Philip Pieterse Schuyler

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Philip Pieterse Schuyler
Born 1628
Died May 9, 1683(1683-05-09) (aged 54–55)
Resting place Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands
Spouse(s) Margaretta van Slichtenhorst
Children 10, including Alida, Pieter, Arent
Parent(s) Pieter Tjercks[1][2]
Geertruyt Philips van Schuyldner
Relatives See Schuyler family

Colonel Philip Pieterse Schuyler or Philip Pieterse[1][2] (1628 – May 9, 1683) was a Dutch born colonist landowner who was the progenitor of the American Schuyler family.

Early life

Philip Pieterse Schuyler was born in Amsterdam, Holland in the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, in 1628 as the son of Pieter Tjercks (no family name) and Geertruyt Philips Van Schuylder.[1][2] His father was a German-born Amsterdam baker. His brother, David Pieterse Schuyler, married Catharina Verplanck. They died in 1690 as a result of the Schenectady massacre of 1690.[3][4] David was an ancestor of David Mathews, Loyalist Mayor of New York City during the American Revolution, as well as Theodore Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.


By 1650, he had emigrated to New Netherland, settling in Beverwyck. Although nominally a carpenter or gunstockmaker, he entered the fur trade, using the profits to buy land, beginning with the house he built about 1659 on the corner of today's State and Pearl Streets in Albany. He also owned houses on Broadway and Beaver Street, where he resided at different times.[5]

On November 1, 1667 Philip Pietrse was commissioned Captain (Kapitein) in the Albany militia in army of the Dutch Republic.[5] By 1672, he also had acquired land along the Hudson north of the Van Rensselaer manor house. That farm became a family summer home known as "the Flats". After he bought "the Flats", he built a new home on North Pearl Street, for winter use, in which he died. He also owned property in New Amsterdam, several hundred acres east of the Hudson below Rensselaerswyck, and lots in Wiltwyck and at Halfmoon as well.[6]

He took an active part in Indian Affairs.[5] In 1656, he was appointed by Governor Stuyvesant to the office of vice-director of Fort Orange until it was captured by the English in 1664.

From 1664, onwards he lived under English rule in the Province of New York.

Personal life

On December 12, 1650 he married Margaretta van Slichtenhorst, daughter of Brant Aertsz van Slichtenhorst, the director of Rensselaerwyck, appointed by Johan van Rensselaer.[7] Together, they had ten children:

Schuyler died in Albany, May 9, 1683.


Schuyler was the progenitor of multiple generations of prominent New Yorkers as well as major players in American politics and business, including the Livingston family, the Bush family, and the Kean family.


  1. ^ a b c Schuyler Genealogy
  2. ^ a b c The name Schuyler is from the maternal line. The father, like most dutchmen of the time, had no family name. It was unusual but not unique for sons to adopt their mother's name. In the colonial records of the seventeenth century, the name of Schuyler is used irregularly; references to Philip Pieterse being as common as those to Philip Schuyler.
  3. ^ "An account of the burning of Schenectady by Mons. De Monsignat, comptroller General of the marine in Canada to Madam de Maintenon, the morganatic wife of Louis XIV.", Doc. Hist. N. Y., I, p. 186, noted in Pearson (1883), A History of the Schenectady Patent, Schenectady History Digital Archives
  4. ^ Jonathan Pearson, Chap. 9, "Burning of Schenectady", History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times, 1883, pp. 244-270
  5. ^ a b c Schuyler, George W. Colonial New York: Philip Schuyler and His Family, Vol. 1, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1885
  6. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Philip Pieterse", New York State Museum
  7. ^ Roper, Louis H. and Van Ruymbeke, Bertrand. Constructing Early Modern Empires: Proprietary Ventures in the Atlantic World, 1500-1750, Brill, 2007
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