Jacobus Kidney


Jacobus Kidney (or Jacob) was born in March 1735. He was the son of Roeloff and Engeltie Burger Kidney. He grew up in a very large family in a modest cooper's home on the hill in the first ward.

He may have been married as a women identified as "Jacobus Kidney's wife" was buried from the Albany Dutch church in July 1791. However, available church records yield no marriage or family information for him.

His father was alive until at least 1763. Presumably, he resided in his father's house and perhaps then with one of his married sisters. One sister married the Albany jail keeper. Another became the wife of a newcomer Scot and was a widow by 1780 when Jacobus presented her petition for use of a city-owned house.

In 1763, his name was not on a list of Albany freeholders nor was his property considered on Albany assessment rolls from the 1760s. However, he may be the "Jacob ____" who signed a community-based document protesting the Stamp Act in 1766.

In 1779 and again in 1788, his name would appear on Albany assessment rolls as a boarder. Perhaps he was considered as part of "Mrs. Kidney & Son" who were listed on a membership roll for St. Peter's Anglican church in 1771.

Jacobus Kidney appears to have supported himself as a placeman for a number of community-based organizations. Beginning in 1773, he served as watchman, constable, and then as high constable - being elected or appointed to such positions for the remainder of his life. Several times, he was paid from the city treasury. During the War, he served as doorkeeper and messenger for the Albany Committee of Correspondence and the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies. He was paid substantial sums by the latter organization. Later, he was awarded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

The Albany newspaper for August 19, 1795 noted the passing of Jacobus Kidney as for "many years high constable of the city." Two days later, he was buried from the Dutch church.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jacobus Kidney is CAP biography number 5985. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 2/5/06; revised 7/8/11