De Foreest
Stefan Bielinski

The Albany De Foreest family is descended from Manhattan native Philip De Foreest who had settled in Albany by 1680. We would group these French speaking Protestants with the Huguenots.

His sons, Jesse and Johannes were Albany mainstays.

The family spread into the Albany hinterland. Today, the family name is represented in the Rensselaer County hamlet of "Defreestville."

In 1742, two De Foreests (Jesse and Johannes) were included on a list of Albany freeholders.

In 1756, two named households (Isaac and the recent widow of Jesse) appeared on a census of Albany householders.

In 1763, three De Foreest men were counted among Albany's freeholders

In 1790, three De Foreest households were listed on the Albany census including the third ward home of merchant/pilot Isaac De Foreest. Three more "De Freests" were listed in surrounding Watervliet.

In 1815, two "De Forest" named households were included in the city directory.

The "DeFreest Family Home Page" presents a variety of material on the family and a number of interesting perspectives.



the people of colonial Albany

Sources: These biographies are derived chiefly from community-based resources. The standard work on the family is by Emily Johnston de Forest and was published in 1915. It chronicles the traditional story of the family - mostly in Europe. HMGFM presents the seminal antiquarian work on the family done by Cuyler Reynolds. See The DeForests of Avesnes (and of New Netherland).

Spellings of the name vary widely! Defreest/De Forest/de Vries! We have adopted the spelling "De Foreest" for consistency and convenience.

De Foreests in the website biographical index.

Follow this link to more information on the family appearing on this website!

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first posted 12/10/03; last revised 4/2/17