Reverend John Ogilvie
Stefan Bielinski

Scottish ancestry John Ogilvie was born in New York City in 1724. He graduated from Yale University in 1748 and was ordained in London in 1749.

John Ogilvie He served as rector at St. Peter's Anglican church from 1749 to 1760. During the 1750s, he also served as a chaplain to the British army. After two years as a missionary at Fort Hunter and in Canada, he was named rector of Trinity Church in New York. During that time, he also supplied the pulpit of several parishes in the Hudson Valley.

Ogilvie's tenure in Albany came during the Seven Years War. His Albany home was a gathering place for English speakers while he instructed more than a hundred Dutch-speaking local children.

John Ogilvie married twice. His first wife, Susanna Catharine Symes, died in 1769. He then married Margaret Marston, widow of Philip Philipse.

Fifty-year-old John Ogilvie was ill when he wrote his will in November 1774. It mentioned his second wife and a son and daughter. He died from a cerebral hemmorhage in New York City a few days later and was buried in the family vault in Trinity churchyard.


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Rev. John Ogilvie is CAP biography number 8032. Perhaps he was named for the Jesuit Saint John Ogilvie! This profile is derived chiefly from community-based resources and from Frederick Lewis Weis, The Colonial Clergy of the Middle Colonies: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, 1628-1776 (published separately by the American Antiquarian Society in 1957 and reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company in 1978), 118. Although troubled by errors, see the profile of Ogilvie online! Ogilvie and resources related to him are subjects of a letter written by the New York State Historian in 1915. His church records from 1749, are the earliest we have encountered for St. Peter's.

Portrait painted by John S. Copley. Engraved and reproduced on the frontespiece of a history of Trinity church and in the Johnson Papers, vol 7, p. 800.

Will: In the name of God Amen. I, John Ogilvie, of New York, Doctor of Divinity, being at present very sick. I leave to the Rector and Inhabitants of the city of New York, in communion of the Church of England, as by Law established, £300, for the use of the Charity School. I leave to the Corporation for the Relief of widows and children of Clergymen in Communion of the Church of England in America, £100. I leave to the Governors of the College of the Province of New York, in the City of New York, £100. I leave to my wife Margaret, my house and lands at Corlaers Hook, in New York, called the Garden, which I hold by lease from James De Lancey, Esq., and of all the rest of my estate. All the rest of my estate I leave to my son George and my daughter Mary. I make my wife and Nathaniel Marston and Augustus Van Cortlandt, executors. And they are to sell 2,000 acres of my land in the Patent of Waywanda in Orange County. Dated November 22, 1774, Proved, March 3, 1775. Printed in Abstract of Wills, vol.32, pp. 247-48.

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first posted: 2000; last revised 10/13/07