Catharina Van Brugh Van Rensselaer
Stefan Bielinski

Catharina Van Brugh was born in New York in 1665. She was the daughter of merchant Johannes Pieterse and Catharina Roeloffs Van Brugh.

In March 1689, she married Hendrick Van Rensselaer in the New York City Dutch church where their first child was baptized a few days after the wedding. Before long, the couple moved to Albany where Hendrick's family owned a great estate and where Catharina's brother, Pieter Van Brugh, would be appointed mayor of Albany in 1699. Her remaining ten children were baptized in the Albany Dutch church where both parents were active members.

Catharina raised her large family in Albany and at their country seat called Crailo. Seven of her sons and daughters married and raised families in the region - bringing a steady stream of visitors to this Van Rensselaer home for many years.

"Katie" Van Rensselaer died at Greenbush in December 1730. An early Albany matriarch, she lived for more than sixty-five years and was buried from the Albany Dutch church.


the people of colonial AlbanyThe life of Catharina Van Brugh Van Rensselaer is CAP biography number 8627. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The basic genealogical source for the family is "The Van Brugh Family," by John Ross Delafield as printed in NYGBR vol 66 (1935). The Van Brugh name passed from Albany rolls with the death of Pieter Van Brugh in 1740. However, the marriage of her Van Rensselaer children rooted the family in early New York society.

By 1724, Catharina had witnessed (or sponsored) more than twenty baptisms at the Albany Dutch church. She was probably a pewholder - but we have found no pewholding records for her lifetime.

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last revised 7/03