Catharina Ten Broeck was born in May 1737. She was the elder of the two children of the marriage of Albany businessman Cornelis Ten Broeck and Albany native Maria Cuyler. She grew up in a comfortable third ward home surrounded by extended families and also supported by their country estates.
However, she married much later than most early Albany women. In June 1765, twenty-eight-year-old Catharina married former British army clerk and artilleryman George Wray at the Albany Dutch church where they were occasional baptism sponsors. The marriage produced at least three children who probably were christened in New York City.
After settling for a time in Albany, Wray was called to duty with the British army. With the outbreak of war in 1775, he would be unable to return to Albany. Catharina took the children to visit him in New York and Philadelphia. Denied permission to remain with him permanently by the Albany committee, Catharina Wray returned home - perhaps to the house she had inherited on her father's death in 1773. By 1779, she was acknowledged as the head of a third ward household although she may have been living in the house of Dr. Samuel Stringer. Tradition holds that Wray had given her his power of attorney.
Wray seems to have left his Albany family behind as he settled at Fort Ann where he died in 1804. He did join Catharina in witnessing baptisms at the Albany Dutch church in 1780 and 1781.
According to family sources, Catharina Ten Broeck Wray lived with family members for the remainder of her life. She died in September 1806 eight months shy of her seventieth birthday.
Sources: The life of Catharina Ten Broeck Wray is CAP biography number 7. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 8/5/03