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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Robert H. McCormic, Jr.

Robert H. McCormic, Jr., was born January 30, 1870, in the city of Albany, N.Y. In the line of the paternal ancestry he represents the seventh generation of his family in America, in each of which the eldest son bore the name of Robert, he being the seventh Robert in direct line. His ancestor who immigrated to America was born of Scotch-Irish parentage in Londonderry, Ireland, and immigrated to America in 1725 in company with John Woodburn, the great-grandfather of Horace Greeley. They were among the original settlers of Londonderry, N. H., from whence the McCormic family moved and settled the town of Londonderry, Vt. Mr. McCormic's great-great-grandfather served in the Revolution and was one of the participants in the battle of Bennington under Stark. On his mother's side he represents the twelfth generation of his family in America. His maternal ancestor, Cornelius Van Ness, was born of Dutch parentage upon the Havendyck in Holland and came to America in 1642 and settled at Greenbush. N. Y. The family spread rapidly and later generations settled upon large tracts of land in Columbia county, near Kinderhook. The family contained many lawyers, some of whom became noted.

Mr. McCormic's great-great-grandfather, John P. Van Ness, was born in the Claverack district in 1770, was educated at Columbia College and was subsequently admitted to the bar. He was elected to Congress in 1801, and afterward became mayor of Washington, D. C, and president of the Bank of the Metropolis. He had two brothers, William P. and Cornelius P. Van Ness, who were also distinguished lawyers and jurists. Cornelius P. was admitted to the bar in 1804. Later he moved to Vermont, became United States district attorney, collector of customs, member of assembly, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, twice governor of Vermont and finally minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary to the court of Spain. William P. was one of the leading lawyers of his time and became judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He was one of the seconds for Burr in the famous Hamilton and Burr duel. He owned "Lindenwald" at Kinderhook, N.Y., which he afterward sold to Martin Van Buren, who read law in his office. He was also a colonel in the war of 1812 aud a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1821.

Mr. McCormic's great-grandfather, Jesse Van Ness, was a farmer and served as a captain in the war of 1812. He owned a large tract of land between Castleton and Muitseskill in Rensselaer and Columbia counties, portions of which remained in the possession of the family until quite recently.

Mr. McCormic's father, Robert H. McCorraic, was born at Coxsackie, N. Y., but passed the days of his youth near Windham, Vt., graduating from Burr Seminary at Manchester, Vt. He served as a captain in the late Civil war on the Union side. He is living and is now and for some time past has been engaged in the insurance business. Mr. McCormic's mother, Carrie Van Ness, was born at Stuyvesant, N.Y., and graduated from Coeymans Academy at Coeymans, N. Y. She died August 20, 1875, and her mother, Amanda Van Ness, immediately removed to Albany, N. Y., and assumed the responsibility of caring for the two motherless children, Mr. McCormic, then but five years old, and his sister Grace E., then three years old, who is now a teacher in one of the public schools at Yonkers, N. Y. At the age of seven years young McCormic entered public school No. 12 of Albany and graduated with honors, receiving a graduation diploma, scholarship diploma, and Regents' certificate. He entered the Albany High School, chose the classical course and graduated therefrom in 1888. He was a member of the Philologian Society and held several important offices therein. After graduating from the High School he entered the insurance office of his father. He left this employment for a brief period in 1888 to accept the position of bookkeeper in closing up the business of the clothing house of Joseph Gardner in Albany, and then returned again to his father's office. While with his father he began to read law and on the first day of September, 1889, entered upon a regular clerkship under the instruction of the late William A. Allen, who occupied the same offices. On the 18th of April, 1891, he entered the law office of County Judge J. H. Clute as a minor clerk. His progress there was rapid and he was soon made managing clerk of the office and on the 15th of September, 1892, was admitted to practice law. He continued to occupy his position of managing clerk after his admission to the bar and also practiced law himself, and in a short time had acquired a very fair practice. On the first of April, 1896, just subsequently to the retirement of Judge Clute from the bench, he entered into a partnership with the judge under the firm name of Clute & McCormic, with offices at 5-15 Tweddle building, Albany. This partnership has since continued.

Mr. McCormic takes an active interest in politics and is at present the secretary and treasurer of the Second Assembly district Committee of the Republican organization of Albany county.

He early became affiliated with secret societies and is now the sitting vice-grand of Clinton Lodge, No. 7, I. O. O. F., and the junior seneschal of Albany Senate No. 641, Knights of the Ancient Essenic Order, of which senate he is a charter member. He is also a past captain of Frederick Townsend Camp No. 1, Sons of Veterans, and has held nearly all the important positions in the State body of that organization and has been a delegate to the national body.

On October 31, 1894, he married Estelle N., daughter of Horace R. Lockwood of South Westerlo, N. Y., who was educated in Greenville Academy, located at Greenville, N. Y., and the State Normal and Training School at Oswego, N. Y. He has no children.

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