Johannes Seeger


Spelled and referred to variously, Albany mainstay Johannes Seeger probably was born during the 1690s and possibly was a member of the amorphous Seeger family of New Netherland, colonial New York, and beyond. We seek information on his specific origins and path to Albany.

In June 1719, he married Bridget Wheeler at the Albany Dutch church. The first of their ten children was christened there in 1723. The couple were frequent baptism sponsors.

In 1729 and in 1730, he purchased a lot on the east side of what became South Pearl Street and also a woodlot south of the Ruttenkill, what probably was farm or pastureland along the Beaverkill, and "slips" of land along the "old Schenectady road." He was a freeholder, butcher (or perhaps refers to his son Johannes), and city retainer for more than three decades. Community-based surveys place him in the part of the first ward known as Southside - the home of a number of families of former garrison soldiers.

In 1726, he was appointed city bellman. In 1730, he first was identified as the city marshall. He seems to have held that position (perhaps without interruption) until the late 1760s. During that time, he also was identified as the watchman, gate keeper, and bellman. The regular references to him in the city records provide insight into the varied duties of Seeger's positions. In addition, he was paid for similar services and for burials by the Dutch church. He often was compensated for services in wheat, wine, and wood.

In August 1765, Seeger and his wife were granted use of a house, barn, and land by the city government "due to poverty and old age" at six pence a year. By that time, his name no longer appeared on mainline community rolls.

Perhaps Johannes Seeger was dead by 1769 when his son, Thomas, succeeded him in the marshall's office.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Johannes Seeger is CAP biography number 7002. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 8/20/11