Historical Resources   (3/94 - online 12/03)

The history programming and historical services provided by the Colonial Albany Social History Project are based on the historical information and resources that constitute the Colonial Albany Project data base. The project data base is a body of historical information relating to the people of colonial Albany and their world. The CAP data base has six major components. These resources are defined as:

* lifecourse biographies

* graphics archive

* city property program

* calendar of historical events

* facsimile archive of documentary resources

* library of narrative sources

Comprehensive development and articulation of the data base is the primary goal of the research undertaken by the Colonial Albany Project. Given the social history focus of the project, the collection of data is focused on the lifecourse or comprehensive biographical profiles for each of the 16,000 persons who lived in the city of Albany before the Industrial Revolution. These biographies are the major element of the CAP data base and all project members contribute to their development. The other data base components are functions of the biographies. The graphics archive provides visual documentation of their lives and times. Copies of relevant historical graphics and documentary materials are included and new visuals also are created. The property program sets the spatial parameters of the community in historical perspective. The calendar of events describes community activities and assists in placing the people of colonial Albany in larger historical contexts. A library of narrative or interpretive sources adds depth and breadth to the other components.

The Colonial Albany Project intends to examine all historical resources relating to the lives and times of the people of colonial Albany. The overall scope and volume of this historical record is staggering - both in terms of what has been identified and in unexplored collections as well. Much of the historical record survives in documentary form. At present, historical information derived from written sources forms the core of the CAP data base. Documentary or written research materials in printed and manuscript forms have been categorized as either records resources or literary sources. Records are defined as the official accounts of a particular event, activity, or problem. Literary sources are an observer's description of the same or are an interpretation of such a description. Secondary sources can be considered literary sources once-removed. In addition, the project has undertaken a comprehensive examination of graphics and material resources that relate to the life experiences of the people of colonial Albany.

Data Collection Plan (3/94)

A data collection plan provides for an efficient investigation of all relevant historical resources. The search for information on the people of colonial Albany proceeds from the comprehensive to the particular, from the simple to the complex, and from the accessible to the obscured. It is structured so that each source can be utilized more effectively based on learning from materials already encountered. In general, the retrieval of information from records resources is the first priority. Each record under consideration is searched to exhaustion - meaning all information in that source relating to the people of colonial Albany is systematically retrieved and recorded in a project-useful way. At the present rate, many years will be required to extract all relevant information from the records resources already identified. This information provides substance for the lifecourse biographies and the other data bases and enables a fuller understanding of the character of the colonial community. After exhaustion of all known records resources, lifecourse biographies will be further articulated following a comprehensive search of literary, graphic, and material resources relating to the people of colonial Albany.

Survey of Sources (3/94)

At the beginning of work in 1980, the director made an initial inventory of primary sources that might be considered. The program of sources listed on the pages that follow is based on that first inventory. From 1984 to 1986, Thomas Burke made a major contribution in identifying and surveying potential sources. At this point, the director is responsible for assessing new sources - although several important documents have been recommended by Burke, other Associates, and by external scholars. Each relevant source has been copied and committed to the CAP documentary archive. The project value of each source has been determined; a data collection priority was assigned to each item; and a data collection plan for each has been developed. Source inventory and collection scheduling information follows.

Objectives (3/94)

The goal of the data collection phase is to understand the life experiences of the people of colonial Albany by developing comprehensive biographical profiles for every person who lived in the city for any part of their life and who was born prior to the end of 1800. The information required to achieve this goal is being collected in three increments. The objectives set for each stage lend further structure to the research process:

Stage 1: To identify every man, woman, and child who spent any part of a life in the city of Albany before 1800.

This essential first step in comprehending a community made up of individual lives begins with the first permanent settlers at Fort Orange in 1624. As researchers have worked through the historical resources - beginning with the most comprehensive survey resources, a biographical file was established for each individual identified as an Albany resident. Additional information is collected about their lives and about the lives of all descendants who lived for any part of their life in the city of Albany or its earlier incarnations, Willemstadt, Beverwyck, and Fort Orange. Thus, a biographical file is established for each original resident and for each native-born Albanian. Each newcomer (people entering the community to live before 1800) and each of their resident descendants also is the subject of a biographical file. The objective is to create a separate lifecourse file for every community (city or its geographic predecessor) resident and for every child born to an Albany mother regardless of how long a baby lived or where the outmigrants actually spent the rest of their lives. Strictly speaking, this program is a community reconstitution because it proceeds forward from the first settlers and comprehends changes in community demographics thru the year 1800 - an admittedly arbitrary date marking the end of the pre-industrial age and the beginning of Albany's rise as a modern, urban center. Stage One will be complete when every Albany person has been named and all kinship family relationships have been established. Although almost all members of the study population have been identified by name, a precise total population number is not desirable because the political boundaries of the city did not embrace many essential city people; many transients were extremely important to the community's history; and our understanding of the slave community (about ten percent of the total) lags far behind other research. At this point, however, the overall community population appears to be fewer than 16,000 people born thru 1800.

Stage 2: To establish vital, occupational, social, political, and economic information for each Albany person named in Stage One.

Vital statistics information includes dates and places of birth, baptism, death, and burial; ancestry information (including names and backgrounds of parents); marriage data including date(s) of marriage and names of spouses; childbearing information for women; places and durations of residency.

An occupational section charts an individual's work history. A basic scale of manual, crafts, trades, service, mercantile, and professional occupations has been suggested in an published article entitled "How a City Worked: Occupations in Colonial Albany." Since most city residents engaged in more than one economic activity at a time, a comprehensive work history must be sensitive to secondary occupations and other part time activities as well.

Social information includes a personal educational profile, literacy information, religious affiliations, other organizations supported, and travel and migration experience.

Political information includes titles, duration, jurisdiction, and other particulars of public offices held. Other evidence of participation in civic affairs is charted in detail. Examples include jurors, taxpayers, church officers, contract arrangements, and community service activities. Militia and other military service, voter participation, and referenda participation (such as application for voting status and loyalty oaths) is categorized as political information.

Economic information includes comprehensive data on real property holdings, personal property, salaries, fees, investments, inheritances, and other assets. Accounts and credit histories are classified as economic information.

At present, project research is focused on Stage 2 with the sweep of sources adding much new information to the biographies of all Albany people - but particularly informing the lives of the most active participants. Because this increment is so fruitful, Stage 2 activities will continue for the foreseeable future.

Stage 3: To comprehend opinions and attitudes on relevant political, social, and economic issues. Most of the people of colonial Albany left behind few or no declarative statements on their feelings and motivation. However, we can follow them through time and observe what they did. The Colonial Albany Project moves forward in this area following the premise that individual, group, and community sentiments on issues can be understood by understanding the contributions of the people involved. The end product of Stage 2 research will provide the substance for that level of understanding. The development of sentiment scales (from strong proponent to strong opponent, for example) and the analysis of a community-wide data file will clarify issues, provide relevant comparatives, and help articulate attitudes. Several project-connected graduate students have experimented with sentiment scales for Albany-based research topics. Returning interns are encouraged to pursue studies which rely on the CAP data base.

To some extent, political consciousness can be illuminated through quantitative analysis. Issues include community attitudes toward English instead of Dutch rule; support of local institutions including the city government, militia, and churches; the extralegal administration of Jacob Leisler; compliance with British imperial regulations and trade restrictions; war with the French; the questions of resistance, rebellion, and revolution; and what ideologies should guide the governing of the independent state and nation. The degree and quality of individual and group involvement in local government also can be charted through analysis of lifecourse information.

Social issues include attitudes toward marriage and remarriage, lawful behavior, migration, Native peoples, slavery, soldiers and other outsiders, community action, education, social welfare, and other social conventions (such as illegitimacy, premarital pregnancy, religion, inheritance, and social status), mobility, and a range of other relationships.

Economic issues include attitudes regarding monopoly, restrictions, and free enterprise; the relationship of wealth and status; financial obligations and business responsibilities; and profit motivation.

Data Collection Guidelines (3/94)

The Colonial Albany Project's long-term reliance on a large and diverse number of researchers requires the definition and implementation of research guidelines. The data collection program has four general operational features:

1. Each source under consideration is searched to exhaustion for information on early Albany people. All relevant information is recorded.

2. Information is recorded and documented in a consistent and standardized project-useful way.

3. Information is recorded exactly as it appeared in the historical source. The use of [sic] indicates that the recorder has some problem with the verbatim transcription.

4. The most comprehensive and easily comprehended sources are of the highest priority. Printed and English language records are easiest to comprehend.

Recording of Information (3/94)

Information recovered from historical resources must be recorded and presented in a consistent and project-useful way. Information recording has seven general standardizing features:

1. Historical information from primary sources is printed in black ink on 5" x 8" lined index cards. Information of questionable (illegible, indistinct, obviously implied, or improbable) veracity is printed in pencil. Information from secondary sources is not reliable and always is printed in pencil.

2. Each information card is about elements of an individual life. Information is recorded on the card of the person responsible for or affected by the action.

3. Each recorded historical entry begins with its date (for example, 3-24-1687), followed by the information, and then the source documentation - all on the same line. Every entry must have a date reference. Approximate (circa dates in pencil are encouraged in the absence of definite date references.

4. Old Style dating (for example, 2-4-1713/4) is converted to New Style (2-4-1714). However, 6-14-1713 (old style) does not become 6-24-1713 to correspond to the modern calendar.

5. Information is organized to address questions raised in the lifecourse profiles. These essential life characteristics are summarized below and are discussed in more detail in the appendix section on the lifecourse biographies. Verbatim copying of information is not desirable. Information must be understood by the collector, summarized, and recorded accurately, comprehensively, and succinctly.

6. Substantive information (non English-language, spelling, quantities, including errors and other seemingly ridiculous statements) is recorded as written. Penciled caveats are encouraged.

7. Every bit of information is documented using designated documentation keys and page numbers.

In summary, each card-line of information must present a reference date, a summary of the information, and source documentation. Printed guidelines are available for each recording procedure.

Data Collection Strategy (12/03)

The following plan articulates the project's comprehensive and exhaustive approach to recovering historical information on the people of colonial Albany from documentary resources sources. This plan categorizes resources, identifies them individually, sets priorities for information retrieval, and documents accomplishments. All historical resources utilized by the CAP are described in the sections that follow.

Historical Records (3/94)

Because they are the official accounts of community activities, events, and organizations, records, although not perfect, are the most authoritative and comprehensive of historical resources. Records resources have been accorded the highest research priority. Records can be categorized as follows:

Comprehensive Surveys (3/94)

Until modern times, no single source named every person living in the community at a given time. However, the creators of 17th, 18th, and 19th century records believed a comprehensive community survey to be a list of the head of each household within the municipal jurisdiction. The intent was to comprehend the community by accounting for its principal members. Census enumerations, tax lists and other assessment documents, and city directories are outstanding examples in this category. They are defined here as comprehensive community surveys here because they purport to name every head of family in the community. In reality, they are not perfect and do not name every "historically important" person. Each "census" or "roll" document is characterized by a number of omissions. But these so-called comprehensive surveys provide the names of the largest number of city residents as well as other information on their lives. They have the highest research value and were examined first to support the initial research objective of naming each person who lived in the community. A file was established for each of these outstanding community residents. An official date-letter code was assigned to each resource for recording and identification purposes. Partially complete information is noted as "(PC)." Copies of each source are filed at the project offices.

Comprehensive surveys processed to date are:

1679HH A List of the Persons...to Repair the Posts" (1679)

printed in Court Minutes of Albany 2:396-97
numbered list (146 total names)
name of householder
tax computed in rods of stockade fence

1697HF "List of the Heads of Families" (1697)

"Colonial Manuscripts," 42:34, NYS Archives
name of head of household (175 names)
number of men, women, and children in each household
ethnicity (PC)

1702TL "Tax List" (1702)

"Livingston-Redmond Papers," Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
name of owner
ward location
amount assessed
dated August 1702

1709TL "Tax List" (1709)

"Livingston-Redmond Papers," Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
name of owner
ward location
amount assessed

1756HF "Loudoun's Inventory of Households" (1756)

"Earl of Loudoun Papers," Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
name of head of household
occupation (PC) of head
size and condition (PC) of dwelling

1766TL "Tax List" (1766)

"Philip Schuyler Papers," New York Public Library
name of owner
amount of tax
additional comments (PC)
other occupants
property type
Transcribed and printed in UNY

1767TL "Tax List" (1767)

"Philip Schuyler Papers," New York Public Library
name of property owner
ward location
amount of tax
additional comments (PC)
other occupants (PC)
property type (PC)
Transcribed and printed in UNY

1779TL(M) "Tax List" (March 1779) [partially online]

"Gerrit Y. Lansing Papers," NYS Library
name of owner
description of property (PC)
value of real property
value of personal property
amount of tax

1779TL(O) "Tax List" (October 1779)

"Gerrit Y. Lansing Papers," NYS Library
name of owner
assessment amount
additional assessed real estate (PC)

1788TL "Assessment Roll" (September 1788)

Copy of the tax roll from the New York State Archives (A 1201)
from NYS Comptroller's records
listed by ward, with some description, real and personal property values

1790C "Federal Census" for the City of Albany; for Watervliet (1790)

name of head
ward of residence
gender and age categories of related people
other household members (free colored)
number of slaves

1799TL "Tax List" (1799)

New York State Archives - previously encountered a copy a copy
name of owner (or owners)
ward of property (all three wards)
type of property
value of real and personal property
amount assessed
We first encountered this document as a manuscript copy in the research collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art. In that form, we have referenced it for many years. HOWEVER, in mid-2017, we noticed he original manuscript residing in the New York State Archives has been presented online via Ancestry.com. This "find " is a great boon to our research as it permits examination s

Note: Citywide assessment rolls for 1802 and 1803 (and perhaps beyond) appear to be held at the New York State Archives. In June 2017, those documents (and some transcriptions) are viewable by Ancestry.com members but maybe not beyond. However, you might pursue this avenue of access which seems to work as well!

