Philippus Van Vechten


Philippus Van Vechten was baptized at the Albany Dutch church on February 2, 1729. He was a younger son in the family of Albany residents Reuben and Geertruy Witbeck Van Vechten. He grew up in the third ward where his father kept a stables. Reuben Van Vechten died in 1735 leaving Geertruy to raise their large family.

However, the widow Van Vechten died ten years later - leaving Philippus either under the Van Vechten-Witbeck family umbrella or else on his own at the age of sixteen. Although he lived several decades longer, Philippus does not appear to have married or to have raised a family. In 1754, he was identified as a pewholder at the Dutch church.

In 1748, he was named to share in the estate of his uncle Johannes L. Witbeck of Rensselaerswyck. In May 1769, he was identified as the brother-in-law, heir, and co-executor of the estate of Harmanus Wendell.

In November 1756, he was identifed as a yeoman when he witnessed the will of widow Elizabeth Van Rensselaer. In 1760 and 1770, his accounts were paid by the Albany treasurer.

In 1766 and '67, his property on the West side of the Van Rensselaer Manor received moderate assessments. He probably lived north of the city - in the vicinity of the Manor House.

In 1776, he signed the General Association. The next year, he supported the crusade for American liberties when he swore an oath of secrecy. Philippus Van Vechten was last heard from in November 1778 when he was exempted from military service because of his age.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Philippus Van Vechten is CAP biography number 2558. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 12/20/06