Stoffel Janse
Stefan Bielinski

According to traditional sources, Christopher Abeel was born in Amsterdam, Holland about 1621. He emigrated to New Netherland and settled in Beverwyck where he was known as "Stoffel Janse."

In November 1660, he married Neeltie Croon. The marriage produced at least four children who established the Abeel family in Albany and its environs for generations to come.

Stoffel Janse was a carpenter/builder who was present at the initial distribution of houselots in 1652. He was called a "master carpenter" and is said to have supervised construction of the new Dutch church in 1656 and later served as a deacon.

In 1665, he returned to Holland to attend to family business. He returned to Albany later in the year.

Although not identified among the principal fur traders, he served as an attorney and was appointed commissary and then magistrate in 1664. During that time he was active trader in real estate.

In April 1667, the governor deeded him a a houselot along the Albany waterfront. He would own other Albany properties as well.

In 1679, his name was absent from a census of Albany householders.

Christopher and Neeltie Abeel filed a joint will in December 1678. He died in 1680 and was buried by his widow on August 4. In 1694, his son was appointed mayor of Albany.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Christopher Abeel is CAP biography number 112. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Traditional sources are available online. Much conflicting information has been encountered regarding the life of this pioneer settler.

first posted: 7/10/05; revised 2/5/10