Lydia Vandenbergh was born in August 1737. She was the daughter of Albany residents Gerrit C. and Margarita Van Vechten Vandenbergh. She was a middle child in the large family of a third ward wagonner and office holder. After a while, her parents moved their home to a farm in the manor.
Although only twenty-one in November 1758, she was identified as a "spinster" when she married Schenectady native and then Albany merchant Pieter Ryckman. By 1777, at least six children were christened at the at the Albany Dutch church where she was a pewholder and occasional baptism sponsor.
These Ryckmans made their home on Green Street. But Peter was an Indian interpreter and messenger to the Iroquois - thus spending considerable time on the frontier before and after the War for Independence. Their first ward home was an Albany fixture although Peter Ryckman frequently was absent. Thus, Lydia also shared her house with a number of adult kin.
Lydia Vandenbergh Ryckman lost her husband at the beginning of 1811. Over the next two decades, city directories identified her as the head of Albany homes at 27 Green Street and at other locations on the South side of Albany. The Albany census for 1820 listed her and two other older adults in her Southside home. In 1827, her son, Wilhelmus Ryckman, also lived at her address.
Born in 1737, on August 16, 1836 the Albany newspaper reported that "Mrs. Lydia Ryckman" died at the age of 99!
first posted 8/25/05; updated 5/29/14