Website Biographies

the people of colonial Albany16,000 men, women, and childrena community is the total of its human parts

The most basic element and at the core of our website exposition on the people of colonial Albany and their world is a biographical presentation on the life of a person who lived in the city of Albany more than two hundred years ago. Some of those people were lifelong residents; others lived in the city for substantial parts of their lives; others were just passing through. By the end of 2017, more than three thousand biographical treatments now appear on these pages. Each one is presented and developed as conditions and resources will permit at the time! However, all of them have been and will be revised and updated. Additionally, every new biography has been further informed by frequent sweeps of the World Wide Web. "The Web" has become by far the most fruitful avenue of new exploration. Incidentally, with individuals who are NA, our first link usually is to the Wikipedia biographical offering that usually appears high on any search as the most balanced and consistently accessible profile.

Each biography includes a number of links to supporting information and to resources. The links also symbolize the interconnected and interdependent nature of pre-industrial community life. At this point, individual biographies online have been grouped into one of the following general categories:

Biography: A comprehensive exposition on a historically articulate Albany person for whom we have collected and comprehended substantial material. All early Albany leaders have such a treatment. To date, only a few (if any) full and definitive biographies have appeared. Those too are to be considered in-progress!

Biographical Profile: A narrative containing most elements of a traditional biography that answers many life questions. Hopefully, all of the rank-and-file people of colonial Albany can look forward to a substantial profile on this website. The relative size of the "In-progress" icon provides a clue to how much more information we think we might be able to find/include. Before too long, every major early Albany family will have an overview family profile.

Biographical Sketch: Perhaps little more than connected research. Sketches are prematurely presented only to address the basic question of "Who?" Sometime sketches appear to be little more than notes. Please consider sketches as "a start," and as "better than nothing," "very sketchy," and an invitation to contact us regarding additional thoughts or information!"

"Baseline" sketches contain only the barest information and are included for indexing purposes and to expose what we do not know about the subject.

More skeletal than the baseline sketch, a note is the barest notice of a person's life in early Albany - maybe only one reference in the historical record. But that reference leads us to believe that the individual qualifies for inclusion in the early Albany community biography. Like the other fragments, it is made available to encourage interested people to join the dialogue.

At the same time:

NOTE on the notes - what you see online is what we have or what we are able to share. We have nothing more of value at the time of writing. Please be patient and understand that we cannot respond directly to your request for more information. However, every day we revisit some of our offerings and will incorporate any/all relevant additional information as it is uncovered.

For more on the most difficult, please see "Too Many Questions."




Biographical StudiesEach of our individual biographical studies intends to shed light on basic life questions and issues. These relate to the three stages of a subject's life - birth and childhood, adulthood or maturity, and old age and death. Because a wildly variable range of resources are available on any individual's life at a given time, we will be more or less successful in interpreting - exhibiting - portraying a particular person's life in website format. Of course, our success can change every day as new material becomes available and as we create or add to website biographies.

        These are some of the basic questions and issues (things we want to understand) relating to an early Albany person's life that we are now studying: Family background; childhood; health; young adulthood; marriage and family issues; work history; economic profile - including work history and holdings; community standing; life beyond Albany; health throughout; declining years; and cause of death. This list is by no means complete. Look for those discussions in website biographies. The size of the in progress icon appearing on most biographies tells you how much we think we might be able to add about a particular person's life!

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posted: 4/5/03; last revised 6/3/18