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New York Counties
New York CountiesThere are 62 counties in the State of New York. The first twelve counties in New York were created immediately after the British annexation of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished. The most recent county formation in New York was in 1912, when Bronx County was created from the portions of New York City that had been annexed from Westchester County. New York's counties are named for a variety of Native American words, British provinces, cities, and royalty, early American statesmen and generals, and state politicians.
Rensselaer County, New York
Rensselaer County History, Geography, Demographics, Cities and Towns, and Education
Etymology - Origin of County Name
Named in honor of the family of Killiaen Van Rensselaer, the original Dutch patroon
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
RENSSELAER COUNTY was taken from Albany in 1791. Greatest length 30, greatest breadth 22 miles; centrally distant from New York N. 156, and from Albany E. 10 miles. The eastern portion of the country is broken and hilly, and in some places rather mountainous and interspersed with fertile valleys. The central and western part is diversified with hills, and a gently undulating surface. It has extensive valleys and flats of alluvion, with a warm rich soil; and the uplands have an easy soil, well adapted to the various purposes of agriculture. There are an abundance of mill sites, and the numerous streams irrigate every portion of the county. This county had partial settlements at a very early period of our history, and has long sustained a very considerable population. The whole of the county, except the towns of Schaghticoke, Pittstown, Hoosick and north part of Lansingburg and part of Troy, is comprised within the Rensselaerwyck patent, leased under the ordinary rent, in farms, at ten bushels of wheat the hundred acres. The county contains 13 towns and the city of Troy. Pop. 60,303. (Rensselaer County, New York; Excerpt From: Historical Collections of the State of New York, by John W. Barber and Henry Howe, 1844)
Seventeenth-century Dutch fur traders were the first Europeans to settle in Rensselaer County. Most of Rensselaer County was then under the patroonship of the Van Rensselaer family, for which the County was named. Due to its strategic location at juncture of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, the area continued to develop as a major center of trade, playing an important role during the Revolutionary War. During that war, Rensselaer County saw action in the Battle of Bennington, which was fought in the county hamlet of Walloomsac. Full History at NYSAC
Rensselaer County is in the eastern part of New York State. The eastern boundary of Rensselaer County runs along
the New York-Vermont and New York-Massachusetts borders.
Cities and Towns:
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The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"