight-hundred pages with descriptions and historical information of cities, villages, hamlets, buildings, and so on. The writer describes a building, which was built a few years earlier, but does not exist anymore. It's like going back in time. It's a mixture of geography and history. All distances are measured in hours walking. I have tried to translate it as good as I can, but it is written in an exalted way and in the old spelling, so much of the charm of this text gets lost the moment you translate it.

This is what I found about Leerdam. If you want to have similar information about another place, just let me know. Don't forget you have to pretend you're living 140 years ago, while reading.


South of Vianen and Everdingen and west of Zijderveld is Heikop-en-Boeikop, or Heikoop-en-Boeikoop, with about 550 inhabitants and a small church in Heikop. Schoonrewoerd, a rather nice village south of Zijderveld, with 800 inhabitants, who are making a living in agriculture, was founded in 1025 by Jan van Arkel and burned down by Gorinchem in 1479. The manor became property of the Princes of Orange and still is a domain of the Royal Family. The Reformed Church has a square tower, but no organ, in the village is a rather important annual cattle market.

If we walk a little to the south we arrive in the city Leerdam, situated at the stream the Linge. It has over 2.900 inhabitants, but about 1.100 live outside the city borders, the majority (2.600) is Reformed. The city regular built in an elongated angular shape, with straight streets and is enclosed on three sides by walls, covered with trees; even some old bastions are still visible. The view from up here overlooking the countryside with the winding stream of the Linge and all the steeples of the towns and villages is lovely.

Leerdam used to be part of a county, of which Schoonrewoerd and Acquoy were a part too. First it was part of the old county Teisterband, but later the Lords of Arkel ruled there. The mighty Foppo van Arkel, who died in 1008, is said to have founded the village Leerdam. Around 1410 the county came, by marriage, into the hands of Frederik van Egmond, who was made first Count of Buren en Leerdam by King Maximiliaan. When Anna van Egmond married Prince Willem I the county came into the family Oranje-Nassau and in 1797 it became an official domain of the Royal Family.
The city itself has suffered a lot under the early "Geldrian" wars. In 1496 the Geldrians captured it, shortly after that by Albrecht van Saksen and in 1574 by Chiapijn Vitelli. In 1672 they were freed from the French.

Most of the inhabitants are in agriculture and horse trade; the city is famous for its horse markets. The city has 3 glass-factories, a tannery, a shipyard, one flourmill and two sawmills. The most important buildings are: the Reformed Church, partly from the 13th century, dedicated to the Mother of God, who was worshipped very highly before the Reformation and this worship existed here even after that for a long time. The church is very beautiful and extremely well furnished, is built in the shape of a cross with a strong square tower, which ends in a steeple. In the choir of the church is the grave of Jan, the last Lord of Arkel. Near the church is the Old Boarding School, but other important buildings, like the Market-house and the Estate of the Counts are long gone or turned into special houses.
But the Lutheran Church, founded in 1841 still exists, as does the little, but pretty Roman Catholic church and the synagogue. The castle near the Linge was torn down in 1729 and is turned into a park now.

Leerdam is forming a triangle with Asperen and Heukelum, both on half an hour distance along the Linge, one east and the other to the west. On the northwest side is Leerbroek, with 630 inhabitants, but it has nothing special to tell about.

From: Het Koningrijk der Nederlanden
by J.L. Terwen 1858
Published by G.B. van Goor, Gouda
Translated and Transcribed by Cor Snabel

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