Spelled and referenced variously, Johannes V. Douw was born in January 1709. He was the second son of the marriage of Volkert and Margarita Van Tricht Douw. Mostly, he grew up on family property across the river in Greenbush. To prevent confusion with other same named contemporaries, this sketch focuses on the individual identified as "John V. Douw."
By the 1740s, he was establishing himself as a fur trader and interpreter while building a life for his family in the third ward of Albany. In 1744, he was appointed firemaster. In 1746 and '47, he was elected assistant alderman. Although his house was not included on the census in 1756, his Albany property was assessed during the 1760s.
Johannes V. Douw was a well-known Albany merchant and his name was included on a petition signed by Albany traders in 1764. He supplied items for the city government. He also witnessed a number of wills including that of his wife's brother-in-law in June 1768.
Identifying himself as "of Albany County," Johannes V. Douw filed a will in December 1777. It stated that he was "weak and sick in body." Implying that his wife was deceased at that time, Douw left an extensive estate to his son. He was dead by January 1782 when the will passed probate.
first posted 4/25/04; revised 7/17/07; last updated 1/29/18