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Today’s New York counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years.
New York Colonial Counties
The Province of New York was a British Colony and later a Royal Colony from 1664 to 1776.
The original twelve counties were created immediately after the British takeover of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished.
On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York was divided into 12 counties (2 of those counties claimed land beyond the present boundaries of New York State).
Those 10 counties were Suffolk County, New York County, Kings County, Richmond County, Queens County, Westchester County, Duchess County, Orange County, Ulster County and Albany County. Dukes County and Cornwall County later became part of Massachusetts.
The State of New York entered the union as the 11th state on July 26, 1788.
New York Counties Today
Fun Facts about New York Counties
Counties by Year
- Suffolk, New York, Kings, Richmond, Queens, Westchester, Duchess, Orange, Ulster, Albany, Dukes (now in MA) and Cornwall (now in MA) Counties was the original 12 counties created on November 1, 1683.
- Bronx County was the last county created in 1914.
County Size Facts
- St. Lawrence County (2,821 sq mi) is the largest county in New York.
- New York County (34 sq mi) is the smallest county in New York.
County Population Facts
- Hamilton County (4,836) is the least populated county in New York.
- Kings County (2,504,700) is the most populated county in New York.
New York City Facts
New York’s 10 largest cities (2010) are:
- New York City (8,175,133) is in Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Queens County and Richmond County
- Buffalo (261,310) is in Erie County
- Rochester (210,565) is in Monroe County
- Yonkers (195,976) is in Westchester County
- Syracuse (145,170) is in Onondaga County
- Albany (97,856) is in Albany County
- New Rochelle (77,062) is in Westchester County
- Mount Vernon (67,292) is in Westchester County
- Schenectady (66,135) is in Schenectady County
- Utica (62,235) is in Oneida County
Boundary Changes of New York Counties from 1683-1915
This Interactive Map of New York Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1683 to 1915.
List of New York Counties
|State||County||Created||Created From||Named For||County Seat||Disbanded / Renamed||Notes|
|Albany County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of James II of England (James VII of Scotland) (1633–1701), who was Duke of York (English title) and Duke of Albany (Scottish title) before becoming King of England, Ireland, and Scotland||Albany|
|Allegany County||07 Apr 1806||Genesee County||A variant spelling of the Allegheny River||Belmont|
|Bronx County||28 Sep 2020||New York County||In honor of Jonas Bronck (1600?–1643), an early settler of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam||New York City|
|Broome County||28 Mar 1806||Tioga County||In honor of John Broome (1738–1810), fourth Lieutenant Governor of New York||Binghamton|
|Cattaraugus County||11 Mar 1808||Genesee County||Seneca word meaning “bad smelling banks”, referring to the odor of natural gas which leaked from local rock formations||Little Valley|
|Cayuga County||08 Mar 1799||Onondaga County||Cayuga tribe of Native Americans||Auburn|
|Chautauqua County||11 Mar 1808||Genesee County||Seneca word of uncertain meaning||Mayville|
|Chemung County||29 Mar 1836||Tioga County||Lenape word meaning “big horn”, which was the name of a local Native American village||Elmira|
|Chenango County||15 Mar 1798||Tioga and Herkimer Counties||Onondaga word meaning “large bull-thistle”||Norwich|
|Clinton County||07 Mar 1788||Washington County||In honor of George Clinton (1739–1812); fourth Vice President of the United States and first and third Governor of New York||Plattsburgh|
|Columbia County||04 Apr 1786||Albany County||In honor of Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean||Hudson|
|Cortland County||08 Apr 1808||Onondaga County||In honor of Pierre Van Cortlandt (1721–1814), first Lieutenant Governor of New York||Cortland|
|Delaware County||10 Mar 1797||Otsego and Ulster Counties||In honor of Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577–1618), an early colonial leader in Virginia||Delhi|