1800C "Federal Census" for the City of Albany (1800)

name of head of household
ward of residence
age categories of related males and females (five for each sex)
other household members (free colored)
number of slaves
twelve categories total
Information extracted and integrated; Watervliet section processed as well

1802TL "Assessment Roll" (1802)

"Glen-Sanders Papers," New-York Historical Society
second ward only
name of owner
street location
description of property

1809TL "Assessment Roll" (1809)

"John N. Bleecker Papers," NYS Library
third ward only
name of owner
residence information
street location
description of property

1810C "Federal Census" (1810)

name of head
age categories of related males and females
other household members (free colored)
number of slaves
(no wards, no free colored householders named except for Harmanus A. Wendell - keeper of the poorhouse)

1813AD "Albany Directory" (1813)

printed city directory for 1813
name of householder
occupation (PC)
street address

1814AD "Albany Directory" (1814)

printed city directory for 1814
name of householder
occupation (PC)
street address

1815AD "Albany Directory" (1815)

printed city directory for 1815
business advertisements (PC)
name of householder
occupation (PC)
street address
free colored householders identified
Transcribed and Online

1816AD "Albany Directory" (1816)

printed city directory for 1816
business advertisements (PC)
name of householder
occupation (PC)
street address
racial distinctions

1820C "Federal Census" (1820)

name of head of household
age categories for related males and females
age and gender categories for slaves
age and gender categories for free people of color

Because they identify mostly adult males, these so-called comprehensive surveys actually named no more than about one-fourth of the city's residents at any given time. However, they not only identify a large number of community residents, but also sometimes account for dependents (wives, children, parents, siblings, and inlaws) and other individual such as slaves, servants, and boarders quantitatively. Ironically, they often prove to be more comprehensive than the so-called "Comprehensive Surveys."

Taxes were levied and collected in Albany to support the activities of city government for each year beginning in 1686. Thus, assessment rolls and payment records should exist for each year. To date, only a few of these records have been found. In fact, all tax lists encountered to date are copies preserved among the personal papers of city notables or their descendants. Others may exist in collections of literary sources. A strategy for locating them must be formulated.

Selective Surveys (3/94)

Lists naming Albany people were made at different times during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries to record participants, those who were eligible, or those who did not participate in specific community activities. Like the comprehensive surveys, these lists name mostly adult, white men. Each of these surveys is selective even among heads of households since many householders were excluded by the definition of the list. However, these sources are extremely informative and rank below only the comprehensive surveys in potential for constructing a community demographic baseline. In addition to the major resources listed below, information from several dozen smaller selective surveys has been collected and integrated. These include a number of survey lists (chiefly lists of fire company members, licensed grocers, and the "permanent poor") extracted from the manuscript Common Council records for the period 1787-1803.

The major selective surveys identified and processed so far are:

1660PT "Principal Traders" (1660)

printed in Court Minutes of Beverwyck 2:255
petition of principal traders
25 names asking to restrict trade to Indian brokers

1660ST "Small Traders" (1660)

printed in Court Minutes of Beverwyck 2:266-68
petition of lesser Indian traders
48 names asking for freedom to trade in the woods

1681BL "Burgher List" (1681)

printed in Court Minutes of Albany 3:143-44
petition of Albany burghers regarding fur trade
27 names

1683SSL "Salary Subscribers List" (1683)

printed in Documentary History of New York 3:535; online from AA 78-80/
name of person (subscriber)
amount pledged towards minister's salary
some residence information

1684TA "Tax Arrears" (3/10/1684)

printed in Court Minutes of Albany 3:429-31
list of 38 delinquents who owed town taxes

1689SL "List of Subscribers" (1689)

printed in Documentary History of New York 2:93-96
name of subscriber
ward or location of residence
amount pledged for defense

1699LO "Oath of Allegiance" (1699)

printed in Annals of Albany 3:275-77
180 names
office holding (PC)

1699PMC "Principal Members of the Church" (1699)

printed in Ecclesiastical Records of New York 2:1306
petition for reinstatement of Dominie Dellius
90 names

1700PE "Petition of Principal Inhabitants of Albany" (1700)

printed in NYCD 4:754-55 (transcribed online)
74 names of principal merchants
to build a fort and secure the Indian trade

1701PE "Protestant Petitioners"

printed in NYCD 4:939-41
names of 176 inhabitants of Albany County
pledging loyalty and asking for protection

1714SL "English Church Subscribers" (1714)

Society for Propagation of the Gospel manuscript
31 names
amount pledged

1715ACM "Albany County Militia" (1715)

printed in Annual Report of the State Historian 3:
name of soldier
name and type of company

1720FL "A List of the Freeholders" (1720)

printed in Documentary History of New York, 1:370-73
ward of residence
the Albany portion is online

1742FL "List of Freeholders" (1742)

printed in Annals of Albany, 2:186-88
ward of residence
the Albany portion is online

1762PE "Petition of the Merchants of Albany" (1762)

printed in NYCD 7:488-89
names of 27 city merchants
petition for restriction of western land patents

1763FL "Freeholders List" (1763)

"John Tabor Kempe Papers," New-York Historical Society
name of freeholder

1764PE "Petition of the Merchants of Albany" (1764)

printed in NYCD, 7:613-15
names of 72 Albany merchants
petition for regulation of the Indian trade

1766 S of L "Sons of Liberty Constitution" (1766)

manuscript in a private collection
94 subscribers to Albany Sons of Liberty constitution

1767ACM "Albany County Militia" (1767)

Annual Report of the State Historian 3:
name of soldier
name and type of company

1771JP "A Church of England Record" (1771)

printed in Papers of Sir William Johnson 8:341
name of St. Peter's church member
amount contributed

1776GA "General Association" (passed 2/17/1776)

printed in Albany Committee of Correspondence
promise to resist British oppression
68 county-wide signers

1777OS "Oath of Secrecy" (1/27/1777)

printed in Albany Committee of Correspondence
115 county-wide signers
promise to keep Committee business secret

1777 - 1779PE lists of petitioners

printed in the George Clinton Papers and other sources for:
the return of Peter Van Schaack and others
return of Dr. Van Dyck
reinstatement of John Tillman
clemency for Benjamin Rogers; for William Rogers

1778AE "Associated Exempts" (1778)

printed in George Clinton Papers
lists of city men ages 50-55 exempted from service

1779SL (Acad) "Subscribers for a Seminary (Academy) in Albany" (4/8/1779)

New-York Historical Society Misc. Mss., "A"
39 names and amounts pledged

1781FP "Freedom Purchased" (1781)

printed in Annals of Albany 10:153
name of person purchasing freedom of the city
amount charged and occupational information (PC)

BR 1R ACM "Bounty Rights" (1780s)

printed in New York in the Revolution 1:221-22
385 names
affiliated with the first (city of Albany) regiment, Albany County Militia

1786SL "Subscription" (1786)

First Reformed Church Archives "Manuscripts"
157 names pledging support for a second minister
name of subscriber and amount pledged

1788PE (AF) "Antifederal Petitioners" (4/10/1788)

printed in New York Journal 4/28/1788
names of 28 Albany members who signed

1792LB "Law Book Patrons in 1792"

in New York Gen. and Bio. Record 118-2:85-86
subscribers to Laws of the State of New York

1794SL College Subscribers (12/24/1794)

printed in Annals of Albany 7:131-32
99 names, amount pledged for a new college at Albany (Union College in Schenectady)

1795JBS "Funeral of John Bradstreet Schuyler" (8/20/1795)

"Philip Schuyler Papers," New York Public Library
list of 35 invitees to Schuyler Mansion

1797BF "Book of Freeholders" (1797)

Miscellaneous Records: HRS-13, NYS Archives
name of jury eligible resident
ward of residence

1798GDB "Mayor's Court Jury" (1798)

"John Given's Day Blotter," New-York Historical Society
8 monthly rosters (each one dated)
name of juror
occupation (PC)

1803BF "Book of Freeholders" (1803)

Miscellaneous Records: HRS-13, NYS Archives
name of jury eligible resident
ward of residence

1808BLK "List of the Persons invited to the Funeral of Henry J. Bleecker" (1808)

Manuscript DA10431, NYS Library
Names of 163 invitees
miscellaneous descriptive information

Each of these surveys contains the name as well as other information on a substantial proportion of the heads of Albany families at a moment in time. Information on their lives recovered from the sources named above has been committed to the lifecourse profiles.

Other Selective Surveys scheduled for processing include garrison and militia rosters; business accounts; church membership and pewholder lists, many lists of subscribers; a large number of lists of petitioners; membership and activity lists; and lists of city creditors. The list of those buried and the gravestones moved from the old cemeteries to the Albany Rural Cemetery also can be considered as survey records. Specific resources are discussed below. Additional surveys will be uncovered during the continuing process of inventorying printed and manuscript sources. They will be evaluated and processed as quickly as possible.

Reconstituted Surveys (3/94)

Sheriff John Given's "day blotter" found in the Glen-Sanders Papers at the New-York Historical Society includes eight monthly lists of jurors called for the city Mayor's Court in 1798. Over 200 different Albany men were called to share in that civic responsibility. The consolidation of the jurors' names and occupations has resulted in a substantial survey record that helps flesh out the city population. Although not definitive and admittedly biased toward participants, this list provides a window on a typical community activity and also offers occupational information on men who were not heads of households. Similarly, the lists of debtors extracted from estate inventories printed in Abstracts of the Wills of the County of Albany, State of New York, 1787-1800 (discussed below) provide economic information on several hundred city people. This reconstructive technique can be applied to other types of resources. For example, extracting the names of those who appear in the accounts of a number of albany merchants during a given year and consolidating that information in a list also would yield the identity and economic information on a large number of Albany residents at a point in time. Reconstituted surveys may be particularly useful for understanding community dynamics and dimensions during the 1730s and other periods which lack traditional survey resources.

Reconstitution Program (3/94)

After processing the information collected from the comprehensive and selective survey documents, the community biographical file exhibited a basic family structure and revealed that members of more than 300 separate families had at least several members living in the city of Albany prior to 1800. Over 150 of these family groups had inhabited the community for three or more generations during that time period. These major families ("the Albany 150") are listed by name in an appendix of "Major Early Albany Families" and account for the majority proportion of the resident population.

The comprehensive and selective survey resources described above provided the names of most of the city's heads of households. A number of the more obscure household heads have been identified through more specialized research. However, survey materials yielded only some identifying information on spouses and almost nothing on the individuals who composed the remainder of the household. Wives, children, other dependent kinfolk, servants, slaves, and boarders accounted for more than three-quarters of the members of a typical early Albany household. Yet survey materials actually named only a few of these dependant individuals.

To achieve the research objective of identifying by name every person who lived in the community during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a comprehensive family reconstitution program has been implemented. This reconstitution program is based on the county-wide census of 1697, the foundation document for project research. One hundred seventy-five heads of families representing 109 separate family groups were named on that list. In 1697, some of these important people still living in the city were the original settlers from the New Netherland-era. All but a few of the community's founders were born in Europe during the first half of the 17th century all were deceased by 1740. These individuals were designated as the starting points for the reconstitution of their families. Understanding the European backgrounds of these first Albanians is an essential element of the reconstitution program. Because the basic sources for that initiative are located across the Atlantic, origins research is problematic but will be clarified some during the course of the reconstitution process. By definition, the reconstitution program will identify each of their descendants who either was born to an Albany mother or who lived in the city for any part of a life before the end of 1800. The identification of each resident's spouse is an integral part of the reconstitution procedure.

