Ryer Gerritse
Stefan Bielinski

Ryer Gerritse probably was born during the 1670s. He was the youngest son of Albany trader Gerrit Ryerse and his wife, Anna Jans.

In 1694, his father bequeathed to him clothing, other personal items, and a share of his estate. By 1697, Gerritse Ryerse was dead and the Albany census found Ryer living alone in a first ward house. At that time, his widowed mother lived in another Albany home. Two years later, Ryer joined his neighbors in signing a loyalty oath to the royal government. A decade later, his Albany holdings were assessed substantially on the city tax roll. In 1712, he was left a share of his mother's estate.

In April 1704, Ryer Gerritse married a somewhat younger Geertruy Lansing at her father's Albany house. Apparently, their long marriage was childless. However, both partners were members of the Albany Dutch church where they served as baptism sponsors.

This lifelong Albany resident was a prominent fur trader and involved in many aspects of community life. Constable, firemaster, assistant, and first ward alderman (1727-35), he was elected to the provincial Assembly in 1726. During those years, he was an active member of the Albany Commissioners of Indian Affairs. He lived near the south gate and owned other city property as well.

In 1747, he wrote his will. Without other legal heirs, he left his real and personal property to his wife, Geertruy - and then to a number of Albany men. Ryer Gerritse died in October 1752. The will passed probate a month later



the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Ryer/Reyer Gerritse(n) is CAP biography number 6011. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted 10/15/02; last revised 2/5/18