Rachel Radcliff Willis


Rachel Radcliff was born in February 1729. She was the daughter of Jacob and Catharina Bovie Radcliff. She grew up in a large family in the first ward home of a cartman and Dutch church retainer.

By the end of the 1740s, she had married Thomas Willis. Between 1749 and 1769, nine children had been christened in Albany churches.

Willis was a weaver and the couple raised their family in a modest house in the first and also third wards where they were mainstays for much of the remainder of the century.

However, Rachel was a widow by 1790, when her large first ward household was configured on the census. By 1799, her name was on a list of those "permanent poor" who were to receive payments from the city. Those bequests continued well into 1802.

In January 1792, she witnessed an all-Radley family christening.

Rachel Radcliff Willis probably died during the early 1800s.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Rachel Radcliff Willis is CAP biography number 1183. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 1/10/10