|Dutchess County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of Lady Anne Hyde (1637–1671), Duchess of York and wife of King James II of England||Poughkeepsie|
|Erie County||02 Apr 1821||Niagara County||Erie tribe of Native Americans||Buffalo|
|Essex County||01 Mar 1799||Clinton County||The county of Essex, England||Elizabethtown|
|Franklin County||11 Mar 1808||Clinton County||In honor of Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), the early American printer, scientist, statesman, and a Founding Father||Malone|
|Fulton County||18 Apr 1838||Montgomery County||In honor of Robert Fulton (1765–1815), inventor of the steamship||Johnstown|
|Genesee County||30 Mar 1802||Ontario County||Seneca phrase meaning “good valley”||Batavia|
|Greene County||25 Mar 1800||Albany and Ulster Counties||In honor of Nathanael Greene (1742–1786), a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War||Catskill|
|Hamilton County||21 Feb 1816||Montgomery County||In honor of Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), the early American political theorist and first Secretary of the Treasury||Lake Pleasant|
|Herkimer County||16 Feb 1791||Montgomery County||In honor of Nicholas Herkimer (1728–1777), an American patriot militia brigadier general during the American Revolutionary War. He died of wounds after the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777||Herkimer|
|Jefferson County||28 Sep 2020||Oneida County||In honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826); the early American statesman, author of the Declaration of Independence, a Founding Father, and third President of the United States (1801-1809)||Watertown|
|Kings County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of King Charles II of England (1630–1685)||New York City|
|Lewis County||28 Mar 1805||Oneida County||In honor of Morgan Lewis (1754–1844), the fourth Governor of New York||Lowville|
|Livingston County||23 Feb 1821||Genesee and Ontario Counties||In honor of Robert Livingston (1746–1813), the early American statesman and New York delegate to the Continental Congress||Geneseo|
|Madison County||21 Mar 1806||Chenango County||In honor of James Madison (1751–1836), the early American statesman, principal author of the Constitution of the United States, a Founding Father, and fourth President of the United States (1809-1817)||Wampsville|
|Monroe County||23 Feb 1821||Genesee and Ontario Counties||In honor of James Monroe (1758–1831), the early American statesman, a Founding Father, and fifth President of the United States (1817-1825)||Rochester|
|Montgomery County||12 Mar 1772||Albany County||Originally named after Tryon County, which was named after colonial governor William Tryon (1729–1788); renamed in 1784, after the American Revolutionary War Richard Montgomery (1738–1775), a major general during the American Revolutionary War||Fonda|
|Nassau County||28 Sep 1899||Queens County||In honor of the Princes of Orange-Nassau, who ruled the Netherlands when Long Island was a Dutch colony||Mineola|
|New York County||28 Sep 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of King James II of England (1633–1701), who was Duke of York and Albany before he ascended the throne of England, Duke of York being his English title||New York City|
|Niagara County||11 Mar 1818||Genesee County||Iroquoian word perhaps meaning “a neck” between two bodies of water, “thunder of waters”, or “bisected bottom land”||Lockport|
|Oneida County||15 Mar 1798||Herkimer County||Oneida tribe of Native Americans||Utica|
|Onondaga County||05 Mar 1794||Herkimer County||Onondaga tribe of Native Americans||Syracuse|
|Ontario County||27 Jan 1789||Montgomery County||Iroquoian word meaning “beautiful lake”||Canandaigua|
|Orange County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of William of Orange-Nassau (1650–1702), who became King William III of England||Goshen|
|Orleans County||11 Nov 1824||Genesee County||French Royal House of Orléans||Albion|
|Oswego County||01 Mar 1816||Oneida and Onondaga Counties||Oswego River; from an Iroquoian word meaning “the outpouring”, referring to the mouth of the river||Oswego|
|Otsego County||16 Feb 1791||Montgomery County||Native American word meaning “place of the rock”||Cooperstown|
|Putnam County||Dutchess County||In honor of Israel Putnam (1718–1790), a major general during the American Revolutionary War||Carmel|
