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Albany County New York Genealogy and History

County Seat: Albany

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Albany County, New York genealogy and family history page is a place where you can come in and research your genealogy and family history. We also do our best to provide a history of the area, to provide you with an overview of the time in which your ancestors lived.

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Albany County History

Albany County was one of the original twelve counties created by the Province of New York on November 1, 1683. At that time it included all of the present Bennington County, Vermont, all of New York state north of the counties of Dutchess and Ulster, and theoretically stretched west to the Pacific Ocean.

On May 27, 1717, Albany County was adjusted to gain an indefinite amount of land from Dutchess County and other non-county lands.

On October 7, 1763, King George III, as part of his Proclamation of 1763, created the new province of Quebec, implicitly setting the northern limit of New York at the parallel of 45 degrees north latitude from the Atlantic-St. Lawrence watershed westward to the St. Lawrence River, implicitly setting the northern limit of Albany County, but it was never mapped.

On July 20, 1764, King George III established the boundary between New Hampshire and New York along the west bank of the Connecticut River, north of Massachusetts and south of the parallel of 45 degrees north latitude. Albany County implicitly gained present-day Vermont. Although disputes occasionally broke out later, this line became the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont, and has remained unchanged to the present. When New York refused to recognize land titles through the New Hampshire Grants (towns created earlier by New Hampshire in present Vermont), dissatisfied colonists organized in opposition, which led to the creation of independent Vermont in 1777.

On July 3, 1766, Cumberland County was partitioned from Albany County to cover all territory to the northern and eastern limits of the colony, including Windsor County, most of Windham County, and parts of Bennington and Rutland counties in present-day Vermont.

On June 26, 1767, Albany County regained all of Cumberland County.

On March 19, 1768, Albany County was re-partitioned, and Cumberland County restored.

On March 16, 1770, Albany County was again partitioned. Gloucester County was created to include all of Orange, Caledonia and Essex counties, most of Washington County, and parts of Orleans, Lamoille, Addison and Chittenden counties in present-day Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, Albany County was partitioned again, this time into the counties of Albany, Tryon (now Montgomery), and Charlotte (now Washington). This established a definite area for Albany County of 5,470 sq mi.

On March 24, 1772, Albany County was partitioned again, with an additional 50 square miles handed over to Cumberland County.

On March 9, 1774, Albany County was partitioned again, this time passing 1,090 square miles to Ulster County.

On April 1, 1775, Albany was again partitioned, this time giving up 60 square miles to Charlotte County, who then exchanged this land with a like parcel in Cumberland County.

On January 15, 1777, Albany County was again partitioned, this time on account of the independence of Vermont from New York, reducing Albany County by an additional 300 square miles.

On June 26, 1781, Bennington County, Vermont attempted to annex a portion of Albany County that today includes portions of Washington and Rensselaer counties to form what they called "The West Union". The fledgling United States – under the Articles of Confederation – arbitrated this annexation, and condemned it, resulting in Vermont ceasing the annexation on 1782-02-23.

On April 4, 1786, Columbia County was created from 650 square miles of Albany County land.

On March 7, 1788, New York, refusing to recognize the independence of Vermont, and the attendant elimination of Cumberland County, attempted to adjust the line that separated Cumberland from Albany County in present-day Vermont, but to no effect.

On February 7, 1791, Albany County was partitioned again, this time to form Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. Rensselaer received 660 square miles, while Saratoga received 850 square miles . Also the town of Cambridge was transferred to Washington County. A total of 1,680 square miles changed hands.

On June 1, 1795, Albany County was once again partitioned, this time losing 460 sq mi to Schoharie County.

On April 5, 1798, another partition took place, with 90 square miles passing to Ulster County.

On March 25, 1800, once again Albany County was partitioned, with 360 square miles being used to create Greene County.

On April 3, 1801, all New York counties were redefined, with Albany County gaining 10 sq mi.

On March 3, 1808, Albany County turned Havre Island over to Saratoga County, with no resultant loss in land.

On March 7, 1809, Schenectady County was created from 230 square miles of Albany County land. The result was the production of Albany County as it exists today.

Genealogy Research in Albany County, New York

Albany County Clerk
16 Eagle Street, Room 128
Albany, NY 12207-1077
Phone: (518) 487-5100

Albany County Hall of Records
95 Tivoli Street
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: (518) 436-3663

Albany County Historian
Albany County Office Building
112 State Street, Room 800
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 518-447-5516

New York State Archives
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230
Phone: 518-474-8955

New York State Library–Genealogy
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230
Phone: 518-474-5161
The New York State Library's genealogy section has family genealogies, local histories, DAR records, church records, census records, early newspapers on film, city directories, and other materials.

Albany Genealogical and Historical Societies

Capital District Genealogical Society
Empire State Plaza Station
PO Box 2175
Albany, NY 12220-0175

Jewish Genealogical Society of Capital District Rabbi Don Cashman
PO Box 3850
Albany, New York 12208

Adjacent counties

Albany County, New York is bordered by six counties: