John Folsom


Known under various spellings, John Folsom was an Albany resident during the 1780s.

According to family-based sources, he was born in May 1756. He was the youngest son in the large family of Samuel and Ann Bingham Folsom of Stratford, Connecticut. His father was a farmer and blacksmith who is said to have died in Ohio in 1800.

John is said to have left home at age fourteen and to have learned the silversmith's trade.

Coming of age at the outbreak of hostilities, we seek information on his wartime activities. However, afterwards, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany city militia regiment.

In July 1781, he married "Elizabeth File" (Feile?) at the Albany Dutch church. Children were christened there in 1782 and '85. However, he was a member and deacon at the Albany Presbyterian church where his daughters were christened in 1787 and 1789. The marriage is said ultimately to have produced thirteen children.

In 1781, he was living in Albany and was among those non natives who purchased the freedom of the city. At that time, he was identified as a silversmith. Later, he would be called a merchant.

In November 1786, he was appointed chimney viewer for the third ward.

In 1788, his house and belongings were valued on the city assessment rolls. It also appears that future Albany silversmith Isaac Hutton lived there as well. Folsom's personal property at the third ward shop he shared with sailmaker Abraham Eights was also assessed.

In 1790, a John Bulson was listed on the Albany census in the second ward. At the same time "John Fulsom" was identified as the head of a household in Argyle, Washington County.

In February 1797, Albany Presbyterian records noted that John Folsom had "removed from the city."

According to the standard family genealogy, John Folsom left Albany after experiencing business troubles and stopped in what became Greenwich, Washington County. In 1806, he then settled in Glens Falls where he had a farm and lumbering business. He was a devout christian, a preacher in the Glens Falls Presbyterian Church, and he would be known as "Rev. John Folsom."

John Folsom died in August 1838 at the age of eighty-three. His widow survived until 1840.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Folsom is CAP biography number 8068. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

Notes: (22.) IX. John6, b. 17 May, 1756, left home at the age of 14, learned the trade of a silversmith, and settled in Albany, N. Y., where he joined the Presbyterian church. He m., 18 July, 1781, El1zabeth F1le, and became a merchant; but meeting with reverses, he closed business there, went to Union Village (now Greenwich), Washington county, N. Y., and in 1806 to Glen's Falls, N. Y., where he had a farm, and engaged extensively in the lumber trade. In the midst of his business he continued to be an earnest, active Christian, and at the organization of the church was chosen elder, and afterwards licensed to preach the Gospel. He d. Aug. 4, 1839, aged 83. His memorial remains in the history of the church for which he freely contributed his money, his time, and his talents. He had 13 ch. His widow, Elizabeth, b. 10 May, 1761, d. 12 April, 1840, aged 79.

first posted: 6/10/10