Genealogy

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. The ancient Irish, Anglo Saxon, Viking and Pictish royal progenitors of modern Britain converge in the Pintak bloodline. 

On the other side of the world, equally ancient bloodlines of the maternal side flow from the palaces of the Javanese and Balinese royal families, through the pivotal figures who shaped the three great religions of Indonesia -- Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam -- back to the mists of pre-history in South Asia.

In the New World, Dutch ancestors of the Pintak line were among the first European settlers of the New Amsterdam, which would become New York.

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. In 877, one Viking great-grandfather, King Olaf the White, the founder of Dublin, is said to have cut off the head of another great grandfather, King Constantine I of the Scots and Picts, when they met in battle.

The family line includes the first English kings and reaches back to the Anglo-Saxon rulers of Wessex, Northumbria, and Mercia, then on to the ancient invaders who founded the first Anglo-Saxon settlements in the British Isles. These sixth century rulers had names  like Æthelwulf and Æthelred and Ida, a 45th great-grandfather, who history records as the first king of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia, then back even further to King Bældæg of Westphalia, the semi-mythical 3rd century leader who is said to have founded the line of Saxon Gewissae peoples who first crossed from the Continent to what is now the United Kingdom.

Other bloodlines stretch back more than 2,000 years, through Medieval Scottish, Irish and Viking kings with names like Kenneth "the Fratricidal," Thorfinn "Skull Splitter" Tork-Einarsson, and Conaire, the 1st century scion of the Irish 
Dal Riata
, who invaded what would become Scotland. Those lines then disappear back into the mists of Norse and Celtic mythology, as do a line of ancient Anglo Saxon kings

In continental Europe, direct lines from the modern day Pintak clan extend to Medieval Germany, Spain, and France. Lords and ladies mix with tradesmen, farmers and warriors. The Dutch branch includes a 15th century Herald and King-at-Arms to two Holy Roman Emperors. That same branch 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.

Our children are part of all three historic Javanese royal families through separate lines via both their maternal grandparents, most closely tied to Pura Mangkunegaran, created in a succession war that divided the Mataram Empire into three royal palaces in the mid-18th century.

They are sixth generation descendants of both Mankungegara IV (1811-1881) and Mangkunegara III (1803-1853); seventh generation grandchildren of his father-in-law, Mangkunegara II (1796-1835); and ultimately direct descendants of the founder of the dynasty, Mangkunegara I (1725-1795), their eighth great-grandfather, known as the “Soul Catcher” for his prowess on the battlefield.

Our children's bloodline also flows through another of Solo's royal houses, the Keraton Suryakarta. Their eighth great-grandfather was Pakubuowono III (1732-1788) and the line of great-grandfathers continues back to Pakubuowono II (1711-1749), Amanangkurat IV (1680-1726), and Pakubuowono I (1648-1719).

And through their maternal grandfather the Pintak children are descendants of Diponegoro, hero of the struggle against Dutch colonialism, and his father, Sultan Hamengkubowono III of the third of Java's royal houses, 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.

Javanese mysticism weaves a complex path through their lineage, beginning with the Kediri kings, who were descendants of Airlangga. One of those kings, Jayabaya, is famous for his prophecies, contained in the 12th Century Jayabaya Term, one of which seemed to predict Dutch colonial rule and the Japanese occupation during World War Two: "The Javanese would be ruled by whites for 3 centuries and by yellow dwarfs for the life span of a maize plant." Another, echoing an 8th Century Tibetan prophecy, saw the return of the "just king" Ratu Adil at a time “when iron wagons drive without horses and ships sail through the sky.” 

More recently, according to Java's indigenous Kejawan mystic tradition, the 17th Century founder of the Mataram dynasty, Senopati forged an otherworldly connection with Kanjeng Ratu or Nyi Roro Kidul, the Queen of the Southern Sea. She would become the spiritual consort of Mataram sultans to the present day and protector goddess of the lineage. 

