Jan Hendrix Bruyn


Jan Hendrix Bruyn probably was born before 1640. He was known as "Jan Hendricks" and/or "Jan Hendrix de Bruyn."

He may have been in Albany in 1666 when a "Jan Bruin" was noted in the Dutch church records. From that time on, he was involved in a variety of cases before the Albany court.

His wife was mentioned but not identified in December 1670. He also had servants and was identified as the co-guardian of the children of Jan Rinckhout in 1668. During the 1670s, his wife appeared in court a number of times. However, she never was identified by name.

In September 1675, the Albany court received a petition from Huybertie Marselis regarding the paternity of her unborn child. After a lengthy court battle and despite his protestations, Jan Hendrix first was ordered to marry her. As he already was married, he then was directed to pay a large sum for child support and court costs.

That issue was among a number of instances that did not endear De Bruyn to the Albany community. During the 1670s, he was branded as an outsider who sought to participate in the Albany fur trade. In 1678, he was forbidden to trade with the Indians because he was a New Yorker. Jan Hendrix replied that he had been an Albany burgher for upward of twenty years. However, the court refused his protest stating that he had failed to keep a "fire and light" in his Albany house for over a year.

In 1679, he was included on a census of Albany householders taken to solicit support for maintaining the stockade. At that time, he was assessed more than his actual wealth and holdings would indicate. In 1681, Arnout Viele was living in his Albany house. In 1684, his Albany taxes for two houses were in arrears.

In addition to a number of Albany houses and properties, de Bruyn owned real estate behind Kinderhook, in the Hudson River, and to the southward as well.

By 1690, Jan Hendrix had settled in New York. In December he was commissioned Major in the militia by insurgent leader Jacob Leisler.

Jan Hendrix Bruyn filed a will in December 1702. At that time, he called himself as a New York City merchant. He identified his wife (but not by name), Johannes, and a number of nieces and nephews as heirs. The will passed probate in June 1709.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jan Hendrix Bruyn is CAP biography number 7464. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 11/30/06