According to traditional resources, John Stafford was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts in October 1768. He was a younger son in the large family of New Englanders Job and Susannah Spencer Stafford. His father had relocated them to the Albany area following the War for Independence. A same-named contemporary (1767-1826) lived on the western ridge of Albany County.
This Albany city resident first was associated with his brother-in-law, Thomas Spencer, whose Southside holdings were valued on Albany assessment rolls in 1788. John Stafford appears to have boarded with him at that time. In 1790, four men were living in Spencer's first ward home.
By 1793, John is said to have been living in Greenbush and to have been a merchant. By 1797, he was in partnership with his younger brother in Albany. Perhaps he was counted under Spencer Stafford's household in 1800. In 1810, his household was configured separately on the census. The Staffords were in the hardware (stove and iron) business with a store on Court (South Market) Street in a block called "Hardware Row."
John Stafford was married three times. His first wife, Margaret Denniston, died in 1799 following the birth of their first child in 1793. At that point, John Stafford seems to have liquidated his holdings and left Albany for the sea. He had returned by 1804 when he married Margaret White of Ballston. She died the following year after giving birth to a son. In 1807, he married Catherine Weed of Stamford Connecticut.
John Stafford is said to have died of consumption in October 1819.
Sources: The life of John Stafford is CAP biography number 7239. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 7/20/11; updated 11/5/11