Van Rensselaer, Kiliaen kē´lēän văn rĕn´sələr, rĕn´səlēr˝ [key]
, c.1580–1644, Dutch merchant and patroon, b. Amsterdam. He was a wealthy diamond and pearl merchant and helped found (1621) the Dutch West India Company, later becoming one of its directors. He was one of the first to develop a patroonship in New Netherland, having purchased a vast tract of land near what is now Albany. It was called Rensselaerswyck and comprised a large part of the present-day counties of Albany, Rensselaer, and Columbia. Van Rensselaer himself never visited his estate, which was the largest of its kind, but he sent his cousin Arent Van Curler
to manage it. His first name is also spelled Killian.
See M. Van Rensselaer, Annals of the Van Rensselaers in the United States (1888).
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