Paul Hogstrasser


Paul Hogstrasser or "Paulus Hochstrasser" probably was born in Germany about 1730. A same-named individual came to America on the ship Edinburg from Rotterdam in September 1753. Perhaps it was a different Paul Hogstrasser who was naturalized in New York in September 1761.

In a legal document dated January 23, 1764, Paulus Hochstraser was identified as a "breeches maker" and, with his sister Catharina, was living in Albany where he remainded for the rest of his life. His wife was named Elizabeth. Their son was christened at the Albany Dutch church in October 1765. He was more closely identified with the Albany Lutherans and, as early as 1766, with the building of the German Reformed church in Albany.

In 1763, he began to acquire real estate in the North End of Albany. In time, he held lots along Foxes Creek near the river, and above the city - along the Schenectady road. He lived in the third ward - perhaps on Market Street where his holdings were assessed comparable to those of the prominent merchants.

This Paul Hogstrasser was a businessman whose enterprises included a brickyard, lumbering, importing, and a boarding house where German-speaking newcomers could stay and find work until they established their own Albany identity. In March 1772, he advertised in the Albany Gazette "Wanted, a man who understands making pot ashes, and one that is expert at making pearl ashes. Such persons may hear of good encouragement during the summer season by applying . . ."

At the outbreak of hostilties, Paul Hogstrasser found himself vulnerable to wartime needs and restrictions. Entering his fifties and too old for actual service, he contributed to the war effort, actively sought to safeguard his loyal reputation, and joined a unit of older patriots who promised to fight in case of invasion or other emergency. After the war, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the city militia regiment.

Continuing to hold a number of parcels of Albany real estate, Paul Hogstrasser could look forward to peace and prosperity after 1783. However, a "Mr. Hogstrater," buried in the Dutch church cemetery in January 1785. In 1788, Paul Hochstrasser's house and lot still was listed on the third ward assessment. His son and namesake became a mainline resident of nineteenth century Albany.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: Spelled in a variety of ways, the life of Paul Hogstrasser is CAP biography number 8494. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 11/30/05; updated 1/20/11