So much and yet so little is known about Frederick Alberty, Dave’s 4x great grandfather. The biggest mystery is about Frederick’s origins. While the Alberty surname sounds Italian, Frederick appears to have been German. There are some wild, totally undocumented, stories about his alleged European family – son of an Italian noble, working as a government official, being in an insurrection, serving in the German army, killing another man in a duel and having to flee. The list goes on and on.
Frederick’s date of birth isn’t known, either, not even the year. However, his first known child was born about 1772, probably in Surry County, North Carolina, and he fought in the American Revolution, so he was likely born in the 1740’s.
The Alberty/Alberti surname is rare in colonial America. In fact, the 1790 U.S. census lists only two: Frederick Alberty and Dr. George Alberti, living in Philadelphia, PA. There is no known connection between the two men.
Frederick Alberty is the second name on this Surry County, North Carolina census list, which the enumerator apparently alphabetized.
The Moravians kept very good church records of their members and day-to-day happenings. There are a few, but not many mentions of the Alberty family.
“Elisabeth Albertin” received communion at the Lutheran Church on Mud Creek on 8 June 1777. This is believed to be (probably) Frederick’s first wife. He has no known children old enough to be receiving communion in 1777.
I absolutely love true genealogists – those who actually do read original records. Last fall, I was contacted by a lady in North Carolina who had been poring over the records at the State Archives. She came to the conclusion, with which I agree, that this wife of Frederick was Elizabeth Krieger, daughter of Nicholas and Maria Catharina Borger Krieger, who also lived in Surry County. Family researchers first placed the Kriegers in Berks County, Pennsylvania before they removed to North Carolina. Their home in Germany has not been identified.
Moravian Church records note that the wife of Frederick Alberty died on 3 May 1781. There are two children thought to have been born to this couple: Maria Catharina, about 1772. She married Adam Straub on 14 March 1790 in Surry County and died on 12 February 1842. The second child is John Henry, born about 1774, and my husband’s 3x great grandfather. John Henry, or Henry, seemed to move around – possibly onto Cherokee lands – and eventually ended up in Washington County, Arkansas. Henry’s wife was Rebecca, born about 1782 in North Carolina and died after 1860, probably in Washington County, Arkansas. Many family members believe that Rebecca was a Cherokee; I haven’t found anything to support or disprove that idea.
An aside here – I know lots of people claim Cherokee ancestry that doesn’t exist. However, Henry can’t be found in a lot of census records, when he should be in them, and his half brother, Moses Alberty, is on the Dawes Rolls.
If Frederick and Elizabeth had other children between 1774 and 1781, then they either died young or perhaps are unidentified daughters.
If Frederick and Elizabeth followed German family naming patterns, and they may well have since Elizabeth’s mother, like her daughter, was named Maria Catharina, then Frederick’s father was named John Henry Alberty.
A quick check on FamilySearch.org shows a handful of Albertys appearing in 18th century German church records, mostly in Rheinland, but none have any apparent ties to Frederick. However, it reinforces my belief that he was German, not Italian, and those crazy stories are just that – nonsense.
Elizabeth Krieger Alberty died in 1781; no marriage record has been found, but Frederick apparently married another Elizabeth sometime between 1781 and 1785, when a daughter, Elizabeth, was born. This second wife is said to perhaps be Elizabeth Duckworth, but I don’t know the source for that statement. I tend to doubt that statement for two reasons. First, Duckworth seems to be an English name and second, the only other Duckworths in the 1790 North Carolina census are in Burke County, about 100 miles away.
There are no records linking Elizabeth Alberty who married Peter Kline on 10 February 1803 in Stokes County to her parents, but since Frederick was the only Alberty in the area at that time, it is assumed that she was his daughter.
However, because no birth record has been found, it is also possible that Elizabeth was a daughter of Elizabeth Krieger and she might have died giving birth to this child. In any case, Elizabeth Alberty Kline seems to have died before the 1810 census, when Peter Kline is head of a household consisting of one adult male and one male under ten.
The second child born from this alleged marriage is Moses Alberty, who is probably the best documented of Frederick’s children because he enrolled on the Dawes Rolls in Oklahoma. Moses was born 18 April 1787 in Surry County and died, aged 90, on 3 May 1877 in Westville, Adair County, Oklahoma. His wife was Sally Wright, who died 18 June 1830 in Going Snake District, Arkansas.
Frederick’s third wife, Elizabeth Raper, is documented in his pension file. However, even with this marriage, there is a question mark. A statement from a man named Robert Brinkley found in Frederick’s Revolutionary War pension file alleges that Elizabeth Raper was not the first nor second but third wife of Frederick “if they married at all.” Why Mr. Brinkley would make that statement is unknown, but their marriage bond dated 29 March 1788 does support their statement that Frederick and Elizabeth Raper were married.
Although the older Alberty children are not mentioned in their father’s pension record, Frederick’s children by this marriage are named and actually have birth dates listed!
1. Jesse, born 27 December 1788
2. Nancy, born 28 February 1791
3. Judah, born 30 June 1793
4. John, born 18 July 1795
5. Francis, born 30 September 1797
6. Mary, 7 December 1801
7. Frederick, born 12 March 1804
8. James, born 14 May 1807
9. Andrew, born 3 December 1809
10. Catherine, born 26 November (no year given)
11. David, born 3 September 1812
Frederick Alberty last appears in the 1830 census of Surry County, North Carolina, aged 90-100 years old. I believe he was probably in his late 80’s.
The only “for sure” fact known about Frederick Alberty is his date of death, given in his pension record: 29 August 1831, probably in Surry County, North Carolina, although no burial record or gravestone has been found for him.
There you have it. Lots of data about Frederick Alberty, but can you tell me when he was born, where he was born, who his parents were, where is a record for his first marriage and who was Elizabeth, his alleged second wife?
Like the title of this post says – Frederick Alberty, Known and Unknown