Thomas L. Witbeck
Thomas L. Witbeck was christened in the Albany Dutch church in August 1752. He appears to be the only child born to the marriage of Lucas and Catarina Carter Witbeck. Perhaps, she was Lucas Witbeck's second wife. This historically visible resident mostly was known as "Thomas L. Witbeck."
In September 1766, "Thomas L. Witbeck" witnessed the will of an Albany carpenter. At sixteen, perhaps our subject would have been too young to testify to a legal transaction. Was this distinctively named individual born much earlier than his recorded christening?
In April 1773, marriage bonds were issued to Albany glazier Thomas L. Witbeck and spinster "Stantia Gose" of Albany County. We seek information on their marriage. One presently compelling source tells us that his wife was a cousin named "Ariantie Witbeck" and that they had nine children who were christened in Lutheran churches in what became Columbia County beginning during the late 1770s.
In 1774, he was named fireman for the second ward.
Coming of age during the early 1770s, we seek information for his involvement in Revolutionary War-related activities. In 1775, he contributed eight shillings for Ticonderoga. He also acted as a messinger for this Albany Committee during the war years. Two men identified simply as "Thomas Witbeck" were listed on the wartime rolls of the Albany County militia in east bank regiments.
He was a prominent Federalist and was the assistant marshall in the Albany ratification parade in August 1788.
He was a member of the Albany masonic lodge.
In 1790, his household was configured on the census for Watervliet and was located next to the Manor House. However, two years earlier, his property and the "house he lives in" had been valued on the Albany assessment roll for the second ward.
In 1793, Thomas L. Witbeck wrote the Patroon regarding elections and appointments in Rensselaer County. Around that time, he was identified as Van Rensselaer's lawyer and the friend of John E. Van Allen. Their relationship seems to have focused on Rensselaer County real estate. In 1794, he became holder of a lease on a Manor farm.
In 1794, he owed 11 shillings to the estate of Albany resident William Shepherd.
In 1796, he is said to have erected a flour mill on the Wynantskill.
In 1797 or 98, Aaron Burr's legal papers extensively discussed Witbeck's involvement and credit situation regarding acreage at "Presque Isle." Burr was involved in other real estate dealings with "Thomas L. Witbeck" as well.
After the late 1790s, the name of Thomas L. Witbeck seems to have dropped from the public record. This individual was a one-time city resident who later became more closely identified with activities and holdings on the eastern side of the Hudson River. He also was involved with lands located in western New York and beyond. We seek information on his later life and passing.
Sources: The life of Thomas L. Witbeck is CAP biography number 1897. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Our standard sweep of Internet-based resources done in early 2012 yielded substantial materials on his activities beyond Albany.
first posted: 1/10/12