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The Pootman or Putman Family Crest

There are a number of descriptions of the Pootman or Putman coat of arms:  The most likely depiction is that of the American Armory report. 

The coat of  arms of the Rutgerus Putmanus family is also mentioned and is not similar the other reports that show boars heads in the crest.

This seems to indicated that the Johannes Pootman  family, our ancestors, and the Rutgerus Putmanus family are two  separate families.


The American Armory Report

The Dutch-American Pootman family name was not originally Putman. 

It was changed to Putman in the late 1700's from the influence of English speaking people and the Revolutionary War.

Our family name was originally spelled Pootman and likely meant poolman or pitman if the family originated anciently  in Germany.  If was indeed of Dutch origin, the name Pootman likely meant gatekeeper or portman.

It is likely that Johannes Pootman the  ancestor of the Dutch-American Putman family was born in 1644 and was a son of Victor Pootman, Aalburg, North Brabant, Netherlands.  Victor was a schoolmaster beginning about 1642 in Aalburg and married Maria Davids.

Victor Pootman may have been born in Germany:  We to not know for certain. 

There was a Victor Puettmann who was born about 1700 near Munster and Duelmen, Germany, who is also of interest, but his family was Catholic while our Pootman family was known as Evangelical. 

 It is possible that Victor Pootman's ancestors were German and also used the name Poetman.  


The Putman Coat of Arms


An American Armory says the following about the crest of the Dutch-American Putman family:

Putman:  Azure [blue shield] a chevron verte bet [upside down “V” between] in chief 3 boars’ heads argent [3 boars’ heads at the top, silver] and in base a lion ramp, sa, [at the base a rampt or walking black lion] all within a bordure verte [a green border].

Crest:  a lion rampant.  

From a tile owned by a descendant of Jan Putman in the Mohawk Valley.  A copy with the lion argent painted on a wooden plate about 1840 (8 inches wide is owned by Eben Putnam of Salem, MA).

This suggests that a chevron may have once been used by the family and also the color’s blue and green instead of red.

The crest describe here by An American Armory is very similar to the one pictured above, which has two boars heads instead of three.  It is my guess this depiction is the most accurate crest for the Pootman familly.


The Eben Putnam Report

The Pootman or Putman Family Crest

Eben Putnam was a publisher in the late 1800's, he was a member of the unrelated English Putnam family.  InPutnam Leaflets, November and December, 1895, Eben wrote the following about the crest of the Dutch-American Putman family:

The shield and crest shown herewith is that in use in several branches of the family descended from Jan Poutman of Albany.  The coat of arms while resembling that of at least one English family is undoubtedly of Dutch origin.  The early history of the original from which the engraving was taken is unknown:

Arms of Poutman, Putman, Putnam descended from Jan Poutman—Gules [red background] on a fess argent [a silver bar running horizontally through the middle of the shield] between three boar’s heads erased close, or, [two boar’s heads above the fess, one below the fess, of gold color], a lion passant, sable, [a black lion in the fess walking to the left].

Eben Putnam used the spelling Poutman; however, I have not found a period document that shows that the family ever used the spelling Poutman.  Eben was the only one of an early period to spell our family name Poutman. 

Heraldry says that beneath the shield in English heraldry is a ribbon with the motto or slogan of the family:  Eben describes that Dutch-American Putman family motto as "Deum Non Alium Timeo" or God No Other I Fear. 

In Scotland and on the Continental heraldry, the ribbon, called the escroll, and is at the top of the shield. 

The ribbon on the Putman coat of arms described by Eben Putnam in this case is at the bottom that indicates it is of English origin.

Above the shield is a helmet of rank that shows by it shape and direction the social position of the armiger.

On the continent, a knight had a simple coronet of rank between the shield and the helmet:  A coronet is not found on this crest.

On the crown of the helmet, there is often a circlet or wreath composed of two strips of silk twisted together in six bands of the primary colors of the shield.  The Putman coat has a wreath with nine bands, which may indicate it was of a higher rank. 

Above, or in place of, the wreath sometimes is a crest coronet.  

A coronet is found in English coats of arms that shows the person held a high-ranking office or was a county officer. 

Out of the wreath or crest coronet raises the crest that in this case of the American Putman coat of arms is a boar’s head.


