John Ja. Zabriskie


According to traditional sources, John Ja. Zabriskie (spelled variously) was born in February 1752. He was the son of Jacob J. and Sara Varick Zabriskie of Hackensack, New Jersey. His father was the third generation descendant of a native of Poland who was educated in Amsterdam; came to New Netherland during the 1660s, and, a decade later, was settled in New Jersey. His mother was a daughter of a prominent New York family.

In November 1776, he married Lena Lansing at the Albany Dutch church. A daughter was born at the end of June. Their son was christened in Albany in 1779. Another daughter arrived in February 1782.

Because another John Zabriskie married and lived in Albany at that time, we are less certain about the assignment of qualitative information. This sketch seeks to include information specific to John Ja[cob] (or Joost) Zabriskie - a frequently used name in the community.

At this point, we are uncertain (beyond the obvious) as to what brought several New Jersey Zabriskies to Albany around that time.

Early in 1777, he complained to the Albany committee that Albert Vanderzee refused to accept Continental currency in payment for boards and planks. In December 1777, "Jno. Jost Zabriskie" witnessed the will of Johannes Vol. Douw of Albany County.

In March 1779, John Zabriskie's personal property was valued within a third ward household.

In September 1779, he was among a number of Albany mainliners who petitioned the governor for the return of Dr. Van Dyck - an incarcerated loyalist. In November 1779, an individual by the name of "John I. Zabrisky" was appointed firemaster for the third ward.

We feel that the Albany business combination known as "Zabrisky & Lansing" references the business of this individual. However, most references to it are dated after the death date of John Ja. Zabriskie. In 1782, the following advertisment ran in the New-York Gazetteer: "Zabrisky & Lansing, merchants - between the Dutch church and the Market House, A large quantity of Phildelphia Earthen Ware and . . . "

At some point, the name of "John J. Zabrisky" was included on a list of those who were entitled to land bounty rights in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

The first Albany John Zabriskie died in April 1782. He had lived but thirty years. His Albany-born widow re-married several years later and lived until 1826. In March 1786, his father's will noted that John was deceased and that Jacob Zabriskie's three grandchildren were living with their maternal grandfather, John Lansing, at Albany. Their son became an notable cleric.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Ja. Zabriskie is CAP biography number 6985. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The Zabriskies (Sobieski also "Albrecht Zaborowski") were a pioneer family of New Jersey and have been studied extensively. The purpose of this sketch is to help explain the Albany lives of several Zabriskie family members.

first posted: 1/10/09