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Ulster County New York Genealogy and History

County seat: Ulster

Founded: November 1, 1683

Named for: Ulster

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Ulster 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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Ulster County New York History

When part of the New Netherland colony, Dutch traders first called the area of present-day Ulster County "Esopus", a name borrowed for convenience from a locality on the opposite side of the Hudson. The local Lenape indigenous people called themselves Waranawanka, but soon came to be known to the Dutch as the "Esopus Indians" because they were encountered around the settlement known as Esopus. In 1652, Thomas Chambers, a freeholder from the Manor of Rensselaerswyck, purchased land at Esopus. He and several others actually settled and began farming by June, 1653. The settlements grew into the village of Wiltwijck, which the English later named Kingston. In 1683, the Duke of York created 12 counties in his province, one of which was Ulster County, named for Ulster, the northern part of Ireland, which had only recently been brought under English rule following a series of wars and rebellions, and then the Plantation of Ulster. Its boundaries at that time included the present Sullivan County and parts of the present Delaware, Orange, and Greene Counties.

In 1777, the first state capital of the independent New York State was established at Kingston. The official records of Ulster County were removed to safety to a stone house in Kerhonkson when it became evident that the British would burn Kingston.

In 1797, parts of Otsego and Ulster Counties were split off to create Delaware County.

In 1798, Ulster County's southernmost towns were moved into Orange County to compensate Orange for breaking away its southernmost part to form Rockland County.

In 1800, portions of Albany and Ulster Counties were split off to create Greene County.

In 1809, Sullivan County was split off from Ulster County.

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Ulster County New York Obituaries

Ulster County New York Vital Records

Ulster County New York Wills/Probate Records

Genealogy Research in Ulster County, New York

Ulster County Clerk
Ulster County Office Building
244 Fair Street
Kingston, New York 12401
Phone: (845) 340-3288

Ulster County Genealogical and Historical Societies

Ulster County Genealogical Society
PO Box 536
Hurley, New York 12443

Adjacent counties