The New Netherland-era original settlers accounted for only about three dozen of the 175 heads of families. The majority (more than 100 householders) of those identified on the 1697 list were second generation Americans. They either were children of the original settlers or else had entered the community at some time prior to the census. Most of these people were born after 1650. Because their lives are set in a predominantly New World context, the project is hopeful of being able to uncover substantial demographic and qualitative information about them. These American-born Albany residents form the core of the CAP study population.

A final group consisted of transients and refugees who were identified on the census as Albany householders and whose residence was described by the censustaker at that moment in time. These individuals and families are not so easily comprehensively identified in the community-based research program that works so well for mainstream Albany families. Because they were outsiders, special effort will be required to comprehend their origins and out-of-Albany experiences.

The resident descendants of all of the householders of 1697 have been chartered through the surveys described above. Those named on the subsequent enumerations who cannot be linked to one of the heads of families in 1697 have become special research subjects in an effort to determine their origins and to establish their Albany descendants who were born thru 1800.

The goal of providing complete birth, death, marriage, and ancestry information for every person who lived in the city before 1800 (and thus fixing each person's life in time) will be attained by supplementing the survey resources and reconstitution program with a comprehensive search of genealogical, church, family, public, and legal records. These sources can be categorized as follows:

Genealogical Publications (3/94)

Because they provided easy access to the largest number of community people and to source material, genealogical publications were examined at the inception of the research cycle beginning in 1980. The most useful of these resources were compiled from original sources and include both the classic genealogies of the nineteenth century and substantial, modern genealogical research. Foremost among the genealogies is Contributions for the Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient County of Albany, From 1630 to 1800, which was compiled by Jonathan Pearson, a librarian and professor at Union College. Translator, editor, and antiquarian, Jonathan Pearson also was the first great genealogist of the so-called "Albany Dutch." Pearson's work originally was published in 1871 in volume four of Joel Munsell's Collections on the history of Albany and was reprinted in 1978 by the Genealogical Publishing Company. Pearson surveyed available church and other official records and sought to provide vital information for everyone he found mentioned as an Albany person. Unfortunately, the meaning of his definition of the term "Albany" is not clear. Certainly he meant to include city people. Although his inquiry extended farther afield in colonial Albany County to include many who were not city residents, it did not list every person who lived within the county's large geographical area. Also, Pearson did not include many of the members of mainline Albany families who were baptized outside of the Albany area. Examination of other reconstitution resources (particularly external church records, family bibles, and probate records) reveals that many of his family rosters are incomplete and that families were larger than Pearson thought. In addition, Pearson's work was most thorough when focused on members of the Dutch Reformed Church prior to the War for Independence. Limited by access or interest, his information on non-members of the Dutch church is far from comprehensive.

Aside from vital information, Pearson compiled material on residency, occupations, property holdings, and migration. However, this information was appended only occasionally. Like the vital information, sometimes the qualitative material was miscopied, wrongly assigned, or is otherwise incorrect. However, since a large proportion of Pearson's mistakes are obviously typographic, the information still was useful especially during the project's early days as it provided clues for identifying primary sources. The general rule stands: "If Pearson printed it, a primary source existed - somewhere." Despite its shortcomings, Pearson's First Settlers (PFS) remains the single most important genealogical resource for the social reconstitution of colonial Albany. Used critically, PFS has been a useful guide to individuals since the first days of CAP operations. Between 1983 and 1986, trainees recovered information from PFS to exhaust that source of information on the people of colonial Albany. This first step in the reconstitution program was an extremely labor-intensive process as interns each invested twenty hours to process seven PFS pages. However, the relevance of the material justified the labor investment. Added to the survey information, the material from PFS provided more shape to the mainline family groups and by omission identified others as outsiders. The PFS experience also enabled the project to set standards for subsequent research in genealogical and family history resources.

Appropriate information found in Pearson's companion work on the settlers of Schenectady and in the genealogical resources compiled by Edmund B. O'Callaghan, Arnold J. F. Van Laer, Joel Munsell, S. V. Talcott, Janet W. Foley, and others has been approached in the same way as PFS. A bibliography of these and other genealogical resources in the Sources series entitled Early Albany Families was issued in 1990.

Cuyler Reynolds, Albany city historian at the beginning of the twentieth century, compiled information on historic Albany and published it under the title of Albany Chronicles (AC) in 1907. Reynolds organized material chronologically and according to mayoral administrations - providing detailed biographical and family information on each of Albany's mayors. This anecdotal information on Albany's elite from 1686 to 1800 was processed during 1982. In 1984, historic dates recovered from AC formed the backbone of the project's "Calendar of Events" data base.

Vital statistics and genealogical information have been published and continue to be issued in genealogical journals. This material supplements and also corrects the work of the nineteenth century genealogists. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYGBR), a quarterly which issued volume 125 in 1994, has presented substantial vital information on the people of colonial Albany and their European forebears. Thomas Burke surveyed the NYGBR and developed a list of Albany-related articles and items. All of this material has been copied and committed to a holding file. Some of it was so essential to the reconstitution program that it has been processed. This printed material includes the christenings performed by Reverend John Ogilvie during the 1750s and marriages performed at the Catskill, Schenectady, and Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Churches. Copies of some additional materials have been committed to appropriate family history files. Since 1990, relevant materials from current issues of the NYGBR is evaluated and processed as soon as they are received.

The Yearbook of the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany represents a second major source of printed records and other family history information. In 1984, Tom Burke surveyed the Yearbook series and compiled a detailed inventory. The Yearbook contains transcriptions of Dutch Reformed Church records, probate information, Albany notarial records, marriage information on Albany people married in other churches, and several useful articles by Arnold Van Laer. Death, burial, and economic information from the comprehensive records of the deacons and sextons of the Albany Dutch Reformed Church from 1654 to 1862 printed in volumes 8 and 9 of the Yearbook has been processed and is organized in a subfile. Much of that material has been integrated into the lifecourse biographies.

De Halve Maen, the quarterly magazine of the Holland Society of New York State, is an important source of narrative articles on early Albany people. Survey activities are in progress in this periodical and some material has been processed. The National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), published for over 70 years, contains several relevant articles - mostly in abstract or outline form. These have been scheduled for processing. Treetalks, the quarterly of the Central New York Genealogical Society, occasionally includes information on one-time Albany people who moved west. The project holds copies of most issues. Treetalks must be searched systematically.

Genealogical Resources (4/94)

Virtually every one of the major early Albany families has been the subject of genealogical and/or family history research. Many of them have been the subject of published books and articles. The Colonial Albany Project intends to hold copies of the most useful of them. These are calendared in Sources on the People of Colonial Albany: Early Albany Families (1990). A resurgence in family history publishing has been responsible for publication of many new works since 1990 and dictates that Early Albany Families be revised.

However, the published monographic and article-length materials represent only the tip of the genealogy iceberg. A tremendous volume of genealogical research exists in the forms of unpublished manuscripts, genealogical files in libraries, historical societies, and other repositories, and in materials held by individual family historians - and/or their descendants. Because descendants constitute an important family history resource as well as a major CAP audience group, we are involved in an ongoing effort to locate these resources and to initiate and maintain contact with family historians, genealogists, heritage groups, and family associations. This initiative began with established genealogical and heritage organizations. Staff presentations have been featured at the annual meeting of the Capital District Genealogical Society in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1986; the Holland Society of New York State and the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany in 1985; the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1986; and other heritage groups including a number of family associations. (See appendix of public program presented.)

Project resources and goals have been publicized to more general audiences through publications, public programs, and via the media. Newspaper publicity has proven very valuable. The January 1981 Troy Times Record article; April 1985 Times Union feature, Schenectady Gazette articles in September 1985; over a dozen Albany newspaper articles during 1986-87; the February 1989 Times Union feature article on African American families; and a Schenectady Gazette feature story on ethnic diversity in August 1991 have encouraged individuals to contact the project. The program-driven publicity undertaken by the State Museum has brought us many useful contacts and supporters - some of whom have joined the CAP Associates Program. In addition, project visibility among heritage and general audiences has been broadened by appearing on radio shows, on television news, via newsletter articles, and individually through correspondence and referrals.

In recent years, CAP publications have been indexed by scholarly journals, genealogical periodicals, and by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the LDS or Mormons). This increased visibility has sparked many new requests for information about the people of colonial Albany. Many of these inquiries are from descendants and from those studying, for example, colonial bakers, soldiers, and fur traders, and who live or work beyond our traditional information networks. These new clients are discussed in the sections on CAP services.

In 1990, the project set up open-ended networking/information files on early Albany families which include family association newsletters, correspondence, and information on people knowledgeable about particular families.

Genealogical resources on the Internet

Church Records (4/94)

Beyond serving as convenient sources of vital statistics information, published genealogies are useful finding aids due to their compilers' reliance on primary sources for information. Chief among those sources are the records of Albany churches. With the exception of Jews, some African Americans, and other minority or transient individuals, most community residents were affiliated with one of the six Christian denominations established in Albany prior to 1800. As keepers of the community's vital statistics, these churches represent the major resources for baptism, marriage, and burial information - the cornerstones of a reconstitution program.

Most Albany people were affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) which began to hold services during the 1640s. The Dutch church occupied a central position in these people's lives and appropriately was located in the middle of the street at the intersection of State (Jonker) and Broadway (Market) streets. Records kept by church officers include vital information on the lives of thousands of early Albany residents - the core of the community population. Baptism and marriage records are extant from 1683. These have been translated, transcribed, and printed as Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York, 1683-1809, compiled by Louis Duermyer and published in 1978. The printed Dutch church records (DCR) contain baptism and marriage information, church membership rolls, and some residence and migration information. A program to collect this information comprehensively was initiated in 1983. Each interns began by cooperating in the collection and/or ordering of information from the DCR. Complete DRC marriage and baptism information has been processed covering the years from 1683 to 1804. Most of this marriage information has been assigned to appropriate lifecourse biographies. In addition, information from the Dutch church marriage records for the period 1805-25 and printed in volumes 32-33 of the Dutch Settlers Society Yearbook has been processed and consigned to a holding file.

A baptism date, which often is the first documentation of a person's existence, is a critical statistic for formulating lifecourse biographies. However, for the years from 1683 to 1700, baptism information has been assigned to individual cases only with difficulty because of the practice of using patronymics - calling children by the name of their father. For example "Barent Albertse," refers to "Barent," the son of Albert Bradt. Others, such as the "Janses" (children of John), are not so easily decipherable. After 1700, most Albany people either adopted surnames such as Bradt or Johnson or institutionalized the patronymics to Egberts, Maase, or Wynants. Complete DRC baptism information on principals, parents, and witnesses has been processed for the years from 1683 through the end of 1800. Much of this information has been assigned to appropriate biographies - thus superseding PFS and other secondary source references. Birth information supplements are discussed in the sections below.

Equally important is the vital statistic that marks the end of the lifecourse. Death information from the Dutch Reformed Church records covering the years 1654 to the 1860s was compiled from the funeral and burial records of the deacons, churchmasters, and sextons and has been printed in the Dutch Settlers Society Yearbook. Some of the burials (1722-57 and arranged chronologically) have been printed in volume I of the Annals of Albany as well. Information on several thousand Albany people has been extracted and organized in subfiles for adults and children. Much of this information has been assigned to appropriate lifecourse biographies. Although these rich resources are critical in defining the parameters of a life, many of the entries are vague, describing, for example, "a young child" of a church member, "the son" or "daughter of" without actually naming the child, or simply referring to the deceased as "Mrs. Schuyler." Printed death information (BU) from volumes eight and nine of the Dutch Settlers Society Yearbook has been consigned to subfiles (for adults and children), and is utilized during the Reconstitution procedure.

In 1938, a fire destroyed the original Reformed Church records for the years before 1790. Some of those early records had been published by Joel Munsell in his multi-volume historical works. These have been inventoried and extracts from the deacon's accounts for 1647-1715, printed in volume one of his Collections, have been processed and consigned to a subfile. A re-translation of the deacon's account books by Janny Venema of the New Netherland project will be processed as soon as it becomes available. Pewholder lists for the eighteenth century also were printed in Munsell's Collections. These have been processed, subfiled, and are being integrated.

Some manuscript church records have been photocopied. The First Church in Albany (North Pearl Street) holds copies of some records relating to its congregation prior to 1790. Other copies are held at the New York State Library. The post-1790 records are available at the church. These must be surveyed to determine the research potential of deacon's, consistory, and other records. Information on pewholders has been collected from the Reformed Church transcripts for the 1790s. In addition, the membership list of Albany's Second Reformed Church formed in 1815 has been processed and the information integrated.

