Volkert Van Vechten


Volkert Van Vechten was born in August 1735. He was the eldest son of Johannes Jr. and Neeltie Beekman Van Vechten. He grew up in a mid-size family in a businessman's home in the first ward. However, his father died in 1746 when Volkert was eleven years old. In May 1762, he was identified as the eldest son, co-executor, and heir in the will filed by his mother.

In November 1762, he married Jannetje Hun at the Albany Dutch church. Their children were christened in 1763 and 1768 at the church where both parents were members and pewholders.

At that time, Volkert began to take his place in the community by serving as firemaster for the first ward in 1762 and 1763. Over the next two decades, his home near that of his brother was accorded moderate assessments.

During the 1770s, Volkert Van Vechten contributed to the support of the American cause and participated in some community-based activities. In January 1778, he was elected to represent the first ward in the last days of the Albany Committee of Correspondence. However, that August he was among those who refused to take the oath of allegience. At that time, he was characterized as a "farmer." Afterwards, his name was not found on lists of those Albany residents entitled to receive land bounties for service.

Volkert Van Vechten would have been forty-eight-years-old with the coming of peace in 1783. He also was a slaveholder. During the 1780s, his slaves were getting married in St. Peter's Episcopal church. Otherwise, his name was mostly absent from the community record. In 1788, his first ward property was valued on an Albany assessment roll. Two years later, the census identified his widow as the head of their household which included four slaves.

It seems that Volkert Van Vechten had died between 1788 and 1790.

biography in-progress


first posted: 4/10/07