The Beekmans were an important New Netherland era family that succeeded in colonial New York and was particularly prominent in commerce and trade. The Albany history of the Beekman family probably begins with the children of New Netherland pioneers Marte and Susanna Beekman.
Son Johannes Martense Beekman settled in during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. His family prospered in its Albany setting while other branches became prominent in New York, Schenectady, and notably in the development of farming in the mid and lower Hudson Valley. Daughter "Metie" Vanderhoeven raised her family in Albany but left following the death of her husband in 1689.
In 1756, Albany had five Beekman-named households - including that of alderman Johannes J. Beekman. By 1790, four Beekman households were noted in the city (including that of butcher/businessman Christopher Beeckman - probably a different family) with two more in surrounding Watervliet. In 1815, three Beekman addresses remained in the city!
Today, the Beekman name is recalled by place names in the Hudson and Champlain Valleys. The Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck is a legendary stopping place. Beekman Street in Albany is named for Mayor Johannes James Beekman.
Sources: We have adopted "Beekman" as the "standard" spelling of a name that appears often in a variety of forms. Our work on the Beekman family is based on family and community-based resources. General Beekman family website. Jonathan Pearson's genealogical work on the family appears online. The voluminous family-based work of Philip L. White mostly focuses on the Beekmans beyond Albany.
Family bible information: Jacob Beekman.
first posted: 3/20/04