Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rensselaer Westerlo

This large, simple sandstone cross is located in the oldest section of the Cemetery's North Ridge, an area called Beaulieu Hill and Kennesau Hill on the oldest maps of the grounds and Landscape Hill on later maps.

The cross marks the grave of Rensselaer Westerlo who represented New York's 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1817 to 1819.

Rensselaer Westerlo was connected to several of the area's most prominent families.  His father was the Reverand Eilardus Westerlo, a native of Holland who served as the greatly influential pastor of Albany's First Dutch Reformed Church during the Revolutionary War.  His mother, Catharina, was the daughter of Philip Livingston, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence.  By her first husband, Catharina was the mother of Albany's "Last Patroon," Stephen Van Rensselaer II.  Rensselar Westerlo's wife, Jane, was the daughter of the State Chancellor, John J. Lansing.

This handsome stone was erected by Rensselaer Westerlo's children following his death on April 18, 1851.  He was less than a month away from his 75th birthday.  The base of the monument is carved with words from The Book of Genesis:  He was not, for God took him.

Several other members of Westerlo's family are buried in this lot; an inscription on the east side notes that a son named Eilardus died in California in 1859.

The Westerlo lot is quite close to the Lochner, Gould, and Disney plots.

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