John James Abbott
Stefan Bielinski

John James Abbott was born about 1726. As he was naturalized in 1765, he may have been of German ancestry.

In 1762, he married Mary Catherine Loman - beginning an Albany union that would last for more than forty years. Their son was baptized in the Albany Dutch church in 1767. But he was among the petitioners who were granted a lot on which to erect a German Reformed church in 1766.

By the mid-1760s, he was an Albany householder. He practiced the watchmaker's trade. In 1771, he was paid by Albany for repairing the "city clock." By mid-decade, he had been given the contract to care for the clock. He was one of the first watchmakers to live in colonial Albany.

After first living in the third ward, by 1790, he had set up his home and shop in the waterfront area of the first ward. He later lived on Maiden Lane, Dock Street, Market Street. In 1772, he was granted a lot on Foxes Creek. In 1800, his third ward household included nine people.

Abbott supported the crusade for American liberties and was among those who signed the General Association in 1776. Afterwards, he was granted a bounty right as a member of the First Regiment of the Albany County Militia. Too old for active service, he was exempted in 1778. He contributed to the war effort and continued to care for the city clock.

John James Abbott lost his wife in August 1809. He died in July 1810 and was buried in the Episcopal buial ground. "Albany's first watchmaker" had lived eighty-four years.



the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John James Abbott/Ebbett is CAP biography number 6354. This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources. He may have been the "Gams Abbet" listed on the roster of John Winne's militia company in 1767 which included a number of German emigres to Albany. He should not be confused with his contemporary John Abbott of Halfmoon and/or Hoosick!

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first posted: 7/20/0; last revised 2/27/12