The family tree encompasses all the main religious strains of Indonesia. It includes Sri Kertanegara Widkrazma Dharmatunggadewa (died 1292) of the Singhasari dynasty, the last Javanese ruler who was a champion of Vajrayana Buddhism, now most closely identified with Tibet, and who was later venerated as emanation of Mahakasyapa, one of the principal disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. It also includes Raden Wijaya (died 1309), founder of the great Majapahit Hindu empire. And connects to the Wali Songo, the seven Sufi saints credited with bringing Islam to Indonesia, through Ki Ageng Sela, an ancestor of the Mataram royal family, student of the Wali Songo Sunan Kalijaga, and himself a noted 15th century Muslim figure and author of the Pepali, a guide to religious life. 

With the marriage of Indira's 41st great-grandmother, Pramodawardhani bint Samaratungga of the Sailendran Buddhist dynasty to Maharaja Medang IX Rakai Pikatan of the Hindu Sanjaya dynasty, the two great pre-Islamic Javanese religious traditions merged. Pramodawardhani is said to have been a driving force in building Borobudur, the greatest Buddhist stupa in the world, and it is said her likeness was used for the image of the goddess Durga on the great Hindu temple at Prambanan. Through her dynasty, the Pintak children are also distantly connected to the 10th century Sumatran Buddhist teacher Dharmakirti (Serlingpa), a member of the same royal family, whose most famous student was Atisha, one of Tibetan Buddhism's greatest spiritual masters. History also records that the Sailendran ancestors built the temple to Tara at Kalasan, where Atisha is said to have had a vision of Tara, and had close ties with India's ancient Nalanda University, about which His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said, "The source of all the [Buddhist] knowledge we have, has come from Nalanda."

And throughout the family history, the Indonesian Kejawan or Agama Jawa syncretic religious tradition has been a powerful sub-text.

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 Saxon knights brought to the region in the 12th century to protect the upper reaches of the Hungarian empire. The area was decimated by the Tartar invasion in the 13th century and the Black Death that followed. There is saying in the region that refers to the grim task of supplying one plague-stricken town that was sealed off:  "One travels from Pintak through the iron gate and Hell to Mettersdorf." 

Lawrence Pintak's paternal great-grandfather Joseph Pintak (1866-1948) arrived in the U.S. in 1884 from the town of Stará Ľubovňa 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 Maldonyi was baptized in a church in that same town in 1864. Her parents were Franciscus Maldonyi and Anna Zsigarlovits. Their line can be traced back another four generations to Josephus Druzsbaczk and his wife Elizabetha Maczko, who lived in the same region in the late 1700s.

For now, that is where Lawrence's paternal grandfather's branch ends.

The Irish/Dutch Line

Lawrence's 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 Lorraine's 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 Lawrence's mother’s grandmother’s Irish line, which can be traced no further back than 1840 in County Cork. There is no shortage of Burkes in the Irish registries.

But Lorraine's maternal grandfather, Charles Banta (1867-1925), was Dutch, and his mother's lineage is rich and long. Unbeknownst to anyone in the family until 2023, 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, through Lawrence's mother's grandmother, an English branch of the paternal 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) -- Lawrence's grandfather 31 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. 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. Another branch of the De Brus line would produce two Scottish kings, including the legendary Robert the Bruce, who won Scottish independence from England.

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 as the Jarl (Earl) of Orkney, then on to Torf-Einarr Rognvaldarson, 1st Jarl of Orkney, a Pintak great-grandfather 36 generations ago and descendant of the 4th century King of Kvenland (Finland) Thorri Snærsson.

