Yates and Others

Chief Justice Robert Yates

Chief Justice Robert Yates

Male 1738 - 1801  (63 years)

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  • Name Robert Yates 
    Prefix Chief Justice 
    Born 17 Mar 1738  Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _FSFTID GHBD-RTS 
    Died 9 Sep 1801  Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I12107  Yatesville History & Genealogy
    Last Modified 3 Feb 2020 

    Father Joseph Robert Yates,   b. 12 Jul 1714, Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Aug 1803, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Mother Maria Janse Dunbar,   b. 26 Sep 1716, Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5091  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jane Van Ness,   b. 1739, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1818, Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 5 Mar 1765  New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Maria Yates,   b. 19 Oct 1768, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1825, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     2. William Robert Yates,   b. 2 Sep 1771, New York Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Joseph Yates,   b. 3 Nov 1773, New York Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. William C. Yates,   b. 8 Sep 1776, New York Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. John Van Ness Yates,   b. 18 Dec 1779, Columbia, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jan 1839, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)
     6. Pieter Yates,   b. 30 Aug 1783, New York Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Robert A. Yates,   b. 11 Nov 1789, New York Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 2 Oct 2022 
    Family ID F5135  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
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    yates,roberti12107_map.jpg
    yates,roberti12107_map.jpg

  • Notes 
    • U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Name: Robert Yates Gender: male Birth Place: NY Birth Year: 1738 Spouse Name: Jannetie Van Ness Marriage Year: 1765 Marriage State: NY Number Pages: 1

      U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Name: Robbert Yates Gender: male Birth Place: NY Birth Year: 1738 Spouse Name: Jannetje Van Ness Spouse Birth Place: NY Spouse Birth Year: 1745 Marriage Year: 1765 Marriage State: NY Number Pages: 1

      New York Marriages, 1600-1784 Spouse 1: Jane Van Ness Spouse 2: Robert Yates Marriage Date: 5 Mar 1765 Record: M. B. Volume: IX OSPage: 62

      Robert Yates by Stefan Bielinski Although Robert Yates was baptized in the Schenectady Dutch church in 1738, his family roots were in Albany. He was the eldest of the twelve children of Albany-born Schenectady merchant Joseph Yates and Maria Dunbar - the daughter of a garrison soldier who became a Schenectady vintner. Early on, he learned the craft of the surveyor and then decided to pursue a career in law. signature of Robert Yates After clerking for William Livingston in New York City, in 1760 he was licensed to practice on his own. In 1765, he married Jannetje Van Ness and settled in Albany. Their first home was on the hillside in the Second Ward where he had inherited property from his grandfather and namesake - Robert Yates of Schenectady. Their six children were baptized at the Albany Dutch Church between 1767 and 1783 where both parents would become lifetime members. Surveying supplemented an insurgent attorney's income as he made a number of important land maps during the 1760s. He drew the first civilian map of Albany in 1770. He also relied on patronage from the Albany Corporation through his uncle, alderman Abraham Yates, Jr. In 1771, he was elected to the Common Council as an alderman for the second ward. In those years he served on a number of committees, provided legal advice, and stepped forward to compile and issue the first published version of the Laws and Ordinances of the City of Albany in 1773. Enjoying a growing legal practice and gaining repute as an attorney, Robert Yates prospered. From the beginning of the struggle for American liberties he stood in the front ranks of Albany's Patriot leaders. Although he did not sign the Albany Sons of Liberty constitution of 1766, he was prominent in the local resistance to the Stamp Act. By 1774, he had joined the Albany Committee of Correspondence and stood among its first members when the commmittee's activities became public in 1775. At that time, he was still a member of the Albany common council - although its activities were being replaced by the extra-legal Committee of Correspondence, Safety, and Protection. He represented the second ward on the committee and was in close contact with it from his subsequent offices until it ceased operations in 1778. At the same time, he also served as secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners - a post that required him to travel to the frontier. Robert Yates was an exceptional Albany resident called to service beyond the local level. Beginning in the spring of 1775, he was elected to represent Albany in each of the four New York Provincial Congresses. The first three met in New York while the last one, convened after the Declaration of Independence, met under duress in locations throughout the Hudson Valley. In 1776-77, he served on the committee that drafted the first New York State Constitution and also was a member of the "Secret Committee for Obstructing Navigation of the Hudson." In October 1777, Yates was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court. Through the darkest days of the struggle, Yates travelled the state - sitting on the court and otherwise aiding the American cause. Although he often was away from Albany, his family continued to grow as two sons were born during the war years. Robert Yates house With the end of the war, Robert Yates's family settled into a new home on upper State Street. Although principally an associate justice of the state Supreme Court, Yates maintained a modest legal practice and continued surveying as well. During the 1780s, his political star continued to rise in the "party" of Governor George Clinton as he spoke in oppostion to the expansion of the scope of a national government. In 1787, he was appointed with John Lansing, Jr. and Alexander Hamilton to represent New York at the Philadelphia convention to revise the Articles of Confederation. Arriving in Philadelphia, Yates and Lansing felt the mood of the convention to produce an entirely new form of government was beyond their authority. After sending a letter to Governor Clinton urging oppostion to the new Constitution, they returned home. Yates is thought to have written a number of published essays in oppostion to its adoption.His personal notes from the Philadelphia convention were published in 1821. In 1788, Robert Yates was elected as an antifederalist delegate to the New York State ratifying convention and worked against adoption of the Constitution. But, after its acceptance, he pledged his support as a matter of patriotic duty. In 1789, he ran for governor against George Clinton with the support of the New York Federalists - who viewed him as a reasonable, potentially kindred spirit who was not from a wealthy family. He was defeated by Governor Clinton. Approached by the Federalists again in 1792, Yates refused to run citing the financial drain caused by past politicking. In the gubernatorial campaign of 1795, considerable sentiment existed for Yates's candidacy as he was firmly established in the center of the former antifederal party. John Jay defeated him in a close election ending Yates's political career. By then, he already had devoted himself to the law. In September 1790, Robert Yates was chosen Chief Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. He served until the mandatory retirement age of sixty in 1798. Unlike many "new men of the Revolution," he did not attain great wealth and retired to his middling Albany home. Revolutionary leader, Robert Yates enjoyed a distinguished career in the law and in public service. Enjoying great stature during his lifetime, he was widely regarded as the most moderate of the Antifederalists. He died in 1801 at the age of sixty three. His widow died in 1818. Their son, jurist John Van Ness Yates, succeeded to Robert Yates's legal practice and lived in the State Street home.

      Yates Family Headstone, Albany Rural Cemetery; There are fours sides to this stone. (1) Died September 9, 1801 ROBERT YATES ------ JANE YATES 1818 (2) Died Aug 12, 1843 In the 30th Year of his age JOHN C. YATES (3) Died Jan 10 1839 Ages 59 years JOHN V.N. YATES (4) Died April 29, 1847 ELIZA ROSS YATES 24 Sept 2011 Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, NY Section 8; Jeryl77 originally shared this 25 Sep 2011