Good question, Sallie; I've seen that before, but I cannot substantiate where the surname Pietersz comes from (for Hester). The old Dutch use of given names as surnames can confuse anyone, so it could just be a mistake. The paragraph below is what I had pieced together for the website from various sources for Hester's name:
b. Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands; d. Albany, NY; after Jellis' death, Hester married 2nd Barent Gerritsen in 1660 who then died in 1666; then she married 3rd Theunis Dirckse Van Vechten in 1670; Hester's maiden name was Van Arentsvelt; a Dutch family tree lists her as Hester Douwedr, using her father's first name in Dutch tradition; another source lists her father as "Douwe Janzoon de Vries Van Arentsvelt". Another lists Jans as Hester's maiden name, which is from her mother, Maria Jans.
If you really want to get into it, here is about half of an article I scanned from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record on the Fonda Family. There is no mention of the name Pieter(sz). So you be the judge... :-) Mark
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record
VOL. 119 - JANUARY 1988 - NUMBER 1
AMSTERDAM RECORDS OF THE FONDA FAMILY
Contributed By Robert G. Cooney, Jr.
In 1962 the late Dr. Simon Hart of the Amsterdam Municipal Archives was asked to conduct an investigation into the origins of the Fonda family. The result was the discovery of the marriage record of the New Netherland immigrant Jillis/Gillis/Jellis/Jelle Douwes Fonda, the baptisms of his children, and also some notarial records of interest.
The late Mrs. John Spell in her 1964 article â€œA Career Woman in 17th Century New Yorkâ€ (REC. 95:129f.) stated that â€œGillis (Jillis) Douwes Fonda, a native of Friesland in the Netherlands, arrived in Fort Orange (present Albany, N.Y.) in 1651. He was accompanied by his wife Hester Jans [sic] and three children . . .â€œ Mrs. Spell identified four children of the couple and gave â€œbirthdatesâ€ for three of them from unspecified â€œrecords in Amsterdamâ€; this suggests that she saw the same baptisms found by Dr. Hart, but she did not mention the marriage or notarial records.
The Dutch Settlers Society of Albany Yearbook, Volume 48 (1981â€”1984), page 17, contains an article â€œThe Fonda Familyâ€ prepared by Howard A. McConville. This article describes the marriage record and gives the childrenâ€™s baptismal dates and sponsors, but does not credit anyone for discovering these records, cite precisely where the records were found, or quote any of them in their original form. The article does not mention the notarial records.
Some accounts of the Fondas have claimed a noble Italian origin for the family, prior to its residence in Friesland. Such a claim was made by the Reverend William A. Williams in his Early American Families (Philadelphia, 1916, pages 24â€”25), and was apparently favored by the late actor Henry Fonda (De Halve Maen 36:4 [Jan. 1962]:17). Dr. Hart, although finding no reference to the surname Fonda in Netherlands records, noted that many Frisian names were similar in form, and he expressed the opinion that â€œthe conclusion that the name Fonda of Jelle Douwes would be of Italian origin . . . is a story.â€
All of the following records were found at the Amsterdam Municipal Archives (Gemeente Archief Amsterdam) and translated by Dr. Hart. The first is the marriage of the immigrant, from Doop, Trouw en Begrafregisters [Baptismal, Marriage and Burial Registers, hereafter DTB] No. 454 [Kerkelijk Huwelijks Intekenregister or Church Marriage Intentions Register] page 651:
19 January 1641.
Appeared as before Jelle Douwess from Agum, journeyman blacksmith, living on Bickers Island, assisted by [no name given], having no parents, 25 years old; and Hester Douwess from Amsterdam, living on the Keysergracht, 24 years old, having no parents, assisted by Elsge Douwes, her stepmother.
Wilhelmi pred[ikan]t aldaer.
Producing a deed of their parentsâ€™ consent, these people were married on the 10th of February 1641 in Diemen by Prudentius Wilhelmi, minister there.
Whoever made this entry first wrote that the groom was assisted by Elsge Douwes, but this was erased. A note in the margin haer behoutmoed[e]r (her mother-in-law), presumably intended to replace â€œstepmother,â€ was also erased. The clerk apparently was confused as to Elsge Douwesâ€™ role and relationship. Since the couple were able to obtain â€œtheir parentsâ€™ consentâ€ the phrase â€œhaving no parentsâ€ may mean that no parents (other than Elsge) were present in Amsterdam to assist in the proceedings, rather than that all the other parents were deceased.
According to Dr. Hart, the actual church marriage record at Diemen, near Amsterdam, does not survive. The above marriage intention was of particular interest because it revealed Jillis Douwesâ€™ place of origin, â€œAgum.â€ Specialists at the Friesland State Archives at Leeuwarden were of the opinion that this referred to the small village variously written â€œAgum,â€ â€œEgum,â€ â€œAegum,â€ and â€œEagum,â€ located near the center of their province. The only early 17th century records for Agum which Dr. Hart found were those of the court of Idaarderadeel, a jurisdiction in which the village was located. He found references to inhabitants of â€œAgumâ€ in these records, but none to a Jillis Douwes. A Douwe Jelles showed up in the inventory of Jetse Roberts 25 June 1639, owing his estate five guilders, but there was nothing to link him to Jillis Douwes. Dr. Hart also found no mention of the name Fonda. Beyond the reference to Agum in the Amsterdam marriage intention the origin of the immigrant could not be resolved (but see Postscript, below).
The children of Jillis and Hester were baptized in Amsterdam as follows:
Douwe, of Jelle Douwesz and Ester Douwes, 24 November 1641 by Rev. Wachtendorp at the Nieuwe Kerk, witness Annetje Jans (DTB 42:282).
Giertje, of Jelle Douwesz and Ester Douwes, 22 September 1643 by Rev. Holbeeck at the Nieuwe Kerk, witness Maritje Willems (DTB 42:375).
Sara, of Jelle Douwesz and Hester Douwes, Sunday 18 June 1645 at the Oude Kerk, witnesses Hille Claes and Witsche Diercx (DTB 8:55).
Abraham, of Jelis Douwesz and Hester Hester (sic) Douwesz, Sunday 14 April 1647 at the Oude Kerk, witnesses Hille Claes and Marij Douwes (DTB 8:123).