The Forts of Albany by Tiffany Thayer

As nearly as I can piece it together without going to Albany, the founder of this prosperous line was Peter Van Vranken Fort, of Dutch extraction. He may have had a sister, whose name does not appear. She is deduced from two items in Fort's writings, mention of a great-aunt who lived in a hotel in Saratoga, where Charles was taken to visit her as a child. Reference is made to her fondness for gambling. On the other hand, this belle could have been a Hoy, but I rather think not.


Peter married twice, as appears, but his first wife is not named. Whoever she was, she bore him two children, "Lil" and "Will".


According to my correspondent, Lil married John Delehanty, also of Albany, "under very romantic circumstances at the Church of the Madeleine, in Paris. One child resulted from this marriage, Ethel. The marriage ended unhappily, Lil tossed her bonnet over the windmill, and later divorced her husband."


This is probably the same John Delehanty, an attorney, who was named executor of the estate of C.N. Fort, the father of Charles. We have two letters written by Delehanty in 1913.


The same correspondent states that Will Fort married Anna Baillie, of Albany, and died a few years after marriage, survived by his widow and one child, Marian.


Just when is not stated, but Peter Fort was widowed of the mother of Lil and Will, and took a second wife, one Catherine Farrell of Brooklyn. Upon her also Peter Fort fathered two, one Frank and one Charles N.


Frank married Margaret Downey or Dowling - or something similar - of Baltimore. "Two children resulted from this marriage, Mortimer and Pauline. The family lived in New York, on West End Avenue, about forty-five years ago (that is about 1910)." Indeed, we have a letter to our own Charles (Hoy) Fort, dated Nov 20/1910, written at 823 West End Ave., signed "Your ancient unckle (sic) Frank."


Our good correspondent quoted above, one Mrs. Laurence T. Cashman, nee Mary Lowe, who is a grand-niece of Catherine Farrell, was under the impression that her mother's "Aunt Kitty" was the mother of our Charles, but Kitty was in fact his grandmother.


Charles N. Fort was the youngest of Peter's children, but when old Peter V.V., came to die - apparently early in 1896 - Charles N., was running the wholesale grocery.


Charles N. Fort - like his father - also married twice. His first wife was ____________ Hoy. His second is not named.


Charles N., fathered upon his first wife - Charles Hoy, Clarence N., and Raymond V. Fort, in that order, beginning with our Charles, Aug. 6, 1874. Internal evidence indicates that Raymond was an infant - certainly no more than two years old - about 1880, and the same evidence indicates that the mother of those three boys was dead at that time, when Charles Hoy was about six ans. Not a vestige of memory of his mother remains in the documentation. His stepmother is prominently mentioned, well remembered, and tragically, for she lost the sight of both eyes. She is nowhere named.

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