|Queens County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705), Queen of England and wife of King Charles II of England||New York City|
|Rensselaer County||07 Feb 1791||Albany County||In honor of the family of Kiliaen van Rensselaer (before 1596 – after 1643), the early landholder in the Dutch New Amsterdam colony||Troy|
|Richmond County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||In honor of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1672–1723), the illegitimate son of King Charles II of England||New York City|
|Rockland County||23 Feb 1798||Orange County||Early settlers’ description of terrain as “rocky land”||New City|
|Saratoga County||28 Sep 2020||Clinton, Herkimer, and Montgomery Counties||St Lawrence River, which forms the northern border of the county and New York State||Canton|
|Schenectady County||07 Feb 1791||Albany County||A corruption of a Native American word meaning “the hill beside the river”||Ballston Spa|
|Schoharie County||28 Sep 2020||Albany County||Mohawk word meaning “on the other side of the pine lands”||Schenectady|
|Seneca County||06 Apr 1795||Albany and Otsego Counties||Mohawk word meaning “floating driftwood”||Schoharie|
|St. Lawrence County||17 Apr 1854||Chemung, Steuben, and Tompkins Counties||In honor of Philip Schuyler (1733–1804), a major general in the American Revolutionary War general and Senator from New York||Watkins Glen|
|Steuben County||24 Mar 1804||Cayuga County||Seneca tribe of Native Americans||Ovid / Waterloo|
|Suffolk County||28 Sep 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||The county of Suffolk in England||Riverhead|
|Sullivan County||27 Mar 1809||Ulster County||In honor of John Sullivan (1740–1795), an Irish-American brigadier general in the Revolutionary War, a delegate in the Continental Congress, Governor of New Hampshire and a United States federal judge||Monticello|
|Schuyler County||16 Feb 1791||Montgomery County||Native American word meaning “at the forks”, describing a meeting place||Owego|
|Tioga County||07 Apr 1817||Cayuga and Seneca Counties||In honor of Daniel D. Tompkins (1774–1825), the 6th Vice President of the United States||Ithaca|
|Tompkins County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||The Irish province of Ulster, then an earldom of the Duke of York, later King James II of England||Kingston|
|Ulster County||12 Mar 1813||Washington County||In honor of Joseph Warren (1741–1775), a physician and major general in the American Revolutionary War||Queensbury|
|Warren County||12 Mar 1772||Albany County||In honor of George Washington (1732–1799), the commanding general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, statesman, a Founding Father, and first President of the United States (1789-1797)||Fort Edward|
|Washington County||11 Apr 1823||Ontario and Seneca Counties||In honor of Anthony “Mad Anthony” Wayne (1745–1796), a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War||Lyons|
|Wayne County||01 Nov 1683||One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony||The city of Chester in England||White Plains|
|Westchester County||19 May 1841||Genesee County||Lenape language meaning “broad bottom lands”||Warsaw|
|Wyoming County||05 Feb 1823||Ontario and Steuben Counties||In honor of Joseph C. Yates (1768–1837), eighth Governor of New York||Penn Yan|
List of Old Former / Extinct New York Counties
New York contains some counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county. These are important for genealogy research purposes.
The below counties formerly within the area of the State of New York no longer exist:
- Charlotte County: Formed in 1772 from Albany County, Renamed in 1784 to Washington County
- Cornwall County: Formed in 1683, Located in Maine, this county became part of Massachusetts in 1686, but no longer exist in name.
- Cumberland County: Formed in 1766 from Albany County, disallowed the year after it was formed, Cumberland was re-established in 1768 and ceased to exist 1777-78 when Vermont declared itself a republic.
- Dukes County: Formed in 1683, became part of Massachusetts in 1692
- Gloucester County: Formed in 1770 from Cumberland County, ceased to exist 1777-78 when Vermont declared itself a republic.
- Tryon County: Formed in 1772 from Albany County, Renamed in 1784 to Montgomery County
COUNTY County, New York
Created on DATE from LAND. COUNTY County was renamed to COUNTY County on November 7, 1907.