Jan Van Ness


Jan Van Ness probably was born during the 1640s or early 50s. He was the son of New Netherland pioneers Cornelis and Maria Van Ness.

Perhaps during the late 1660s, he married a woman named "Aaltie" (possibly Wemp or Vanderheyden). The marriage produced at least four children but probably was still larger. Their last child was christened in 1689 at the Albany Dutch church where he was a member and regular baptism sponsor.

After some years in residence just outside the stockade, this Van Ness family made its home in Albany's third ward. In 1709, his property was assessed at a modest rate. During those years, he also signed a number of community based petitions.

On a number of occasions and in several jurisdictions, Jan Van Ness was called on to serve as an assessor and watchman. He appears to have held land at Kinderhook, Halfmoon, Hoosick, and elsewhere in greater Albany County.

In March 1708, he filed a will that stated he was residing in Halfmoon. It named his wife, son, and three living daughters as his heirs.

After 1710, his name no longer appeared on Albany rolls. He probably was dead by 1720 when his name was absent from a list of freeholders in greater Albany County. However, He is said to have been buried at Half Moon in January 1734.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jan Van Ness is CAP biography number 968. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 12/30/05; updated 5/10/10