Maria Van Rensselaer was born in October 1673. She was the daughter of Jeremias and Maria Van Cortlandt Van Rensselaer. Her father was the lord of Rensselaerswyck but died the year after her birth. Her mother died in 1689, leaving her an orphan at the age of sixteen.
In September 1691 she was just eighteen-years-old when she became the second wife of Albany leader Pieter Schuyler - perhaps the most prominent native Albanian. Only one child had survived from Schuyler's first marriage. But by 1698, Maria bore five children - all of whom survived to adulthood.
These Schuylers lived in his house on Court Street and spent considerable time at the country estates of both of their families. Like her husband, Maria was a member of the Albany Dutch church and a frequent baptism sponsor.
Three months before her fortieth birthday, Maria Van Rensselaer Schuyler died in the morning on July 25, 1713. Her famous husband lived until 1724.
Sources: The life of Maria Van Rensselaer Schuyler is CAP biography number 5055. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 2/5/04