John L. Radley


Known as John L. Radley, this lifelong Albany resident was born in November 1730. He was the son of Albany mainstays Lambert and Anna Van Zandt Radcliff. His parents both were children of newcomers who married daughters of Albany's founders.

In December 1759, he married a somewhat younger Elizabeth Wilkinson at the Albany Dutch church. At the time of the marriage, he was identified as a cordwainer and she as a spinster. By 1767, the marriage had produced four or five children who were christened in Albany churches.

In 1758, John was appointed firemaster for the first ward. These Radcliff/Radleys set up their home near both their families in a building - parts of which still survive at number 48 Hudson Avenue. Beginning in 1766, his holdings were valued modestly on city assessment rolls. His property on the south side of Hudson is shown on a map of the street made in 1800.

In 1790 and 1800, his small family was shown on the censuses next door to his son-in-law and business partner Samuel Norton. During those years, their store or shop was valued separately.

During the 1760s, "John Lambert Radcliff" was an officer in the Albany County militia. At the outbreak of the war in 1775, he contributed for the relief of Ticonderoga. In 1778, he was among those older residents exempted from military service. He does not appear to have been granted a land bounty right for service.

During the 1780s, his account was paid from the city treasury. In 1788, he still owed more than eight pounds to the estate of the late Dr. Henry Van Dyck.

John L. Radley died in July 1809 and was buried from the Dutch church.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John L. Radley is CAP biography number 1067. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 10/10/08