Johannes Harmanse Visscher
Stefan Bielinski

Johannes Harmanse was born in Albany during the late 1660s. He was the third son of New Netherland pioneers Harmen Bastian and Hester Dircks Visscher.

About 1695, he married soldier's daughter Elizabeth Nottingham. Over the next seventeen years, the marriage produced eight children who were baptized at the Albany Dutch church where both parents were members. By 1697, Johannes had a home on Pearl Street near that of his parents. The landmark house at the corner of Steuben Street would remain a Visscher headquarters for the next hundred years.

Like his father, Johannes Harmanse followed the fur trade. By 1710, he was counted among the most successful Albany merchants. In 1702, he was elected assistant alderman for the second ward. In 1712, he succeeded to the second ward alderman's seat. During those years, he acquired more city property and also a leasehold on a plantation at Schaghticoke.

During the peace of 1713-44, Visscher branched-out beyond his Albany base. During the 1720s, he acquired a house in Schenectady, some property downriver in Kingston, and participated in several frontier land grants. He also was granted permission to trade in the Indian country.

Johannes Harmanse Visscher was buried from the Albany Dutch church in April 1749. He was near his eightieth birthday. His widow lived another five years.


the people of colonial Albany The life of Johannes Harmanse Visscher is CAP biography number 4141. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Traditional sources state he was born in 1669.

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first posted: 8/25/01; last revised 9/20/04