Consideration has been given to the records of the other Dutch Reformed congregations in the area and in communities that were places of origin of later Albany residents and also the destinations of Albany out-migrants. These communities were Schenectady, Schaghticoke, Kinderhook, Claverack, Catskill, Kingston, New York City, New Utrecht, Flatbush, New Brunswick in New Jersey, and New Rochelle. Printed Dutch Reformed Church marriage records from Kinderhook, Schenectady, Schaghtocoke, and New York City have been processed, committed to subfiles, and appropriate material integrated. The project is hopeful of discovering additional DCR.

Most of the remaining residents of seventeenth and eighteenth century Albany were served by the Anglican (St. Peter's Episcopal), Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Catholic churchs. Some of the records of each of these denominations has survived and a portion of this material has been printed. The body of photocopied church records on deposit at the New York State Library has been inventoried. Much of it has been copied and added to the project research archives. All manuscript church records must be surveyed and searched comprehensively.

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) was founded in 1701 to bring the Church of England's christianity to the inhabitants of the "uncivilized" portions of the British Empire. The SPG provided the impetus and also the ministers for the establishment of a mission to serve the soldiers at Albany and to convert and instruct the Indians on the Northern frontier. The Reverend John Miller lived with the Albany garrison during the mid-1690s. Although an Anglican parish was functioning in the city during the second decade of the eighteenth century, the extant records of Albany's St. Peter's Episcopal Church date only from 1756. These include baptism, marriage, burial, financial, and membership information and also some material on the occupations of members. These records exist in three manuscript volumes. Three volumes of St. Peter's church records have been copied from photostats at the NYSL. Most extant marriage and membership information for the second half of the eighteenth century has been processed and integrated into the lifecourse biographies. The baptism records for 1756-63 have been processed. The extant baptism records covering the 1780s and 1790s and some business papers remain to be processed.

The St. Peter's records provide vital information on a substantial portion of the community that was mostly ignored by those relying only on Reformed Church information. In addition, the records show that Anglican clerics also served members of the sometimes pastorless Lutheran congregation. Finding Albany Episcopal Church records for the years before the 1750s is an ongoing concern. The microfilmed records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts have yielded several survey lists. This source must be comprehensively surveyed. The papers of individual priests may include additional resources such as those found in the "Register of Christenings Kept by the Rev. John Ogilvie" and the "Journal of John Ogilvie" printed in NYGBR. An important church membership list for 1771 has been recovered from the Papers of Sir William Johnson. A large volume of relevant secondary information has been extracted from Reverend Joseph Hooper's A History of Saint Peter's Church and is organized in a subfile.

Lutheran services in Albany date to the New Netherland period. A Lutheran church was established in Albany in 1671 and has operated ever since. Some records for the period have been translated and transcribed and are available in printed and manuscript forms. Although only a small portion of city people belonged to the Albany congregation, as in the case of St. Peter's, Lutheran church records provide vital statistics missing from traditional compilations. These records include baptism and marriage information which has been collected and integrated. Information from pewholder and membership records printed in The Manual of the First Lutheran Church (FLC) for the years after 1786 also has been processed and integrated. In addition, Lutheran church records from New York City and Loonenburg (Catskill) have been copied from printed sources and have proven useful. William C. Berkenmeyer's chronicle of Lutheran affairs in New York, 1731-50 published as The Albany Protocol, edited by John P. Dern (Ann Arbor, 1971), includes a wealth of source material.

A Presbyterian meeting house was established in the city during the 1760s. Most newcomers of Scottish ancestry and some immigrant New Englanders belonged to that congregation. The extant records of the First Presbyterian Church date from 1786. The originals are held at the church on Willett Street. Presbyterian church records include baptism, marriage, subscription lists, pew ownership, and occupational information. Copies of transcripts of some of these records have been made from material held at the NYSL. Session minutes and trustee minutes date from 1786 and are held at the church. Marriage records covering the years 1785-1800 have been processed and the information has been integrated. Lists of elders, deacons, trustees, and members printed in J. Blayney's History of the First Presbyterian Church and in the manuscript Presbyterian marriage records for 1801 to 1815 have been processed and integrated. Membership lists to 1815 have been processed, organized into a sub-file, and partially integrated.

The Methodists and Roman Catholics also established churches in Albany before the end of the eighteenth century. Some records exist for both denominations. These must be surveyed.

Bible Records (4/94)

Family bibles dating from the seventeenth century often contain demographic and qualitative information recorded by family members. They are both documentary resources and artifacts. These relics exist for many early Albany families.

In 1987, the project began an active search for family bible records. Vital records from privately owned bibles of twenty-three major early Albany families were printed in Sebastian Visscher Talcott's Genealogical Notes of New York and New England Families (1883). That information formed the core of a bible records resource archive now organized by family. The bible records printed in George D. Miller's Albany and New York Families: Genealogies from Old Dutch Bibles (1900); in many of the printed genealogical works; in the NYGBR; and in other genealogical journals provided a substantial volume of information covering many families. Most of that material has been processed and integrated or stored in a bible records sub-file.

After the printed material, vital information written on pages of historic family bibles holds great research potential. Relevant pages from the substantial family bible collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art was photocopied and is used by interns to aid in reconstitution research. In addition, bible information has come to us from descendants and other private owners of bibles and from unexpected sources such as family papers collections and those appended to other documents such as American Revolution pension applications. These have been copied and committed to the bible resource archive. We are hopeful of encountering useful bible records for every major family. The DAR bible records at the NYSL and bible holdings of other institutions are obvious next research steps.

Public Records (4/94)

The diverse records created by public bodies at all levels of government also have provided vital statistics and other family information on Albany people when they reported, petitioned, testified, or were described for other purposes. For example, a reference in the records of the city corporation, a court case, a filed indenture, or a will documents the continued livelihood of individuals whose last recorded notice may have been at the time of their baptism. Such information helps support demographic profiles of childhood. Government records have provided information on family relationships and on the qualitative aspects of people's lives. Additional applications are explained below. However, the general rule followed is that every so-called fact is valuable and that nothing should be overlooked. Project researchers must be sensitive to the reconstitution potential of what appears to be non demographic sources.

Marriage Information (2/04)

Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, marriages were sanctioned by individual churches. Some marriage records exist for each Albany denomination. We have processed and integrated existing marriage information from the four major early Albany churches. Methodist church marriages from the early 19th century printed in Tree Talks have been recovered and consigned to a sub-file. In addition, marriage information relating to Albany people found in the records of non Albany (in New York City, Schenectady, Schaghticoke, and Catskill) churches, has been retrieved and is partially integrated. Additional relevant marriage information must be extracted from church records in New England, New Jersey, and other New York communities.

Beginning in 1664, marriages also were licensed by the provincial Secretary's office. The Names of Persons for Whom Marriage Licenses were issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York, Previous to 1784 is a 477-page, alphabetical calendar plus a fifty-page supplement of the names of the parties, date of licensing, and source of the original document. Fewer than ten percent of the more than 20,000 people listed were early Albany people. Therefore, the Names of Persons (NYML) is consulted as needed for missing marriage information on Albany people. It also appears online.

A "marriage bond" announced a commitment to wed and was filed on obtaining a license. Marriage bonds provide residency and occupational information on the participants. Useful information from Kenneth Scott's compilation entitled New York Marriage Bonds, 1753-1783 (MB) includes residence and occupational information on both principals and witnesses. This material has been processed and mostly integrated - setting the approximate marriage dates for a number of Albany people who may not appear in other marriage records.

Weddings also were announced in contemporary newspapers. A number of compilations of marriage and other notices have been published. The project has assembled a library of lists which are consulted for missing marriage information. Chief among these works are Fred Q. Bowman's 10,000 Vital Records of Eastern New York, 1777-1834 (VRENY), Bowman's 8,000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (VRENY-2), Notices of Marriages and Deaths . . . Published in Newspapers Printed at Poughkeepsie, New York, 1778-1825, compiled by Helen Wilkinson Reynolds (Dutchess County Historical Society Collections, volume 4), and The New-York Magazine, Marriages and Deaths: 1790-1797, compiled by Kenneth Scott and Kristen L. Gibbons. A list of complimentary sources should be issued covering American and foreign works.

Death Information (4/94)

Marking the end of a person's life preferably by establishing a date of death has proved more difficult than dating birth or marriage because, except for bible records or literary sources, few termination dates were recorded prior to the newspaper obituaries which commence in the late eighteenth century. However, as burial typically occurred within a few days of death, burial records and other forms of burial information have been useful.

Burial information for members of the Dutch Reformed Church was printed in the Yearbook of the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany (BU). These records run from the 1650s well into the nineteenth century and mark the deaths of more than a thousand people included in the CAP study population. This information has been retrieved, organized into adult and children files, and partially integrated. The manuscript St. Peter's (Episcopal) burials for 1768-74 have been processed and partially integrated. It also has been presented online. Dutch Reformed, Episcopal, and Presbyterian church burial ground records printed in the Annals of Albany look backward in time from the nineteenth century. These have been processed and integrated. Some manuscript burial information from the Albany Lutheran church also has been processed. Burial and tombstone information from the Catholic and other churches will be sought.

In 1866, the Albany city corporation published its Report of a Special Committee on Burial Grounds (BR), a listing of names of those whose remains were moved from the State Street (Washington Park) burying ground to the Albany Rural Cemetery in today's Menands. Most of the information relates to people born after 1740. This manual was organized by congregation and includes tombstone inscriptions, most notably the date of death or burial and the age of the deceased. Church affiliation, place of origin, longevity, and familial relationships are among the types of additional information scattered throughout this index. Information from this central resource was recovered and integrated in 1984. The card file of burials at Albany Rural Cemetery (at the cemetery gate house) was created with the Report and includes subsequent interments. Research Associate Jan Ghee has made a detailed (plot-by-plot) inventory of Albany Rural Cemetery gravestones. This massive undertaking has provided information on many individuals not listed in either the Report or the cemetery card file. Because she actually located the grave sites, we have been able to study burial and re-internment customs and to begin to document these relics visually.

Death information about hundreds of city residents was printed in eighteenth and nineteenth century newspapers. Death information from Albany newspapers from 1771 to 1855 was extracted from the "Notes from the Newspapers" sections described below under the "Munsell Program." These sometimes detailed notices have been organized and are partially integrated. Other compilations of obituary notices such as those listed above under "Marriage Information" are consulted as needed.

While searching the newspaper collection at the NYSL for death information on Revolutionary war soldiers not reported in Munsell's "Notes from the Newspapers," Jan Ghee found that Munsell did not include information from many now-available tabloids. In fact, he made little or no use of the Albany Argus (began 1813), the principal Albany newspaper throughout the nineteenth century. Jan systematically retrieved death information on early Albany people from the Argus and from all other nineteenth century city newspapers up to 1835. That large file of vital information is utilized by those conducting family reconstitutions on a surname basis. In addition, she found that substantial information including deaths from the great cholera epidemic of 1832 was printed in the papers. This information reached deeply into the city's social structure - citing the passing of many poor people (including blacks) who might not have been the subjects of regular obituaries. A card file of "cholera death information" was created in 1993 and already has added important data on Albany's most ordinary people.

Probate Records (3-94)

Legal records in general and particularly probate instruments such as wills, codicils, letters of administration, and inventories have yielded significant vital information that supplements or corroborates data from more traditional reconstitution resources. The practice of listing all living blood relations in a will documents an individual's continued livelihood and provides an important life sign for children covering the years between their baptism and marriage. However, probate records represent a major resource for documenting a person's holdings and activity networks.

The Colonial Albany Project seeks estate disposition information on every surviving (lived to adulthood) Albany resident either in the form of a will, letters of administration, and/or estate inventories. This research objective will be supplemented further by incorporating estate inventory information from other records and from literary sources as it is encountered during the general research cycle.

Probate records have been approached in three stages: First, the most readily accessible finding aids were consulted. The Calendar of Wills on File and Recorded in the Offices of the Court of Appeals, of the County Clerk at Albany, and of the Secretary of State, 1626-1836 (CW) was searched comprehensively. The wills of 254 mainstream Albany city residents were identified. In addition, over a hundred additional wills of people who once were Albany residents but had identified themselves as of Claverack, Schenectady, Rensselaerswyck, or elsewhere at the time of filing. Information on testators, heirs, witnesses, and trustees from the Calendar established city residency, family ties, occupations, and serves as a guide to real and personal property holdings. The language (Dutch or English) of the will document, the date of its filing, and the date of probate, typically is included. The two dates are helpful in placing a testator's death date between the date of filing (when the testator signed in the presence of witnesses) and the probate date (when the survivors were granted a legal mandate for execution). In many cases, this information has helped fix a death date. Also valuable, is qualitative information on Albany people who were named in the will citation - chiefly executors, beneficiaries, and witnesses. The naming of executors and the testimony of witnesses helps to document the credibility of those individuals. However, the Calendar of Wills provides skeletal information and represents only an abridgement of the document's research potential.

