Hugh Jolly


Sometimes called Hugh Jolly, Sr., this individual was born before 1720. He probably was a native of Scotland.

In 1756, a residence was described on a census of Albany houses made by the British army. It identified the householder as "Jolly Irish Man, sells liquor."

During the 1760s, however, his name has not been found among the more obvious community-based records for Albany and its environs.

His wife was named Eleanor. His son became an Albany resident. A daughter married one of the Robert Henrys. However, his name is absent from the extant records of early Albany churches.

During the war years, he ran an inn or tavern that was located two miles below Albany. He often was under suspicion of disloyalty and then was charged with permitting "tories and negroes . . . with congregating at his place and plotting to burn the city." He was confined during 1777 and 1778. However, afterwards, he was accorded a bounty right in conjunction with the third regiment (Bethlehem) of the Albany County militia.

In 1785, his account was paid from the city treasury.

In 1790, the census identified him as a resident of Watervliet. A decade later, his household was configured on the Bethlehem census with two adolescent girls, an older woman and five men and boys.

Hugh Jolly filed a will in August 1802. He died in October 1804 in his eighty-fifth year. He was buried in the Nicoll-Sill cemetery in Bethlehem. His will left a large bequest to his widow and provided for his three sons and three daughters. The will passed probate in Albany County in February 1805.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Hugh Jolly is CAP biography number 1171. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 9/25/08