John Brinkerhoff (sometimes Brinckerhoff) was born in August 1773. He was the son of Derrick (Dirck) and Elizabeth Van Ranst Brinkerhoff of New York City. John later recalled that with the outbreak of hostilities his father had removed the family to his native Fishkill, where he served the revolutionary cause, and died there in 1780. Over the next decade the path of Derrick's survivors is unclear.
At this point, we have not been able to follow him to Albany as the Brinkerhoff family was not established in the postwar capital city. However, in September 1796, John married Albany native Geertruy Schuyler at the Albany Dutch church. By 1811, the marriage had produced seven children - all of whom were christened at the Albany church.
In 1798, Albany jury lists identified him as a merchant. The third ward assessment roll for 1799 valued his personal property in two separate entries noting his "shoe store" and also "John Brinkerhoff & Co." Subsequent tax rolls documented his ownership of a store on Market Street and a house and lot on Dock Street. Demographically, perhaps he was accounted for in 1800 under the third ward household of his new father-in-law - a prominent merchant and skipper.
By 1810, a household under his name began to be configured on the Albany census. At that time, four boys, perhaps widower Abraham Schuyler (who died in 1812), a couple in John's age group, and two other free persons were accounted for in that living unit.
In 1813, the first city directory listed his home at 3 Dock Street and his store at 103 Market. At that time, he was the alderman for the third ward and an officer in a number of Albany-based civic organizations.
Only entering his forties at that time, John's Albany business and civic life would continue conspicuously into the 1830s.
Gertrude Schuyler Brinkerhoff died in 1826 - aged fifty-three. John Brinkerhoff passed in March 1835. This newcomer Albany businessman had lived sixty-one years. His will passed probate a month later.
Sources: The life of John Brinkerhoff is CAP biography number 7420. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted 2/20/0/16