The Wendell Putman Report

Wendell Putman in his manuscript “Memoirs” that he wrote about 1970 said that the the following was the American Putman crest:

In the 1950’s the son of my cousin Henry Van der Veer Putman attended MIT and there met the son of Henri Putman a Belgian professor of mathematics in a French university.  I corresponded for a time with the professor and told him about the pioneering Putman in America, but I lacked information and time for a good response.  His information was much better.  He told me that in the early 1400’s the name Putman was recorded in the Rhineland Duisberg area of the German-Dutch border.  Putman was a land overseer for a German Duke rating a coat of arms with a row of boars’ heads at the top and what appeared to me to be a row of coal-hods at the bottom with writing between.

This is an interesting description of the Dutch-American Putman crest.

Both boars heads and "buckets" are included.

I wonder if boars heads may mean the that family root the earth, were diggers, or pitman.


The Rutger Putmanus History Report

The popular story initially only suggested by DeWitt Putman in the late 1800's was that Johannes descended from Rutgerus Putmanus of Germany whose descendants removed to Deventer, Netherlands. 

Rutgerus was a rent master in Leipzig, Germany in the late 1500's.

DeWitt uncovering of the history of the Rutger Putmanus family was published by Eben Putnam in an article in the Putnam Leaflets titled “History of the Family of Putman in the Netherlands”. 

 De Witt did not indicate that the American Pootman family descended from Rutger Putmanus  but that it was a possibility.

Rutgerus Putman was born in Hamm, Westphalia, was the Advocate Fiscal and Land Steward for Count Van Der Lippe, married Agnez Bosch, and died in Lipstadt, Germany, in 1575 at age 65: Agnez died in 1588.

They had at least two children: sons John and Abraham

John was born in 1566 and his brother Abraham in 1567 . . . Rutger would have been 56 and 57 years old, respectively. 

Rutger may had other children.

Rutger's son Abraham studied law while his son John studied theology.  Both left Germany because of the Reformation. 

Little was known of Abraham except that he went to London, England, and left descendants there. 

This family never used the given name "Victor" or the surname "Pootman".

John married Matilda Meyer and died in 1658 after having sons Rutger and Abraham. 

Rutger was the pastor at Weerselo and Goor and married Joanna Van Den Burgh:  After their marriage, Rutger became chaplain for the Landgraf of Hesse Cassel. 

Later, Rutger settled in Dresden, Netherlands, and was the Pastor. 

Rutger became pastor of Delden, Netherlands, in 1634 and stayed tin Delden for 40 years. 

Rutger had Sarah, John born in 1645, and Paul born in 1648.

It is often reported that that Rutger’s son John born in 1645 was Johannes Pootman who immigrated to the New World about 1661:  This very unlikely. 

Warren T. Putman in the late 1900's, started the notion that Johannes Pootman's father was Rugter Putmanus, but this is not based in fact or any valid original  record.

It was simply a guess.

Dutch families named one sons first after the father's father or the mother's father and then after grandfathers. 

The names Victor, David, and Cornelius, names of children of Johannes Pootman,  were not found in the German Putman family, so it almost certain that the Dutch-American Pootman family did not descend from Rutgerus Putmanus.

Another thought is that the crest of the Rutgerus Putmanus is not even closed that of any other reported Pootman/Putman crest.

The following is a description of the Rutgerus Putmanus crest:

Twee Wapens [The Coat of Arms]:

I.    Drie putemmers, 2 en 1 [Coat of Arms: 3 buckets, 2 at the top and 1 at the bottom].  

II.    Sic Rutgere faces cum coninge prolegue chara [For Rutger, it seems to mean, countenance with a coronet.  Preface, prologe, or crest?, a chare, or char, which is like a pike. ].

III.    Sic Putman taces vox ubi clara tua [For Putman nothing shown to indicate renown].

IV.    Sit nunc in tumulo mutum sine sanguine corpus [Layout now towards cover, crest?, mute, without, and red body]. 

V.    Eschilarent animam gaudia nulta poli [Shield embellished with white].


The Belgium Poot and Pootman Crests

Information on the Belgium families that include the Pulleman, Putman, Poot, and Pootman families are described in a document I recently created. 

In the document, there is a great deal of information to be learned.

To read it, click the following link:  Belgium Pootman and Similar Names and Crests