Benoni Van Corlear
Stefan Bielinski

According to traditional sources, Benoni/Benomy Van Corlear (Van Curler) was born about 1660. He was believed to be the illegitimate son of Arent and Anna Schaets Van Corlear. These New Netherland pioneers also were founders of Schenectady. His father died under mysterious circumstances in 1666. We seek defining information on his background and upbringing!

In June 1686, Benoni married Albany native Elizabeth Vanderpoel at the Albany Dutch church where he was a church officer and frequent baptism sponsor. She was a widow with a number of Van Schaick children. By 1700, five of Benomy's children had been christened in Albany.

Benoni was identified as a glazier, brewer, and sloopmaster. His Albany house was listed on Albany assessment rolls beginning in 1689. He also served the community as constable, assessor, and juror. He served in the Albany militia. He was elected to the city council - representing the third ward as an assistant beginning in 1691. He later served as first ward assistant. This Albany mainstay frequently signed community action petitions during the 1690s and early 1700s.

Benoni Van Corlear died about 1704. Surrounded by family members, his wife survived into the 1750s.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Benomy/Benoni Van Corlear is CAP biography number 5336. Many variants of both of his names are encountered in the overall historical record. For accessibility purposes, we sort of have adopted the spelling "Benoni Van Curler" for general use. But it is by no means "definitive." This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

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first posted: 5/30/05