The story of the Van Allen (sometimes Van Alen) family of early Albany may begin with one Johannes Van Allen who brought his sons to New Netherland about 1658. A younger son, Pieter Van Allen became an Albany resident but died in 1674. Same named contemporaries complicate the assignment of qualitative information for this individual. Lourens Van Allen went on to establish the Kinderhook branch of the family.
Pieter's sons, Willem and Johannes, became Albany mainstays. In 1720, Johannes was listed among Albany freeholders. By that time six Van Allens were included among the freeholders of Kinderhook and Livingston Manor. William Van Allen was listed in Rensselaerswyck.
In 1763, six Van Allen men were named on a list of Kinderhook freeholders.
In 1800, three Van Allen named households were configured on the city census. Two were headed by widows.
By 1813, no Van Allens were listed in the city directory.
Although not an Albany resident, city surveyor Evert Van Allen was responsible for a number of historically important maps made during the nineteenth century.
Throughout the eighteenth century, the small but consistent presence of the Van Allen family in the city stood in contrast to their much more prominent occurrance in greater Albany County - particularly in the Kinderhook area.
Sources: This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The most useful printed resource on the family was published in the NYGBR in 1950 in two parts. It was contributed by Innes Gettys and was based on the pioneering manuscript compiled by "the late Rev. Henry John Van Allen." His work seems to have been a compilation of prevailing information and lore. Scans of the seminal 1950 articles have been available on The Van Allen Home Page as pdf files. See: part I and part II. For our purposes, most other Internet-based resources appear to be derivative of that article. See also an online reproduction of Genealogical History of the Van Alen Family (1902).
first posted sometime in 2006; revised 3/30/14