Helena Low Hansen


Helena Low probably was born about 1760. She was the daughter of Manhattan merchant and whig-turned-tory Isaac Low and his wife, Albany native Margarita Cuyler Low. Her mother was the daughter and sister of one-time mayors of Albany. She probably joined Low family members in Albany while her father was branded a traitor and finally quit New York for England where he died in 1791. She was sometime known as "Lysie" or "Lena."

In July 1781, she married Albany native Dirck Hansen at the Albany Dutch church. By 1796, the marriage had produced at least five children.

With her husband recently retired as an officer in the Continental army, these Hansens set up their home in the Greenbush part of Rensselaerswyck. During the 1780s, he held a share of the license for the cross-river ferry. In 1790, their Rensselaerswyck home was served by eight slaves.

Dirck Hansen made his will in June 1799. It named Helena as his heir to real and personal property. He died a couple months later. Afterwards, Helena married the Reverend Linn.

Helena Low Hansen was seventy-nine in 1837 when she applied for a widow's pension based on her first husband's wartime service. She died sometime thereafter.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Helena Low Hansen is CAP biography number 8449. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. We seek more precisely defining demographic information.

first posted: 11/30/06