Background to Jonas Bronck (Brunck)?

Many documents has been written in regards to Jonas Bronck Center and the attempts to documenting him. He was the one who bought the land from the Native Americans and built the first settlement on the land which now is named after him: The Bronx in New York.

We have received some questions from our readers in regards to the first newsletter that shows that several of you have entered the scene long after we informed you about the story as a whole. “Who” and “where was he” are often asked questions. Here, we will tell you a little bit more about him and his surroundings. This version is the original as researched by American scholars and represents the starting point for our research:

Jonas Jonasson Brunck born by Småland parents; Jonas Nilsson from Komstad. Later, he received the given name “Buller”. His wife was named Marit Brunck and emanated from Bäckaby in Vetlanda, close to Sävsjö. Jonas was born about 1600 and came to emigrate to his uncles in Flensburg at a young age. It belonged to Denmark at that time bit is now part of Germany. Later, Jonas became a sailor in the Danish merchant marine and later he appears as captain of the Dutch merchant fleet.

In 1638, he married Teuntje Jorians from Amsterdam. They married in Niewe Kerk. The following year, they emigrated to Niewe Amsterdam at the Hudson River. Jonas Jonasson Bronck is now a fairly wealthy man and he guarantees the travel fees for about 25% of the emigrants on board. The ship is a private boat of a yacht type. Upon arrival, Jonas Bronck buys land, away from the Native Americans’ trading station. A peace treaty was also established in between them. Jonas Bronck develops his land with the help of the emigrants. They grow corn and tobacco. Several houses are built on the ground and his apartment building in stone is named Emmaus.

Jonas Bronck occurs in some early legal disputes with the emigrants. Some want to break their contractual agreements. There are also riots in the city itself and some believe that Jonas Bronck is killed in 1643, probably by Native Americans protesting against the tax demands from the city’s side.

Jonas Jonasson Bronck’s widow Teuntje Jorians re-marries promptly and leave the area which later was sold to the English officers. A cousin to Jonas, Pieter Bronck, is moving to the Coxsackie neighborhood and started a mill and a brewery. This Bronck branch still lives in America. A relative who emigrated with him is Engela Månsdotter who married a Dutchman. Their branch also lives in America.

The name of the area that Jonas Bronck purchased has a river, named The Bronck’s River. As the population grew and the need for an administrative name came up, a proposal arose to call the whole area “The Bronx.” The Bronx is celebrating its 100-years history as part of New York and has 1,300,000 inhabitants and it is 375 years since Jonas Bronck came to the USA.

This story is the starting position for our project. We will search for sources and evidence and alter the history if needed. In early research, Jonas Bronck was Danish by birth and he has also come from the Faroe Islands according to some documents. However, he writes about himself in a document that his name was Jonas Jonasson Bronck from Comstay in Smaalan!

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