John Mc Gourck


Spelled and referred to variously, future Albany mainstay John Mc Gourck was born in Northern Ireland in 1758. He then came to America at age fourteen which could have placed him in Albany just before the war. We seek definitive information on his origins and path to Albany.

Subsequent information connects him to wartime service in the New York Line. At the time of his enlistment, he later testified that he lived with businessman James Caldwell. He also served in the Albany militia company captained by John Price. Afterwards, he was accorded a land bounty right. A Federal pension was issued to his widow following his death.

In September 1781, he was elected to serve as constable in the second ward. However, the Council found that Mc Gourck had been "underage" at the time of the voting and a new election needed to be held.

His name has not been found on the census for New York State in 1790. Perhaps he was living in one of the four Mc Gourck-named households configured on the city census.

In 1799 and again in 1802, his house and lot in the second ward was valued on the city census.

In September 1798, he married Margaret Jackson at the Albany Presbyterian church where he had been a member since at least 1785. Their children were christened there during the 1800s.

The second ward census in 1800 counted three small children and two adults in his household.

Beginning in 1813, he was listed in the city directory at 23 North Pearl Street and he was identified as a chocolate maker. As late as 1830, the Albany directory listed him as a "chocolate manufacturer" located at 4 Van Schaick Street.

In August 1833, he applied for a pension for service in the Revolution. The application detailed the particulars of his life.

John "Mc Gourckey" died in November 1833. He was then 75 years old. The notice said he had taken an active part in the American Revolution and remained a man of high character throughout his life. The funeral was held three days later from his residence at Pearl and Fox Streets. His widow received a pension in 1838.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Mc Gourck is CAP biography number 1113. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 11/10/11; revised 2/12/12