Abstracts or summaries of wills of early New Yorkers have been compiled and printed in volumes 25-41 (annually from 1892 to 1908) of the New-York Historical Society Collections series as Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York (AW). Volumes 25 to 39 cover the years from 1665 to 1800. Volumes 40 and 41 printed corrections to the abstracts. A large number of the abstracts are of wills listed in the Calendar of Wills. Some entries in the Abstracts of Wills relate to the wills of Albany people that were not filed in Albany. The abstracts are much more detailed than the Calendar citations (often a complete transcription of the document) and provide information often not mentioned in the Calendar. Each volume also has a calendar of letters of administration which provides family and residency information on Albany people who died intestate. Retrieval activities on Albany residents in AW were completed in 1984. All of this material has been assigned to appropriate lifecourse biographies. In addition, an more broadly inclusive data base inventory of Albany-area people included in the Abstracts of Wills has been generated.

Later wills of Albany people have been calendared in several useful finding aids. The Index to Wills and to Letters of Administration, 1780-1895, Surrogate Court - Albany County (IW) compiled by Martin Conway; Abstracts of the Wills of the County of Albany, State of New York, 1787-1800 (EN), compiled by Eric Nagle; Administrative Bonds, 1753-1799 (AB), and Genealogical Data from Administrative Papers (GDAP) - the last two compiled by Kenneth Scott, all contain citations to probate material. These have been processed, organized into sub-files, and information is being assigned to appropriate cases. In addition, all estate debts for city people printed in EN have been recovered and organized into a subfile.

Arnold Van Laer translated and annotated a large body of Dutch language documents from the latter part of the seventeenth century. His translations of wills and other legal documents were published in volumes 6-14 of the Yearbook of the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany. Information from wills, indentures, contracts, and affidavits printed in this substantial resource under the title "Albany Wills and other Documents"( appearing in volume 6 for 1930/31 and assigned the resource code "AWL") have been retrieved and integrated. Transcripts of wills and will abstracts also appear in other records resources such as the Early Records of the City and County of Albany and the Colony of Rensselaerswyck, translated by Jonathan Pearson, partially edited by Van Laer, and published in four volumes by the State of New York between 1869 and 1919. Many of the wills from volume 4 have been processed. We continue to encounter additional probate resources in both printed and manuscript forms. All probate information will be recovered during the comprehensive collection of information from such sources.

For maximum benefit, however, the actual probate document must be examined. Original documents now at the Albany County Surrogate's Court office, the New York State Archives, in New York City, and found more randomly in other repositories, represent the full potential of probate records. in addition, copies of these records have been found in personal papers collections. Inquiry in this area is guided by the premise that property generated some kind of succession document. The project holds photocopies and transcriptions of more than 200 wills and inventories donated or otherwise acquired during the course of other research. Copies of the actual documents as well as copies of entries from the sources described above are incorporated in the comprehensive "Estate Archive" described above under "Research Resources."

Realizing the research potential of probate documents, we have begun to provide linked transcriptions of wills and other probate documents on the project website. By 2012, the texts of more than 200 wills had been placed online and their contents linked and integrated into other web-based presentations.

Many early Albany people moved on and passed on in places beyond Albany. Probate records for their estates are filed in other counties and states. Copies of probate records also have been found in private collections. These have been sought on an individual case basis. Much useful out-of-Albany estate information has been printed. A probate bibliography is in-progress and copies of works such as the two-volume Ulster County Wills have been secured.

Local Government Records (4/94)

The lives of the people of colonial Albany were linked together and structured by established governments at the town and then the city level. Each tier and jurisdiction of municipal, county, and provincial/state government generated at least one set of official records. Many of these records have survived, although some of them appear to have been scattered widely through a variety of external resource collections. However, the "new" Albany County Hall of Records has made great progress in centralizing the city's "papers" and holds great promise for the future. Because they are focused on the needs and problems of Albany people, local government records are a central resource for the community's history. The CAP must hold copies of all extant records of Albany-related local government agencies as part of its "Documentary Resources Data Base." After survey materials and reconstitution resources, these records merit the highest research priority. For data collection purposes, the local government records that are the most comprehensive and are in print have been examined first. These begin with the minutes and other papers of the Albany corporation or the city common council. This collection is generally referred to as "The City Records."

We have begun to present linked transcriptions of probate records on the project website.

The City Records (12/14)

This examination began with the Albany City Records. "The City Records" are defined as the official minutes of the Albany city corporation or common council. The City Records (CR) run continuously from the implementation of the municipal charter in 1686 to the present with the exceptions of November 1689 to July 1691 (the so-called "Leisler administration") and the period from March 25, 1776 to April 17, 1778. The corporation did not meet during that time due to the chaos caused by the War for Independence. The records of the city corporation covering the years from 1686 to September 1787 were printed by Joel Munsell in volumes 2 (for 1686-95), 3 (for 1695-1700), 4 (for 1699-1705), 5 (for 1705-1710), 7 (for 1713-18), 8 (1718-26), 9 (1726-31), and 10 (1731-53) of his Annals of Albany, and in volumes 1 (for the years 1753-83) and 2 (for the years 1784-88) of his Collections on the History of Albany. These records detail city government operations. The City Records list the members of the common council, the holders of other municipal offices, describe the regular and extraordinary activities of the city government (including a few Mayor's Court sessions), detail city financial dealings (including contractors and real estate transactions), and provide information on community issues and on the lives of city residents. These records have been copied from Munsell's printed transcriptions and were exhausted of information by project interns by the end of 1983. All of the people-based material has been integrated into the lifecourse biographies.

Unfortunately, the printed City Records omitted portions of the records that exist in manuscript form and are held at ACHOR. These manuscripts have been compared to the printed version. The differences must be considered and reconciled to complete the collection process. In addition, petitions, orders, ordinances, and other documents cited in the corporation minutes have not been found. These collateral documents or copies of them may exist in external collections. These papers must be inventoried and relevant information recovered from them.

The City Records from 1788 to 1800 exist in manuscript form only and are held at ACHOR. These records have been bound in volumes. Volume 2 covers the period from September 1788 to 1790; volume 11 covers 1790-92; volumes 12-15 cover the remainder of the eighteenth century.

The CAP holds microfilm and paper copies of this material made available for use by ACHOR. The paper copies have been organized into chronological files. Some of the major survey lists from this collection have been processed and the information integrated. This bloc of records must be transcribed and then can be processed like its printed predecessors. Additional activities in this resource are discussed under the "City Records Program" described in the "Programming" section below.

Other records have been printed relating to the administrative history of the city of Albany before 1800. These have been approached in an exhaustive manner with priority to those collections that focus on the city of Albany and its predecessors and that are available and printed in English. Printed Albany history records include:

The four-volume series entitled Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, translated by Jonathan Pearson and edited by Arnold J. F. Van Laer, was published by the State between 1869 and 1919. Virtually every document in this set of legal and landholding records contains information on early Albany residents. The Early Records of Albany (ERA) constitute a major resource for establishing the property holdings of Albany people. They also contain much information on families, occupations, and activities. Specifically, the four volumes contain the following information:

volume I: deeds, 1654-1679
volume II: deeds, 1678-1704
volume III: notarial papers, 1660-96
volume IV: mortgages and wills, 1658-1765

The ERA set is a complex resource and the collection of project-useful information is time-consuming. Even experienced researchers have found the task arduous. Information collection from this source began in 1983. Jean Stephens exhausted volume one of information - including the often-cited yet vaguely documented biographical material compiled by Jonathan Pearson. This has been consigned to a special subfile and is consulted by those working on seventeenth century Albany people. A second subfile contains the fruits of retrieval activities in the other ERA volumes. All volumes contains a wealth of community information which must be utilized to its fullest. At the same time, the information supplied by the editors has become folklore and must be used with extreme caution. The Early Records of Albany also provide a hint of the resources for the 18th century that should exist in manuscript at ACHOR and elsewhere.

During the second half of the 1770s, the functions of municipal government came under the jurisdiction of extra-legal bodies formed by American dissidents to mobilize the people of greater Albany County in the crusade for American rights. These bodies appear to have acted in place of the Common Council between 1776 and 1778. The committee's records have survived and were published by New York State in 1923 as Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence, 1775-1778 (CC). The Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York: Albany County Sessions, 1778-1781 (CDDC), edited by Victor H. Paltsits, were published in three volumes by the State in 1909-1910. Both of these sets of records provide information on members and on those who had business with or were brought before the boards. The Committee of Correspondence in particular was an active and highly participatory body within the city of Albany. Its records provide property holding, occupational, mobility, and "sentiments" information on a large number of community residents. By the time the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies organized, the focus of activities had been shifted to the outlying sections of the county. Yet CDDC yielded a large body of relevant material. Both of these sources were exhausted of information on those known as Albany people in 1983. Information from these sources has been assigned to appropriate biographies.

Court Records (4/94)

The records of each of the courts that served the people of colonial Albany offer diverse and highly useful information on community life. Completion of a comprehensive inventory and copying program in local court records is basic to project research. Albany has been served by its own court since 1652 when the town of Beverwyck was established. Beverwyck court records were translated and edited by Arnold Van Laer and by the State (1920-23) as Minutes of the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck (CMB). Besides chronicling litigation, court records provide information on occupations, kinship networks, property holdings, community activities, and are a means of positively identifying community residents because often they are referred to by different, descriptive terms as their cases passed through the legal process. Instruction sheets for collecting information from court records have been developed. However, the New Netherland Project's recent re-translation of the Fort Orange/Beverwyck and subsequent publication by Syracuse University Press may make reprocessing CMB a necessity.

Van Laer also translated and edited the Albany County court records covering the period 1668 to 1685. These were published by the State in 1926 in three volumes as Minutes of the Court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady, 1668-1685 (CMA). CMA represents a first-rank research resource. The information is so voluminous and diverse that it had defied single-purpose processing. At this point, only the survey documents and information recovered during the course of research on individuals have been extracted. This source is utilized on virtually every research day as most seventeenth-century Albany householders had a day or more in court. Van Laer's translation and edition of the Minutes of the Court of Rensselaerswyck, 1648-1652 (CMR), published by the State in 1922, contains important information on those living in the place that became Beverwyck and then Albany. This source also is consulted on a regular basis.

Fragments and excerpts of court records have been printed in the city government records and in other collections of documents already named. That information continues to be incorporated as those collections are processed.

However, the largest part of the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Albany court records exists only in manuscript form. These records are believed to be held at the Albany County Clerk's office and at the county records center. Several guides exist to advise on the extent and research potential of this material. After all printed court records have been processed, the manuscript court records will be approached according to the following schedule:

1. Assemble all available finding aids. Develop a bibliography of guides to colonial Albany records in the clerk's office and elsewhere. The Historical Records Survey conducted by the Works Progress Administration in 1937 mentioned records of circuit courts, the court of sessions, court of common pleas, justice courts, and the Mayor's Court. These must be located. World Our Fathers Made clarified and updated some of the previous finding aids.

2. Meet with the Albany County records officer to develop a plan for surveying the manuscript court records.

3. Survey all court records and formulate a prioritized schedule to guide data collection.

4. Microfilm, photocopy, and transcribe all appropriate court records and implement data collection procedures.

Because of the specific research interests of Stephan Wolf, in 1994 the CAP was able to secure ten microfilmed reels of Mayor's Court records covering the years 1761-1800 from the ACHOR. These represent a major new community history resource. These Mayor's Court records will be transcribed and processed on a first-priority basis.

Real Property Records (4/94)

The real property holdings of Albany people constitute an important dimension of their lives. In this area, the research goal is to understand fully the land holdings of each early Albany person. Both city property and external land holdings are being charted by project research. General landholding information has been incorporated from many of the sources already described. Basic research objectives here are to establish a place or places of residence for each person and to understand each person's physical living situation. All property holding records will be scrutinized. Real estate transaction records are chronicled in some of the sources described above and also exist in personal papers. Much real estate material was inventoried under the direction of Wheeler B. Melius, Superintendent of the Albany County Board of Supervisors and was published between 1894 and 1911 in several multi-volume sets as an Index to the Public Records of the County of Albany, State of New York, 1600-1894 (GE). A set of these documents books was donated to the project by the late Thomas E. Mulligan, Jr., former Bethlehem town historian. The "Grantees" index comprises twelve folio-sized volumes. It lists buyers and sellers of real estate, describes the property, and the particulars of some transactions. Also included are references to court cases and other legal proceedings. A data collection plan and research guidelines have been established to yield a maximum volume of useful information. Since 1984, each intern has participated in the recovery of information from GE. The twelve-volume GE set has been exhausted of information on Albany people for the years before 1820. Court records, probate material, and external land transactions have been separated into alphabetical subfiles. Information on the Albany property of Albany people is held in an alphabetical file that fills an entire card cabinet This material is being integrated into lifecourse biographies during reconstitution and program-driven research.

