Stephanus Groesbeck was born in 1662. He was the American born son of New Netherland pioneers Claes Jacobse and Elizabeth Stevens Groesbeck. He grew up in a large family in the village that became Albany in 1664.
In July 1699, he would have been in his late thirties when he married young Albany native Elizabeth Lansing. By 1709, nine of their children had been baptized in the Albany Dutch church where both parents were members, frequent baptism sponsors, and where Stephanus was a church officer and deacon. In 1714, he joined with other notables in contributing to the new St. Peter's Anglican church.
Coming of age during the early 1680s, his name was conspicuously absent from community rolls. Later wealth and his service as an interpreter suggest that he was involved in the fur trade - perhaps beyond the Albany stockade.
Even before his marriage, Stephanus had his own Albany house. In 1699, he joined other Albany residents in swearing allegiance to the King of England. Over the next decade, city assessment rolls valued his first ward property with that of the most affluent merchants.
Civic involvement spanned several decades. In 1694, he was constable for the second ward. After that, he served as collector, firemaster, and surveyor. Later, he served as alderman for the first ward and was a member of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs. He owned a number of houses in Albany and lived in both the first and second ward. His home on Pearl Street was mentioned in his will.
Stephanus Groesbeck filed a will in August 1743. It bequeathed an extensive estate to his wife and children He died in July 1744. His widow survived for another decade.
first posted 3/10/04; updated 12/13/17