Friday, November 1, 2013

Van Gilder Y-DNA Project

There is interest in establishing a Family Tree Y-DNA project for men with the Van Gelder, Van Gilder, Van Guilder and Van Galder surnames.  The inspiration for the project is the Y-DNA results for Jacob Van Gilder from West Virginia and Maryland.  It was thought this Van Gilder had come from the Netherlands, but the results were almost completely Native American. 

Known Families:

  • John Van Gilder, born ca 1698, belonged to the Catskill band of Mohicans, New York State. Descendants moved to the Ludlow, VT, area and Washington County, New York.
  • Abraham Van Gilder, born 1736, of Cape May, NJ, died in 1809
  • Jacob Van Galder born 1797, died 18 June 1855 and buried in Rock County, Wisconsin.
  • John S. Van Gilder, born Nov 1850, lived in Warren Co., PA, died in 1929.

Any man with any variation of this last name is welcome in the study.  For more information please contact Andrew Blattner at ddblattner at


Click here to go to the Family Tree DNA Van Gilder project page.

In conducting research, I discovered that at least two men in Washington County, New York, dropped the "Van" from their surname of Gilder and Guilder.  Therefore the participation of men with the last names of Galder, Gelder, Gilder, and Guilder is also welcome.


  1. Y-DNA is a very useful tool in genealogy. It has showed that our "Dutch" Jacob Van Gilder of Monongalia and Marion County, West Virginia was not a Dutch immigrant after all. Now instead of concentrating on searching for his ancestry in the Netherlands, we can search for his recently proven Native ancestry here in America. The Y-DNA testing has also further solidified the somewhat recent discovery that the Cape Girardeau, Missouri Van Gilders are part of the same family as those in West Virginia descending from Jacob as his son John went west to Missouri and both the West Virginia and Missouri Van Gilders Y-DNA match. We would like to find a known descendant of the Mahican / Mohican Jan/John Van Gelder to take the Y-DNA test to see if our West Virginia Van Gilders are from the same family. If costs for the test make it prohibitive for you, all that were interested in the outcome could throw in a little money to help cover the costs. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
    Drew Blattner

  2. My grandmother was Josephine VanGuilder (Saladin married name) she was the daughter of John and Abagail VanGuilder (born 1879)She was from Granville, N. Y.