Theodorus Frelinghuysen, Jr.


Theodorus Frelinghuysen, Jr. (sometimes "Frielinghuysen") perhaps was born in 1724. He was the eldest son of the reknowned Domine Theodorus Frelinghuysen and his wife, Flatbush native Eva Terhune. Their large family grew up at the elder Frelinghuysen's parishes in New Jersey. Four younger brothers became Reformed ministers and two sisters married ministers as well.

Theodorus Jr. (or "Theodorus II") studied at the University of Utrecht and was ordained a minister in October 1745. His first assignment was to the Reformed church in Albany. He quickly set sail for America but his ship was captured by the French and he did not reach his new congregation until the following Spring.

He made an immediate and profound impact on his new congregation and was a pillar of the Albany community for more than a decade.

His long tenure in Albany came at a pivotal time in early American history and in the transformation of religion in American life. He his ability to also preach in English permitted his Albany church to accommodate non Dutch speakers as well. However, liturgial matters kept his ministry in turmoil for most of his tenure.

In January 1756, he married nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Symes / Sims - the sister of the wife of eminent Anglican John Ogilvie. The marriage produced two daughters.

In 1759, Theodorus Frelinghuysen, Jr. sought to return to Holland - presumably for a visit. He sailed from New York in October 1759. Several senarios have been offered but he never returned and his fate still has not been definitively determined. His replacement arrived in Albany in October 1760.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Theodorus Frelinghuysen, Jr. is CAP biography number 8120. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

His ministry is chronicled in Alexander, Albany's First Church, pp. 118-30.

first posted: 8/5/07