Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13th is Santa Lucia Day in Norway

School girls celebrating Santa Lucia Day in Norway

Dear Grandparents,
Many of your descendants do not think of our family as having ancestors of Norwegian origin. We do however have such a connection through Arent Andriese Bradt. He has been found among the Dutch settlers in Rensselaerswyck, which became Albany, New York. Recent research has discovered that he was born in Frederickstadt, Ostfold, Norway. This community is south of Oslo near the Swedish border, north of Gothenburg.

Arent Bradt is my 8th great grandfather and is supposed to have been a seafaring man, who arrived in March 4, 1637 in New Amsterdam and made his way to Rensselaerswyck. He came to what is now New York with Albert Andriese Bradt who is supposed to have been his brother. About 1648, he married Catalyntje de Vos daughter of Andries de Vos who was referred to as a member of the court at Rensselaerswyck in other words a man of some reputation and position in the community.

The family moved on to Schenectady, where Arent died in 1662. After his death, she inherited the grants of land that he had held. On November 12, 1664, when she was about to marry Barent Janse Van Ditmars, Catalyntje contracted with her Bradt children's guardian to "set off for them from her estate one thousand guilders."

The marriage contract between Catalyntje de Vos Bradt and Barent Janse Ditmars, list the following children: Aeffie, aged 15 years; Ariantje, aged 13 years; Andries Arentse, aged eleven years; Cornelia, aged nine years; Samuel, aged 5 years; and Dirk, aged 3 years.

This information comes from Vol. II of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1866, call number 974.74 D3). The book contains four volumes and is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. It is has also been digitized and is available from the Schenectady Digital History Archive.

So if you suddenly have a craving for those delicious, saffron flavored Santa Lucia buns in December, you'll know you come by that craving honestly.


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