Jesse Potts


According to family based resources, Albany resident Jesse Potts was born in 1774. He was the first son of Samuel and his second wife, Sarah Fritts of Pennsylvania. His father was a blacksmith, hotel operator, and land holder in the Schuylkill Valley. A number of same-named contemporaries complicate the assignment of qualitative materials. The parents of this Jesse Potts were Quakers.

His father died in 1784. By 1790, Jesse is said to have relocated to Albany.

In 1796, he married Elizabeth Duns - a native of Glasgow, Scotland. The marriage produced at least six children between 1799 and 1811 - all of whom were born in Albany. A Quaker at birth, but without a meeting house in Albany, Potts seems to have connected with more than one existing congregation. In 1802, he was identified as a member of the building committee of the "English church" (probably St. Peters). His Scottish-born wife most likely was a Presbyterian.

In 1799, his personal property was valued modestly perhaps under the first ward home of Chloe Campbell. In 1800, his first ward household included his wife and two girls. A decade later, their "home" housed at least twelve young people.

He was a member of the Albany Mechanics Society. In 1807, he was known to fellow members as a "tailor." He also was identified as a Masonic member.

Quaker Jesse Potts died in December 1811 and was buried in the Presbyterian plot. He had lived thirty-seven years. His will passed probate in Albany at the end of the year. In 1813 and for a number of years afterward, his widow was operating a boarding house at 44 Quay Street but listed her residence at 52 Dock Street.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jesse Potts has no CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

Family-based information (our source for all non community-based information on this character) copied from an online posting: Jesse POTTS was born in 1774 in Falls, Schuylkill Co., Pennsylvania. He died on Dec 21 1811 in Albany, Albany Co., New York. He was a tailor by trade and established himself in Albany, New York. He married Elizabeth Dunns in 1796, a young lady of Scotch descent. He died Dec 21, 1811. The widow was left with several small children and very limited means of support, but through thrift and energy she supported her family and brought them up in respectability. She died in 1852.

He was a Friend or Quaker, and a member of the Masonic fraternity. A gold Masonic emblem, bearing date of 1808, is now in possession of his grandson, Jesse Walker Potts of Albany. He seems to have been a man of taste and more than ordinary education. Many of his books, some fine pieces of furniture, and a fine old "grandfather's clock," are preserved by the grandson above named. Family-based resource = The Potts Family in Great Britain and America, by Thomas Maxwell Potts (1901).

He was married to Elizabeth DUNNS in 1796 in Albany, Albany Co., New York. Elizabeth DUNNS died in 1852 in Albany, Albany Co., New York. Jesse POTTS and Elizabeth DUNNS had the following children: Sarah POTTS; Nancy POTTS; Jane POTTS; Samuel POTTS was born in 1806 in Albany, Albany Co., New York. He died in 1816 in Albany, Albany Co., New York. Run over by a sleigh and killed. John D. POTTS; Jesse Charles POTTS.

first posted 5/10/16; last updated 11/8/16