Barent Pieterse Coeymans


According to traditional sources, Barent Pieterse Coeymans was born in Europe during the first part of the seventeenth century. He is said to have been from Utrecht.

He came to New Netherland with his brothers (including Luycas Pieterse) and father in 1639. He was under contract to the Van Rensselaers to work as a miller and seems to have been in their employ into the 1650s. He is said to have been the brother-in-law of the director of Rensselaerswyck. In October 1674, he was among those invited to a Van Rensselaer funeral.

His wife was Geertruy De Vos. Their children established the Coeymans family in greater Albany County. His daughter married patriarch Jacob C. Ten Eyck. Perhaps, he had been married earlier to a woman named "Agnietie." In any event, he was a member of the Albany Dutch church.

Barent Pieterse established a mill (called a sawmill in 1645) north of Beverwyck/Albany and then built a stone house south of Albany and overlooking the Hudson River where he later settled. He is said to have purchased the tract that became known as the Coeymans Patent from the Indians in 1672 or '73.

In 1697, the census of Rensselaerswyck configured his household with four men and three children - but no women.

Although primarily a resident of Rensselaerswyck, he did own property within the Albany city limits. In 1684, his Albany taxes were in arrears. In 1709, his third ward lot received a minimal assessment.

Barent Pieterse Coeymans appears to have died intestate. In October 1712, letters of administration were issued to his eldest son. Barent Pieterse is known as the legendary founder of the town of Coeymans. The "Coeymans house" there remains an outstanding historical landmark.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Barent Pieterse Coeymans is CAP biography number 6155. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The most comprehensive of the traditional sources is VRBM, pp. 821-22.

first posted 5/30/06; last updated 6/18/18