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WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE BRADT FAMILY SOCIETY, 2015-2016 EDITION

THE BRATT FAMILY

OF NEW NETHERLAND

Albert and Arent Andriessen and their families were early settlers in the Albany, New York area when the colony still belonged to the Netherlands.  Like many of the other settlers, they were not Dutch. These brothers came from Fredrikstad, Norway.

Over the years, a large number of spelling changes have occurred.  Almost all Bradt's and a large percentage of Brott’s are descended from the two Bratt brothers.  Many Bratt's, Vanderzee’s, Brodt’s, Broat’s, Van Brott’s, and Van Bradt’s and some Brad's and Bradd's are also direct descendents.  These are not the only spellings.  Some of the others are listed in "Name Listings" in the menu at the top.

The Vanderzee line is descended from Albert’s son, Storm, who was born on the sea crossing to America. "Van der zee" means "from the sea" in Dutch.

In 1637 Albert Andriessen de Noorman arrived in Rensselaerswyck (Albany).  Arent apparently came on the same ship. Albert and his family operated two sawmills (under one roof?) on the Normanskill (Norman’s Creek.  The Dutch referred to Norwegians as Normans).  Arent was a farmer and fur trader and his family were some of the original settlers in Schenectady.

We can only guess how the Bratt surname originated. Hereditary family names were not used by the Dutch or the Norwegians.  When England took over New Netherland and it became New York, that soon began to change.

To the best of our knowledge, Albert never used the spelling "Bradt";  he signed his name Brat or Bratt.  Bradt become more common because the Dutch customarily insert a silent "d."  "Brott" originated later as some branches of the family moved West.  

In those days it was common for Norwegians to use the name of their ancestral farm as their last name. "Bratt" can mean "steep" in Norwegian and it's found in place names all over Scandinavia.  Notably, it's common in the names of farms around Fredrikstad.  (Most of today's Norwegian Bratt's probably took their names from farms at the end of the 1800s and are not related.)

Another possibility is the old Bratt family that originated in Bergen.  This family originated in the middle ages, but no one has ever discovered any documents that tie us in.  It could be more than a coincidence that Fredrikstad is located on the Glomma River which has it's headwaters in Oppland.  Oppland is the home county of one branch of these Bratts.  

There is also a well-documented Bratt family from Brattfors (Steep Falls) in Sweden.  It's only 100 miles from Fredrikstad and was formerly the site of a mill.  Perhaps DNA testing will someday identify our Scandinavian cousins.

Over 95% of the Bradt cousins descend through female lines.  It's no exaggeration to say that we would not have a Bradt Family Society today without them.

Take a look at our Guestbook and leave a comment. It's a great way to make new connections:

CLICK HERE for our GUESTBOOK

* I never met a man I didn't like.  -Will Rogers

A LITTLE BACKGROUND:

     THE BRADT FAMILY SOCIETY was formed when sixteen Bradt family members (and spouses) met at the Desmond Hotel in Colonie, New York, and formalized a Constitution proposed by Kenneth Bradt. 
Ken has been one of the primary leaders of the Bradt Family association for many years, and was the co-editor,with his wife,Thelma, of the BRADT FAMILY NEWS.        
The NEWS contains articles and genealogical data and pictures concerning the history and activities of the Bradt family. 
Major family reunions have been held at the Desmond every five years, and trips to Holland and Norway took Bradt family members to the hometown of the brothers, Albert and Arent Bratt.
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If you are looking for the Bradt genealogy, Descendants of Albert and Arent Andriessen Bradt and the Supplements 
can be found in several of the major libraries around the country.

Click here for a partial list of libraries in the U.S. and Canada that have "Descendants of Albert and Arent Andriessen Bradt" or the Supplements.

A LITTLE MORE BACKGROUND
 
From Cythia Biasca's preface to Descendants of Albert and Arent Andriessen Bradt:

The Origin

     This is the proverbial book that its author never expected to write. Until fifteen years ago I knew nothing of my family background, not even that the Brott spelling of my maiden name had once been Bradt. In the fall of 1976 my sisters and I decided to research our father’s background. We knew the name of our paternal great-grandfather, but not the name of his father. (A sad example of waiting too late to start our research, for there was no one still alive who could supply the information.) We tried – and have tried over the past 13 years – every avenue we knew to learn that great-great-grandfathers’s identity. We do not to this day know who X Bradt, as we refer to him, was.

     In our leave-no-stones-unturned search for X Bradt, we scanned untold numbers of Bradt records. I was able to devote a great deal of time to this work throughout the entire year. For a week almost every summer, my sisters and I met in different counties of New York State, and together we attacked courthouse and cemetery and historical society and local library records, and the information we amassed on Bradt/Bratt/Brott/Brodt families became extensive.

     Finally, two things became clear: we might never find X Bradt in our lifetimes (three of us had become grandmothers during this period), and all that voluminous data we had been accumulating must be shared, not kept stashed away in my file cabinets and computer. Following the fabulous Bradt Reunion in Albany in the summer of 1987, more and more data came to me from more and more correspondents. It now seemed all the more urgent that I put into comprehensive book form all the material we had collected and which I had initially set up in the form of family charts. And so work on The Bradt Book (Descendants of Albert and Arent Andriessen Bradt) began.

Webmaster’s note:  The Bradt cousins owe Cynthia and Ken a huge debt of gratitude. Without their efforts, most of us would not know about our origins.

After all of these years of research, the help and support of her sisters, and countless letters and e-mails containing family history, Cynthia has still not identified X Bradt.


We urge those with lineage questions or contributions to contact our Genealogist, Laurie M. Grimes.

For those with non-lineage historical questions, (for example, to learn about the role of the Bradt Family in North American history) contact our Archivist, Daniel P. Bradt.

Continue down this page for all of our e-mail addresses:

 
TO CONTACT THE BRADT FAMILY SOCIETY OFFICERS:
 
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY, SECRETARY/TREASURER:
Anne Holzinger:
To subscribe to the "Bradt Family News" or to join the Bradt Family Society, fill out the membership form and send it to Anne.  She will contact Marie to get your subscription started.
Thank you.
NEWSLETTER (The Bradt Family News) EDITOR:
Marie Emerson
WEBMASTER:
To Be Determined.  If interested, contact Barbara Bradt Long:
Dolon634@aol.com
HISTORIAN / ARCHIVIST::
Daniel P. Bradt
GENEALOGIST / LINEAGE EXPERT
and Administrator of the Bradt DNA Project:
Laurie M. Grimes
VICE-PRESIDENTS:
Dale Atherton-Ely
Gary Bradt
Dan Ely
PRESIDENT:
Barbara Bradt Long

RECORDING SECRETARY:

Dale Atherton-Ely

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De Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.  The earliest site definitely associated with the Bratt Family.

 

The property shown here as Widow Slingerland's, which extends on both sides of the Normanskill, is believed to include the site of Albert Andriessen's farm and mills. The saw mill shown on the property is very likely the site of his mill.   Albany is just off the northeast corner of the map. (Based on surveys dated 1768-1815.)

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The site of the first Bratt homes in America, two miles south of Fort Orange and just under 1 mile west of Castle Island (Castuls Eylandt). West is to the top of this map.                                                                 

   
 

In 1658 Arent Andriessen signed a four year lease for farmland on De Laet's/Van Rensselaer Island.  This island was directly across the river from Beverwyck, Albany on this 1758 map. West is up.  The north end of Castle Island is at the south.

 
 
 
 

 

1767 Bleecker Map of Rensselaerswyck
House #14 was owned by Albert's GG Grandson, Abraham Slingerland 

 
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