Kiliaen Van Rensselaer
Stefan Bielinski

Kiliaen Van Rensselaer was born in November 1717. He was the youngest of the eleven children born to Hendrick and Catharina Van Brugh Van Rensselaer. The families of both his parents reflected New York's commercial and landed elites.

He married Schenectady native Ariaantie Schuyler in January 1742. Before her death in 1763, the marriage had produced nine children who were baptized in the Albany Dutch church where both parents were members. In September 1769, Kiliaen was approaching fifty-two when he married Maria Low of New Jersey. Several of his sons became prominent residents of the region. His daughter married Leonard Gansevoort, Jr.

He was a gentleman farmer and landlord. Marriages and inheritances brought him additional landholdings on the east side of the Hudson River. He lived in Rensselaerswyck - to the east of and overlooking Papsknee Island.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1775, he represented Rensselaerswyck on the Albany Committee of Correspondence. He also served as colonel of the Fourth Regiment (Rensselaerswyck battalion) of the Albany County militia.

Kiliaen Van Rensselaer died in December 1781 at the age of sixty-four.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer is CAP biography number 5131. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted: 12/25/04