James Radcliff


Albany resident James Radcliff was born in August 1761. Christened "Jacobus," he was the son of Albany-area residents Johannes and Margarita Passage Radcliff.

In November 1783, he married Maria Ottman at the Albany Dutch church. By 1792, the marriage had produced at least three children who were christened in the church. It seems that only their daughter survied to adulthood.

These Radcliffs/Radleys made their home on what became Union Street on Albany's Southside. In 1790, his household included five members. In 1799, only his modest personal property was valued on the first ward assessment. Subsequent census returns charted the progression of that family over the next four decades. Beginning in 1813 and sporadically afterwards, city directories listed brothers James and Henry Radcliff as the residents of 45 Union Street. Other James Radcliffs were listed in directories as well!

Although appearing occasionally on community-based rosters and rolls including a list of watchmen in 1787, he seems to have earned his livlihood as a laborer.

The existence of a number of similarly named individuals in Albany after 1815 complicates assignment of qualitative information.

James Radcliff lost his wife when Maria died in May 1829. He passed on in May 1831 in his seventy-second year. He was buried from the Lutheran Ebenezer Church.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of James Radcliff is CAP biography number 1050. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted 1/10/09; updated 10/31/15