Frances Nicoll Holland


Frances Nicoll was born in 1704. She was a daughter in the very large family of William Nicoll and the widow Anna Van Rensselaer Nicoll. Her father was a substantial landholder on eastern Long Island and her mother belonged to the most affluent landholding family in the upriver region. We move cautiously regarding her life as at least two same-named contemporaries are at risk in Albany County. This subject was the wife and widow of a one-time mayor of Albany.

She was among the children named in the will filed by her father in 1718. She was left the sum of £750. He died two years later. We seek information on her life between that time and her marriage in 1739. Perhaps, she went to live at the south Albany seat of her brother.

In December 1739, she married Albany native but ultimately Manhattan resident Edward Holland in New York City. The marriage appears to have produced two children who mostly would grow up in the household of the mayor of New York City.

Calling himself a merchant of New York, Edward Holland filed a will in November 1756. It divided his substantial estate among his cescendants. To his "beloved wife Frances," he left a yearly allowance as long as she remained a widow. Holland died two days later and fifty-two-year-old Frances never re-married.

Instead, she returned to Albany and joined the family of her brother on his farm in what later became Bethlehem. Known in the English speaking commmunity, she was a member and supporter of St. Peter's Anglican church and probably was identified as "Mrs. Holland & son" on a list of communicants in 1771.

Frances Nicoll Holland lived for eighty-three years. St. Peter's church records noted that the "widow of Edward Holland Esq." died in August 1787 and buried in Bethlehem. Her will was probated in Albany County in October 1788.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Frances Nicoll Holland is CAP biography number 946. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 9/10/12