His father was dead by the late 1760s. In his early twenties, Dirck stepped in to hold the cross-river ferry on his mother's behalf beginning in 1767. During this time, he lived with his mother in the first ward.
This Dirck Hansen served in the colonial militia. At the outbreak of the War in 1775, he came forward to accept lieutenant's commissions in the Revolutionary militia and in the Continental line as well. In December 1776, he was commissioned a captain in Colonel James Livingston's Canadian refugee regiment. He served in the Continental army until January 1781 when he retired and returned home.
In July 1781, he would have been thirty-eight when he married Manhattan refugee Helena Low at the Albany Dutch church. His wife's mother was a member of the Albany Cuyler family. By 1796, the marriage had produced at least five children.
These Hansens lived in Greenbush and continued to operate the ferry in partnership with Thomas Lottridge well into the 1780s. Their home probably was near the east bank ferry landing. In 1790, "Derrick Hansen's" Rensselaerswyck home included six females and was served by eight slaves.
Dirck Hansen filed a will in June 1799. It named his wife and children to inherit his real and personal property. He died a few months later. His widow re-married and lived at least until 1837 when she was able to apply for his Revolutionary War pension.
Sources: The life of Dirck Hansen is CAP biography number 4970. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 11/30/06