John A. Lansing


John A. Lansing was born in November 1749. He was a middle child in the large family of Abraham Ja. and Elizabeth Cooper Lansing. By the 1770s, his parents had relocated to the "New City" called Lansingburgh where Abraham Jacobse was a founding father. However, this subject was known as John A. Lansing and appears to have remained in Albany where he would be a mainline resident for the rest of his life.

His involvement in civic affairs may have begun in 1772, he was elected constable for the third ward. He also was selected as "High Constable."

In his mid-twenties at the outbreak of hostilities, John A. Lansing was an active supporter of the American cause. In July 1775, he was among those sent to Ticonderoga by the Albany Committee and paid to work as carpenters. In October, he was appointed battalion quartermaster for the Fourth or Rensselaerswyck regiment. The February following, he was paid £10 17s from the Committee treasury. His service may have been of longer duration. After the war, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment. In 1836, his widow would seek pension relief based on his wartime service.

In February 1776, he married Elizabeth Fryer at the Albany Dutch church. At that time, the partners were identified as "of this city." By 1790, nine children had been christened at the church where they were members and pewholders. .

John A. Lansing was among a number of family members who engaged in baking. Not surprisingly, he married the daughter of a recently deceased Albany baker. Like the Fryers, this couple made their home on what became South Pearl Street.

His father appears to have died in 1780 as Elizabeth Cooper Lansing was a widow when she filed her will in September. Curiously, son John A.(then about 31) was not among those children listed as heirs.

However, this Albany native appears to have been a lifelong city resident. Beginning in October 1779, property under John A. Lansing was valued on Albany assessment rolls. In 1788 and also in 1799, his real and personal property was taxed moderately.

In April 1781, he was allowed six skipples of wheat from municipal supplies. A month later, he was to receive four pounds presumably for services. In April 1786, the council ordered that a new well be made between his and Robert Hilton's houses in the first ward.

Like his father and brothers, John A. was a member of an Albany Masonic Lodge. Perhaps these Lansings belonged to the Union Lodge as early as 1773.

During the 1790s, he served as a fireman in the first ward. In 1798, he was the first ward fire inspector.

In 1800 (but perhaps not in 1790), the household of "John Lansing" included four children and the parents and was configured on the census for the first ward. The census in 1810 charted the growth of that family.

In 1813, the first city directory listed John A. Lansing as a baker at 33 Washington Street. Over the next decade, he was listed at that address (later 33 South Pearl) on the corner of Hudson.

Lauded as "a patriot of the Revolution," John A. Lansing died at the end of January 1825. He had lived 76 years. His will (written in 1806) passed probate in February 1828. "Widow Elizabeth Lansing" still resided at 33 South Pearl into the 1830s.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John A. Lansing is CAP biography number 3754. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

Pension file = RWPA #W16627 [need to access this document - subscription required?]

1790: The household of John A. Lansing does not seem to be among the nineteen Lansing-named households listed on the city census in 1790. Several possibilities exist for inclusion in a nearby household. But, with a wife and a number of living children to shelter, this omission is puzzling!

first posted 7/10/14; updated 2/22/15