James Parker was born about 1660. He was the son of William and Mary Parker. Albany records identified him as the son of the "court messenger." In July 1685, James paid for the burial of his mother and father from the Albany Dutch church where he was a member and occasional baptism sponsor.
In 1677, he was seventeen when he was apprenticed to Hendrick Bries to learn the shomaker's trade. However, in July 1686, he was appointed the first marshall of Albany under the new city charter. He held that position for most of the next twenty years. In 1688, his annual salary was set at fifty shillings. By 1704, it had risen to three pounds a year.
In 1697, he was identified as of "English" ancestry and was living alone in a first ward home. Two years later, he joined other other Albany householders in swearing allegiance to the King of England.
In February 1699, he married Albany native Geertruy Van Benthuysen. The marriage appears to have produced no children.
After 1709, his name dropped from Albany rolls. James Parker was dead by 1717 when his widow was mentioned in the City Records. However, he was remembered in the naming of several members of the Van Benthuysen family.
Sources: The life of James Parker is CAP biography number 5308. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Family information is puzzling so, for now, our sketch relies on Albany-based resources.
first posted: 3/10/04; updated 11/16/08