Elizabeth Radcliff Norton


Elizabeth Radcliff was born in November 1763. She was the daughter of John L. and Elizabeth Wilkinson Radcliff. She grew up a member of a medium-sized family in a cordwainer's home in the first ward.

Probably during the late 1780s, she married one Samuel Norton. Perhaps he was one of the sons and the namesake of a founder of Saratoga (who died in 1783) and was listed there as a head of family there on the census of 1790. However, beginning in 1792, their four Norton children were christened at the Albany Dutch church.

Although we are uncertain as to the timing, by 1799 these Nortons were living with or next to her father at 48 Hudson Street. At that time, Norton was listed as the owner of the personal property and the elder Radley in a subordinated position . However, the census in 1800 laid out two households (Radley and Norton) next to eachother in the first ward. Her father, John L. Radley, died in 1809.

By the time of the first city directory in 1813, Samuel and Elizabeth Norton were themselves Albany mainstays. As she aged through her fifties, sixties, and beyond her identity seems to have been entirely within the Norton household as they finally moved to a home at what became 218 South Pearl Street.

Elizabeth Radcliff Norton died in April 1841 at the age of seventy-seven. She was buried in the Dutch church cemetery plot. Her husband then removed to Lyme, Connecticut where he died in October 1842.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Elizabeth Radcliff Norton is CAP biography number 1044. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 12/10/08