The Grantors Index and other indices in this series represent future research initiatives that will begin by securing copies of the printed volumes. The Bethlehem town library has held the balance of the "Ed Mulligan Collection."

Copies of deeds, other real estate documents, newspaper descriptions of city property, and more recent land use information have been filed in a real property resource archive as they come into the project office. Applications for this material is discussed below under the "City Property Archive."

Documents Collections (4/94)

Beyond the resources described above, records and literary sources have been transcribed and published in a number of major documentary compendiums. Some of them are considered here in order of their CAP value as they defy adequate single-purpose description.

Munsell Program (4/94)

Joel Munsell (1808-1880), an Albany printer and antiquarian publisher, was responsible for compiling, transcribing, and presenting a tremendous volume of primary source material on the early history of Albany. His monumental efforts are recalled today in printed form chiefly in two great collections of documents. These are known as The Annals of Albany (AA), published by Munsell in ten volumes between 1850 and 1859, and Collections on the History of Albany (MC), which he issued in four volumes between 1865 and 1871. Both sets of printed documents are critical research resources and have been accorded high research priority. The records of the city government printed in both sources already have been copied and exhausted of information covering the period until 1788. Munsell also presented "classic" resources that CAP research already has confronted in other printed forms. These include the first city directory of 1813, survey documents (census and freeholder lists), and Jonathan Pearson's First Settlers.

In AA and MC, Joel Munsell presented the best of the accessible Albany documents. Every page in these series will be scrutinized. First, photocopies of each volume were made of each volume to provide flexibility and to conserve these rare books. The project owns several sets of each series. These volumes are used daily in research. Each series has been inventoried and data collection is underway in each volume.

Recovered from Collections (MC):

volume I

Dutch Reformed Church Deacon's Account Book, 1647-1715
Seatings of the Dutch Reformed Church, 1716-1779
City Records, 1753-1783

volume II City Records, 1784-88

volume III Stafford family history and genealogy

volume IV Pearson's First Settlers

To be processed:

volume I Memoir of Elkanah Watson

Pye Robbery - 1808
Notes from the Newspapers, 1859-1860

volume II Albany Fifty Years Ago, 1857

The Albany Theatre
Notes from the Newspapers, 1861-1864
Medical Society, 1806
Map of North Market Street, 1790
Conflagration of 1793
Character of the Slave Pomp
Halenbeck - burial ground and family genealogy
Anneke Jans genealogy

volume III Albany County Records, 1654-1678

Notes from the Newspapers, 1865-67
Masonic origins
Street Maps
Anneke Jans biography

volume IV Notes from the Newspapers, 1868-69

Beverwyck homelot diagrams
Albany County Records, 1655-79

Recovered from Annals (AA):

volume I Rensselaerswyck settlers

Reformed Church Consistory, 1805
Chronicle of Events, 1847-1849
Dutch Church Burials, 1722-1757

volume II City Records, 1686-95

Albany Freeholders, 1742
Notes from the Newspapers, 1771-1790
Annals, 1849-1850

volume III City Records, 1695-1700

Notes from the Newspapers, 1790-1798
Annals, 1851

volume IV City Records, 1699-1705

Episcopal burial ground inscriptions
Annals, 1852
Notes from the Newspapers, 1798-1805

volume V

Notes from the Newspapers, 1805-1813
Albany Directory, 1813
City Records, 1705-1710
Annals, 1853

volume VI

Notes from the Newspapers, 1813-1817
City Records, 1710-1713
Annals, 1854
Dutch church burial inscriptions

volume VII City Records, 1713-1718

College Subscribers, 1794
Notes from the Newspapers, 1818-1822
Annals, 1855
Albany Mechanics Society

volume VIII

Notes from the Newspapers, 1822-1826
The city's ancient ravines
City Records, 1719-1726
Annals, 1856

volume IX

City Records, 1726-1731
Notes from the Newspapers, 1827-1834

volume X City Records, 1731-1752

Freedoms Purchased, 1781
Notes from the Newspapers, 1834-1847

To be processed:

volume I Material from churches

Groesbeck bible record

Cargo of sloop "Olive Branch," 1770

Albany Residences

State Street, 1792

Civil Officers, 1693

Militia officers, 1700

Memoranda of 1784-1785

volume II Oath of Allegiance to Patroon, 1653

volume III Ancient Wills

Presbyterian burying grounds

volume IV Court of Assize records, 1666-1672

"The Albany Records," 1638

"Acts Relating to Albany," 1691-1713

"Expenses of an Indian Treaty," 1699

"Objections to the Constitution," 1788

volume V Biographies of Solomon Southwick,

Henry Barclay, Anthony Van Santvoord,

Charles R. Webster, Goldsborough Banyar

volume VI Steam navigation on the Hudson

Episcopal Church

Dutch Church

Third Presbyterian Church, 1817

Court Minutes, 1698

volume VII Notable women

Second Presbyterian burial ground inscriptions

Provincial Congress

Dutch Church papers, 1652-1760

Albany documents, 1666-1690


Court of Inquiry, 1745

volume VIII Albany Documents, 1690-1755

Case of William Teller

Indian Trade

volume IX Biographies of physicians

Annals, 1857

volume X City documents

Abraham Van Vechten

Annals, 1858

sketch of John Lovett

Recovery of information from AA and MC or the "Munsell Program" is an ongoing element of CAP research. Every intern and associate cooperates in this large-scale effort. Each segment has been evaluated for its project-useful potential. Information collected is stored in subfiles and is committed to the lifecourse biographies and otherwise integrated as expeditiously as possible. More energy will be committed to this initiative in the immediate future.

Colonial Documents Program (4/94)

Government records, official correspondence, overseas transmissions, and other documents relating to Albany are found throughout the massive 103-volume collection known as the "New York Colonial Manuscripts." These documents reside at the New York State Archives and have been calendared in several useful ways by scholars since the mid-nineteenth century. Parts of this collection have been printed in two large editions of documents compiled by Edmund B. O'Callaghan and Berthold Fernow and published by the State in fourteen volumes as Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York (1856-1887) (NYCD), and in four volumes as The Documentary History of the State of New York (1849-1851) (DH). The CAP owns a complete set of each series. These valuable printed sources must be searched with great care. They should be approached utilizing the procedures established for the Munsell Program. A number of petitions and other survey sources have been lifted from NYCD and DH and the information incorporated in the project data base. Also processed is a body of documents entitled "Papers Relating to Albany and Adjacent Places" that focus on the churches of Albany and on missionary work among the Indians. These appear in DH 3:526-53.

The Minutes of the Executive Council of the Province of New York (Albany, 1910), two volumes covering the administration of Francis Lovelace; the Administrative Papers of Governors Richard Nicolls and Francis Lovelace, 1664-1673, edited by Peter R. Christoph (Baltimore, 1980); Books of General Entries of the Colony of New York, 1664-1688, edited by Peter R. and Florence A. Christoph (Baltimore, 1982), 2 volumes; and the printed calendars of Council Minutes, Land Papers, Maps, and Historical Manuscripts have been consulted regularly by project researchers. However, most of the relevant material remains untouched. Each of these sources must be inventoried for Albany-related material and a data collection schedule developed.

In addition, publication of The Andros Papers, 1674-1676 in the New York Colonial Manuscripts series by Syracuse University Press in 1989, marks the beginning of what could be a "golden age" in the presentation of new sources. The editors at the New Netherland Project intend to present the papers of each governor's administration through the colonial period. Such publications are anxiously awaited.

In the meantime, Thomas Burke has completed an item survey of the documents listed in the Calendar of Historical Manuscripts: English Manuscripts, 1664-1776 and has noted references to Albany people and activities. Some of this information has been added to the lifecourse biographies. A large body of the remaining entries awaits processing.

The printed minutes of the provincial council, colonial assembly, provincial courts, and their New York State successors must be inventoried and appropriate entries and references marked for retrieval. Those sources and the Calendar of Land Papers have been consulted for information on particular individuals. But a more comprehensive approach is needed to realize their full potential.

Ecclesiastical Records (4/94)

Records relating to the administrative history of churches in New Netherland and New York were compiled under the direction of Hugh Hastings and then Edward T. Corwin and published by the State in seven volumes as Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York (1901-1916). This work consolidated material from a variety of primary sources and covered the period until 1800. Much of the material was transcribed by Corwin from the records of the Classis of Amsterdam. A one volume index references ecclesiastical matters in Albany. This is a rich and readily accessible resource. It should be searched as soon as possible. A general bibliography of relevant out-of-Albany local denominational records is in preparation.

Naturalization Records (4/94)

In order to legally hold property or to engage in trade, the English required new colonists to take an oath of allegiance. The practice of naturalization was continued under the United States. Several hundred people in the colonial Albany study population secured one of the variety of documents that testified to his loyalty. Abstracts of naturalization records have been printed in three volumes compiled by Kenneth Scott and others. These works entitled Denizations, Naturalizations, and Oaths of Allegiance in Colonial New York; Early New York Naturalization: Abstracts of Naturalization Records from Federal, State, and Local Courts, 1792-1870; and New York Alien Residents, 1825-1848 include origins, occupation, and residence information and also information on sponsors. Albany-related material from each source has been extracted and co-signed to a sub-file.

Revolutionary War-Era Records (4/94)

Several sets of records and a large number of other manuscripts were generated as a result of the differences between colonists and crown that culminated in American independence. Most of these sources contain information on Albany in the Revolution. Large collections of relevant printed sources not described elsewhere include nine volumes comprising the fourth and fifth series of Peter Force's American Archives, a major source of new information on the war in Albany; the Journals of Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention; Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New York (Albany, 1842), 2 volumes, (JPC), which document the inspiration for and results of activities of Albany people; and the two volume Calendar of Historical Manuscripts Relating to the War of the Revolution (Albany, 1868) (CHM), an important state-level supplement. Each of these sources has been utilized but only to follow stories begun in other sources. The records and materials generated because of the "Revolution" represents a major opportunity area for new learning about the people of colonial Albany. Much relevant printed material exists and must be calendared and then inventoried. For example, related to the revolutionary struggle is documentary material focused on the Stamp Act protests of 1765-66 in Albany. Correspondence and research material has been printed in an article edited by Beverly McAnear entitled "The Albany Stamp Act Riots, William and Mary Quarterly (1947), pp. 486-98. In addition, a "Constitution of the Sons of Liberty of Albany and Names of the Signers," was printed in The American Historian magazine in 1876. In 1985, the project secured a photostat copy of the original manuscript. The constitution was signed by 95 Albany men and constitutes an important survey document.

Many people did not favor severing the ties with Great Britain. Some of them were classified as loyalists and their activities were investigated by British and American authorities. Most of these loyalists left the community between 1775 and 1783. Biographies have been compiled and published on a number of these individuals. The most comprehensive of these is Gregory Palmer's revised edition of Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution (Westport, CT, 1984), which updates Lorenzo Sabine's classic work and catalogs references to the Audit Office documents. We have acquired a copy of this work and have scheduled it for processing. Interns also have recovered extensive information on Albany residents Richard Cartwright, Abraham Cuyler, and Ebenezer Jessup, from Loyalist Narratives from Upper Canada (New York, 1969). A bibliography of "loyalist sources" was compiled by Doug McLaren in the course of his work on Albany loyalists. The project must secure copies of appropriate material from the "Loyalist Transcripts" in the British Audit Office and the Loyalist records at the Public Archives of Canada.

Military Records (4/94)

Soldiers were a common sight in the city of Albany during most of its first two centuries. Albany soldiers can be considered as members of three general groups: garrison companies, the city and county militia, and soldiers of the Revolution. Some garrison soldiers later became prominent residents of the community. Many Albany men served in the local militia and or in more regular military units during times of crisis. The most notable were the soldiers of the Revolutionary army. Each military unit that was stationed, encamped, or passing through the city generated records about their members and their activities. The retrieval of information to uncover the story of soldiers in the city is guided by the following plan:

1. A Research Associate will develop a list of the Dutch, British, provincial, and American military units at the regular army, special, and militia levels whose activities brought them to Albany before 1800.

2. A survey will be made of the existing records of these units and of the narrative sources (for example, regimental histories) relating to them.

3. A collection of copies of rosters and other personnel records has been established. Two printed volumes of military records published by the State as the Second Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York (for 1896) (SH2) and as the Third Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York (for 1897) (SH3), form the backbone of this archive. In addition, the New-York Historical Society has printed military records in its Collections series. These works include material on the regular army, special levies, and resident-soldiers or militia. The rosters of the Albany city militia companies for 1715 and 1767 printed in SH2 and SH3 have been processed. That material has been integrated into appropriate biographies.

