Albert Andriesse was born in Fredrikstad, Norway in 1607. He probably was the son of Andries and Eva. The family subsequently relocated to Amsterdam, Holland where there was a substantial Norwegian community. Coming to New Netherland in 1637, he was the patriarch of the Bradt family in America.
In 1632, Albert Andriesse married Anna Barents in Amsterdam. At that time, he was twenty-four years old and gave his occupation as "a sailor in the merchant marine." The marriage produced at least eight children born before Anna's death in 1661. About 1663, he married Pieterje Jans, the widow of his former partner. After her death in 1667, his third wife was Geertruy Coeymans Vosburgh - another widow. The last two marriages produced no children!
Albert Andriesse emigrated to America to serve at Rensselaerswyck, a plantation in the upper Hudson Valley. Settling along a steam south of Fort Orange later named "The Normanskill" in his honor, he was a woodcutter, sawyer, and tobacco planter.
Those enterprises and some fur trading brought him success in America. He acquired additional acreage in the upper Hudson and some property at New Amsterdam as well. Distancing himself from the Van Rensselaers (trading and exporting on his own), Albert Andriesse became quite wealthy yet somewhat detached from the evolving center of power emanating from newly established Beverwyck. During the third quarter of the 1600s, he was most prominently represented in the Albany community record as a frequent litigant before the local court.
As his children matured and established their own identities in Albany and the larger region, Albert Andriesse frequently found himself alone. Separated from his third wife in 1670, his biographer characterizes him as "irascible" and of growing concern (we might add embarrassment) to his children. Not totally anti-social, he was, however, one of the elders of the Albany Lutheran church.
Continuing to decline, the old man left the Normanskill and moved into the Albany home of his son, Dirck Albertse Bradt. In 1685, his new neighbors asked the court to remove "the old Noorman" as "he throws fire around the house and threatens to burn his son Dirk."
Shy of his eightieth birthday, Albert Andriesse Bradt died in June 1686. His children established this important Norwegian-ancestry New Netherland family in the city of Albany.
Sources: The life of Albert Andriesse Bradt/Brat (also known as "the Noorman") is CAP biography 4180. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The seminal work on Albert Andriesse has been presented by Peter R. Christoph. He also is the subject of a sketch in VRBM, 809-10.
first posted: 6/25/02