Christina Van Buren Ten Broeck


Christina Van Buren was born in Rensselaerswyck in 1644. She was the daughter of Cornelis Maas and Cathalina Martens Van Buren. Her parents both died on the same day in 1648. She was raised on the farm of Teunis Dirckse and Cornelia Van Vechten of Papskanee Island.

At nineteen, this orphaned farm girl married twenty-four-year-old Dirck Wesselse - a successful fur trader and a major figure in early Albany history. The couple moved into the Anneke Jans house on lower State Street, joined the Albany Dutch church, and began to raise a family.

A young bride, Christina gave birth to thirteen children between 1664 and 1689. Eleven of her children survived to marriage age - making her the matriarch of a large extended family over her long life.

Dirck Wesselse acquired extensive acreage across the upriver region. After 1700, these Ten Broecks retired to their estate or Bouwerie along the Roeloff Jansen Kil on Livingston Manor.

On the death of Dirck Wesselse in 1717, his "well-beloved" Christina inherited the bulk of her husband's vast estate with the proviso that she remain a widow and not sell any of the real property to strangers. In 1718, the now seventy-four-year-old widow appointed her sons, Wessel and Johannes, and son-in-law Johannes Cuyler as her attornies to administer the estate in accordance with the wishes of her late husband.

Christina Ten Broeck then went to live in their old Albany house under the care of the family of her son Johannes Ten Broeck. She died in November 1729 at age 85 and was buried in the church cemetery. By that time, several younger "Christina Ten Broecks" had been named in her honor.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Christina Van Buren Ten Broeck is CAP biography number 29. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

last revised 1/20/07