4. A prioritized data collection schedule for the other military sources should be established. Data collection should follow that schedule.

In 1781, a land bounty "Right" of 500 acres was offered for enlistment in the militia. Albany County qualified a total of eight regiments. The First Regiment was composed almost entirely of men from the city of Albany. A record of the "Land Bounty Rights" of the Albany County Militia was printed in the first volume of New York in the Revolution as Colony and State (Albany: 1904) (NYR).

Other information on Albany people in military service has been printed in Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment, 1783-1821, published by the State in four volumes (1901-02). This source must be investigated. The remainder of the two volume edition entitled New York in the Revolution as Colony and State holds much service information on Albany people and must be surveyed.

Pension applications (chiefly for the War for Independence) chronicle the service of members of the military. They often contain wonderful (sometimes comprehensive) material on the life of the soldier and his family - sometimes reaching far into the nineteenth century. We have assembled a flibrary of pension indexes and listings and have acquired a number of manuscript pension applications from the National Archives and elsewhere.. Some of them have been transformed into web-based presentations. We continue to move forward in that way.

The Index of pension applications for the War of 1812 appears online and references more than eighty claimants from Albany.

Colonial Commissions (4/94)

Albany people were appointed to local regulatory and service positions by the provincial and then state governments. Provincial-level appointments to local offices and positions were calendared by Edmund O'Callaghan and deposited at the New-York Historical Society in 1882. The manuscript commission books were destroyed in the State Capitol fire of 1911. The O'Callaghan calendar was printed in installments in the Quarterly Bulletin of the Society between 1924 and 1927 (CCLM). The calendar covers the period between 1677 and 1789, although information is missing especially covering the years after 1760. The calendar helps document the relationship between Albany people and the provincial government and opens research paths to out-of-Albany elements of their lives. Appointments to the municipal offices of mayor, recorder, coroner, clerk, and sheriff; as Commissioners of Indian Affairs (CIA); to the courts; military commissions; licenses to practice law; and appointment as inspectors are chronicled in the calendar. This source was processed during 1984 and the information assigned to appropriate biographies. After 1777, appointments were made by the State Council of Appointment. Those printed and manuscript records must be surveyed.

Records in Manuscript (4/94)

Aside from those noted above, a substantial volume of records resources exists in public and private manuscripts repositories. After church records, the majority of the remaining manuscript records resources for the history of Albany are held at the Albany County Hall of Records, at other offices of local government, the New York State Archives, New York State Library, Albany Institute of History and Art, New-York Historical Society, Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California, the New York Public Library, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Public Archives of Canada, and the Public Records Office in London. By chance or happenstance, the project holds copies of records resources from each of those repositories. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list. The holdings of each repository must be surveyed and plans for approaching those resources must be developed.

The Albany municipal records manuscripts will be confronted first. "A Descriptive Inventory of Albany's Municipal Archives in the City Records Library" was compiled by David A. Franz in 1974. It lists the following materials: Records of leases, 1761-1813; volunteer fire records, 1801-forward; and deeds and releases, 1787-1876. The three-volume Guide to Historical Resources in Albany County, New York Repositories (Ithaca, 1985), produced by the Cornell University-sponsored New York Historical Resource Center describes over a hundred relevant collections and is a tremendous asset. A third major finding is Tracy Grimm's World Our Fathers Made: A Survey of the Records of Local Governments in the County of Albany, New York, During the Constitutional Era, 1783-1815 (1988), which described many individual items - particularly in the area of cartographic resources.

For the other repositories, the project has opened repository information files as material is uncovered. We must assemble copies of all relevant finding aids and then move beyond them to first-hand familiarity with those collections. At this point, we have some public material on each but mostly the field notes of project associates and clients and the more random gifts of benefactors to broaden our understanding of the holdings of external repositories.

Newspapers (2/13)

Newspaper publishing began in Albany in 1771 with a weekly entitled the Albany Gazette. Its life span is unknown but no copies have survived from after 1772. The next oldest newspaper was the New York Gazetteer, or Northern Intelligencer, founded in 1782. The Gazetteer was discontinued in 1784. The Albany Gazette was revived by the Webster brothers in 1784 and continued until 1845. The Albany Journal issued in 1788 and 1789. The Federal Herald was published in 1788. The Albany Register appeared weekly from 1788 to 1818. The Chronicle issued in 1796. And the Albany Centinel was published in the city between 1797 and 1806. The great Albany newspapers of the nineteenth century, the Albany Argus (from 1813) and the Albany Evening Journal (from 1830), have proven important sources of new material as well.

The Colonial Albany Project intends to hold copies of all relevant early Albany newspapers in hard copy and/or on microfilm. These newspapers will provide much information on the activities of Albany people. Copies of the Albany Gazette (1771-72) from the NYSL form the basis of the CAP collection - which includes a volume of randomly acquired copies of other tabloids filed chronologically and one microfilm reel of the Gazette for 1787 acquired from the American Antiquarian Society. A more systematic approach to newspapers would begin with standard finding aids to compile an inventory of surviving issues of early Albany newspapers. The Microfilm and paper copies of each issue will be sought. The actual newspapers have proven much more comprehensive than the contents of the "Notes From the Newspaper" sections printed in Munsell's Annals of Albany.

Albany business people and other city residents regularly advertised in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia newspapers and in the papers printed at Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and other Hudson Valley communities as well. In addition, other papers regularly contained news items on Albany people. The eighteenth century newspapers of other cities have been partially surveyed for information on the needs and activities of Albany people. This survey has been guided by a number of printed finding aids to so-called "genealogical material" printed in specific newspapers. The CAP has assembled a small library of those sources.

Following project policy of confronting printed, accessible resources as priority items, some abstracts of newspaper information have been processed. Information from the sections of the Annals of Albany entitled "Notes from the Newspaper" from 1771 to 1825 and death notices from 1826 to 1861 has been recovered and partially integrated. However, experience with the actual newspaper entries has made the "Notes" material more of a guide to more substantial information. A number of the printed newspaper abstracts have yielded information on early Albany people. Kenneth Scott's compilation, published in 1973 by the New-York Historical Society as Excerpts from a Loyalist Press, 1773-1783: Rivington's New York Newspaper (RG), included news items on the activities, needs, and deaths of Albany people and printed in James Rivington's New-York Gazetteer. It also connected Albany to the larger American scene. It was processed during 1985. Scott also abstracted valuable material printed in New York City papers between the 1730s and 1780s. Much Albany-related material was recovered from Scott's abstracts published in the NYGBR. All of the material from these newspaper abstracts has been added to appropriate biographical cases.

Cartographic Resources (4/94)

Historic maps and the information that accompanies them hold great potential for reconstructing the early Albany community. They are sources of information on the property holdings of individuals, provide details of the layout of the community, and help us to visualize how people lived. The CAP intends to hold copies of all relevant cartographic resources for use in research and in programming. Because maps often are engaging artifacts in themselves, high quality copies will be secured - despite the high reproduction and archival costs.

Some of the seventeenth and eighteenth century cartographic resources are well-known. These obvious resources must be comprehensively inventoried and then the information appearing on them systematically recovered. External manuscripts collections (particularly related to the military at the Huntington Library, Clements Library, Public Records Office, Public Archives of Canada, and the Massachusetts Archives) may prove fruitful in the search for city maps. An initial inventory of comprehensive city maps uncovered so far includes the following items:

"Plan of 1676" (Land Papers, NYS Archives)

reputed to be a French sketch
original indistinct, several useful engravings exist and are widely duplicated

Albany - 1695 (printed in New York Considered and Improved)

map re-drawn from memory by former Albany chaplain John Miller while a prisoner in France, 1695-96
first detailed city map (identified all major features)
often reproduced in publications (see CASHP logo)

Roemer Map - 1698 (Public Records Office, London)

drawn by British army engineer Wolfgang Roemer
includes terrain features and an extensive hinterland

British army maps in the "Crown Collection" - 1756-1759

originals in the British Public Records Office or the British Museum

"Plan of Albany, 1764" (NYSL)

found in the Eleazer Wheelock papers
copy? presented to NYSL by Rev. W. B. Sprague

Brazier Map of 1765 (Crown Collection)

available as an engraving

"Map of the Manor Renselaerwyck . . . 1767" (NYSL)

surveyed by John R. Bleecker
locates Van Rensselaer tenants
locates outliving city residents

"The Albany Militia District, 1768" (printed in Johnson Papers)

overview of larger city boundaries in regional context
no city detail

"Plan of the City of Albany about the Year 1770"

"Gerrit Y. Lansing Collection," NYSL
surveyed by Robert Yates for the city corporation
original very faded
Richard Pease lithograph printed in Documentary History 3:1150

"Plan of the City of Albany, 1782"

primative sketch made by Simeon Baldwin
printed in his Autobiography

"A Plan of the City of Albany ... 1794" (ACHOR)

drawn by Simeon DeWitt for the city corporation
encompasses the city's North and South boundary lines
details major features, street names, some topography
burial grounds, fences, major residences
two distinct but related versions called here:
De Witt Map - 1790 (obviously earlier)
De Witt Plan - 1794 (new street grid, includes waterfront reclamation)
both versions have been lithographed

"Hudson Street - 1800" (ACHOR)

by city engineer Abraham Oake
shows property lines along Hudson Street from Court to Green
includes street frontage measurements and names of owners and/or occupants
Image map

Other eighteenth century maps feature parts of the city and provide property holding information and documentation of cityscape features. Engravings of the John Bogert map of upper State Street (1792) and of Market Street (1790) as printed in Annals of Albany and Munsell's Collections, the so-called "Isaac Hoghkerk Map" of 1787 in the NYSL, and several items from the Albany County Hall of Records have been archived and fuel speculation that other early maps exist in manuscript.

The maps in the City Engineer's office collection have been microfilmed and a descriptive project-useful catalog compiled. Some of those (mostly 19th century) maps have been printed and archived. Five maps from this collection covering the waterfront and State Street have been pieced together to provide a detailed picture of the core city area. Although they are dated in the 1830s, these resources are extremely valuable in that they articulate lot sizes and shapes and development patterns.

Comprehensive city maps were generated during the nineteenth century. These became increasingly more detailed and document the spread of the city beyond the old urban core. A few have come to our attention although a determined search and inventory has not been made of what is a large collection of potential resources. The most revealing comprehensive city maps have been copied and include:

Noted surveyor John Randel, Jr. produced a number of city maps beginning when he was in his teens. They include:
    A map of the late Philip Schuyler's property near Albany made in 1808
   In 1810, Randel produced a map of the post road from Albany to New York City along the route of today's Route 9.

Evert Van Allen map - 1818 (copy in OGS maps bureau, ESP, Albany)
    settled area is shaded
    A poor-quality photograph of the map can be viewed online.

William Cammeyer Map of 1829

   printed in the Albany City Directory for 1830-31

"Map of the City of Albany" (1843) (copy in OGS maps bureau, #152)

   drawn by John Bradt, city engineer
   individual lots drawn and numbered

"Dripps Map" - 1857 ("drawn by E. Jacob for the city engineer")
   Matthew Dripps was a Manhattan-based cartographer active during the second half of the 19th century. He is best known for representations of New York City. One source called him an Irish immigrant. Engraving by Hoffman, Pease, and Tolley (prints readily available) shows individual building silhouettes.

All of the nineteenth century maps provide useful information on the eighteenth century community and its people. Most of these are held at the Albany County Hall of Records. The Melius map collection of copies of late eighteenth and nineteenth-century maps lately filed on the second floor of the Albany County Clerk's office also must be inventoried. The large body of relevant maps described in World Our Fathers Made must be copied, inventoried, and photographed. Information in the Catalogue of Maps and Field Books in the Land Bureau of . . . New York State (Albany, 1920) and in David Mix's compilation entitled Catalogue of Maps and Surveys in the Offices... (Albany, 1860), have been inventoried and some maps have been copied.

A file of reproductions of historic maps, slides of maps, and detailed elements of each map are features of the CAP Graphics Archive. Copies of regional historic maps relevant to the early Albany story also have been collected. These include maps of the city property at Schaghticoke and Fort Hunter and all maps that provide insights on Albany's role in larger contexts. All cartographic resources must be inventoried and a guide generated.

Business Records (4/94)

These represent a major opportunity area for CAP research. Several logistical problems have inhibited progress in this area. Most account books, bills and accounts, inventories, and correspondence documenting the Albany community economy exist in manuscript form and are held in virtually every relevant repository. These must be identified and copies secured. A working bibliography of business records should be compiled. Those cited in David Armour's "The Merchants of Albany, New York: 1686-1760" (Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 1965) represents an excellent starting point for the colonial period. A running bibliographic file of business records has been established.

