Pietro Cesare Alberto

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Pietro Cesare Alberto

Also Known As: "Peter Alberti", "Caesar Albertus"
Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Rio de San Luca, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto, Italy
Death: Died in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, Colonial America
Cause of death: killed by Native Americans
Place of Burial: Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrea Piero Alberti and Lady Veronica Alberti
Husband of Judith Jans Alberto
Father of Aert Arthur Albertis; Jan Alberti; Marles Martha Alberti; Marie Alberti; Francjin Alberto Alberti, died young and 2 others

Occupation: first Italian immigrant in New York, Italian Sailor (alberti), Plantation owner
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Pietro Cesare Alberto



  • Pietro was born in 1608 at the height of Venice's commercial power. Pietro was the son of the Secretary of the Ducal Treasury, Adrea Alberti and his wife, Lady Veronica de Medici. The Alberti family had enormous pull throughout the Italian peninsula, and had branches in Genoa, and Florence, as well as in Venice. In addition to his maternal Medici relatives, Pietro's paternal relatives included the famed Italian polymath and statesman Leon Battista Alberti.


  • During the Thirty Years' War troops from the Netherlands were stationed in Malamocco, a narrow inlet in the Venetian Lagoon. These troops carried with them a particularly virulent strain of Bubonic Plague. The plague spread rapidly, killing 46,000 of the city's 140,000 residents. The immense decline in Venice's population led to a similar decline in its commercial power. Because the Alberti's power was derived from the success of Venetian traders, Pietro, at the age of 27 decided to seek a new life in the New World. He arrived in New Amsterdam aboard the Dutch ship the "King David" on June 2, 1635. Pietro acclimated well in New Amsterdam's cosmopolitan environment. In 1642 he married a Dutch huguenot woman named Judith Manje (also Magnee). The couple had 6 children from 1642 to 1655. The Albertis lived in a home on Broad Street until 1646 when Pietro applied for a land grant from the Dutch. The Albertis farmed 100 acres in Brooklyn until Pietro and Judith were killed in an Indian raid in 1655.


  • Alberti was just the first of millions of Italian Americans who would later go on to form a vital part of American culture. June 2nd commemorates "Pietro Alberti Day" in New York City. A small stone in Battery Park marks the spot of Pietro's arrival.[2]

1. PIETRO CAESAR2 ALBERTI (ANDREA1) was born June 20, 1608 in San Luca, Venice, Italy, and died Bef. November 05, 1655 in New Amsterdam, New York. He married JUDITH JANS MANJIE August 24, 1642 in New Amsterdam, New York, daughter of JANS MANJIE and MARTHA CHAMBERT.


Arrived America June 2, 1635 aboard the ship "de Coninck". According to Captain David Peterson de Vries's sailing log, Pietro Alberti was merchant seaman who joined the ship before July 10, 1634 at Texel, Holland. The ship arrived New Amsterdam, America June 2, 1635 where Pietro jumped ship. The log entries indicate Captain de Vries and Pietro did not get along, possibly the reason he jumped ship. Pietro left Venice c1632 and went to Holland. While in Holland Pietro renounced the Catholic faith and joined the Dutch Reformed Evangelical Church.

In NYC's Battery Park is a memorial honoring Pietro as being the first Italian settler in America.

It is believed that Pietro and wife, Judith, were killed by Indian's in1655.

Guardianship records of children who's parents were killed list their



1642 24 Aug; Pieter Petro Alberto, jm van Venetien; Judith Jans, jd van Amsterdam


  1. JAN ALBURTI, b. August 30, 1643, Hempstead, Long Island, NY; d. April 1691, Newtown, Long Island, NY.
  3. AERT ALBURTI, b. September 14, 1647.
  4. MARRITJE ALBURTI, b. June 27, 1649.
  5. WILLEM ALBURTI, b. March 30, 1652.
  6. FRANCYNTJE ALBURTI, b. April 02, 1651.
  7. FRANCIJN ALBURTI, b. May 03, 1654; m. JOHN ALLEN.

LEON BATTISTA ALBERTI 1404-72. Italian architect and writer, born in Venice. He received the best education available at first the school of Barsizia at Padua, then at the University of Bologna. He thoroughly mastered Greek, besides becoming proficient in math and natural sciences. He was also a poet and a philosopher, and he ranked as one of the first organists of his day.

