Obadiah Van Benthuysen


Obadiah Van Benthuysen was born in June 1744. He was the second of six sons of Jacobus and Sara Cooper Van Benthuysen. He grew up in a large family in the first ward.

In 1766 he was appointed constable for the first ward. In 1770, he was made a member of the Albany night watch.

About 1768, he married Anna/Hannah Rumney. By 1791, that marriage had produced ten children who were christened at the Albany Dutch church.

In 1769, he was named as an heir among six sons and two daughters in the will filed by his father. He also was named co-executor of the estate.

During the 1760s, his name appeared on the rosters of Albany militia companies. A decade later, he is said to have served the Revolutionary cause although his name was not included on the obvious Albany service lists.

By 1779, his widowed mother had taken over as the head of this Van Benthuysen household. In 1788, his house and holdings were valued on the first ward assessment roll. In 1790, perhaps his growing family was included within the household of his widowed mother. But by 1800, he was identified as the head of a first ward household.

At this point, we have not connected this Albany mainliner him with specific economic activities. However, his name did appear in Albany accounts

Beginning in 1813, he was listed in the city directory at 25 Division Street. Another Obadiah (R.) was the more famous publisher and bookbinder.

Obadiah Van Benthuysen was dead by 1817 when his widow was listed as the head of their Division Street home. He had lived about seventy years. His widow survived until 1825.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Obadiah Van Benthuysen is CAP biography number 5357. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted 4/10/09; last updated 8/19/15