The Campbells in Early Albany


A number of individuals with the surname Campbell lived in and around Albany during the second half of the eighteenth century. They mostly would be of Scottish origins but for the number and spread (e.g. Kemmel) of variants of the spelling encountered in the community-based and regional record.

Perhaps the first Campbell in Albany appears to have been one Archibald Campbell who was included on a city assessment roll in 1766 and who may have died in 1793. His will of that year named a wife and identified six sons and four daughters. It also noted his Albany property.

Additional same-named contemporaries inhabited greater Albany County during that time.

The personal property of Schenectady leader "Coll Daniel Cambell" was valued substantially on the Albany assessment rolls in 1779. At that time, he was lodging at either Hugh Denniston's or with Archibald Campbell on the southside of Albany.

At this point, we are treating each individual separately while trying to document kinship connections.

Perhaps the story of newcomer feltmaker James Campbell represents different origins.

The most challenging definition problems concern the various "John Campbells" of which at least six lived in Albany during that time.

Two Campbell-named households were profiled on the 1790 city census. In 1800, four Campbells were enumerated on the census for the city of Albany and its environs.

The individual we are now treating as John Campbell (the elder), lived in Albany and was dead by January 1802 when letters of administration were issued to his wife.

In 1813, the first city directory listed the addresses of seven Campbell-named households.

Until we can achieve more clarity regarding kinship relations, we continue to collect and synthesize what we know about the Albany Campbells.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The Campbell family does not have its own CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. This online posting begins to confront Campbell identification issues. The "Campbell Family Papers, 1750-1926" collection in Cooperstown may be a starting point for the family in "upstate" New York. Who was Pryse Campbell? Mindful of spelling variants, see "Kimmel."

first posted 5/30/16; last updated 2/15/17