In 1432, Alberti was appointed papal secretary by Pope Eugenius IV. He was secretary to six popes. Under Pope Nicholas V he was in charge of the projects for rebuilding St Peter's and the Vatican. Alberti's buildings rank among the best architecture of the Renaissance, he was a theorist rather than a practical architect. Alberti had a number of pupils and associates, who carried out his plans for the facade of Santa Maria Novella and the Rucellia Palace (1446-51) both in Florence, and other famous buildings.

Note: Mentioned in the research on our Alberti line was the fact that this family were treasurers to the pope for 400 years. The above Alberti also held this position. Leon lived 174 years prior to our Andrea, but in the same location, so most probable was one of his ancestors.


Information by Dr. Harry Burtis Neilsen, of Connecticut: The first "Burtis" to arrive in America was Pietro Caesaro Alberti, a native of Malamocco, Venice, Italy. He was the first of the Italian race to settle in North America. He was the son of Andrea Alberti, Secretary of the Ducal Treasury of Venice, and Lady Veronica Cremona. Andrea Alberti was of the House of Alberti, who were among the wealthiest Florentine Merchants - Bankers from the 14th century, and Treasurers of the Pope for 400 years.

Pietro left Venice to escape religious persecution (he apparently was involved thw the Calvinistic Movement.) He went to Holland and sailed from there on the ship De Coninch David (King David). On May 30, 1635, he landed in New Amsterdam. In 1639, he built a mansion and tobacco plantation at Wallabout. This plantation was later the site of the Brooklyn Navy yard. ~• (He lived next to his friends the Monforts and the famous Joris Rapalje settlers)

On August 24, 1642, Pietro married Judith Jans Manje, a daughter of Jan and Martha (Chambert) Manje. Jan was a leading citizen and a well-to-do landowner. Pietro and Judith had seven children in the next twelve years. They were both killed by Indians in 1655. The Dutch latinized Pietro's name to Peter Alburtus in the records (which also refer to him as Peter Italian, Caesar Alburtus, or Pieter Mallenook.)

Fifteen years after the deaths of the parents, the records show that the daughters had married and the sons had moved to Moopit Kills where the English living there anglicized their Dutch given names: Jan to John, Aert to Arthur, and Willem to William. The change from Alburtis was gradual, with members of the same family using Albertus, Alburtis, and Burtis. About the 4th generation, "Burtis" was generally used except for one branch that still uses Alburtis, and one family, Albertis. "Burtis" is an American name and ALL with the name Burtis or Alburtis are descended from Pietro. Many years ago, the city of Venice, Italy donated a bronze plaque to New York City honoring Pietro, the "First Italian-American" and every year the Italian-American Historical Society has a celebration in his honor. Three or four years ago, the plaque was dug out of the concrete and stolen.


Peter Caesar Alberti:

(Pietro Cesare Alberti) landed New Amsterdam 2 Jun 1635

(From the Records of the Italian Historical Society of America, 26 Court Street, Brooklyn and the Long Island Historical Society)

Among the great Italian navigators and explorers (Marco Polo, Christoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus), Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), Sebastiano Caboto Amerigo VesPucci and Giovanni Verrazano (1524), figures another name, that of Pietro Cesare Alberti, who arrived in New Netherlands on 2 Jun 1635, and became the First Italian Settler in New York State. (And America.)

Pietro Cesare Alberti, it is told, was the son of Andrea Alberti, Secretary of the Treasury of Venice and Lady Veronica; and was baptized on 20 Jun 1608 in the Parish Church of San Luca in Venice.

As aide to Captain David Pietersen of the dutch ship "King David", sailing from Texel, Holland (now a small island off Northern Holland and then a booming port of the Dutch West India Company), Peter Caesar Alberti was the only Italian crewmember aboard. It is thought that the young Italian nobleman had formed associates with Dutch troops then stationed on Malamocco, an island off Venice. Between 1609 and 1632, there was a commercial understanding between the two maritime nations of Venice and the United Netherlands, whereby Dutch troops were employed by the Signory. Having negotiated an officer's rank for himself aboard a foreign flagship, Alberti sailed for the New World on 10 Jul 1634.

