Joseph Yates was the first member of the Yates family in Albany. Tradition holds that he came to America to serve with the English invasion force after 1664. He was of English background and probably was born in Yorkshire.
By the early 1680s, he had married New Netherland native Huybertje Marselis. By 1704, she had given birth to seven children Yates children - who then established the family in Albany, Schenectady, and New York.
While serving as a soldier in the Albany garrison, Joseph Yates practiced the blacksmith's trade - the occupation of a number of his descendants. He supplemented those incomes by supplying firewood to the fort and also held a municipal appointment as city carter. In 1714, he was certified as an invalided soldier and as one of those who had served in the Independent Company for upwards of twenty years.
He first purchased a lot on the south side of lower State Street but later lived on the east corner of Green and Beaver Streets. His modest home and smithy would be family landmarks for many years. In 1684, he was cited for being in tax arrears. He also held a garden lot on the plain near the Marselis homestead. In 1720, the name of Joseph Yates, Sr. appeared on a list of eligible voters in the first ward.
Joseph and Huybertie Yates lived out their days in the southside home. With children and grandchildren taking their places in Albany society, Joseph Yates died in May 1730 and Huybertie two months later. They were buried in the Dutch church cemetery a stone's throw from their home.
The life of Joseph Yates is CAP biography number 4419. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. The most useful of the printed genealogical resources on his life is "Joseph Yates of Albany, 1664-1730, The Search for Roots in England," by "Mrs. Victor Johnson," in NYGBR volume 114:4,(October 1983), 228-35.
Certificate of service: SH volume1:458.
first posted: 7/15/01