Pintak Family Genealogy
Like so many American families, the Pintak clan is a rich mix of ethnicities, religions and cultures. On the paternal side, ancestors include peasants who fled Europe in the late 19th century and European aristocrats. An English branch reaches back to William the Conqueror who led the Norman invasion of England in 1066, and then on to his ancestor Rollo, the 9th century Viking chieftain who laid siege to Paris and seized Normandy from the French. The Dutch branch includes a 15th century Herald and King-at-Arms to two Holy Roman Emperors. The bloodlines stretch back more than 2,000 years, through Scottish, Irish and Viking kings with names like Kenneth "the Fratricidal" and Thorfinn "Skull Splitter" Tork-Einarsson, and into the mists of Norse and Celtic mythology. They extend to Germany, Spain, France, Scotland, Holland, and Scandinavia. Lords and ladies mix with tradesmen, farmers and warriors. The family tree features some of the first settlers in America, including Pilgrims, and many of their descendants who fought in the American Revolution.
But for the latest Pintak generation, the maternal family tree is just as ancient and the bloodline far more pure.
Javanese Royal Lineage
Thanks to Indira Pintak’s Javanese royal blood, our children can trace their ancestry back through the kings and queens of Java and Bali to Emperor Pusyamitra Sunga, who ruled what is now northern India beginning in 185 B.C.
Their family tree includes some of the most renowned figures of Indonesian history: Senopati (-1601), founder of the Mataram dynasty; Sultan Agung (1593-1645), under whom Mataram reached its peak of power; Brawijaya and the rulers of the Majapahit empire (1292-1527); Airlangga (990-1049), the hero-king of the Hindu-Buddhist kingdom of Kahuripa; and Udayana, the 10th century ruler of Bali and one of its earliest historical figures.
They are part of all three historic Javanese sultanates through separate lines via both their maternal grandparents, most closely tied to Puro Mangkunegaran, created in a succession war that divided the Mataram Empire into three sultanates in the mid-18th century.
They are sixth generation descendants of both Mankungegara IV (1811-1881) and Mangkunegara III (1803-1853); they are seventh generation grandchildren of his father-in-law, Mangkunegara II (1796-1835); and ultimately descendants of the founder of the dynasty, Mangkunegara I (1725-1795), known as the “Soul Catcher” for his prowess on the battlefield.
Their bloodline also flows back through another of Java's royal houses; their eighth great-grandfather was Pakubuowono III (1732-1788) of the Keraton Suryakarta and the family line connects to ancestors Pakubuowono II (1711-1749), Amanangkurat IV (1680-1726), and Pakubuowono I (1648-1719).
And through their paternal grandfather they are descendants of Diponegoro, hero of the struggle against Dutch colonialism, and his father, Sultan Hamengkubowono III of the Keraton Yogyakarta Hadiningrat.
They are eligible to carry the royal titles Raden Roro (R.R.) for the girls, Annya and Shantara, and Raden (R.) for our son, Justin.
The Pintak Tree
The surname Pintak can be traced to a village of that name – known in Romanian as Slatinita – in what is now Transylvania in Romania. According to various histories, fortified towns in that region were named for Franco-Saxon knights brought to the region in the 12th century to protect the upper reaches of the Hungarian empire.
My paternal great-grandfather Joseph Pintak (1866-1948) arrived in the U.S. in 1884 from the town of Kosice in what is now Slovakia, about 300 miles from the village of Pintak. Back then it was all part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His wife, Rosalie Malelomy was baptized in a church not far from Kosice in 1864 by her parents Franciscus Maldonyi and Anna Borussovits (Zsigarlovits), about whom nothing else is known.
For now, that is where paternal Pintak branch ends.
The German Branch
My paternal grandfather, Franz Joseph Pintak, Sr. (1893-1943) died when my father Lawrence A. Pintak (1927-1990) was young and my paternal grandmother, Margaret nee Lotterman (1903-1989), always bragged that we were of “good German stock.” The family tree through her parents bears that out, reaching back to Johannes Schnellbacher, born in Hessen, Germany in 1500, and Marx Wein, born in Baden-Württemberg in 1520.
The Irish/Dutch Line
My mother, Lorraine Pintak nee Burke (1927-1997), was always very conscious of her Irish heritage. Her paternal grandfather fled the Irish potato famine in the 1800s, as did her mother’s father. According to her father, Edward Burke (1905-1976), his parents came from Drogheda, in what is now the Republic of Ireland. But there the trail ends. The same is true of my mother’s grandmother’s Irish line, which can be traced no further back than 1840 in County Cork.
But my mother’s maternal grandfather, Charles Banta (1867-1925), was Dutch, and his lineage is rich and long. Unbeknownst to us until very recently, it ultimately loops back to the ancient Celtic kings of Ireland.
Pre-eminent among the Dutch ancestors of the Banta line is Henrick Jan van Heessel (circa 1415-circa 1475), Herald and King-at-Arms to Holy Roman Emperors Sigismund and Frederick III. His role included certifying the lineage of aristocratic families and approving their coats-of-arms, and his portraits of 15th century aristocrats still hang in museums and private collections today.
