Epke Jacobse Banta

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Epke Jacobse Banta

Also Known As: "Epke Jacobs Banta", "Epke Jacobse"
Birthplace: Oosterbierum, North Friesland, Netherlands
Death: October 23, 1686 (66-67)
Hackensack, Bergen County, Province of New Jersey
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacob Epkese Epkesz and Reytske Sickedr
Husband of Sitske Banta and Tieske Banta
Father of Cornelius Epkese Banta; Seba Epkese Banta; Hendrik Epke Banta; Derrick Epkese Banta; Wiert Epkese Banta and 3 others

Occupation: Miller/Farmer/Judge, emmigrated from Harlingen in ship De Trouw 2/12/1659
Managed by: Michael Bonter
Last Updated:

About Epke Jacobse Banta

Epke Jacobse Banta:

He had been a miller in Minnertsga and Oosterbeirum in the 1640's and 1650's. Court records indicate he and his wife bought a house in Oosterbeirum in 1652, but sold it at a loss in 1655, returning to Minnertsga. When his mother died in 1652, she left an inheritence to him, which was held in trust by his father until after 2-1656. On 10-8-1656 he was arrested, brought before the Public Prosecutor, and fined for permitting a Roman Catholic Priest in his home to baptize his child.

An only son, Epke brought his wife and family from the Port of Harlingen to New Amsterdam, departing 2-12-1659. They came on the 'De Trouw' (the Faith), Captained by Jan Jansen Bestevaer. This was when the Dutch West India Company was rushing to colonize more rapidly than the English, thereby retaining it's stronghold on the area. The List of Passengers shows him as Epke Jacobsen, farmer from Harlingen, along with his wife and sons, aged 3/4, 2, 3 4, and 6. He first settled at Vlissingen (now Flushing, Queens County) on Long Island, where he was an Innkeeper. He removed to Bergen (now Jersey City) by about 1675. He was appointed a judge and member of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, 1679. On 3-25-1685 he obtained 183 acres at New Hackensack (Hackensack River, near Overpeck's Creek). On 6-17-1685 he sold land to Hendrick Rinckerhoff at Old Hackensack. He appears on many court documents in the Hackensack area from then until his death as Epke Jacobs. The name 'Bonta', 'Bonter' or 'Banta' is believed derived from the farm on which his Grandparents lived near the Frisian Arum. However, members of the family were referred to very extensively as Epke, Eptkey, etc. in records into the mid 1500's.

Epke and his wife lived in the vicinity of Harlingen, an important seaport of

Friesland. Research indicates that he was a miller, the owner of a

"wintmolen" or windmill. They lived first at Oosterbierum where their son

Seba was born, and later at Minnertsga where their other children were born.

These are both small villages within a mile of the Zuyder Zee. This part of

Friesland is flat and much of it is below sea level and protected by dykes.

Land had become scarce in Holland. Freedom of religion had drawn many people

from other countries, which put a strain on an already over-crowded country.

This may have been a factor in why Epke chose to emigrate to America.

He immigrated in 1659 to America. The family left Friesland, Holland late in

1658 or early the next year and set sail for America. They arrived in New

Netherland on February 12, 1659 on the ship DeTrouw (The Faith) with Captain

Jan Jansen Bestevaer. They settled in Flushing on Long Island about eleven

miles from New Amsterdam, where they became innkeepers. Twelve years later

on December 29, 1671, Epke purchased a grist mill in the adjoining town of


Sometime after their arrival, the family discarded the use of the patronymic

naming system. As you can see from the early generations, the use of a family

surname was not practiced by the inhabitants of Friesland, and thus to

distinguish one John from another, for example, there was added the baptismal

name of the father, usually with the addition of se, s, or sen indicating

relationship. Thus, Epke, son of Jacob, was known as Epke Jacobs or Jacobse.

The first use of the Banta family name so far as is known started in 1640 in

Holland where he had begun to sign his name as Jacobi Epkes te Bonta. This

appears in the States Archives in Friesland at Leewarden. Translated, the

spelling means "Jacob Epkes at Bonta". Most likely it was derived from the

fact that Epke's grandparents had a farm named Bonta near the Frisian Arum.

In America the first use of the surname appears in the records of the Dutch

Reformed Church records of Hackensack, NJ on August 22, 1696. For a short

time thereafter the name appeared sometimes as Banta and sometimes as Epke.

Research indicates that since the name was not used in Holland by any other

family, it is safe to assume that all those bearing the Banta name descend

from Epke Jacobs.

Long Island was partly inhabited by English and partly by Dutch. Both

countries felt they owned it. The English King promised the island to his

brother, James the Duke of York. They sent Captain John Scott to Long Island.

He arrived at the end of December 1663, where he took over some of the Dutch

villages. Peter Stuyvesant was unable to come to the aid of the villages

because his troops were engaged in hostilities with the Indians. After

several months, the English sent ships into the Hudson River, and Stuyvesant

was forced to surrender. When the English came to power, they imposed heavy

taxes on the Dutch settlers.

Epke Jacobs sold his mill on Long Island sometime before 1675 and moved his

family to New Jersey. Many other Dutch families followed suit.

He died Unknown.

He was married to Tyeeta Dirckadr before 1652. Tyeeta Dirckadr was born

Unknown. She died between 1659 and 1675. Epke Jacobs and Tyeeta Dirckadr

had the following children:

8 i. Cornelius Epke (born in 1652).

9 ii. Seba Epke (born in 1654).

10 iii. Hendrick Epke Banta (born in 1655).

11 iv. Derrick Epke (born in 1657).

12 v. Weart Epke (born in May 1658).


Ancestry.com U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012; @R6@



Ancestry.com U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012; @R6@



Ancestry.com U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012; @R6@


view all 18

Epke Jacobse Banta's Timeline

Oosterbierum, North Friesland, Netherlands
Age 31
Oosterbierum, North Friesland, Netherlands
Oosterbierum, Friesland, Netherlands
June 1655
Minnertsga, Friesland, Netherlands
May 1657
Minnertsga, North Friesland, Netherlands
May 1658
May 1658
Minnertsga, Friesland, Netherlands