Hendrick Van Vechten


Hendrick Van Vechten was born in March 1747. He was the youngest of the seven children born to the marriage of Johannes and Neeltje Beekman Van Vechten. His father was dead by the time Hendrick was christened. He grew up in his mother's home in the first ward.

In May 1762, he was named as the youngest son in the will filed by his mother. Besides receiving an equal share of her estate, his mother arranged for him to be apprenticed as a silversmith. She was dead by 1766 when he would have been nineteen.

His adult life began earlier than for most as in 1766 and '67 his first ward property was valued on the city assessment rolls. In 1767, he was a private in an Albany militia company. In 1767, he was appointed firemaster for the first ward. In 1772, he was elected assistant alderman for the first ward. He was re-elected in 1773 and 1774. He was an active member of the city council - raveling to New York and to Johnson Hall on city business.

With the outbreak of hostilities in 1775, he supported the cause financially but declined to be appointed captain of the Albany company. In 1776, he was elected and served on the Albany Committee of Correspondence. In 1778, he served on the homefront under the Quartermaster. Afterwards, he received a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

Henry or Hendricus Van Vechten probably did not marry and seems to have had little apparent connection to the Albany Dutch church.

In March 1779, his substantial personal assets (probably his silver) were valued under the real property holdings of his brother Volkert.

Hendrick Van Vechten died in August 1786 and was buried from the Dutch church. In April 1787, he was identified as a silversmith when letters of administration on his estate were granted to his other older brother Ephraim.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Hendrick Van Vechten is CAP biography number 2525. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted 5/15/07; updated 8/19/15