Catherine Van Rensselaer
|Born||November 10, 1734|
|Died||March 7, 1803 (aged 68)|
Albany, New York
|Children||15, including Angelica, Elizabeth, Catherine Schuyler, Cornelia Schuyler, Margarita, Philip|
|Parent(s)||Johannes Van Rensselaer|
|Family||Van Rensselaer, Schuyler|
Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler //;, also known as "Kitty", (November 10, 1734 – March 7, 1803) was a Colonial and post-Colonial American socialite and the matriarch of the prominent colonial Schuyler family as wife of Philip Schuyler.
Kitty was born in 1734 to Col. Johannes Van Rensselaer (1708–1783), called the "Patroon of Greenbush," and Engeltie "Angelica" Livingston (1698–1747). As a child, she was known as "The Morning Star." Due to her family's social position, she was a part of the society of Albany and, once a year, would visit relatives in order to acquire "the polish of fashionable society" by being at the Court of the Royal Governor of New York."
Her paternal great-grandfather was Hendrick van Rensselaer and her 2x great-grandfather was Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, one of the original founders of the Dutch colony, New Amsterdam. Her maternal grandparents were Robert Livingston the Younger (1663–1725) and Margarita Schuyler (b. 1682), the daughter of Pieter Schuyler (1657–1724), the first mayor of Albany.
She was the tenth great granddaughter of Robert II of Scotland.
Kitty was once described as "a lady of great beauty, shape and gentility" and was subject to a number of suitors in the future.
Kitty's husband, Philip Schuyler, was known as a man of great wealth and intelligence as he commanded a militia in the French and Indian War and still managed to assume ownership of the large estate given to him by his father. Kitty was known as "a capable wife, mother..., and manager of the extensive Schuyler household of servants, slaves, and hired hands."
On September 17, 1755, Catherine was married to Philip Schuyler at the Albany Dutch Church. Philip was the son of Cornelia Van Cortlandt (1698–1762) and Mayor Johannes Schuyler Jr. (1697–1741), the third generation of the Dutch family in America. Together, Philip and Catherine had 15 children, eight of whom survived to adulthood, including:
Catherine died of a stroke in March 1803 at the age of 68.