The surname Graham is often encountered in the annals of early Albany. Almost all of the early Albany Grahams were of Scottish origins but probably represented several distinct family groups.

The purpose of this exposition is to comprehend the Grahams of early Albany. Our focus, therefore, requires us to keep the non Albany owners of this surname at some distance.

We are mindful of the notion that the Scottish Grahams changed their names to McHarg (Graham spelled backwards) to mask their identities. The persistence of both names in Albany annals may complicate our study of the "Grahams" in the early city.

Frontier trader and sometime Albany householder Felix Graham appears to be the first Graham to live in the city of Albany during the years following the Seven Years War.

During the 1770s, perhaps a number of individuals named "John Graham" were active within the city of Albany. One of them was an officer in the Revolutionary army. However, the existence of several same-named individuals in Albany during Major Graham's lifetime gives us pause at this time.

Dutchess County native Theodorus Van Wyck Graham settled in Albany at the close of the Revolutionary War. His son, Albany native John Ten Broeck Graham, also an attorney, appears to have been a short-lived bachelor.

The first Federal Census in 1790 counted three Graham households in Albany (including that of Mary Graham). Possibly in addition, two "John Mc Hargs" were listed as heads of Albany households on the city census as well.

In 1800, the household of "Hector Graham "a Negro" was one of five Graham-named households in the city.

In 1813, the first city directory listed two prominent Albany Grahams.

We understand that we do not have the early Albany Grahams under any logical control at this time.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: This sketch on the Grahams of early Albany is derived chiefly from community-based resources. Because so many Graham families were active in eighteenth century America, no genealogy or family history strikes us as noteworthy at this time. The problem may be appreciated somewhat by pursuing this google search. The same search only adding Albany still yields an overwhelming number of references.
Follow this link to more on the Graham family on this website.

posted: 11/10/10