Willem Claese Groesbeck
Stefan Bielinski

Willem Claese Groesbeck was born about 1659. He was the son of New Netherland pioneers Claes and Elizabeth Stevens Groesbeck. He grew up in a trader's home located on what became Pearl Street in Albany.

About 1684, he married Geertruy Schuyler, the daughter of early Albany's premier family. By 1701, the marriage had produced six children who were christened in the church where Willem Claese was a member, deacon, and a regular baptism sponsor.

This Groesbeck home also was on Pearl Street. It stood opposite the house of his father. His Albany property was accorded a moderate assessment on the city tax rolls.

Like his father, Willem Claese was an Albany mainstay. Beginning at the inception of the municipal government in 1686, he served as assessor and firemaster. Mainly a carpenter but also a businessman, he also served on juries. In 1687, he was elected assistant alderman for the second ward. In 1715, he belonged to an Albany militia company. In 1699, Willem Groesbeck joined his neighbors in swearing allegiance to the king of England. In 1720, his name was included on a list of sceond ward freeholders.

Willem Claese Groesbeck died in December 1722 and was buried from the Dutch church.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Willem Claese Groesbeck is CAP biography number 3381. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted 10/10/05; revised 1/6/14