Catharina Abeel Willett
Stefan Bielinski

Catharina Abeel was born in June 1734. She was a younger daughter of Albany residents Christoffel and Margarita Bries Abeel. She grew up in a trader's home near the river in the third ward. Both parents were living well into her adulthood.

In November 1763, she marrried Long Island-born newcomer Elbert Willett. The marriage produced no children but the couple adopted a daughter. Although her husband was a member and church officer at both St. Peter's and at the Reformed church, Catharina was a long-time member and pewholder at the Albany Dutch church where the couple witnessed a number of baptisms.

These Willetts lived in a prominent home on Market Street near Albany's main intersection. They were Albany mainstays for many decades.

Catharina Abeel Willett died in May 1823 a month shy of her eighty-ninth birthday. Elbert Willett lived until 1828.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Catharina Abeel Willett is CAP biography number 109. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted: 1/20/05