John Roorbach was born in New York City in 1727. He was the son of Palatine emigres Johannes and Sophia Grau Roorbach. He was sometimes called Johannes Roorbach, Jr. In 1748, he was admitted to the New York City Dutch church.
He may have lived in Rhinebeck during the early 1750s. John Roorbach came to Albany as a schoolteacher. However, he soon entered business and served as an attorney. By 1768, he had acquired status enough to be elected alderman for the first ward. Initially, he was concerned with improving the road and docks located south of city hall. He served on the city council for most of its life thru 1780.
His home in "Cheapside" next to the King's Arms was a first ward landmark. In 1766, he stood with his neighbors in opposition to the Stamp Act. However, his name is not found in the records of the Albany Committee except where cases were referred to him as a "justice" - even during the period between colonial and state governments. In 1779, he examined German prisoners on behalf of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies. Afterwards, he was accorded a bounty right in conjunction with the Albany regiment of the militia.
He may have been married three times. In June 1758, marriage bonds were issued to John Rohrbach and Mary Van Eueren of Albany. But by 1759, he was the husband of the widow Anna Staats Visscher. A child of theirs was baptized in Rhinebeck in 1752. In 1786, he may have married widow Magdalena Herkimer Snell of the Mohawk Valley. None of his children were baptized in Albany churches.
Although his property was shown on a map of Market Street dated 1790, John Roorbach probably left Albany after the end of the War. He may have been the individual listed on the census of 1790 with a household of four men, two women, two other free people, and two slaves in Canajoharie
Sources: The life of John Roorbach is CAP biography number 7956. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Family information is from Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, Rohrbach Family: Descendants of Nine Rohrbach Immigrants to Colonial America, 1709-1754, (1970), pp. 237-39. We seek further information on his later years!
first posted: 4/25/04