From Sigurd's son, Brusi Sigurdsson, and his wife Ostrida Ragnvaldsdotter, the family line extends back through generations of kings of Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, including the famous Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway, into the sagas of Beowulf and the age when history blurs with myth. History and myth also blur in the story of Brusi's half brother, Mac Bethad mac Findláich, the Scottish king made legendary by Shakespeare as MacBeth. King Robert the Bruce owes his very name to Sigurd's line. The jarl's great-great grandson was born Ulf Ragnvaldsson. But he would eventually join his cousins in Normandy and convert to Christianity, taking the name Robert Brusee, likely inspired by the name of his grandfather, Brusi Sigurdsson, and build the castle of Brus, now Brix, near Cherboug in France. "De Brus" or De Brusee" would eventually be anglicized to "Bruce" with King Robert's father two centuries later.

At the furthest reaches of this Viking bloodline 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 Hrolf "the Tree Heaver" Ingjaldsson (circa 700); Olaf the Red (858-890), who tried to conquer Scotland; 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 (infamous from the TV series Vikings) made Dublin the most influential Viking colony; their legendary father Ragnar Lodbruk, the Swedish and Danish king and hero of that television series; 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, who murdered 15 of his closest relatives/rivals at his coronation feast, 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 the Irish Sea to Caledonia, ruling Scotland from their base in Ireland, thus the very name "Scotland," derived  from "Scoti," the old Latin term for Irish. They include figures such as  and Cerball mac Dunlainge, the 9th century leader considered one of Ireland's most powerful kings; Diarmait mc Cerbaill (died 565), the last King of Tara (High King of Ireland) to marry the Goddess of the Land in a pagan ritual; and 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, and Deda mac Sin, the 1st century BC progenitor of the Clanna Deda and prehistoric king of the Érainn of Ireland, mentioned by Ptolemy's Geographia. 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 Anglo Saxons

At least five centuries before William the Conqueror launched his invasion of the British Isles, tribes from the Saxon coast of continental Europe ventured across the waters and established their first settlements. Their leaders are among the direct ancestors of the Pintak clan. From Christina mac Uchtred, Countless of Dunbar, wife of William De Brus, 3rd Lord of Annandale, this lineage tracks back through Edmund I, the first to be called King of England, and his father King Edward the Elder, the first to unite the Anglo Saxon tribes, through Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, all the way to yet another semi-mythical 6th century figure, Cerdic, the founder and first king of the Anglo Saxon settlement of Wessex.

A parallel line through Alfred the Great's wife Ealhswith, one of the most powerful noblewomen of her time, rises through the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Mercia to Eowa, the greatest of the Mercia kings; to Pybba, the common ancestor of the Angeln Mercia kings; to the Icel, who is said to have led his people across the North Sea in 515; and ultimately back to his supposed great-grandfather, the semi-legendary King Offa of Angel, one of the Anglo Saxon states, a kingdom in what is now southern Denmark. 

The German Branch

Lawrence's paternal grandfather, Franz Joseph Pintak, Sr. (1893-1943) died when his father Lawrence A. Pintak (1927-1990) was young and his paternal grandmother, Margaret nee Lotterman (1903-1989), always bragged that they were of “good German stock.” The family tree through her parents bears that out, reaching back to Cuntz Eckhart, born in Hessen in 1480, Johannes Schnellbacher, born in Hessen, Germany in 1500, and Marx Wein, born in Baden-Württemberg in 1520.

The French Connection

French ancestors from the Middle Ages include Reinauld de Hervilly, born in Avesnes, France in 1320 and his wife Jeanne de Fromentel, born in 1310, Edward Herbeq and Guillaume Nicolas LeSueur de Beaugy, both born in 1500; and Elizabeth Dickonson, born in Calais in 1525, who later emigrated 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.

Castilians

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 earlier. 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. The deal 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, and David Des Marets (later Demarest), a Huegonaut who arrived in the same year on the Bontekoe, and would eventually purchase what later became Hackensack in New Jersey. 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 the Daughters of the Revolution who lost their husbands and fathers in the fight.

The Esoteric

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 from Lawrence

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 on the Pintak clan, carried out in 2023, was a outgrowth of work I did on my wife Indira'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.

Ancestry.com

Those with a legitimate interest may email LP at pintak dot com to request access to the large and complex family tree.