One of earliest identified ancestors in that branch is Doytze van Albada, a Dutch nobleman born about 1180. His family crest is among many that fill the family tree, indicating their noble position.
Lolle Lollesz Ockingha (Gerritsma), born in about 1280 in Friesland in what is now the Netherlands, and his wife Bauck, are the progenitors of a long line that played a significant role in politics and society on both sides of the Atlantic (see below).
Other early Dutch ancestors include Jancko Van Fockema and his wife Beyck, born in the early 1300s, Anna Maria Dantzer, born in Drenthe in what is now the Netherlands in 1435; Heike Tjarks, born in Pays-Bas in the late 1400s; and Simon Bertolf Von Belven and his wife Engel Angela von dem Driesch, born in the 1470s, whose son and grandson would both become judges.
The Vikings and the Norman Conquest
Incongruously, an English branch of the family tree begins with the legendary Viking chieftain Rollo (928-933), a direct ancestor, who laid siege to Paris and was given control of northern France. His son William Longsword (905-942) and the next three generations -- Richard I "the Fearless" (932-966), Richard II "the Good" (963-1026), Robert I "le Magnifique" (1000-1035) -- consolidated the Viking hold on the region, intermarrying with the French to create modern day Normandy (from "Norsemen"), setting the stage for Robert's illegitimate son William the Conqueror (circa 1028-1087) -- my children's uncle 32 generations ago -- to launch the Norman invasion of England and defeat King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Many of those in the direct family line, such as Robert "the Rook" De Brus (1053-1094), fought alongside William at Hastings. The De Brus line would produce two Scottish kings, including the legendary Robert the Bruce, who won Scottish independence from England. These knights and nobles from whom the Pintak clan is descended were rewarded with vast estates and established fortresses to defend the new monarchy, such as Bramber Castle in the south and Annandale on the Scottish borders.
Rollo isn't the only source of Viking DNA in the Pintak lineage. Another line runs through Sigurd the Stout (960-1014), a hero of the Norse sagas, who ruled northern Scotland and the Kingdom of the Isles. From Signurd and his wife Ingeborga Tryggvės duktė, a daughter of the king of Norway, the family line extends back through generations of rulers of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, into the age when history blurs with myth.
At the furthest reaches of one branch stands Danish King Skjöld Odinsson (circa 237-circa 280) and his wife Gefion Odinsdotter, Queen of Skjaelland (circa 241-263). In Viking mythology, Skjold is the son of the Norse god Odin, and Gefion is his daughter, the goddess of ploughing. Also at the cusp of fact and myth is Fornjot "the Ancient Giant," the legendary King of Finnland and Kvenland (circa 160-circa 250), who in Norse mythology is identified as a demi-god, as are his sons Ægir (the ruler of the sea), Logi (fire giant) and Kári (god of wind).
Other colorful figures in the Viking line include Rolf "the Tree Heaver" Ingjaldsson (circa 700); Olaf the Red (858-890), who tried to conquer Scotland, and his father Olaf the White (820-??), a Viking sea-king historians identify with the Hiberno-Norse chieftain, Amlaíb Conung, who with his kinsman Ivar the Boneless made Dublin the most influential Viking colony; and Thorfinn "Skull Splitter" Tork-Einarsson (???-963), Earl of Orkney.
Another branch works its way through a series of 9th and 10th century Scottish kings, including Kenneth "the Fratricidal," King of Scots from 971 to 995 and his grandfather Donald II "the Madman," King of Alba and the Picts, who reigned 889-900. It includes Kenneth I (MacAlpin), the King of Dál Riada (841–850), King of the Picts (843–858), and the first King of Alba (843–858), who conquered and united those kingdoms and, as a result, is considered by historians as the founder of Scotland.
The ancients fought endless battles across the Irish Sea and the ancestral line follows their raids, winding its way through an array of ancient Irish and Scots kings, back to the 2nd century ruler "Conn of the Hundred Battles" Cétchathach, High King of Ireland, about whom, according to The History of Ireland, the poets wrote:
The Albanians of Riada from the promontory,
The Baiscnigh from Leim Chou gCulainn,
The Muscruidhe beyond, without reproach,
Sprang from the fair Conaire.
And beyond Conn the documented line stretches to the Dál Riada leaders who led their armies back across to Caledonia, ruling Scotland from their base in Ireland; including figures such as Lughaid Allathach MacCairpre, born in the year 006, who was put to death by his own people for lewdness and tyranny. Ultimately the tree weaves into proto-history and the Dál Niad Cuirp, the clan of Nio Corb, an Irish tribal chieftain in the first century BC. The increasingly fuzzy chronology then steers firmly into the realm of legend as chronicled in the Annals of the Four Masters and connects nearly one hundred Irish kings to Eochaid Ailtleathan Ceatharad mac Ailella (425 BC-395 BC), who, according to the Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions), led the sons of Mil (the Gaels) from Spain to Ireland after they spent hundreds of years sailing the earth. And eventually, this branch of the family, like others, enters the realm of pure myth, merging into the four cycles of Irish mythology and the re-imagined past detailed in the 19th century work Irish Pedigrees.
