I first became aware of ten Bruggencates in St. Petersburg through an entry in FamilySearch for the burial of Maria Magdalena Bruggenkat, daughter of Abraham Bruggenkat in the Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg. It is not surprising that there were Dutch people in St. Petersburg: there was much contact between Czar Peter and the Dutch, and many people from Almelo and Vriezenveen went to St. Petersburg for trade.(1) Some came back, and some stayed. There was a lively Dutch community there, and the Dutch Church was flourishing. Whether Abraham went for adventure or trade opportunities, we don’t know. But he was a member of the consistory of the Dutch Church there, and his two sons were both baptized in the Dutch Church.(2)
Benjamina Margaretha Siricius was probably of German descent. The death of a son of Carl Friedrich Siricius, the witness at the baptism of Johann’s brother Carl Nicholas, is listed in the German Lutheran church book in St. Petersburg. Carl Friedrich could be a brother of Benjamina; and this makes the connection with the Lutheran Maria Magdalena reasonable.
Johann Michael died in 1848 of consumption (like his father), and is buried in the (Lutheran) Volkova Cemetery in St. Petersburg, which is another indication for the Lutheran connection.
There are no longer descendants of the ten Bruggencates in Russia, all three of Abraham’s children died unmarried. But it was an interesting find, and it highlights an interesting chapter in Dutch history.
(1) see for instance this article on Wicher Berkhoff, a famous Vriezenvener in St. Petersburg
(2) De Hollandse Hervormde Kerk in Sint-Petersburg 1713-1927 (The Dutch Reformed Church in St. Petersburg 1713-1927), sent to me by Andre Idzinga, Vereniging Oud Vriezenveen (email@example.com)