Frans Harsen (Francis Harsin) was born in February 1754. He was the son of frontier trader/smith Bernardus and Catharina Pruyn Harsen. By the 1750s, these Harsens had settled permanently in Albany where they raised a large family.
In July 1779, he married Rebecca Spoor. By 1795, six children had been christened at the Albany Dutch church. Beginning in that year, his name appeared on Albany survey documents. In 1788, his third ward personal property was evaluated on the citywide tax list. It appears that he was living in a house headed by a member of the Spoor family. His name is absent from the census of heads of households taken two years later. Perhaps his family were boarders.
In 1778, he was appointed constable in the city. In 1780, he was named firemaster in the third ward. During the mid-1790s, he served as the city watchman. During the 1780s, he was paid by the Albany government.
Frans Harsen was last heard from during the mid-1790s.
Sources: The life of Frans Harsen is CAP biography number 4996. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 8/10/06