Wessel Van Schaick was born in February 1712. He was the son of businessman and landholder Anthony Van Schaick and his wife, Anna Catharina Ten Broeck Van Schaick. He grew up in a large family in a landmark home on Albany's main street.
In November 1743, he married Albany native Maria Gerritse at the Albany Dutch church where he was a pewholder and baptism sponsor. The marriage produced five children - four of whom lived to maturity.
Known in the community as a blacksmith, Wessel or "Nessie" seems to have been more of a merchant whose Albany holdings were among the most valuable by the mid 1760s. His preferred trade items were metalware which he also repaired and customized. In 1779, his personal property was assessed substantially under his first ward home.
Although he had served in the county militia in colonial times, he was in his sixties at the outbreak of the Revolution and appeared to play little role in the conflict except as a contributor and contactor. However, in March 1776, he was one of a number of Albany merchants cited for raising their prices.
"Sick and weak in body," Albany businessman Wessel Van Schaick filed a will in December 1782. It left his entire estate to Maria as long as she remained his widow. Wessel died in 1783 in his seventieth year. His widow and son lived in their first ward home for many years.
first posted: 10/15/03