Abraham Pieterse Vosburgh


Abraham Pieterse is the patriarch of the Vosburgh family of early Albany. He is said to have been born in Brabant in 1620 and was the son of Pieter Jacobs Vosburgh.

He is believed to have emigrated to New Netherland in 1649 and to have settled in Rensselaerswyck by August. Initially, he was engaged to perform renovations on the "Patroon's house". In April 1651, he leased a house and lot north of the "patroon's house" for 16 florins a year.

His wife was Geertruy Coeymans - the mother of at least four sons and a daughter. Some of their children became Albany residents.

He was known as a trader who, in 1654, is said to have exported 1,500 beavers. He also was a carpenter of some note.

In 1652, he was among the carpenters appointed to survey building lots in the area that soon would become the village of Beverwyck. His most recent biographer believes that he may have had some European training in surveying although later he was taken to task and then dismissed for "faulty" surveying. He was among the recipients in the initial round of Beverwyck houselots distributed beginning in 1652-54.

In September 1656, he leased a mill (probably on the Wynantskill) along with Hans Jans from Rotterdam at the rate of 100 florins annually. In April 1659, the Beverwyck court noted that he was the first person to request permission to build a sawmill on the Beaverkill and thus would have the right of first refusal.

Abraham Pieterse Vosburgh is believed to have been killed by Indians in September 1659 during the so-called "Esopus War." By 1676, his widow had liquidated her late husband's property and, with at least one son, had acquired lands across the Hudson and then settled in Kinderhook.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Abraham Pieterse Vosburgh has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Much of the available biographical information on this individual has been compiled and presented by Janny Venema in Beverwijck, index entry on p. 519.

first posted: 1/10/12