This old Dutch surname is either locational, deriving from the village of Haven in the Province of Groningen, the Netherlands, or may possibly be residential for one who lived at a harbour. The original spelling was either Van Der Haven or Haaven; like the French "de" and the German "von", the prefix implies land ownership and gentry status. This is one of the rare examples of a Continental name where the earliest recordings are of similar dates both in the British American Colonies and in its place of origin.The early colonising De Havens appear to have settled first in New Jersey; Peter De Haven being recorded on December 24th 1711 at Bucks, New Jersey, when he married Sidonia Levering, whilst on April 12th 1712, at the same church of Bensalen, Anneken de Haven (sister ?) married Jacob op de Graaf. The name is first recorded in Indiana on August 30th 1821 when Derrich De Haven married Catherine Sappenfield at Harrison, and it is also recorded at Fort Wayne, Fountain, Huntington, Parke, and Gren before 1850. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Arie Van der Haaven, which was dated April 6th 1681, baptised at Heukelelum, State of Holland, the Netherlands, during the reign of Prince William 111 of Orange and England, 1651 - 1702. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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