The French Connection
French ancestors from the late Middle Ages include Edward Herbeq and Guillaume Nicolas LeSueur de Beaugy, both born in 1500; and Elizabeth Dickonson, born in Calais in 1525, who later immigrated to England where she died in 1549; and Anne Le Conte De Monstreul Trenel (1533-1569).
Notably, the Huguenot Francois LeSeur D'Lozier (1625-1671), who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1657, was one of the founders of what is now Harlem, originally established as a French-speaking enclave in the Dutch colony.
A Spanish line descends from Anthonie I Van Calonne De Courtebonne Heer Van Nielles (1425-1465), who married
Peronne De Mailly, daughter of an aristocratic Castilian family. Further down the line there are other Spanish-born men of mixed Dutch/French ancestry taking Spanish aristocrats as their wives. An example was the marriage of Maria Magdalena Vega, Etupinan de Figueroa e Ribera (1500-1557) and Johan II de Silva Markgraaf van Montemayor (1492-1566). This is the last time a Dutch name appears in the Spanish family tree until Sebastian De Cortes (1550-1615) and his wife Joanna Maria Del Castillo Carrion (1558-1615) move to the Belgian village of Kortryk in Flanders and take on the “van Kortryk” name with the birth of their five children, including Jan B Van Kortryk (1618-1677), who emigrates to the New World in 1663 with his wife and four children, following in the footsteps of his older brother.
The New World
Pintak ancestors were among the first few dozen Dutch settlers to arrive in New Amsterdam, which would later become New York. Many others would arrive over the next few decades.
Wolphert Gerretse van Kouwenhoven (1579-1662) and his wife Neeltje Peters Jacobsdochter Janse (1584-1658) emigrated to the New World in 1625 aboard the Orangenboom, the third settler ship to arrive in what would become New Amsterdam. Wolphert was a Pilgrim, like his co-religionists who arrived at Plymouth Rock aboard the Mayflower four years before. There were only a few dozen families living in the small fort at the foot of Manhattan island when they landed. Kouwenhoven was one of the first five "head farmers" sent out by the Dutch West Indies Company. His wife became a successful fur trader. Wolphert is recognized as a founder of New Netherlands, the Dutch colony that stretched down the east coast of the American continent. He and a partner were among the first European settlers to purchase land from the Native Americans. It remains one of the oldest existing written land agreements in Anglo-America. It involved a large tract of coastal land near what is now the Flatlands, Sheepshead Bay, and Bergen Beach in Brooklyn. Gerritzen Beach in the heart of that area still bears his name and that of his 13th century ancestor mentioned above.
Lambert Huybertson Moll (1595-1679) was a hard-drinking shipbuilder who sailed to the New World in 1657 seeking greater opportunity. He built his home at 63 Wall St., near the shipyards. He was one of the 93 men who signed the Remonstrance, a petition that convinced Gov. Pieter Stuyvesant to surrender New Netherland to the British in 1664. His daughter Marretje Lambertse Moll (1625-1679) married Gerrit Blauvelt (1620-1685), who arrived as an indentured farm manager, but a few decades later received a grant of 50 acres of land in what is now the Lower East Side of Manhattan, likely worth a few billion dollars today.
The second wave of immigrant ancestors included French-speaking Calvinist Walloon and Huguenot families seeking greater religious freedom, like Jan Bastiaensen Van Kortryk (1618-1677) and his Franco-Spanish wife Jolant de La Montagne (1627-1677) who arrived in 1663 on the sailing ship the Half Moon.
The descendants of many of these ancestors would eventually take up arms against the British in the American Revolutionary War, and the historical documents are full of records of service and pensions for Daughters of the Revolution who lost husbands and fathers in the fight.
In The Lost Years of Christ, Elizabeth Clare Prophet tells the story of a 19th century Russian journalist who claimed that at a Buddhist gompa named Pintak, high in the Himalayas, he was presented with a manuscript that purported to prove that Jesus spent his 17 “missing” years studying with the monks of Tibet.
A Personal Note
I am a journalist, so a skeptic by profession. If someone I didn't know had shown me this family tree, I would have viewed it as the product of a vivid imagination. But it is based on detailed research. I grew up in the happy understanding that we were simply from Irish and mid-European peasant stock. This research, carried out in 2023, was a outgrowth of work I did on my wife's Indonesian family tree, which was already well-documented due to its royal lineage. Out of curiosity, I took another look at my own ancestry. After dead-ending on the other lines, I began probing Charles Banta's family connections and -- thanks to the internet -- was taken on a wild and unimaginable journey.
Those with a legitimate interest may email LP at pintak dot com to request access to the large and complex family tree.