The story of the Albany Witbeck family begins with Jan Thomase who emigrated to New Netherland and was among the initial settlers of Beverwyck. His marriage to Geertruy Dochter produced a number of children including six sons who established the Witbeck family only barely in what became the city of Albany but more so in the countryside of greater Albany County.

Over the next two centuries, the Witbeck name was prominent mostly in the more agrarian hinterland.

In 1742, the name of third ward resident Abraham Witbeck was included on a list of freeholders. Two additional Witbeck men were identified as freeholders in surrounding Rensselaerswyck.

In 1779, the house and holdings, shop, and lots of blacksmith Gerrit Witbeck were valued on the city assessment roll. He operated a nail manufactory and probably was the most prominent Albany Witbeck. Later, like most of his kin, he would migrate to Albany's hinterland.

In 1790, nine Witbeck-named households (including Gerrit) were counted on the census for Watervliet but none within the city of Albany. Statewide, more than forty households were identified under the family name.

By the issuance of the first Albany city directory in 1813 the Witbeck name had dropped from the Albany annals.

However, the family spread across New York State and beyond as the name remains prominent in demographic listings. Today, about forty percent of the American Witbecks are still found in New York.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Internet-based resources: PFS; HMGF; family cemetery;
Follow this link to more information on the Albany Witbecks on this website.
Witbecks in the biographical index.

first posted: 1/20/12; last updated 6/17/12