Geertruy Schuyler Cochran


Geertruy Schuyler was born in August 1724. She was the eldest daughter in the large family of Johannes and Cornelia Van Cortlandt Schuyler. Her father was a frontier trader and family leader whose life ended early when he died in 1743 at the age of forty-four. Her mother was the daughter of one of the most powerful New York families. Geertruy grew up in Albany and at family seats in New York and in the Albany hinterland.

About 1745, she married Pieter Schuyler - probably in New York. By 1749, the marriage had produced three children - two of whom survived to raise their own families.

These Schuylers probably lived at the Flats where Pieter P. Schuyler was buried in September 1753.

Following the outbreak of war in 1754, many new people were drawn to Albany - a major staging area for operations against the French. One of these newcomers was a contract surgeon named John Cochran who came from Pennsylvania to serve with Geertruy's brother, the future General Philip Schuyler. In 1758, Geertruy is said to have nursed soldiers wounded at the siege of Ticonderoga.

Cochran married the thirty-six-year-old widow at the Albany Dutch church in December 1760. By 1773, that marriage had produced five children who were christened in New Brunswick, New Jersey - where the Cochrans had moved following the end of Dr. Cochran's tour in Albany.

In 1758, she was slated to inherit substantial properties in the will of her mother who died in 1762.

Following the outbreak of the war, Geertruy took her family from New Brunswick home to Albany and then to Livingston Manor to be with other family members. She is said to have attended the wedding of her niece Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton at Schuyler Mansion in December 1780. After the war, these Cochrans lived in Ft. Edward and then in New York City. After her husband suffered a stroke, Geertruy moved him to their farm in Palatine (Mohawk Valley) where Cochran died in 1807.

Geertruy Schuyler Cochran died in March 1813 at the age of eighty-niine.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Geertruy Schuyler Cochran is CAP biography number 1282. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 8/30/07