Rachel Van Zandt Bleecker


Rachel Van Zandt was born in May 1759. She was the daughter of Gerrit and Hester Winne Van Zandt. She grew up in a small family in the home of a first ward businessman, city officer, and property holder. Her father also owned a mill and farm on a creek south of Albany.

In November 1782, she married Jacobus Bleecker at the Albany Dutch church. By 1790, four children had been christened in Albany.

This Bleecker family joined the others on Pearl Street from where Jacob/James Bleecker, Jr. followed business and real estate interests. In 1800, their home was served by four slaves.

In 1806, Rachel was the only living child and was well provided for in the will filed by her father. Her legacy included substantial Albany real estate. Her three living children were to receive substantial bequests as well.

James/Jacob Bleecker, Jr. died at the end of 1808. Subsequent city directories showed "Widow Bleecker" in their town house at 49 Pearl Street. By 1820, her name had dropped from the directory listings.

Rachel Van Zandt Bleecker died on March 22, 1837 and was buried from the house of her son, Gerrit. This Pearl Street widow had lived seventy-nine years.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Rachel Van Zandt Bleecker is CAP biography number 315. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 8/10/09