Several families/branches of the same (or similar) name came to the North American northeast during the seventeenth century. Today, they all are known as "Van Zandt." Most of the Van Zandt family of early Albany traces its origins to Jan Van Zandt who may have come to New Netherland before 1664.
The family maintained a small but consistent presence in Albany throughout the eighteenth century. Two Van Zandt-named households appeared on a list of Albany freeholders in 1720.
Five Van Zandt households were included on the city census of 1756.
In 1790, five Van Zandt named households were listed on the census of the city of Albany. Five more were enumerated in surrounding Watervliet. In 1800, the city census included eight Van Zandt-named households - all of which were located in the first ward.
In 1822, the city directory listed eight Van Zandt named households including the home and business of merchant Joseph R. Van Zandt, his mother widow Sara Hilton Van Zandt, and his brother, carpenter Gerrit R. Van Zandt - all of whom lived on the south side of the city.
Known under a number of spellings, the Van Zandt family also became prominent in New York, New Jersey, and in other Atlantic colonies as well. Albany's Van Zandt Street (formerly Spanish Street and located above South Pearl) commemorates the family today.
Sources: Our work on the family is informed chiefly by community-based resources. Chief among the Internet resources are "The Joseph Janse Van Zant Line" and "The Van Zandts in America". See also, The Van Zandt Society.
The surname Van Zandt is encountered in many variations throughout the historical record. We have adopted the "Van Zandt" spelling for consistency when referring to the Albany descendants of Joseph and Johannes although they and their descendants were referred to as Van Sante[n], Zanten, and otherwise.
first posted: 9/5/02; last revised 7/19/08