The Albany Van Bergen family probably begins with Martin Gerritse Van Bergen who is said to have been born in New Netherland about 1630. His name was carried through subsequent generations who lived in Albany and the greater Hudson Valley. He was dead by 1697 when his widow was listed among the Albany householders. For a time, Castle Island was referred to as "Marte Gerritse's Island."
Skipper Martin Gerritsen Van Bergen was a prominent resident and regional landholder of the mid-eighteenth century.
Peter Van Bergen represented the family in the city during the last quarter of the century. At least seven other Van Bergen named households were configured on the First Federal Census in 1790 elsewhere in Albany County.
The Van Bergens intermarried and flourished through the female side of the family. However, only the Pearl Street address of silversmith one John Bergen was listed in the first city directory in 1813.
The iconic Van Bergen Overmantel (dated about 1733 and attributed to itinerant and sometimes Albany artist John Heaton) is known as the farm of one Martin Van Bergen located near Leeds (today's Greene County). It frequently has been used to represent a "Dutch" farming operation of the mid-eighteenth century. We still seek a documented connection to the Albany Van Bergens.
At this point, we are uncertain about the possible connection of the Albany Bergens and Van Bergens to the Bergens of Bergen County, New Jersey.
Sources: This access page on the Albany Van Bergen family is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The Van Bergen collection at the New York State Library consists of family business papers.
opened for research purposes 9/10/08; online 2/25/17; updated 6/27/17