Wouter De Foreest


Wouter De Foreest was born in November 1725. He was the second son of Jesse and Neeltie Quackenbush De Foreest. He grew up a middle child in the third ward home of an Albany mainstay and city official.

In April 1749, he was among those ordered to appear at city court to answer questions regarding the destruction of market buildings in the second ward. In 1750, he was named constable in the third ward.

In September 1754, Wouter was almost thirty when he married a much younger Engeltie Bradt at the Albany Dutch church. Their first child arrived only two months fafter the wedding. However, Engeltie died after bearing only three children. In August 1763, Wouter married Alida Clute also in Albany. By 1776, the second marriage had produced seven more children - all of whom were christened at the Albany church where he was a member and pewholder.

Wouter raised his combined family in the third ward where his property was modestly valued on city assessment rolls from 1766 thru 1788.

In his fifties at the outbreak of hostilities he would have been too old for normal military service. In 1775, he did contribute to the relief of Ticonderoga. However, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

After the war, he was in his sixties and continued to live near the northern border next to (or perhaps with) his older brothers Philip and Isaac or his married sister. While Philip, Isaac, and sister Sara lived on for a decade of more, Wouter's household was no longer configured on the city census. Perhaps he was dead by 1790, and his widow and dependant children would be absorbed in the nearby households of their kin.

In August 1797, a fire ravaged the area as reported in a newspaper article that "The dwelling house and stable was destroyed by fire - house on Watervliet Street . . . belonging to Widow De Foreest; occupied by her and Mrs. Low."

With unresolved questions, we move on for now - still seeking defining information on the later life and passing of Wouter De Foreest.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Wouter De Foreest is CAP biography number 4748. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 6/15/12; last updated 1/12/13