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Notable Frisian Americans

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    Col. Rudolphus Ritzema (1738 - 1803)
    Rudolphus Ritzema (1739–1803) was an American officer in the New York Line during the American Revolutionary War, and later changed sides, serving as a lieutenant colonel in a British regiment.He was b...
  • Janwillem Lincoln van de Wetering (1931 - 2008)
    Janwillem Lincoln van de Wetering (February 12, 1931 in Rotterdam – July 4, 2008 in Blue Hill, Maine) was the author of a number of works in English and Dutch.
  • Pieter Claesen Wyckoff (c.1620 - 1694)
    Parents are not known Pieter Claesen Wyckoff (ca. 1620 – June 30, 1694) was a prominent figure in Dutch and later English colonial Kings County, Long Island, New York. Most persons surnamed Wyckoff i...
  • Minnie Marx (1864 - 1929)
    Minnie Marx (born Miene Schönberg) was the mother and manager of the Marx Brothers, wife of Sam Marx, and the sister of vaudeville star Al Shean. While managing the Marx Brothers, she also went by the ...
  • Zeppo Marx (1901 - 1979)
    Herbert Manfred Marx was the youngest of the five Marx Brothers. He appeared in the first five Marx Brothers films as a straight man and romantic lead, before leaving the team for a career as a theatri...

Frisian Americans are people originally from or living in the United States, with full or partial Frisian ancestry.

Frisians are a Germanic ethnocultural group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. Frisians have historically included both Christian and Jews. They are closely connected to the Dutch, Northern Germans, and the English, and speak Frisian languages divided by geographical regions.

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; the region was later named The Bronx after him. 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."

Because there is no modern united Frisian state, Frisian Americans are often included within Dutch Americans, German Americans or Scandinavian Americans. Regions with significant populations of Frisian Americans are New York, New England, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

List of Notable Frisian Americans

East Frisian

  • 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
  • Ub Iwerks - animator

North Frisian

  • Cornelius Jensen - pioneer settler in the Inland Empire (California)
  • Ludwig Nissen - gemstone dealer and philanthropist, born in Husum

West Frisian

  • Dan Bylsma - Pittsburgh Penguins head coach
  • Jason Crow - Army Ranger, Member of Congress
  • 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 Petraeus
  • Alvin Plantinga – philosopher
  • Kyrsten Sinema - politician
  • Peter Stuyvesant – Director-General of New Netherland
  • Sam Peckinpah, film director
  • Geerhardus Vos – Frisian-born theologian