|3,125 (2000 estimate)[a]|
|Regions with significant populations|
|New York, New England, Wisconsin, Minnesota|
|American English, Frisian, German, Dutch|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Frisians, Dutch Americans, English Americans, German Americans|
Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. They are closely related to the Dutch, Northern Germans, and the English and speak Frisian languages divided by geographical regions. The Old Frisian language was once the closest Germanic language to Old English, though outside influences (from Dutch on Frisian and from Norman French on English) have made both languages grow ever farther apart than they naturally would have as they were developing separately.
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."
East Frisian Origin
- Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, born in Norden
- Minnie Marx, born in Dornum
- Marx Brothers - comedians
- Friedrich Diercks - pioneer settler in Texas, born in Gödens
- Wolfgang Petersen - film director, born in Emden
- Theodore Thomas - first music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, born in Esens
- Al Shean - comedian, born in Dornum
- Karsten Schwan - computer pioneer, born in Oldenburg
North Frisian origin
- Cornelius Jensen – pioneer settler in the Inland Empire (California)
- Ludwig Nissen – gemstone dealer and philanthropist, born in Husum
West Frisian origin
- Dan Bylsma – Pittsburgh Penguins head coach
- 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
- Jack R. Lousma - astronaut
- Henry K. Pasma – writer
- David Pietersz. de Vries – founder of New Amsterdam
- David Petraeus
- Alvin Plantinga – philosopher
- Kyrsten Sinema - politician
- 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
- Excluding Dutch and German Americans, many of whom are of partial Frisian descent
- "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. (in 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". 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.
- "Frisians" in Stephan Thernstrom, ed. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980), 401–403. comprehensive survey
- ten Hoor, Marten. "Frisians in the United States" Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review 58#10 (1951) :50-56 online