Alexander Chesnut


Spelled variously, Alexander Chesnut (perhaps also Mc Chestney) probably was born prior to 1750. He lived in Albany during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. We seek information on his origins and path to Albany.

In 1766, his house and property probably on the Southside of Albany were valued minimally on a city assessment roll.

In September 1771, he witnessed the will of Albany resident William Mc Cew.

In May 1775, he was among those in the third ward who pledged 8 shillings to supply Ticonderoga. He also was allowed two pounds for powder horns. Otherwise, his name was not found on the rolls of Albany's wartime committees. In 1779, his name was included on a list of those serving in the Mohawk Valley with the Albany city militia. Afterwards, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the city militia regiment.

He appears to have been a city resident throughout the war years as his shop in the second ward (probably on Columbia Street) was valued on both assessment rolls in 1779. At the same time, his personal property was valued substantially under the third ward house of Widow Edgar. A decade later, his personal holdings were assessed under Nanning Visscher while his real property in the second ward, noted as "Chesnut's Shop & School Room," was valued separately.

His wife may have been one "Jane Mc Molly." Their daughter was christened at the Albany Dutch church in April 1776. However, perhaps, she was their fourth child.

Beginning in 1789, he was identified as a trustee at the Albany Presbyterian church.

In 1790, his household of three men and three women was configured on the census for Watervliet. We seek to locate him on the census for 1800. However, in 1799 and in 1802, his "shop and lot in Columbia Street" were valued on the second ward assessment roll.

After that, the name of Alexander Chesnut appears to have dropped from Albany rolls. His name has been followed in family-based resources and perhaps he was still alive when his eighty-seven-year-old wife was buried in Herkimer County in 1814.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Alexander Chesnut is CAP biography number 7605. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 10/30/11