James Boyd


James Boyd was born in Scotland in 1742. He does not seem to be closely related to the family of Albany resident John Boyd who also had a son named James. A number of same-named individuals seem to have lived in North America during the lifetime of this individual.

We seek information on his emigration and on his arrival in Albany - perhaps about the time of the outbreak of hostilities in 1775. He may have been the James Boyd who served in the Third Regiment of the Albany militia.

About 1776, he married Jane Mc Master. Between 1777 and 1788, a number of their children were christened in Albany churches.

This individual became an Albany resident. However, his name has not been found in the community based record until September 1778, when he posted bail for Widow Clement and for himself the following June.

In 1790, his household was configured on the census for Watervliet and was listed next to the Cherry Hill household of Philip Van Rensselaer. Shortly thereafter, he settled permanently within the Albany city limits. In 1800, the first ward census showed that his household included four slaves.

He was a member, deacon, elder, and trustee of the Albany Presbyterian church.

This James Boyd was a brewer. In 1796, he established the Arch Street Brewery - which later became the "Albany Brewing Company." Beginning about 1815, he was one of those who built a number of brick buildings on South Ferry Street across the street from his brewery. His sons ultimately lived in those homes.

Beginning in 1813, city directories listed his Ferry Street residence and also his brewery partnerships.

James Boyd died in August 1832 at the age of ninety. His funeral was conducted from his home at 72 Ferry Street. His will passed probate later that month.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of James Boyd is CAP biography number 7389. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
A photograph of an oil painting of this individual is noted in an inventory of the family collection.

first posted: 1/20/10