Anna Van Rensselaer Douw
Stefan Bielinski

Anna Van Rensselaer was born in Rensselaerswyck in January 1696. She was the fourth daughter of the eleven children born to Hendrick and Catharina Van Brugh Van Rensselaer. She grew up in the Albany home of a prominent businessman and official and also at their country seat across the river.

In October 1717, her father's Albany home was the site of her marriage to promising Petrus Douw of Rensselaerswyck. All nine of their children born between 1718 and 1736 survived to further connect the families within the upper Hudson region. She was the mother of Albany mayor, Volkert P. Douw.

During Anna's childbearing years, her growing family resided in one of the Douw houses on lower State Street. By the 1740s, Petrus had built a country home called Wolvenhook on a choice riverside location within her father's manor. As time passed, however, these Douws would spend more and more time in their Greenbush home.

Anna Van Rensselaer died in April 1756 at age sixty. She was buried from the Albany Dutch Church. Her husband survived for another nineteen years.



the people of colonial Albany The life of Anna Van Rensselaer Douw is CAP biography number 5059. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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posted: 12/5/01; last revised 12/31/08