Margarita Schuyler Verplanck Collins
Stefan Bielinski

Margarita Schuyler was born in Albany in January 1672, the last of the twelve children of Philip Pieterse and Margarita Van Slichenhorst Schuyler. Although her father died when she was nine, Margarita grew up in her mother's landmark home surrounded by an already large and prominent early Albany family.

The Schuyler family's status permitted even its youngest child to marry well. In 1691, nineteen-year-old Margarita wed Jacobus Verplanck - son of a downriver commerical family. The union would enable her New York-born husband to begin trading in Albany. But before the couple could establish themselves in Albany, Jacobus Verplanck died - leaving Margarita with two New York-born children. So in 1699, Margarita and her family returned to Albany to live with her widowed mother.

In November 1701, the twenty-nine-year-old widow married John Collins - an officer in the Albany garrison. That union gave a talented newcomer an opening that helped him become a leading businessman and Albany's first professional attorney. The marriage also produced three children including Edward Collins - but no grandchildren.

Margarita Collins raised her family and lived an advantaged Albany life until the death of her second husband in 1728. After that, she returned to the Schuyler family umbrella. She died in May 1748 at age 76 and was buried beneath the Albany Dutch church.


Most Albany women married during their early twenties. Margarita's early nuptual may be explained by the reported baptism of Jacobus Verplanck's child on April 13, 1690. No mother was named in the record - as often was the custom at that time. For Margarita and the Schuyler family, see Schuyler Genealogy, pp. 24-25.

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