Volkert Dawson


Volkert Dawson may have been christened in the Schenectady Dutch church in September 1731. If so, he would have been the son of cooper William "Daasen" and his wife, Ariaantie Veeder Dawson and would have been named for her father, Volkert Veeder. Despite a somewhat familiar name, at this point, we do not believe he is connected to the Albany Douw family.

Consequently, we probably need external information to follow this individual through his first thirty years.

In February 1761, he married the widow "Geertruy Denison" (otherwise called Geertruy Hilton) at the Albany Dutch church. At that time, both were said to have been "of Albany." By 1778, several children had been christened at the Albany church. A number of additional Dawson children presumably had been christened elsewhere. Perhaps, he witnessed on two baptisms at the Albany Dutch church.

In 1766 and 1767, his modest Albany holdings were valued on city assessment rolls in the first and second wards respectively.

About 1771, his name was included on a list of those who acquired lots in the new settlement that would become Lansingburgh.

In December 1771, the Albany newspaper reported that "Volkert Dawson, from New York, has arrived here [Albany] at 8 o'clock in the afternoon."

In April 1775, the name "Volkert Dawson" was on a list that included residents of Albany County who were incarcerated for debt.

In August 1776, he was appointed to replace Samuel Stevenson as keeper of the Tory jail. He seems to have actively served in that capacity at least into 1779. However, his name was absent from other community-based resources for the war years. Also, we have not yet connected him to actual service or to any land bounty rewards.

Both before and after the war, he was paid for services from the city treasury.

In 1788, his personal property was valued on the city assessment roll near the first ward holdings of the "Widow Van Sante" and John Murphy. In 1790, his household was enumerated on the first ward census next to those listed near him in 1788. His name seems to be absent from the assessment roll of 1799 and the census of 1800 as well.

Volkert Dawson died in June 1808 and was buried "gratis" from the Albany Dutch church.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Volkert Dawson is CAP biography number 7796. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Without family connection and due to the marginal nature of his standing in the community, at this point, we only offer some loosely related facts. Dawsons in early Albany.

first posted 9/25/08; last updated 9/21/15