Spelled and referred to variously, Harme Rutgers was an Albany brewer and property owner during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. He appears to have been born during the 1640s. Perhaps he emigrated to New Netherland with his parents Rutger Jacobse and Catharina Van Schoendewort. At this point, we are unwilling to articulate a precise connection to the Van Woert family of early Albany. However, going forward, his descendants were part of the prominent Rutgers family of New York, New Jersey, and to some extent Albany.
In 1668, he married one Catharina de Hooges - the mother of future Albany residents but not the same-named wife of another Albany resident. A daughter married future Albany mayor David D. Schuyler. We believe his sister married Albany city father Jan Janse Bleecker. During the 1680s and 90s, both parents and their children were members of the Albany Dutch church.
Harme Rutgers was the owner or part owner of a brewery, house, and lot located east of what became Market Street and extending to the river. In November 1671, he sold that property to Peter Lassing.
In April 1678, he was charged by the sheriff with selling strong beer to the Indians - perhaps with the intention to enjoin him from the Albany fur trade.
In 1679, his holdings were valued substantially on an assessment of Albany property owners. He may have been an absentee owner. In 1689, he was among the first ward subscribers to a fund for community defense. However, his name was absent from the Albany census taken in 1697.
During the 1680s and 90s, he witnessed baptisms in the Albany Dutch church. He was listed with the church members in 1683.
Stating that he was "ancient and weak" and that he was a brewer of New York, "Harmanus Rutgers" filed a will in March 1710. It provided for his wife, two sons, and a daughter. The will passed probate in New York in April 1711. His heirs were mentioned in the Albany city records in August 1712.
Although he probably removed to New York City prior to 1700, as late as 1720, his Albany property "near the Dutch church almshouse" was referenced.
Sources: The life of Harme Rutgers has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Substantial sources on the Rutgers family (founders of the university in New Jersey) appear online.
first posted 5/15/07; updated 2/15/18