However, the project has assembled a small and eclectic collection of printed copies of business records. These include accounts with a number of Albany partnerships during the 1750s and 1760s printed in volume two of the Beekman Mercantile Papers, accounts printed in the Johnson Papers, and printed transcripts from the account books of Ezra Ames at the New-York Historical Society. The accounts (lists of debtors) with the estates of a dozen Albany decedents printed in Eric Nagle's Abstracts of Wills (EN) (see above under "Probate Records") have been processed and consigned to a holding file.

Beginning in 2012, we have moved forward somewhat with utilizing business records in a more visible way. We have opened webpages on the accounts due estates that were attached to wills and inventories. We do recognize the need for presenting these sources in linkable form and that will become an ongoing feature of future website development.

At this point, we have opened webpages relating to the account book of Evert Wendell, a ship's cargo from 1770, and an individual business order from 1783. We are at the very beginning of this initiative.

To date, the "Account Book of Abraham Yates, Jr." at the NYSL has ben photocopied but not yet developed as a resource.

Native American Records (4/94)

For much of the colonial period, Albany was a major outpost of European-style civilization. A large portion of the Albany business community engaged in trade with the Iroquois and with other Native peoples. The provincial government of New York sought to regulate this trade, set land policy, and also maintain cooperative relations with the Native peoples (especially the Iroquois) throughout the colonial period. Albany people played central roles in all of these endeavors. Dating from the 1670s, the English looked to Albany leaders to maintain peaceful ties with the Iroquois. These merchant-diplomats have come to be known as the "Commissioners of Indian Affairs" (CIA). The so-called "Indian diplomacy" has generated considerable scholarship. Most of the writing has been based on the official records of the Indian Commissioners and on the papers of the Euroamericans associated with the so-called "Indian Affairs." Some of these individuals (such as Robert Livingston and Peter Schuyler) were leading residents of Albany and could be expected to have an Albany perspective on the relationship.

The records of the Albany Commissioners of Indian Affairs (CIA) were consolidated and abridged by Peter Wraxall, secretary to the commissioners during the mid-eighteenth century. Before the original manuscript was destroyed in the State Capitol fire of 1911, Charles H. McIlwain transcribed and edited the document. It was published in 1915 by Harvard University Press as An Abridgment of the Indian Affairs . . . From the Year 1678 to the year 1751 (WA). During 1980, an intern searched this source for information on Albany people. Except for scattered references to interpreters and about those who went into the Indian country, Wraxall's Abridgment proved to be a disappointing investment of energy. However, relevant information has been processed and integrated. Survey information from "The Livingston Indian Records, 1666-1725" edited by Lawrence Leder and published in Pennsylvania History Journal (1956) also has been processed.

A survey should be made of the narrative sources on Albany-Native Peoples relations and on Dutch, British, and French perspectives on the topic and a data search plan developed. Thomas Burke surveyed the relevant secondary source literature in 1984 and produced a basic inventory of sources to be examined. All these sources admittedly are one-sided.

The Native American perspective on their relationship with Albany represents an obvious parallel research tactic. The ethnohistorical research of State Museum anthropologist George Hamell has provided further insights. His valued contributions have been archived for future reference. Linkages with those studying Native peoples should be pursued.

Literary Sources (4/94)

Literary sources are those historical documents that describe a historic event, activity, or condition and mostly were created at some time after the actual occurrence. Included in this category are personal correspondence, diaries, journals, eyewitness accounts, and memoirs. Literary sources are not official records. They offer an interpretation and a personalized perspective on events and conditions in the past. As in the case of memoirs, a literary source may have been created long after the fact - often when the author has reached an advanced stage of life. They draw heavily on the reporter's perceptiveness, interpretative powers, memory, motives, and emotions. Typically, literary sources contain descriptive and qualitative information and typically are more interpretive and subjective than an actual record. Traditionally, they have provided historians with much of the texture of the past. As such, they hold great potential as research resources for the people of colonial Albany. They deserve a dedicated and comprehensive scrutiny and, above all, a critical and careful application.

Because most of the people of colonial Albany left no letters, did not write their memoirs, and were not noticed individually by contemporary observers, the search of literary sources has been subordinated to the recovery of information from records resources. However, the CAP intends to confront all potential literary source collections. This search is a massive undertaking and will require careful planning and the efficient allocation of energy. Generally, literary sources will be considered after the exhaustion of all records resources. The search of potentially relevant literary sources will be conducted under the following guidelines:

1. Printed literary sources of all types will be examined first. A bibliography of printed literary sources will be developed. An information collection plan will be formulated and then implemented.

2. Manuscripts repositories then will be surveyed for holdings on the people of colonial Albany. A prioritized list of relevant repositories will be developed. Manuscript literary sources then will be surveyed in each repository. An information collection plan will be developed with priority being awarded based on importance of the collection and on the potential accessibility of it.

However, due to the personal interests and programming needs of project associates, some literary sources already have been encountered. Others are so accessible that they may be confronted with minimal disruption of the planned research program. A list follows.

Printed Literary Sources


The Papers of Sir William Johnson (1715-74) were published by the State in 13 volumes plus an exhaustive one volume index between 1921 and 1965. Although he lived north of the Mohawk River, Johnson owned a house in the city of Albany and arguably was the most important person living in the entire region. His political, military, real estate, and commercial business, and his interest in the Masonic lodge made him a correspondent of a large number of Albanians. Their letters to Johnson contain news of activities involving Albany people and community events. Johnson passed this information and his own observations along to colonial and British officials. Like other collections of the literary works of important people, the Johnson Papers series also presented records resources on the people of colonial Albany that had become part of the "Johnson papers" collection. For example, Volume 8 of the Johnson Papers contains a membership and subscription list for St. Peter's Episcopal Church in 1771. Accounts with Albany merchants, contractors, and clients provide substantial information. Some of this high-yield material has been processed and integrated. A selection of material from this multi-volume source was recovered in 1981 by an intern interested in Native Americans and has been partially incorporated.

The published Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York (Albany: 1899-1914), in eight volumes contains a tremendous volume of information on conditions in Albany. The set is served by a two-volume index that provides keys to the substantial material sent to the first governor by his Hudson Valley informants and advisors. Clinton relied on this intelligence to help win the war and then to govern the state. The index sections facilitate collecting information from this source. Information from survey material and some accounts printed in the Clinton Papers has been extracted and some biographies have been informed by information gleaned from this flagship resource. The CAP utilizes this resource on an on-going basis. In short, they are a gift that keeps giving!

The correspondence of Killiaen Van Rensselaer with his agents in America was published as the Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts (VRBM) in the Ninetieth Annual Report of the New York State Library in 1908. This correspondence described activities at and around Fort Orange-Beverwyck-Albany during the years from the 1630s to 1696. In addition, Arnold Van Laer's biographical appendix lists and describes characteristics of the lives of the settlers of the colony of Rensselaerswyck from 1630 to 1658. VRBM must be studied and an effective data collection plan developed. Information from the biographical appendix has been processed and integrated.

The Correspondence of Jeremias Van Rensselaer, 1651-1674, translated and edited by Van Laer and published in 1932 and the Correspondence of Maria Van Rensselaer, 1669-1689, also translated and edited by Van Laer, and published in 1935, present the letters of Van Rensselaer family members and describe activities of Albany people. Van Laer added valuable descriptive material and clarified uncertainties about seventeenth century Albanians. These very accessible sources should be searched as soon as possible.

A Legacy of Historical Gleanings, compiled and edited by Catharina Van Rensselaer Bonney, and published in two volumes in 1875, printed letters relating to the family of Philip Van Rensselaer of "Cherry Hill," his estate located south of the colonial city. The printed correspondence begins in 1747 and describes the activities of Albany residents, the Van Rensselaers, and Robert Sanders, mayor of Albany during the 1750s. This source is valuable chiefly for its accessibility in printed form.

Alexander Hamilton married the daughter of General Philip Schuyler. Although hardly a local figure, his correspondence details activities of Albany people during the 1780s and 1790s. His papers have been edited by Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke and were published in twenty-five volumes as The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961-1982). This source must be surveyed and a data collection plan developed.

Attorney, revolutionary leader, jurist, and second governor of New York State, John Jay was a sometime resident of Albany and also was well-informed on activities in Albany, the new State capital city. Some of Jay's papers were published in the Henry P. Johnston edition of The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay (New York: 1893), in four volumes. The remainder of Jay's unpublished papers will appear in the more comprehensive Richard B. Morris edition. The first volume is entitled John Jay: The Making of a Revolutionary (New York: 1975). The published "Jay Papers" must be surveyed and Albany-related material identified.

As additional sources of printed correspondence are identified, information on each will be added to this section.

Diaries and Journals: (9/12)

An initial (and at the time) comprehensive search has identified more than a hundred printed eyewitness accounts. These very interesting (although often puzzling) sources have been copied and archived. Some material has been recovered from these sources. A working menu of useful source-like material appears online as "Visitors to Albany". Our ability to appropriate (and utilize) actual text was unanticipated at the start our research initiative. Thus, we plan to incorporate similar resources within the website format on an ongoing basis.


Given the reminiscent nature of memoirs, their actual value is open to debate. However, the memories of eyewitnesses cannot be overlooked. These sources must be inventoried and surveyed. The CAP intends to hold copies of all of them. Information from sources such as Anne Grant's Memoirs of an American Lady, which was published almost fifty years after she left Albany, and Gorham A. Worth's Random Recollections of Albany, From 1800 to 1808, which he wrote in the 1850s, must be utilized but with great care.

Literary Sources in Manuscript (4/94)

A staggering volume of literary source material on the people of colonial Albany and on those with community connections exists in manuscript form. These range from massive "papers" collections to individual items held in major repositories and private collections located in the Albany area, in greater New York State, in the United States, in Canada, and abroad. In addition, records resources consistently have been found in personal papers collections. In fact, all assessment rolls found to date have been preserved in personal manuscripts collections. A strategy for approaching literary sources collections to determine their value as a source of records resources must be developed. The obvious repositories include the New York State Library, the Albany Institute of History and Art, the New-York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park (especially in the Livingston-Redmond Papers), the Library of Congress, the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, and the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The National Union catalogue (NUC-MUC) and the county guides produced by the Cornell University statewide survey of manuscripts will provide leads to sources in and beyond major repositories.

Abraham Yates, Jr. Papers (6/12)

During the early 1970s, young Stefan Bielinski acquired copies of all of the then known docuentary resources written by, to, and about Abraham Yates, Jr.", the original inspiration for the formation of the CASHP. Those letters, official documents, journals, essays, longer narrative works, legal opinions, and supplementary materials for to-date unrealized research projects on a major figure in early Albany history are held in a separate resource archive at the project office. The correspondence and journal have been transcribed and arranged chronologically. In 1994, Stephan Wolf, a doctoral candidate at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, made extensive use of the CAP "Yates Collection" in support of his dissertation on Abraham Yates, Jr. A historical bloodhound, Wolf uncovered many new sources on Yates, developed an updated, chronological calendar of Yates papers, contributed a number of transcriptions and document copies, and was responsible for the project obtaining copies of new and important documents. His research into Yates's legal career and landholding provided useful clues for understanding the external activities and holdings of Albany people.

Philip Schuyler Papers (4/94)

The project holds microfilms of the entire New York Public Library "Schuyler Papers" collection. These contain innumerable references to the Albany community and many extremely significant documents such as the only extant copies of the city assessment rolls for 1766 and 1767. A collection of typescripts of Philip Schuyler Papers from NYPL and other sources now resides at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site. Glenn Griffith, also an employee at SM SHS, has made some use of the collection and has contributed copies of many useful documents. However, these have been largely unutilized. A strategy for exploiting the readily available papers of the most prominent eighteenth century Albanian must be developed.

Secondary Sources (4/94)

Because they are interpretive, books and articles are never considered to be authentic or satisfactory - although they may be both. Rather, they serve as guides to source materials. CAP training, research, programming, and service activities makes a point of the distinction between original and interpretative historical resources.

Biographical information on early Albany people was compiled and published in a wide variety of selective anthologies. Some of these are extremely accessible. In 1987, interns exhausted the first twenty-two volumes of the Dictionary of American Biography of information on early Albany people. All of this information has been utilized and bibliographic leads have been recorded. Other special interest biographical resources should be inventoried. Some of these already have been utilized. The most useful secondary sources not already cited include: Princetonians, 1748-1768: A Biographical Dictionary (Princeton, 1976), (PBD); Peyton F. Miller, A Group of Great Lawyers of Columbia County, New York (New York, 1904) (GLCC); mayoral biographies compiled by Cuyler Reynolds and printed in Albany Chronicles (Albany, 1906) (AC); and Jonathan Tenney, New England in Albany (Boston, 1883), (NEA). The project holds copies of more than a dozen other biographical directories. A bibliographic inventory of these sources will be developed.

last updated: 6/24/12.