John Dunbar
Stefan Bielinski

John Dunbar probably was born during the 1670s or 80s. He was the patriarch of the Dunbar (Ten Barr/Tumber) family of Albany and Schenectady.

About 1708, he married Albany native Bata Winne. Their son was baptized at the Albany Dutch church in November 1709. A few years later, he was one of the founders of St. Peters' Anglican church. In April 1715, he was one of the church leaders liable to be prosecuted by the Albany government for improperly encroaching on city land. They were arrested and posted bail. He served as a church warden at St. Peter's for a number of years.

These Dunbars lived in the first ward where his property was assessed at a moderate rate. In 1720, he was among the freeholders living in the first ward. The Dunbar home probably was on upper State Street near the English church.

Dunbar's first wife died before April 1724 when he married a much younger Maria Van Hoesen at the Albany Dutch church. At that time, he was called the widower of Bata Winne! His second marriage produced several more children who were baptized in Schenectady. As many as six of his offspring from two marriages survived their father.

He was called an innkeeper and later a vintner. He moved to Schenectady about 1730.

John Dunbar filed a will in April 1736. It named two daughters and a young son and detailed substantial property and holdings. He died in Schenectady in May. His will passed probate on July 19, 1736.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Dunbar is CAP biography number 2258. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Although the surname "Dunbar" often is identified with Scottish origins, we still seek defining information on the ethnicity of this early Albany family! A compilation of traditional information is available online!

According to a listing of tombstone inscriptions from the old cemetery in Schenectady, John Dunbar was born August 30, 1670 and died May 6, 1736.

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first posted 11/5/04; recast and revised 11/30/17