(2000 estimate) (+ millions of Dutch American people have partial Frisian descent))
|Regions with significant populations|
|New York, Minnesota|
|American English, Frisian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Frisians, Dutch Americans, German Americans, English Americans|
Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. They are closely related to the Dutch and the English. They have their own Frisian languages divided by geographical regions. The Old Frisian language was once the Germanic language closest to English, though outside influences (from Dutch on Frisian and from French or English) have made both languages grow ever farther apart as time went by.
Today there exists a tripartite division of the original Frisians; namely the North Frisians, East Frisians and West Frisian, caused by the Frisia's constant loss of territory in the Middle Ages, but the West Frisians in the general do not feel or see themselves as part of a larger group of Frisians, and, according to a 1970 inquiry, identify themselves more with the Dutch than with East or North Frisians. Therefore the moniker 'Frisian' is (when used for the speakers of all three Frisian language) a linguistic (and to some extent, cultural) concept, not a political one.
In the New Netherland colony, Frisian people from North Frisia, East Frisia and West Friesland were the largest ethnic group in the city of New Amsterdam which later became New York City. The New Amsterdam area was chiefly explored by one Jonas Bronk who led a group of settlers from North Frisia, and the region was later named The Bronx after him. Bronk (also known as Bronck) himself is said to have been either Danish or Swedish. Many North-Frisian settlers were refugees of the Burchardi flood of 1634 which had destroyed the wealthy island of Strand. According to Paulsen, "they introduced their old democratic traditions into the patrician Dutch society of that time."
Notable Frisian Americans
- Icko Iben - Astrophysicist and distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois
East Frisian Origin
- Pieter Claesen Wyckoff of Norden
North Frisian origin
West Frisian origin
- Dan Bylsma – Pittsburgh Penguins head coach
- Lenny Dykstra – former Major League Baseball player
- Bridget Fonda - actress
- Henry Fonda - actor
- Jane Fonda - actress
- Peter Fonda - actor
- William K. Frankena – moral philosopher
- Anna-Marie Goddard - nude model and Playboy Playmate
- Reynier Jansen – printer
- Rod Jellema – poet, teacher and translator
- Frederick Manfred - novelist
- Henry K. Pasma – writer
- David Pietersz. de Vries – founder of New Amsterdam
- David Petraeus
- Alvin Plantinga – philosopher
- Peter Stuyvesant – Director-General of New Netherland
- Sam Peckinpah, film director
- Geerhardus Vos – Frisian-born theologian, professor of biblical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Fictional Frisian Americans
- "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- Frisia. 'Facts and fiction' (1970), by D. Tamminga. (Dutch)
- Paulsen, Frederik Sr. "Frisians in the History of the United States". Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- van Laer, A. J. F. (1916). "Reviews of Books". The American Historical Review. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the American Historical Association. 22 (1): 164–166. JSTOR 1836219.
… Jonas Bronck was a Dane …
- Andersson, Brian G. (1998). "The Bronx, a Swedish Connection". Ancestry Magazine. 16 (4): 36–41.
- "Across Oceans, Across Time" (PDF). dkmuseum.org. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
However, when a descendant visited Sylt, she was told in no uncertain terms by a local historian that her ancestor was Frisian, not Danish. ... His surname Jensen indicates at least some ethnic Danish heritage, while Boy(e) is a common Frisian name.