Anna Jans Ryers Gerrits
Stefan Bielinski

The Albany matriarch known variously as Anna Jans is said to have been born in Amsterdam, Holland about 1645. Perhaps she was the daughter of Gerrit and Anna Ryerse.

In April 1665, she married Gerrit Ryerse in New York City. The marriage produced several children who became Albany residents. She was a member of the Albany Dutch church.

Known in the community as "Anna Gerritse," her family lived in Albany's second ward.

Gerrit Ryerse filed a will in February 1694. It named Anna sole executrix and left her his house and orchard outside Albany's north gate - and also all remaining assets. Although Gerrit's will was not probated until 1713, he probably died within a few years of its filing.

In 1697, she was called "Wedewe" and identified as the head of her household that was located next to that of her son Jan. Her name appeared on subsequent third ward assessment rolls which taxed her property comparable to that of prosperous merchants.

Anna Jans Ryers Gerrits filed her own will in May 1712. She left her entire estate to her four living children. It passed probate in March 1713.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Anna Jans Ryers Gerrits is CAP biography number 6472. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. We seek defining information on her background!

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first posted 8/25/04; recast and revised 2/5/18