Cumpston Research

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Edward Cumpston of Albany 1753-1825


Edward Cumpston by Stefan Bielinski



Edward Cumpston was born about 1753. He probably was of New England origins. Boston people spelled the name "Compston." We seek information on his early life.


In May 1778, he was in Albany when he married young Maria Van Schaick at the Albany Dutch church. By 1789, five children had been christened in Albany churches. During the 1780s and '90s, he was a member and pewholder of the Dutch church.


The Cumpstons raised their family in a house located on Court Street and near the river. In 1788, their home was accorded a moderate assessment. In 1790, his household included six family members.


In 1781. he was among those who purchased the "Freedom" to conduct business in Albany. At that time, he was identified as a merchant. In February 1783, a newspaper item advertized that he was a merchant opposite the southeast corner of the Dutch Reformed Church and had for sale the best French brandy, wines, rock salt, sugar, ginger, indigo, and a small assortment of drygoods. He accepted several forms of payment and wanted to buy quantities of hemp. As late as 1790, he was advertizing in the Albany Gazette. At that time, he called himself a "securities dealer."


During the 1780s, this one-time American officer seems to have purchased a number of soldier's land bounty rights beyond Albany. He also qualified for a bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.


In 1785, he was chosen assessor for the first ward. During those years, he owned additional Albany properties and was a contractor of the city.


By the mid 1790s, Mary Cumpston was dead and Edward had married Mary Bradt. Their child was born in 1796. About that time, he left Albany and relocated along the "Great Western Turnpike" in the new village of Esperance where he opened a store.


Major Edward Cumpston died in Auburn, New York in August 1822. This former Albany resident had lived seventy-two years. (Check death against book title which suggests he died in 1825 GM)


 Sources: The life of Edward Cumpston is CAP biography number 7684. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.



You can read more about the Albany project which includes this piece of Edward Cumpston at


The Colonial Albany Social History Project understands that the life of a person living in the city of Albany was substantially different from that of the farmers and husbandmen who inhabited surrounding Albany County. To better focus on the human dimensions of "city life," the project has established definitive criteria for inclusion in the "people of colonial Albany" study population. The following tests have worked well in focusing project energy on the 16,000 men, women, and children we call the people of colonial Albany.


. Born before the end of the year 1800.

(absolute requirement for inclusion)


t Albany city resident.

(lived in city, owned city property, worked or other business in city)


t Spouse of a city resident.


t Child born to Albany parents

(parents were city residents for a significant length of time).


(The "people of colonial Albany" are defined as those who meet the first of the listed requirements and one or more of the others.)




I understand that there is a book called 'Major Edward Cumpston (c. 1753-1825) and his descendants: With related families Grandin, Van Schaick, Throckmorton, Mitchell, Bryce, Ramsay' (Unknown Binding)

by Bernard M Garlick (Author)


I would welcome further information about the book (which is out of print).

Maria Van Schaick Cumpston by Stefan Bielinski


Maria Van Schaick was born in December 1760. She was the daughter of Albany-area residents Andries and Alida Hogan Van Schaick.


In May 1778, Maria was not yet eighteen when she married newcomer army officer Edward Cumpston at the Albany Dutch church. By 1789, five children had been christened in Albany churches.


Cumpston was a merchant whose store and home were located near the Dutch church.


However, the marriage was not a long one as Maria Van Schaick Cumpston was dead by 1796, when Cumpston's second wife gave birth to their first child. Cumpston seems to have left Albany sometime afterwards.

From Google Books Nov 5, 1783


The defence was a deed from the soldier to Edward Cumpston, dated the 5th of November, 1783. This deed conveyed all the soldier's expected bounty lands in fee to Cumpston, with a power of attorney to Jeremiah Van Rens- selaer and Abraham Ten Eyck, to convey to Cumpslon in fee, and a covenant that when a patent should issue for the soldier's lands, they (his attorneys) should convey them in fee simple to Cumpston.  


The defendant then proved a deed executed by the attorneys, reciting the power, and dated the 23d of September, 1790, from the soldier to Cumpston in fee. This deed, executed by the attorneys, was deposited pursuant to the statutes before cited; but the deed constituting them attorneys, was not.


(a) This cause was decided at Jiay term, 1826.


Vol. VI. 19


The defendant claimed under the Cumpston title ; showing several intermediate conveyances of title from him to one Leffingwell, with whom Camp contracted lo purchase; and under whom the defendant, as before mentioned, claimed to have taken possession.


The judge directed the jury to find for the plaintiff, if they believed that the defendant look possession under the lessors; but if they believed that he took possession under Camp, and found the deed to Cumpston to be genuine, they should then bring in their verdict for the defendant; it not being necessary that the deed containing the power should be deposited.


Verdict for the defendant.


A case vvas made; and it was agreed, that it might be turned by either party into a special verdict; and that if this court should be of opinion that the deed to Cumpslon containing the power, was void as to the deed of June 9th, 1792, by reason of not being deposited, that then the judgment should be for the plaintiff.


But if the court should be with the plaintiff on any other ground, a new trial to be granted.


If they should be with the defendant on all the grounds, then judgment to be entered for the defendant.


J. Plait, for the plaintiff. The deed from the soldier, containing the power of attorney, not having been deposited, was void ; and all the title derived from it was inoperative as against the lessors of the plaintiff, who claimed under a subsequent deed from the soldier.


If notice only had been designed by the statute, (1 R. L. 209,) a mere registry would have been enough. The legislature had a further object. That was to detect frauds ; nnd they required the original instrument to be deposited with that view. The mischief could not be reached without this being done. Indeed the detection of frauds was the declared object of the statute.