Volkert A. Douw


Volkert A. Douw was born in December 1733. He was the son of Abraham and Lyntie Winne Douw. His mother died in November 1749 and his father later remarried. He grew up in the third ward home of an Albany mainstay who survived into the late 1780s.

In 1757, he was provided for in the will of his uncle. This individual was known as "Volkert A. Douw" to prevent confusion with a number of contemporary kin including the one-time mayor of Albany. Assignment of qualitative information on the long life of this individual is further complicated by the existence of a number of "Volkert A. Douws" living at the same time.

In November 1757, he married Albany native Anna Wendell at the Albany Dutch church. A son was christened there the following September. Anna may have died as Volkert A. received licenses to wed Elizabeth Dennison in October 1759 and then Mary Codwise on June 28, 1762. His daughter with Mary was born the following June. He was a supporter of the Albany church. He may have re-married and fathered still more children.

He may have been a partner in a North End rum distillery constructed as early as 1758.

Beginning in 1758, he served as a judge in Albany County. First in 1763, he was appointed firemaster for the third and second wards. He later served as an inspector and had substantial contracts with the city government as well.

Beginning during the 1760s, his third and second ward properties were accorded substantial assessments.

In July 1775, he was identified as an Indian trader of the city of Albany when his his father named him attorney with the power to sell shares of two slaves at Michilimackinac.

In August 1778, a Quartermasts Department roster identified him as the storekeeper at/for Coeymans. two occasions in 1781, he was identified as a "gentleman" and permitted to post bail by the Albany commissioners. Wartime records, listed him as adjutant of the first regiment of the Albany militia. Afterwards, he was accorded a land bounty right in conjunction with the city militia regiment.

In April 1788, he was among those Albany antifederalists who signed a set of objections to the proposed Federal constitution.

Post-war assessment rolls valued his house and property. In 1790, his household was configured on the third ward census and included four slaves. Subsequent community surveys described his household and holdings in the second ward.

In 1808, he was among those invited to the funeral of an Albany neighbor.

Volkert A. Douw died somewhat afterwards but probably before 1810.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Volkert A. Douw is CAP biography number 2235. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 8/10/09; updated 10/20/10