Like his father and several members of the Yates family, Christopher was a blacksmith. He probably learned the trade in his father's Albany shop and inherited John Yates's tools as his birthright on the death of his father in 1776. He also was left the Rensselaerswyck farm where he was living and would receive another east manor farm on the death of his mother. In 1781, he petitioned for city land at Tiondoroge.
Christopher J. Yates was one of a number of early Albany people who lived outside the core city but whose business (in this case a smithy and stables) made them part of the everyday community economy. His real estate holdings placed him above most Albany artisans. In 1790, his Rensselaerswyck household was served by three slaves.
During the 1760s, he served in the Rensselaerswyck company of the provincial militia and was awarded a bounty right under the Fourth Regiment of the Albany County Militia during the War for Independence.
first posted: 12/5/01; updated 8/5/09