Jan Lansing was a younger son of Gerrit Frederickse and Elizabeth Hendrix Lansing who came with his parents to Beverwyck during the 1650s. He was the first of more than fifty early Albany people to be named John Lansing.
Jan was a fur trader who was able to amass a considerable fortune while still a young man. By 1679, he had established his own residence within the Albany stockade following his marriage to Geertie Van Schaick, the widow of Hendrick Coster - who brought with her several growing children. Over the next two decades, their household on Pearl Street grew again with the birth of six Lansing children.
Jan Lansing was one of Albany's city fathers - being appointed one of the original assistants by the governor in 1686. Two years later he was elected as alderman to represent the second ward on the Common Council. Except for the hiatus of 1689-90, he served on the council until 1698. During that time, he sat on a number of committees and courts and regularly performed contract duties. As his children grew into adulthood, the city-based Lansing continued to prosper and invested in real estate. By the early 1700s, Jan Lansing was one of the wealthiest Albany merchants - as his property was among the highest valued on city assessment rolls.
A lifelong Reformed church member, Lansing served on the consistory and was actively involved in church business. In 1715, he joined a number of European-born Albany people who became naturalized British subjects. Living on into his eighties, Jan Lansing died in February 1728 and was buried under the Dutch church.
first posted: 2/18/00; last revised 12/10/3