Andries Drayer


Andries Drayer (sometimes Drawyer, Draeyer, and sometimes with only an "e") probably was born during the early 1650s. He is said to have been of royal Danish ancestry. However, much uncertainty surrounds such claims.

We seek information on how and when he came to New York and then Albany.

In October 1673, he was addressed as the commandant at Fort Nassau and sheriff of Willemstadt - the Dutch names for the settlement more permanently known as Albany. Some sources on that part of his career are found in volume two of the online version of NYCD.

He is said to have married young Gerritje Van Schaick on January 17, 1674. She was daughter of one of the founders of Beverwyck and a resident of Albany. Domine Gideon Schaets is said to have performed the marriage ceremony. The marriage produced a daughter who married a prominent Anglican cleric. These Drayers may have had other children as well. At the time of the wedding, Andries produced a membership certificate from a church in Copenhagen.

After the restoration of English rule in 1674, Drayer is said to have been among the Dutch officials who then returned to the Netherlands.

He is said to have died in Europe in 1686. Sometime afterward, his widow and children returned to New York.

According to John R. Brodhead, a younger Andries Drayer (probably his son) returned to Denmark in 1700.

In 1708, Drayer's daughter married Rev. Thomas Barclay and was the matriarch of the New York Barclay family.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Andries Drayer has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from traditional family-based resources - especially those relating to the Van Schaicks, one of the most prominent early Albany families. Family information online. The one article on him published in NYG&BR is not very biographical. His name is also found in the New York colonial records from the 1670s when he was a Dutch official. We have little original material on his background and career for that matter.

This passage from a major genealogical reference work summarizes the undocumented claims regarding Drayer's background: ". . . Gerritje marrying Captain Andrew Drayer, then commander of "the Fort at Albany," who was later an admiral and commanded a Dutch squadron, a man of some note, and took his wife back to Holland, where she died. He left, however, descendants in this country, still occupying prominent position in society. Their daughter, Dorothea, married Rev. Thomas Barclay, of Albany, rector of the English church."

first posted: 9/30/09