Nicholas Van Rensselaer


Nicholas Van Rensselaer was born in December 1754. He was the third son in the large family of Kiliaen and his first wife, Ariaantie Schuyler Van Rensselaer. He was named for his maternal grandfather. He grew up on his father's farm in the East Manor. His mother died in 1763, and his father re-married a few years later. Two brothers became prominent Albany residents.

Following the outbreak of the war in 1775, he was commissioned a lieutenant and then captain in the First and Second (?) New York regiments. He saw considerable action in support of the American cause. He is said to have carried the news of Burgoyne's surrender to Albany. He is said to have retired from the army in January 1781. Later, he was allotted military land grants which he seems to have bought and sold to his advantage. After the war, he continued to serve - ultimately reaching the rank of Colonel in the New York State militia.

In November 1780, he married Elsie Van Buren at the Albany Dutch church. By 1785, two children had been christened in Albany. Over the next decade, two more children were baptized at the Reformed church in Greenbush.

In 1799, he owned a lot in Albany's first ward. In 1816, the city directory gave his address as 66 Lydius Street. Otherwise, he probably lived in Greenbush.

In July 1818, he was among the former Revolutionary war officers who carried the remains of "General Montgomery in a procession thru Albany.

In 1840, his name was included on a list of Revolutionary war pensioners. At that time, he was an eighty-nine-year-old resident of Greenbush. His wife died in 1844. Nicholas Van Rensselaer died in March 1848. This "revolutionary soldier" had lived ninety-four years.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Nicholas Van Rensselaer is CAP biography number 5104. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 3/30/08