People often ponder why the Bronx, the only one of New York's districts, has “the” as part of its name. This is because the municipality is named after the Bronx River and the river was named after a man born in distant Sweden. The area was annexed by stages to New York City in the 19th century and became the Bronx at the time of its consolidation in 1898. The name of the land that became the Bronx was Rananchqua, and the Bronx River, which eventually gave its name to the district, became known as Aquehung. But what is the origin of the name of this northernmost district of New York City? That's a captivating story of an immigrant and his flourishing farm in the New World wilderness. It all began with Jonas Bronck, a Swedish immigrant who arrived in America in 1639 and settled in what is now known as The Bronx.
He established a farm on a tract of land near what is now known as Van Cortlandt Park and named it “Emmanus”, which means “God with us” in Swedish. Jonas Bronck's farm was so successful that it eventually gave its name to the entire area. Over time, it was simplified to “Bronx River”, which eventually became “the Bronx River” or simply “the Bronx”.The Bronx has come a long way since Jonas Bronck's days. It has become one of New York City's most vibrant and diverse boroughs, home to some of its most iconic landmarks and attractions.
But its name will always be a reminder of its humble beginnings and its connection to one man's journey from Sweden to America.