Jonathan Brooks


This Jonathan Brooks probably was born in 1738. He may have been the son of Joshua (Josua) and Ge___ Bonds Brooks who was christened "Jan" at the Albany Dutch church on December 24 of that year. This individual was an Albany resident who would have come of age during the 1760s. Care must be taken to not confuse him with the family patriarch or with younger, same-named kinsman who also lived during the course of this individual's long life.

In January 1767, he married Rensselaerswyck native Elizabeth Bradt at St. Peter's Anglican church. A daughter and son were christened in the Albany Dutch church in 1774 and 1779. However, he was a member at St. Peter's.

This Brooks family were Albany mainstays for more than sixty years. During the 1760s, his lot on the hill was referenced in the city council minutes. Jonathan was a carpenter who lived above South Pearl Street in a home that later was referenced as 13 and/or 15 Plain Street. As late as 1800, his household of five members was served by three slaves. In 1810, a "Jonathan Brooks, Jr." was listed on the census of heads of households. Beginning with the first edition in 1813, two Jonathans were listed in city directories as carpenters at 13 and 15 Plain Street.

During the 1780s, he served as fireman and watchman and was paid from the city treasury. He seems to have served as a building inspector as well.

Jonathan Brooks died in 1829. His newspaper obituary read:" April 3. Jonathan Brooks died, aged 91. He was born on the 13th May, 1738, in the first ward, where he lived during his whole life; was remarkable for honesty and industry, and preserved the simplicity of ancient times." His will passed probate later in the month. His widow lived until 1832 - also reaching the age of ninety-two.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany

Sources: The life of Jonathan Brooks is CAP biography number 347. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted 5/30/08; updated 1/6/16