History of the Van Wagenen Family

Ryan Van Wagenen Los Angeles - Originally from Wageningen, Netherlands.

Wageningen, Netherlands

Van Wagenen's are named after a historic town in the central part of the Netherlands called Wageningen.  In Dutch, "Van" means from and being that Wageningen isn't the easiest to spell, the name evolved to "Wagenen." Wageningen is still around today and as of 2017 has a population of 38,405, with thousands of those being students from over 150 countries attending Wageningen University.

History of Van Wagenen

The Van Wagenen family is one of the oldest of early Dutch families who settled in the Hudson Valley of New York. The original Van Wagenen family left the Netherlands around 1637 and moved to Kingston on the shores of the Hudson River about 1650. One of the Van Wagenen families settled in the area of Bergen County, New Jersey about 1660.  That group, containing my descendants, made the trek with the Mormon movement to Utah. They ended in Winter Quarters and Salt Lake City, Utah.  The members of this family generally used two spellings of our last name, Van Wagenen and Van Wagoner.


The Van Wagenen’s are Stonemasons and part of the Haplogroup I, which is approximately 30,000 years old. The Stonemasons are known for crafting pointed stone blades for hunting bison, horse, reindeer and mammoths. Stone played both a functional and religious role for the Stonemasons, who crafted voluptuous Venus figurines out of steatite, calcite, limestone and other soft stone. Although the exact significance is not known, the figurines may represent fertility or the Earth Mother goddess, a concept which prevails in many cultural mythologies. The Stonemasons could have regarded Mother Earth as a symbol of security or as deity who enabled plentiful harvests and numerous offspring.  Ryan Van Wagenen is proud to be a VW.