John Bay


John Bay was born in August 1743. He was the son of William Bay of Maryland. His family was of Huguenot background.

He graduated from Princeton in 1765 and soon afterwards settled in Albany where he sought to teach school. In 1766, his first ward home and property were valued on the Albany assessment roll.

In December 1769, he married innkeeper's daughter Hannah Williams at St. Peter's Anglican church. The marriage produced five children including two physicians and an attorney. However, their names were absent from a list of St. Peter's church members dated 1771.

In 1771, he was characterized as an Albany "schoolmaster" when he witnessed the will of his neighbor. The next year, he was managing a lottery to benefit the "English Presbyterian church." In 1774, he was identified as an attorney.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1775, he declared for the American cause and was elected to represent the first ward on the Albany Committee of Correspondence. He served briefly as secretery of that organization. In 1776, he signed the "General Association."

But soon he moved his budding family to Claverack where he served as secretery of the district sub-committee for the duration of its life. On a number of occasions, he was exempted from active military duty. After the war, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the Eighth Regiment of the Albany County militia.

After the war, he established a significant legal practice out of Claverack and also trained attorneys. He was elected to the New York State Assembly - beginning in 1779 and served into the mid-1790s.

John Bay died at Claverack in June 1818. His widow survived until 1845.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Bay is CAP biography number 7284. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. See especially HMGFM

first posted: 10/20/06