Gerardus De Peyster


Gerardus De Peyster was born in February 1737 and christened at the New York Dutch church in November. He was the son of William and Margarita Roosevelt De Peyster. A somewhat older, same-named individual lived in New Jersey (and possibly later in the West Indies).

In January 1755, he identified himself as a merchant of Albany city. Perhaps, he had come (or was sent) upriver to lend family support to his distinguished uncle, Johannes De Peyster, a former mayor of the city.

In March 1760, Gerardus witnessed the will of a British officer. At that time, he was identified as an Albany merchant.

From 1762 to 1764, he is said to have followed his uncle (earlier as his assistant or surrogate) as the "paymaster of New York Troops in Albany" where he disbursed funds.

In February 1763, he was recommended to William Johnson by David Vanderheyden as a "gentleman of undoubted veracity."

Following the war, he seems to have returned to New York where, in October 1765, he was admitted as a freeman and was a prominent merchant.

In March 1763, he married Elizabeth Rutgers, his slightly younger cousin, in New York City. However, their only child was buried in Albany in December 1778.

Perhaps he was the Gerardus who served in the provincial Assembly in 1771. In 1774, he was listed among the members (subscribers) of the New York Hospital.

In November 1776, the Albany Committee reported that he had "a quantity of glass" and that he "refuses to part with it." That was the sole reference to him in the minutes.

In 1779, his house and property in the first ward (and located next to the State Street home of his venerable uncle) were valued quite substantially on both city assessment rolls. That very high tax probably signified that he was considered an "outsider" beyond the high value of his property.

In September 1779, he was among those Albany people who signed a petition for the return of Dr. Van Dyck.

In November 1780, he was identified as one of eight living children (six were sons) and as an heir in the will filed by his father who, at that time, identified himself as "a refugee at Albany" (and probably living with Gerardus). Gerard witnessed the document but was not among the kin named as executors.

After the war, Gerard received a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

He is said to have filed a will in April 1787.

Gerardus De Peyster died in December 1787. A much younger, same-named nephew died in New York in 1790. His widow, Elizabeth Rutgers, is said to have survived until 1827.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Gerardus De Peyster is CAP biography number 7827. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 6/10/12