Coat of Arms and Family History

The Mosterd family name goes back nearly a millennium to the 13th Century.  Surprisingly, it was not a name derived from the profession of our ancestors like many were during that time–though, in the 15th Century, some of our relatives ran a mosterdmolen (mustard mill)–rather, it came from an ancestor fighting during the Fifth Crusade, at the port city of Damietta, in Egypt, ca. 1218.

During one of the battles, he broke three swords and family legend has it that William I, Count of Holland, said something to the effect of “Thou art as strong as mustard.”  Thus the origin of our family name and composition of our crest, granted to the family by the Count upon returning from the Crusade:

Mostert/Mosterd Coat of Arms

Our motto is:  fortitudo sinapis, Latin for “the strength of mustard.”

At the turn of the 20th Century, most of the family switched the spelling of the name from Mostert to Mosterd, which directly translates from Dutch to mustard in English.  Perhaps this was also done in homage to the origin of the family name.