Elbert Gerritse
by
Stefan Bielinski


Elbert Gerritse was born about 1670. He was the son of Albany residents Gerrit Ryerse and Anna Jans Ryerse. Coming of age at the close of the seventeenth century, he took the surname "Gerritse."

In 1694, he was made the guardian of his younger brothers and sisters, In 1713, he became the administrator of the family estate with the death of his mother.

In 1693, he married tailor's daughter Maria Pruyn at the Albany Dutch church. Their five children were baptized there between 1694 and 1707. With his wife, he was a church member and frequent baptism sponsor. He also was a deacon and, in 1706, served as "churchmaster."

Living first with Maria's family, he probably learned the tailor's trade from his father-in-law, Frans Pruyn. As late as 1747, he still thought of himself as a tailor.

For a time, he continued to live in the second ward and prospered in Gerrit Ryerse's business. Following his father into community service, Elbert served as constable, firemaster, assessor, militiaman in 1715, and juror during the first decade of his adulthood.

By 1718, he had relocated and was elected assistant alderman for the third ward. By that time, he had succeeded his father in business and had become a third ward mainstay. In 1742, his name appeared on a list of third ward freeholders. He also owned lots along Foxes Creek.

In June 1747, he filed a will. His children and grandchildren were named as heirs as Maria Pruyn Gerritse had died in 1731. Elbert Gerritse died in November 1750 and was buried under the church.

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notes

the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Elbert Gerritse is CAP biography number 6006. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.




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first posted: 10/20/02; revised 2/20/08