Dirck Ten Broeck
Stefan Bielinski

Dirck Ten Broeck was born in 1686. He was the eldest son of Albany businessman Wessel Ten Broeck and his wife, Catharina Loockermans Ten Broeck. He grew up in his father's riverside home and at his grandfather's country estate located within Livingston Manor.

He married Albany native Margarita Cuyler in 1714. Over the next twenty-four years, the union produced twelve children who were baptized at the Allbany Dutch church where both parents were members, frequent baptism sponsors, and where Dirck served as a deacon.

Following a family formula for success, this Albany mainstay was known as an Indian trader. In 1715, he was named "Inspector of Skins." During the 1720s, he held a provincial appointment as "farmer of the excise" (tax collector). He also served in the Albany militia.

In 1716, he followed his father to the city council - being elected assistant alderman for the third ward. In 1722, he was elected alderman. In 1728, he was commissioned recorder of the city by the provincial governor. After serving many years as alderman, Indian commissioner, recorder, and member of the provincial Assembly from 1728 to 1737, Dirck Ten Broeck was appointed mayor of Albany in 1746. He served two terms.

Inheriting substantial real estate from his father, Dirck Ten Broeck expanded those holdings in Albany and beyond. In 1722, he sold a portion of his Pearl Street property to the Dutch church. During the three decades of peace, he was involved in the cutting and sawing of lumber on his wilderness property. During that time, he also helped oversee Albany's interests at Schaghticoke.

In November 1737, "Dirck Wesselse" witnessed the wiill of an Albany neighbor.

Calling himself an "Albany merchant," Dirck Ten Broeck filed a will in 1748. It devised his estate to Margarita during her life and then divided his substantial holdings among seven promising progeny. Dirck Ten Broeck died in January 1751 and was buried beneath the Dutch church. He had just passed his sixty-fourth birthday. His widow enjoyed the estate until her death in 1783!



the people of colonial Albany The life of Dirck Ten Broeck is CAP biography number 33. Several contemporaries of the same name then were living in colonial New York. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

Military: Although antiquarian resources have referred to him as "Colonel," we still search for his commission. In 1715, he was listed as a private in John Schuyler's Troop of the Albany County Militia.

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first posted: 2/25/02