The Normanskill's Norman

the Normanskill with Delaware Ave overhead

Delaware Ave above, the Normanskill below.

By Carl Johnson

Around Albany, many of our most familiar place and street names come from notable local figures.

Louis Menand was a noted horticulturist of his time; Daniel Manning published the Albany Argus and became US Secretary of the Treasury. Slingerlands was named for farmer Teunis Slingerland.

So, who was the "Norman" of the Normanskill?

Norman wasn't his name, it was his nickname -- as in "the Norman," one of the non-Dutch settlers of Rensselaerswyck who came here in 1637.

His full name was Albert Andriessen Bradt, a Norwegian sawyer born in 1607 who had moved to Amsterdam (Old World Amsterdam). He joined with a group who were to settle the lands of the Patroon in New Netherlands. The passage was particularly rough, and according to one story, one of his eight children with Annetje Barents was born during a pretty bad storm. He was given an unusual name -- at least for the time-- of Storm van der Zee (Storm from the sea).

Albert Andriessen Bradt held the water rights for the creek that emptied into the Hudson south of Beverwyck and Fort Orange. He operated what was probably the first sawmill in the area, as well as trying to grow tobacco for the patroon. The creek that powered it came to be known as the Norwegian's Creek, or, in Dutch, Normans Kill.

The Norman's descendants helped found the cities that became Albany and Schenectady, and remain in the area to this day. Because the Dutch culture was just adopting surnames at the time of colonization, both the Bradt and Vanderzee surnames were handed down.

Normanskill in sunlight

Earlier on AOA: The Yellow Brick Road

Comments

hey thats my swimming pool!

I love to go there and splash around with my pup. Good times!

Thant's my ancestors sawmill

The original spelling is Bratt, and morphed into "Bradt" over the years. The first sawmill was located lower on the Normanskill and moved up stream as each of the previous mills were desroyed by spring floods/freshets. If interested in more of the Bradt history please search on the web for The Bradt Family Society's homepage....we came to the new world in 1637 and we are still here!

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