Robert Barret


Robert Barret (also Robert Barrett) was born after 1650. He probably came to New York and then Albany as a soldier. In 1698, his name appeared on the roster of a company of Grenadiers stationed at Albany.

Probably during the late 1680s, he married Wyntie Jans of Schenectady. At this point, we have no source for their marriage date. Between 1689 and 1701, six children were christened at the Albany Dutch church. However, neither parent seems to have served as baptism sponsor during those years. Their offspring established the Barret family in Albany and its hinterland.

Robert Barret was settled in Albany by the late 1690s. In November 1699, he was appointed night watchman and was "well-paid" for that service. Shortly thereafter, he leased the western part of the alms house and its adjoining farm from the deacons of the Albany Dutch church.

Over the next two decades, he served as one of the watchmen and the bellmen for the city of Albany. In 1709, his property in the first ward was hardly taxed At that time, he was living in the midst of a soldier enclave that later would be known as "Southside".

Robert Barret was last heard from in October 1713 when he was engaged again to serve as the city bellman. He was to receive £21 plus other benefits. Perhaps his widow survived until 1746.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Robert Barret is CAP biography number 7221. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

From 1699 to 1713, his salary as bellman was between 21 and 24 pounds. For some of that time, he shared the bellman's duties with soldier and neighbor John Radcliff.

From the "Dutch Church Papers" printed in volume VII of the Annals of Albany and transformed from an online source:

Memorandum that we the undersigned John Cuyler and Evert Bancker, Deacons of the Church at Albany of the first part, and Robert Barrett of the second part, made an agreement, as follows:
Cuyler and Bancker certify to have let to Robt. Barrett and Robt. Barrett to have rented from Cuyler and Bancker, the western part of the almshouse with half the farm occupied by it, such as the same is situated within its fences, for the term of one year, commencing this date, and ending the 1st May 1701, for the sum of eighty-four guilders, value in Sewant, to pay the first half November 1st 1700, and the other half at the expiration of this agreement, and no deduction of the rent or any allowance will be made for any improvements made on the aforesaid house and farm. In consideration of which the letters and their successors, and the tenant and his heirs bind themselves by law.
Signed and sealed at Albany May, 1st, 1700.

first posted 12/30/06; last revised 5/16/14