Benjamin Williamson


Albany resident Benjamin Williamson (aka Williams) probably was born before the mid-1730s. We still seek defining information on his origins and path to Albany. A number of possible contemporary references and spellings of his surname dictate caution in the assignment of qualitative material to this sketch.

This subject was in Albany by June 1756 when his (Benjamin Williams) home was described on an inventory conducted by the British army. At that time (and typically afterwards), he was identified as a butcher. In 1755 and afterwards, William Johnson had accounts with butcher "Benjamin Williams" for "fatt cattle" killed for the Indians at Lake George.

His wife was one Mary Burchal/Birchard. During the 1750s, the marriage produced a number of children. Beginning in the 1750s, they were prominent members of St. Peter's Anglican church. A list of Albany's Church of England supporters from 1771 shows only the name of "James Williamson.

In 1766 and 1767, his house and property were were assessed modestly in Albany's third ward. In March and in October 1779, his holdings in the third ward were assessed moderately. Subsequent surveys do not seem to list his name.

At this point, the sole reference to possible wartime involvement appears (under the name "Benjamin Willson") on a land bounty list for the Albany regiment of the County militia.

In 1788, a posthumous inventory claimed that "Benjamin Williams" owed £11:8 to the estate of an Albany carpenter.

In 1790, the city census shows only the household of James Williamson located in the third ward.

A "Legal Writ" dated 1799, ordered the sheriff to imprison Benjamin Williamson for debt. All named in the document were Albany residents at that time. At that time, our subject would have been about seventy years old.

Part diminishing returns and with important questions about him still unresolved, we move on for now from the live of one-time resident Benjamin Williamson.

biography in-progress - 2017


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Benjamin Williamson is CAP biography number 6290. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted 6/10/18