This interesting and unusual surname is of Dutch origin, and is a topographical name for a "dweller by the street". The derivation of the name is the Dutch "van der", of the, from, and "straat, straten", street, identical with the Olde English pre 7th Century "straet", street, roman road, from the Latin "strata", street (from the past participle of "sternere", to strew, cover, surface). Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Recordings of the surname from Church Registers of the Netherlands include: the christening of Francij, son of Frans and Trinjntje Van Der Straten, at Amsterdam, Noord Holland, on July 9th 1647; the marriage of Anna Maria Van Der Straaten and Gerrit Van Rossum at Utrecht, on January 20th 1657; and the marriage of Willem Cornelisse Van Der Straaten and Cornelia Jan Oome on June 11th 1719, at Prinsenhage, Noord Brabant. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a shield divided per fesse gold and azure, charged with an eagle displayed, divided per fesse red and gold. In Heraldry, gold denotes Generosity and Elevation of Mind; azure signifies Loyalty and Truth; and red denotes Military Fortitude and Magnanimity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geertruid van der Straten, which was dated 1517, born at Kampen, Overijssel, the Netherlands, during the reign of Maximilian 1, Habsburg Emperor, 1493 - 1519. 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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