Gerrit Van Ness
Stefan Bielinski

Gerrit Van Ness was born about 1645. He was the son of New Netherland pioneers Cornelis Hendricks and his first wife, Maria/Maycke Van Der Burchgraef Van Ness.

In October 1674, he was among those invited to the funeral of Jeremias Van Rensselaer.

In February 1677, he married widow Maria Teller Van Allen. She may have been his second wife! He was the father of several children - none of whom were alive in 1715. He was a member and deacon of the Albany Dutch church.

In 1679, his name was included on a census of Albany householders. He was a wheelwright by trade but this Albany mainstay owned property in the third ward that was assessed comparable to that of a successful merchant. In 1699, he joined with his neighbors in swearing allegiance to the king of England.

From the 1680s on, he served the community as constable, firemaster, and assessor and was elected assistant and then alderman for the third ward. In 1702, he testified in court and gave his age as fifty-seven. In 1709, his third ward property was accorded a substantial assessment.

Gerrit Van Ness filed his last will in March 1715. It left his wheelwright's tools to his wife's son, Willem Van Allen. The will passed probate in June.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Gerrit Van Ness is CAP biography number 899. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted: 8/15/04; updated 10/26/10