Peter Van Bergen


Peter Van Bergen (sometime called "Petrus") probably was born before 1750. Based on subsequent information, it does not appear that he was born in Albany. His parentage is uncertain to us. Perhaps two Albany residents of the same name were in the city during the 1790s.

During the 1760s, Petrus Van Bergen paid taxes on a first ward property. He was a member of an Albany militia company in 1767 and witnessed a will in March 1771.

However, not until September 1774, did Mayor Abraham C. Cuyler sign and seal a document granting him the freedom of the city. That official status would entitle him to the full rights of Albany residency.

In 1775, he contributed for the relief of Ticonderoga. His first ward property was configured on the assessment rolls in 1779. After the war, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

This individual lived first in the first ward where he paid taxes (see 1788) and participated in community-based service activities. In 1785, he was appointed assessor for the first ward and in 1789 served as election inspector.

His first ward household was configured on the Albany census in 1790. At that time, it included two adults and two children.

After the early 1790s, we are less certain of the number of historical characters living in Albany and named Peter Van Bergen.

In 1797, a Peter Van Bergen was identified as a "yeoman" living in the first ward on a list of Albany freeholders. However, that same list included a "gentleman" named Peter Van Bergen as living in the second ward.

All subsequent community-based materials (census, assessments), point to the Pearl and Columbia Street properties of Peter Van Bergen. The census of 1800, profiles a second ward household headed by Peter Van Bergen who was born before 1755.

That probably would not have been the individual who married Elizabeth Fryer in March 1797 at the Albany Dutch church. She died in 1848 at the age of eighty- two - placing her birth at about 1775. During the 1790s, Peter Van Bergen was a pewholder at the Albany Dutch church where, over the next decade, his children were christened there as well.

From census records, we know that Peter Van Bergen of Albany was a slaveholder as well.

For the Peter Van Bergen(s), those resources cease after 1810.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Peter Van Bergen has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

Research Notes: Was this individual the son of Martin Van Bergen of Catskill who filed a will in 1765 which spoke of his only son Peter Van Bergen? Additional qualitative information on men named PVB exists in our files. We are cautious here!

first posted 12/20/07; updated 3/23/14