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!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

Thank you!

...has 24 comments, most recently from Erik

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine