John Waters


Like at least two same-named but not necessarily related predecessors, John Waters was an Albany resident during the era of the American Revolution. We believe that he is not the older John Waters who died in 1786.

In March 1777, "a certain Waters" rented a house then occupied by Coll. Philip P. Schuyler and intended to move his family there and inoculate them against smallpox. The Albany Committee forbade the inoculation to safeguard the troops camped nearby. That individual may have been the subject of this sketch.

In 1768 and afterwards, a John Waters was paid for services by the Albany government. We are not certain how many of the entries relate to this individual. In July 1778, probably this John Waters was branded a dangerous person, apprehended, posted bail and was ordered to stay within the city limits by the Albany Commissioners.

In March 1779, his first ward holdings were assessed under the partnership of "William __dren" and John Waters.

In March 1781, he was among the non native inhabitants who purchased the "freedom" or right to do business in the city. At that time he was identified as a merchant.

We believe this Albany resident was the John Waters who married Albany native Dorothea Van Benthuysen at the Albany Dutch church in April 1781. However, no children appear to have been christened in the family church.

Under suspicion during the war, perhaps it was his marriage into a mainline Albany family that led him to be included on a list of those who later were accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

In 1788, his first ward house and holdings were assessed modestly. In 1790, his houshold (consisting only of a man and woman) was configured on the first federal census. Nearby, was the much larger household of his widowed mother-in-law.

John Waters was buried from the Albany Dutch church in December 1796. We believe he came to Albany during the mid-17770s, engaged in business, and died in 1796. However, important questions remain regarding the life of this "Other" revolutionary.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: Because we have not validated defining demographics, the life of John Waters has not yet been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 6/15/10