Jacobus Van Zandt


Jacobus Van Zandt was born in November 1732. He was a middle child in the large family of Johannes and Sara Hilton Van Zandt. He grew up in a prominent weaver's home on the Southside of Albany but lost his mother in 1743. Johannes Van Zandt did not re-marry but his numerous offspring could count on the care and protection of an extended family network in a neighborhood setting. By the time his father passed on in 1762, Jacobus and his siblings were well-represented in the city's crafts and trades.

In December 1758, Jacobus married Maria (Molly) Brooks at the Albany Dutch church. Between 1762 and 1767, two children had been christened at the Albany church.

Jacobus Van Zandt was a carpenter who took his place in the community when he was appointed constable in 1756. His clients included the city of Albany. His home was located in the heart of the Southside neighborhood. He also owned property on the hill above what became South Pearl Street. From the 1760s until his death, his first ward holdings were valued modestly on city assessment rolls. During the 1760s, he was a sergaent in an Albany militia company.

During the wartime years, his actions mostly ran below our community-based radar except that he appeared as a bailsman in 1781 and was paid on occasion from the city treasury. He probably was not the same-named individual under suspicion by the Albany Commissioners. Afterwards, Jacobus was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

After the war, he was called on to appraise some property for the city government. In 1788, his property was assessed for taxes. Two years later, his household included four members. At that time, he was among those indebted to the estate of his one-time neighbor, Dr. Henry Van Dyck.

Jacobus Van Zandt died in November 1795 just short of his sixty-third birthday. His will passed probate in June 1799. His widow carried on in their Union Street home until her death in 1814. His son became a notable banker.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jacobus Van Zandt is CAP biography number 275. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. This individual should not be confused with a more prominent, same-named contemporary who resided in New York.

first posted: 7/30/08