William Corry


William Corry was born about 1710. He was from Ireland but may have been of English background.

By 1737, he was in New York (". . . had recently emigrated from Ireland") and petitioning for a grant of 100,000 acres in "Mohawk County" with the understanding that he would be bringing a number of families from Ireland. The petition eventually was disallowed. But he did head a dozen petitioners who received a patent for almost 26,000 acres that same year. Corry also purchased a tract of land closer to Schenectady where he founded a settlement called "Corry's Bush" and later became Princetown.

Corry frequently was characterized as an attorney. He was said to have been "English-trained" - although the precise nature and extent of his training and practice are still not known. He sustained a long-standing legal, business, real estate, and personal relationship with Mohawk Valley magnate William Johnson. He was a frequent and familiar correspondant and source of information. For example, in August 1757, he wrote to Johnson and offered a slate of potential judicial appointees. He was one of a number of Albany-based countrymen who kept Sir William informed about the Albany scene.

His wife was named Catherine - whom he probably married in 1734.. The marriage produced a son named Isiah and four daughters. In 1739 and 1743, two daughters were christened in the church at Fort Hunter. In 1750, his daughter was christened in Schenectady by Rev. John Ogilvie.

In 1756, his name appeared on a census of Albany householders. At that time, he was identified as a lawyer and his house was judged to be appropriate for quartering four soldiers but not officers.

In July 1760, he lived on the north side of the house of Abraham Lansing.

William Corry was "sick and ailing" when he filed a will in 1763. In May, the New York Mercury reported that Corry had died in Albany on April 24 after a short illness. He was in his fifty-third year. His will passed probate on October 26. Corry's widow and son sought William Johnson's advice on William Corry's estate.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of William Corry is CAP biography number 7705. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Paul M. Hamlin credits Corry with a distinguished and lengthy legal career that began on Staten Island in 1730. His training began at Lincoln's Inn.

first posted: 1/30/08