Harmen Harmanse was born during the 1630s. He is believed to have been a native of Westphalia, emigrated to New Netherland, and to have appeared in Beverwyck by 1657. He married brewer's daughter Maria Conyn, and was the patriarch of the Albany Gansevoort family.
In his earlier days, he may have kept a brewery south of the Normanskill and also owned land at Catskill. Marrying into a brewing family, by 1677 he had purchased a houselot on what became the east side of Market Street where it intersected with Maiden Lane. In 1679, he was identified as an Albany householder. In 1684, his Albany taxes were in arrears. In 1697, his riverside Albany household included six children. By that time, he had become a member of the Albany Dutch church. Previously, he had been a Lutheran.
Called "Harme de Brouwer," he built a brewery on his riverside property and was among seventeenth century Albany's most prominent brewers. He also engaged in the fur trade and was brought to court for not paying the "tapping excise." In his later years, he was called on by the city government to perform various tasks.
Lutheran church records for 1708 noted the passing of Harmen Harmanse, "a very old man more than 80 years," and that he was buried in the Lutheran cemetery in the Fall.
first posted: 7/30/03