Edward Davis


Albany resident Edward Davis appears to have been born during the 1720s. At this point, we think that "Ned Davis" was a younger individual, probably a "negro," and perhaps even the slave of Edward. That said, possibly three different individuals are in the mix here. Not surprisingly, a number of same-named individuals lived in early America.

Perhaps he was the son of John Davis of New York City as noted in the will he filed in 1731.

In October 1755, the name of Edward Davis was listed on a muster roll of New York Provincial Troops.

After posting a bond in November 1762, in January 1763, Edward Davis married "Jannetje Duret" (or Dret or Durette) at the Albany Dutch church. By 1778, they (Edourd and in one case Ned.) had baptized at least seven children in Albany. Edward and Jannetje witnessd baptisms at the church as late as 1790.

In 1772 and again in 1785, his account was paid from the city treasury.

Beginning in May 1776, his activities were noted by the Albany committee when he was paid for firewood and for repair work on the barracks. In May 1777, he was paid $100 for "his service in discovering a number of conspirators." Shortly thereafter, his "stay" in Albany was paid for and John Davis was paid for lodging and feeding Edward Davis.

In November 1778, his was among those identified as aged 50-55 who would be exempt from active military service except in an emergency. Afterwards, his name was not on the list of patriots accorded land bounty rights in conjunction with either the city militia regiment or another military unit.

In 1790, the household of Edward Davis was configured on the census for Watervliet and included six people. A decade later, the Watervliet census noted eleven "free white" people residing in his household.

After that, the name of Edward Davis appears to be absent from the community-based record. Perhaps, his wife was one of the two Davis-named widows listed in the first city directory in 1813.

We recognize that this sketch may have been developed based on unrelated parts. With so many unresolved questions (particularly regarding birth, marriage, and death) on the life of Albany resident Edward Davis, we move on for now.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Edward Davis is CAP biography number 7766. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 5/20/12; last updated 8/9/12