Catherine Willett Visscher


Catherine Willett was born in June 1780. She was the daughter of Edward S. and Sara Fryer Willett. She was a middle child of the marriage of a transplanted Long Island skipper and the daughter of an Albany-born slooper. She grew up on the south side of Albany among many English speakers.

As her parents were of British ancestry, she was confirmed at St. Peter's Episcopal church in September 1791.

Sometime after 1804, she became the second wife of John B. Visscher, perhaps a childless widower. Between, 1810 and 1825, Caty bore at least eight Visscher children.

John B. Visscher died in April 1825. His widow was the householder of record at 34 Columbia Street for a number of years. In December 1831, the newspaper reported Widow Sarah Willet was "buried from the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Catharine Visscher, corner of Columbia street and Middle lane."

Widow Visscher lived for another three decades. In 1834, a town house was built for her and her children. It stands at 48 Columbia Street.

Catherine Willett Visscher died on May 1, 1862. She had lived almost eighty-three years.

Her will passed probate shortly after her death. However, in 1884, her estate still was in litigation.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Catherine Willett Visscher is CAP biography number 6904. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 4/30/12