Dorite Jans Van Breestede Douw
Stefan Bielinski

Dorite Jans is said to have come from "Breestede," (Denmark). But, perhaps, she was born in New Amsterdam about 1627!

She married New Netherland pioneer Volkert Janse Douw at the New Amsterdam Dutch church in April 1650. The marriage produced at least eleven children who established the Douw family in Albany and its environs.

These Douws were Beverwyck then Albany mainstays. He was a trader, skipper, brewer, and landholder. Volkert Janse owned acreage in the countryside around Albany and beyond. Dorite's large family knew a number of retreats throughout the region. Her family, the Van Breestedes, also had become prominent in greater New York.

Volkert Janse died in 1681. His will left Dorite use of his substantial estate. In 1684, she sold a large portion of Douw's Albany property to the Dutch church. At that time, her "house" was on Papsknee Island. A few years, later, she sold land on Schodack Island. In 1697, her house appeared on the census for the colony of Rensselaerswyck.

Dorite Jans Van Breestede Douw died in November 1701. She was buried from the Albany Dutch church.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Dorite/Dorethea/Dorothy Jans Van Bredstede Douw is CAP biography number 8009. He name is encountered with a variety of spellings! This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. This link takes you to more information on her family.

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first posted: 2/10/04