Gerardus Beekman was born during the 1730s. He seems to have been the son of Jacob and Maria Beekman of New York.
In June 1761, he married twenty-nine-year-old Anna Douw at the Albany Dutch church. At that time, he was identified as "of N.Y." By 1775, six children had been christened in the Albany church where he was a member and occasional baptism sponsor.
By the mid-1760s, these Beekmans had settled into a house in the first ward that was valued substantially on city assessment rolls.
In 1767, the thirty-ish Gerardus (or a same-named and younger relative) was a private in an Albany militia company. Otherwise, his name was not found on city service rolls. In 1772, his account was paid from the city treasury.
Gerardus Beekman was a slaveholder. In 1774, his slave, Anthony Sweezer, was made a communicant at St. Peter's. In 1801, he freed Tom Townsides, a twenty-eight-year-old man.
In March 1776, he was identified as a merchant in Albany. In 1779, assessment rolls showed that Evert Bancker was a resident in his house.
During the war, he contributed to the cause, performed some domestic services, signed community-based petitions, and was in trouble with the revolutionaries for raising prices. However, afterwards, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.
In 1784, his store "nearly opposite Wheeler Douglass's" was advertized in the Albany newspaper. In 1788, his first ward house and lot were valued on the city assessment roll. In that year, he owed the estate of Dr. Henry Van Dyck twelve pounds. However, after that, his name was absent from Albany rolls.
In 1790 or 1800, his name was not found among the heads of households in New York State. Perhaps, he became debilitated and/or had moved in with a member of the Beekman or Douw family such as his wife's widowed, younger sister - who was both!
Gerardus Beekman died in January 1807 and was buried from his church. His son, Peter Douw Beekman, became a prominent Albany resident.
Sources: The life of Gerardus Beekman is CAP biography number 3867. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 3/20/08