Hester Visscher Switts
Stefan Bielinski

Hester Visscher probably was born about 1680. She was the daughter of Dirck Harmanse and Jemmetie Visscher. This older daughter of a fur trader grew up in a large family in Albany's third ward.

In November 1702, she married Schenectady Massacre survivor Cornelis Swits at the Albany Dutch church. By 1719, eight of their children had been baptized in Albany. Over the next decades, she would bury a number of her offspring in the church cemetery.

Her family also lived in the third ward from where Cornelis operated a sloop that belonged to her father. Over the next half century, Hester's family was a beneficiary of the estates of her father and brother.

Cornelis Switts probably died during the 1730s or 40s. Known as "Widow Ester Swits," she carried on in their North End home for many years. In 1749, city records identified her as the owner of a plot of land in the third ward. Hester Visscher Switts died in November 1757.

In November 1762, her children were listed the will filed by her brother.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Hester Visscher Switts is CAP biography number 4076. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted 9/20/04; updated 1/30/18