Jan Baptist van Rensselaer

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Stained glass installed in the Manor House of Rensselaerswyck by Jan Baptist van Rensselaer

Jan Baptist van Rensselaer (Amsterdam 18 March 1629 [2]–Amsterdam, 24 October 1678[3]) was the second son of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, and his first son by his second wife, Anna van Wely.


Van Rensselaer Stained Glass

Jan Baptist sailed from Amsterdam on the Gelderse Blom (Gelderland Flower) in the spring of 1651. With him travelled twelve employees hired by the Patroon,[4] recruited from places where the Van Rensselaers had other interests. Jan Baptist was the first Van Rensselaer to visit the colony. In May 1652 he was appointed Director of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck representing his brother Johannes, the second Patroon. During his residence on the estate, he lived in a style befitting his position, having brought furniture, silverware, and other personal property of much value from Holland, including portraits of the members of the van Rensselaer family.[5]

It was Jan Baptist who placed in the Dutch Church of Beverwyck the window pane representing the van Rensselaer coat of arms in 1656. Not long afterward he returned to Holland, becoming one of the leading merchants of Amsterdam.

When he returned to Holland in 1658, he was succeeded as Director by his brother Jeremias. Jan Baptist became the third Patroon upon the death of his elder brother Johan.[6] Jeremias later became the fourth patroon.

Jan Baptist married Susanna Van Wely and died in Amsterdam, Holland, October 18, 1678. His only son, Kiliaen died without issue.[7]


This article incorporates text from an article in American Historical Magazine, by W. W. Spooner (1907), a publication now in the public domain.