When the "King David" landed in New Amsterdamon 2 Jun 1635, Peter Caesar Alberti was ready to leave the ship, as there had been a dispute between himself and the Captain regarding wages. Before reaching New Netherlands, the ship had voyaged down the West Coast of Africa past the mouth of the Congo, across the Atlantic to Brazil, to Cayenne, Guiana, to the West Indies and then to Virginia. The Captain had threatened to land Alberti in Cayenne, Guiana,but Alberti hung on until the final port of New Amsterdam, where he promptly left the ship. Alberti is said to have sued the Captain and finally reclaimed part of his unpaid wages.

Needless to say, Pietro Cesare Alberti was the only Italian in the city of New Amsterdam His name became quite mangled by the Dutch Scribes. On the public records he acquired several orthographic mutilations, which account for the varied spellings of ALBERTI today. He was styled as: Cicero Piere, Cicero Alberto, Peter the Italian, Caesar Albertus, Pieter Mallenmook, etc. In the course of several generations, his descendants were generally called by the surname Albertus, finally Burtus and Burtis, which was finally Anglocized to Albertis, thus retaining the original Italian name Alberti.

By 1639, four years after his arrival, Peter Caesar had contacted a Pieter Montfoort, a large tobacco landowner, with whom he negotiated for a portion of the former's land. This was at Wallabout, on Long Island, within the present city limits of Brooklyn. Four years later Alberti secured a deed of ownership for the land from the Director General and Council of New Amsterdam then the legal government. In 1647 more land was granted by the Dutch West India Company. With this land and a patent for an adjacent piece of land, in 1647 Alberti owned the equivalent of a 100 acre farm, today an area from the Fort-Green section of Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

On 24 Aug 1642, Peter Caesar Alberti married Judith Manje, also spelled Magnee, (also recorded as Jans) daughter of Jean Magnee and Martha Chambert, both originally Walloons from Flanders and influential Dutch settlers. The bridegroom Alberti then inherited a large home alongside a canal which ran through the present Broad Street in Manhattan.

In 1646, the Alberti-Manje family abandoned their home on Broad Street and moved to Alberti's plantation property on Long Island. Seven children were born to them between the years of 1643 and 1654. One died as an infant, but the other six were still alive when both Peter Caesar and his wife Judith were killed in an Indian raid in 1655.

The Dutch authorities took charge of the six living children, appointed a guardian, and made a favorable lease of the plantation on Long Island. The records show that all of the children married. In 1695, two of the sons, Jan and Willem, sold the Alberti Plantation, and the land started the slow passing of hands down through the centuries.

It is well established that Peter Caesar Alberti was the first Italian settler in New York state and the first Italian family to throw in his lot with the infant colonies that were to become the United States of America, together with many Italians who have come to this country since that time.

from Venice, landed in ____ June 2, 1635
Petro Caesar Alberti was the first Italian to settle in North America. His descendants in this country bear the name Albertis and Burtis - other branches of the family - Alberti. The family is native of Northern Italy - principal seat of our branch was Venice as early as 1204; were members of Santa Luca parish - Venice since 1326. Ancestors point to Teutonic, Gothic or Lombardic origin; other branches located in Genoa and Florence about 1406. The memory of the family was kept alive by Italian poets, marble monuments, statues and stained glass windows; also a castle in Genoa. Petro and wife, Judith Manje, were entitled to a coat of Arms. Petro was the son of Andrea Alberti (Secretary of the Ducal treasury of Venice) and Lady Veronica. Born on the Island of Malmocco, republic of Venice - baptized June 20, 1608 in the Roman Catholic church in Santa Luca.

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Pietro Cesare Alberto's Timeline

June 20, 1608
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto, Italy
June 20, 1608
San Luca Church, Venice, Italy
June 20, 1608
June 20, 1608
San Luca,Venice,Italy
April 14, 1643
Age 34
Nieuw-Amsterdam, Nieuw-Nederlanden
August 30, 1643
Age 35
Nieuw-Amsterdam, Nieuw-Nederland
May 7, 1645
Age 36
New Amsterdam, New York, United States
June 27, 1649
Age 41
New Amsterdam