Joseph Janse Van Zandt


According to traditional sources, Joseph Janse was born in Spain in 1663. He probably was the son of Jan and Jannet. Perhaps his father was a Spanish soldier recruited to suppress Dutch Protestants. As he later was naturalized, he probably had been born in Europe. He was known as "Joseph Janse" and later took the surname "Van Zandt" probably meaning "from" or "of the Saints." However, other derivative explanations have been offered. He most likely is the patriarch of the Albany Van Zandt family.

In 1688, he married Zytie Marselis at the Albany Dutch church where he was a lifelong member. Their ten children were baptized there between 1689 and 1709. In 1692, the church paid "Josep de Spaniert" for the rental of his house. In 1699, his name appeared on a list of the "principal members of the church."

In 1697, he was identified as an Albany householder and of Spanish origins! As he was an outsider, he experienced some difficulty - being brought to court several times for trading without a license.

By the early 1700s, he had become a first ward mainstay. In December 1715, he became a naturalized British subject. In 1715, "Joseph Janse" was a member of an Albany militia company and later took care to qualify to vote.

Joseph Janse Van Zandt lived out his life on Albany's southside. "Joseph Jans Van zante" died in October 1753 and was buried in the Albany churchyard.



the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Joseph Janse Van Zandt is CAP biography number 291. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. We are grateful to Stuart B. Egli for providing corroborating and new information on his background and on the circumstances of his emigration to America.

Home | Site Index | Navigation | Email | New York State Museum

first posted 8/15/02; last revised 2/3/14