Wessel Ten Broeck

Stefan Bielinski

Wessel Ten Broeck was born in 1664. He was the eldest son in the large family of Albany patriarch Dirck Wesselse and his wife Christina Van Buren Ten Broeck.

He married furtrader's daughter Catharina Loockermans in 1684. Their eight children were baptized in the Albany Dutch church where both parents were members and very frequent baptism sponsors and where Wessel was a church officer.

Nominally a baker, he followed his father in the fur trade and to acquiring rural land. In 1689, he joined a number of leading Albany residents who signed a pledge of support for the authority of William and Mary - thus repudiating the pretentions of Jacob Leisler. By the 1690s, his emergence as a businessman was recognized with election to the city council - first as an assistant in 1691, and then, beginning in 1697, as alderman for the third ward. By that time, his family was well-established in its riverside home.

With the relocation of his aging father to the countryside, Wessel spoke for the Ten Broeck family in Albany circles where he remained a prominent businessman, civic leader, militia officer, and churchman for the next twenty years. As an eldest son, he figured prominently in the will filed by his father in 1715. He retired from the city council in 1718.

Wessel Ten Broeck filed a will in June 1723. It named Catharina as his principal heir and listed his house and lots on Brewers (Market) Street, farms south of Albany, and substantial personal assets. He lived another twenty-four years - dying in 1747 at the age of eighty-three. His son and grandson became mayors of Albany



the people of colonial Albany The life of Wessel Ten Broeck is CAP biography number 83. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Named for his grandfather, the first American Ten Broeck, Wessel of Albany is sometimes confused with sons of his uncles of the same name.

He sat on the city council for more than twenty years. During that time, he was active in committee work, as a magistrate, and as a member of the CIA! Although never achieving the mayoralty, this city father was an important link in his family's chain of prominence during the early eighteenth century.

Military: After serving as a lieutenant in the Albany County militia, Wessel Ten Broeck was a captain in the Canadian invasion of 1711. However, that individual may have been our the downriver cousin of our subject!

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first posted: 2/25/02