Michael Begley


On July 30, 1795, one Michael Bagley was In the city of Albany when became a naturalized American citizen. He swore that he had been a resident of the United States for at least the past two years. We seek defining information on his precise origins and path to Albany.

In October 1796, Michael Begley was elected as one of the first trustees of St. Mary's Catholic church in Albany.

In May 1797, he purchased a lot in the lower pasture from the Dutch church. He is said to have leased the house on it to one Matthew Lynch in 1803 (between Rensselaer and Johnson Streets). In November 1797, he purchased one-third of a lot on the north side of Hudson Street at (east side of) Court Street from Frederic Myndertse and his wife.

In 1799, his house, lot, and property were valued modestly on the first ward assessment roll. The Oake map of 1800 shows his narrow lot on the north side of lower Hudson Street.

A yet undocumented source refers to him as a "tobacconist" and as somewhat litigious.

In 1800, the household of an "Ann Begley" was configured nearby with three children but without an adult white male in it.

Thus, the name of Michael Begley seems to have dropped from the community record. He probably died over the winter of 1805-06 as a bill for funeral expenses was submitted by his wife in February 1806. In April, she was issued Letters of Administration on his estate.

By the end of the decade, Ann Begley is said to have relocated to Pittstown in Rensselaer County.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Michael Begley has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Most of the external (and otherwise undocumented) material relies on an article by Lyle Denny published in the Pittstown Historical Society Newsletter, volume 19 (Spring 2011), pp. 5-7 which includes an image of the naturalization document and also a transcription. In addition, Mr Denny has shared a similar compilation of additional documents in 2015. Our thoughts on Begley are very much in flux at this time.

Ann Begley, spouse of Michael Begley, is said to have died on December 11 1827 and was buried in Rensselaer County. She had lived for 74 years.

first posted: 11/10/11; updated 3/10/15