Elizabeth Staats was born in the autumn of 1725, the youngest child of onetime Albany businessman and regional landholder Barent Staats and Neeltie Vandenbergh.
Elizabeth grew up on her father's Rensselaerswyck estate, known as "Hoge Berg" or Great Hill. When Barent Staats died in 1752, Elizabeth inherited land along the Hudson River near Coxsackie.
In August 1743, when Elizabeth was only 17, she married John R. Bleecker, an Albany businessman and surveyor who was then thirty-years-old. She moved into his house on Pearl Street where she born him eight children over the next two decades.
These Bleeckers were Albany mainstays but Elizabeth and her husband spent much of their later years living on their Saratoga County farm. Elizabeth was widowed in the fall of 1800 and was identified on the census of that year as living in Albany's second ward with one child, a younger woman (perhaps her her daughter Catalina), and three slaves. In March 1792, she was identified with the heirs in the will filed by her husband.
Perhaps she was among those invited to a Bleecker family funeral in 1808 and was listed beneath the name of one of her daughters-in-law. After that, her name dropped from Albany rolls.
first posted: 7/30/02