Catharina Lydius Cuyler


Catharina Lydius was born in September 1743. She was the daughter of John H. and Genevieve Masse Lydius. She grew up in the family of a regional trader, developer, and entrepreneur who maintained residences in Albany and in the upper Hudson Valley. Her ambitious and nefarious father was often away from home which meant that the Lydius children mostly were raised by their mother in their landmark Albany house. About 1765, John Henry Lydius travelled to England on business and never returned.

In November 1767, Catharina married Hendrick C. Cuyler at St. Peter's Anglican Church. He was the son and brother of a former and the future mayor of Albany. The union further united two families that had a long history of business interactions. It also produced children but they were not included in the available baptism records of Albany's churches.

By the mid-1770s, these Cuylers were living in a country house across the Hudson at Greenbush. As an obvious loyalist, Henry C. Cuyler was arrested and imprisoned by the Revolutionaries. After the war, he returned to his family and lived out his days on their Greenbush farm.

Catharina Lydius Cuyler lost her husband in 1803. She continued to live on the Greenbush estate until her death in January 1818. She was buried in the cemetery plot accorded St. Peter's Episcopal church. She had outlived all of her siblings in a life that lasted almost seventy-five years.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Catharina Lydius Cuyler is CAP biography number 4621. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 7/15/08