Isabella Rachels married Johannes Lydius during the 1690s while he was domine of the Reformed Church at Antwerp Belgium. With her young children, she accompanied Lydius to New York in 1700 where he had accepted a call to the Dutch Reformed Church at Albany.
Three more babies were born in America and the family settled into a comfortable life in their new State Street home. This minister's wife set down roots in Albany and played a supportive role in church activities. But the untimely death of Johannes Lydius in 1710 left Isabella with charge of his Albany estate and also with responsiblity for administering his property in Holland for the benefit of their five surviving children.
By January 1711, widow Isabella Lydius had entered into a marriage contract with widower Jacob Staats, an Albany physician. With her two European-born daughters, she became a naturalized British subject in 1716. After raising her family and Staats’s two daughters as well, she inherited his property after Jacob Staats's death in 1735. She died in December 1745 and was buried beneath the church.
first posted: 1999; last revised 2/03