Christopher A. Yates was born in April 1739. He was the second son born to Albany shoemaker Adam Yates and his wife, Anna Gerritsen Yates.
In July 1766, he married schoolteacher's daughter Catharina Waters at the Albany Dutch church where he was a longtime member and pewholder. By 1776, seven children had been christened at the Albany church. His eldest son graduated from Columbia and was a banker and revered classical scholar.
This Yates family set up their home at the North end of Albany in a district that later became known as Watervliet. However, he later paid taxes on a substantial building along Market Street which he used for business.
In 1760, he served as a constable in Albany’s third ward. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, and sometimes called "Lieutenant" Yates, he was exempted from active duty by the governor in 1778. In August, he was identified as a wagon master on a list of mostly older Albany men serving under the Quartermaster General. At wars end, he received a land bounty right for service in conjunction with the First regiment of the Albany county militia.
After the war, he returned to his Market Street home that stood beyond the northern bounds of the city.
Christopher buried his wife in 1791. He was in his fifties and probably was absorbed in the household of one of his grown children. However, he still owned a house and a stable in the third ward that was destroyed in the great fire of 1797.
Christopher A. Yates died in November 1809 at the age of seventy-one. The newspaper notice called him "an old and respectable inhabitant." He was buried in the Dutch church cemetery plot, and later moved to the Albany Rural Cemetery’s Churchgrounds.
Presenting an engraved spoon to friends of the deceased was common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries among the New York Dutch, continuing into the early 1800’s. A spoon representing the life of Christopher A Yates (1739-1809), a member of Albany’s politically prominent Yates family, died on November 8, 1809, at age seventy-one. Following the custom, an engraved spoon was created in his memory.