Is the Surname Bresee who settled in th hudson valley from the Palantine?

+2 votes
in Genealogy Help by William Bryant G2G Rookie (190 points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

2 Answers

+3 votes

Many people in the Hudson Valley with the name Bresee (or variant spellings) are though to be of French Huguenot descent. The immigrant settler is believed to be Christopher Bresie, who was in the Hudson Valley by the early 1680s. Some of the family appear to believe he was in New Netherland by the 1660s.

There probably were marriages during the 1700s between members of this family and sons and daughters of Palatine migrants, and I suppose it also is possible that the German names of some Palatines morphed into the name Bresee due to phonetic spelling by recordkeepers who were familiar with that name. However, I think it is safe to assume that the Bresee name derives from the possibly-Huguenot family whose name was recorded in New Netherland as Bresie, Brussy, etc.

PS - Christopher Bresie is not listed as a Huguenot by the Huguenot Society of America.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)

Christopher is an ancestor of mine. My last name is Brazee. It's been spelled and continued to be spelled many different ways.

My family has been trying to find out where they are from for decades. They seem to have just showed up in New Netherlands out of the blue. Possibly an indentured person who wouldn't be listed on ship records?
It is most likely that these people were Huguenots. A number of Huguenots settled in the Hudson Valley area, particularly after about 1680.

Further to my reply (I had to run earlier, so I saved the reply prematurely):

There are few ship passenger records from New Netherland in the 1600s. Having a record of the arrival of a particular ancestor is a piece of good luck, and lack of a record proves nothing.

New Netherland settlers came from various different parts of Europe. I think the name Bresie and the other names that have been attributed to this family in old records "look French," and others seem to have reached the same conclusion. Additionally, given the historical context (Huguenots fleeing France to escape persecution) and the presence of some identifiable Huguenots in pre-1664 New Netherland, with more Huguenots arriving later, it is very reasonable to guess that Christopher Bresie was a Huguenot. The fact that he is not the Huguenot Society list does not necessarily mean he was not a Huguenot; rather, it is likely that nobody has found yet affirmative evidence for that hypothesis, and perhaps that nobody named Bresie (or a variant of the name) has ever tried to join the Huguenot Society.

If I were you, I would tell your children that your Brazee ancestors probably were French Protestants escaping persecution, but they have not been traced back to Europe. The lore about Brissac Chateau, Duke of Brissac, etc., on the Bresie-5 profile has to be regarded as mythology.

+3 votes
Neither Christophe Bresee nor anybody else with that surname is among the people listed in the Palatine Families of New York by Henry Jones, Jr.
by Michael Schell G2G6 Mach 4 (48.1k points)

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