The 375th anniversary of Bronck’s arrival and settlement as the first European in the Bronx will be celebrated this weekend in Sävsjö. One of our favorite New York based singers, Eva Engman will be among the many performing and among the attending will be descendants and dignitaries from both countries. (This year is also the centennial of Bronx County, New York State’s youngest.)

Research and publicity generated over 30 years by Bronx native Brian G. Andersson, 'Our Man' from The Bronx Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Records (2002 - 2011), a CUNY history degree graduate, brought this to the attention of the Consul General of Sweden in New York, who in turn introduced Mr. Andersson to Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf. The continuing efforts have encouraged a businessman and resident of Sävsjö in Småland to establish The Jonas Bronck Center right in the center of town in the old hotel building. It will function as a tourism, historical, cultural exchange, and genealogy center. The ribbon-cutting and weekend celebration will take place in Sävsjö August 22nd – 24th, with the local government leaders, including the province’s governor, attending.


Bronck family descendants will also be in attendance, including one who in his capacity as an Episcopal priest, will be concelebrating the service in the 12th-century church of Bronck’s christening in 1600.

Dutch documentation uncovered in the last 35 years has indicated that Bronck had emigrated from Holland during the expansion of Dutch efforts in the New World, specifically their colony and company town Niew Amsterdam. Both the records of his marriage and the securing and underwriting his voyage conclusively established the fact that he was a native of Sweden. He was born in Komstad in the present day municipality of Sävsjö about 1600. His parish church was Norra Ljunga, built in the 12th century and still functioning.

Bronck emigrated to Nieuw Amsterdam in 1639 aboard the Brandt van Trojen (“Fire of Troy”) with his wife and contracted farm hands. He named his farm on the mainland "Emmaus.” He died in 1643 leaving no children. The inventory of his estate conducted after his death indicates that his death was most probably not as a result of the conflict murders and reprisal killings in Niew Amsterdam at the time.

Pieter Bronck, who did establish a family around Coxsackie, NY, was a nephew or cousin to Jonas, not a son as had been previously thought. He has numerous descendants to this day, some of whom will be at the Sävsjö celebration.

These events are being celebrated in conjunction with the Bronx Borough President's office and Bronx Chamber of Commerce. 1914 also marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of The Bronx as a County, and despite its 375 years of settlement is New York State's youngest county.

This year, 2014, marks the 375th anniversary of the settlement of The Bronx by Jonas Jonasson Bronck of Sweden. The detailed program of the celebration is available here: Jonas Brock Celebration August 22-24 in Sävsjö
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