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Columbia County, New York

Columbia County

Columbia County was created on April 4, 1786 from Albany County. This particular county was named in honor of Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), the European explorer .

The Columbia County Seat can be found in Hudson and in addition the county government website is

Regions neighboring Columbia County include Rensselaer County (north), Berkshire County, MA (east), Dutchess County (south), Ulster County (southwest), Greene County (west), Albany County (northwest), Litchfield County, CT (southeast).

Cities and Towns to be found in Columbia County consists of Ancram (town), Austerlitz (town), Canaan (town), Chatham (town), Chatham (village), Claverack (town), Claverack-Red Mills, Clermont (town), Copake Lake, Copake (town), Gallatin (town), Germantown (town), Ghent (town), Greenport (town), Hillsdale (town), Hudson (city), Kinderhook (town), Kinderhook (village), Livingston (town), Lorenz Park, New Lebanon (town), Niverville, Philmont (village), Stockport (town), Stottville, Stuyvesant (town), Taghkanic (town), Valatie (village).

Columbia County vital records can be found at the New York Department of Health which has copies of birth records after 1881 and death records after 1880, copies of marriage since 1881 (A marriage license may also sometimes be found in the office of the town or city clerk who issued the license) and a Divorce records since 1847 (Is handled in the supreme court for the county in which the divorce was heard. Divorce files, however, are sealed for one hundred years). There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in New York for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Columbia County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for New York Birth and Death Certificate, Marriage and Divorce Certificate Application to mail.

Columbia County does have Federal Census Schedules to help in looking into your family tree. United states federal Population Schedules are present for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Columbia Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Columbia Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Columbia Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be obtained for 1890. You can get free downloadable and also printable census forms that can help with your research.

Columbia County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Columbia County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Columbia County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers frequently overlook the significance of Columbia County court, probate, and land documents as a resource of family history and genealogy details. Buried away in New York courthouses and archives just about everywhere could be the aspirations and worries of the many New York men and women.

The possibilities are excellent that your particular ancestors and forefathers have left a comprehensive document of at least a number of factors of their lives in the Columbia County court records. Even if your forebears is not discussed in a Court case, contemplate all of the other procedures that could have lead to him or her appearing in court records.

The following specifics denotes whatever birth, death, marriage, land, probate, and legal records will be in Columbia County. The years pointed out listed below tend to be the first known records in this county.

Please make sure to contact the clerk's office to verify hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics prior to visiting or inquiring information because of occasionally changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are readily available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A good number of staff will help people in locating the resources, however it is up to the person to carry out the research.
  • Columbia County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 401 State St., Hudson, NY 12534
    • Also contact local Town Clerks. They are responsible for vast amounts of local information from deeds, property transfers, and genealogical materials. Research on place and road names, the history of property transfers and much more are available through your Town Clerk. They are a tremendous resources.
  • Columbia County Clerk  is the keeper of most civil and criminal trial court records for Supreme Court and County Court, naturalizations, marriages (1908–35), censuses (Some county clerks' offices hold duplicate copies of some of the State censuses taken periodically between 1825 and 1925 and copies of the federal census), as well as deeds and mortgages.
    • Phone: ?
    • Land Records: 1786 (Land conveyances, deeds and mortgages are recorded in the county clerks' offices or in the New York City Register's Office. Recording of deeds became mandatory statewide in 1840. Before that many deeds were not recorded)
    • Court Records: 1786
    • Naturalization Records: State court naturalization records remain in custody of the county clerks. Older court naturalization records have been transferred to the National Archives--Northeast Region.
  • Columbia County Surrogate Court Clerk maintain records of wills, letters testamentary, letters of administration, orders and decrees, and appointments of guardians; and filed papers, including original wills, petitions for probate (gives date of death and lists next of kin), performance bonds, property inventories (seldom found after ca. 1900), administrator's or executor's accountings, etc. Surrogate's Courts create comprehensive indexes to records and files.
    • Phone:  (518) 828-0414 
    • Probate Records: 1786 (each county generally has records dating back to the establishment of the county or 1787, whichever was later. Record keeping was systematized by an 1830 statute)
  • Columbia County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Columbia County Historian maintains archival holdings for virtually every facet of the county’s history. In New York State, every municipality (town, city, village, county) must have an appointed historian. Most of the towns have their own historians as well and each can be contacted. The County Historian may provide access to obituaries, vital records, church records, maps, and family files or journals. Some historians provide search services for their office records and others may refer you to local genealogists who research in the area.
    • Address: 490 County Route 10, Germantown, NY 12526; 610 State Street, Hudson, NY 12534
    • Phone: (518) 828-3442

Columbia County Links

The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Columbia County. Most of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a cost. This is simply a listing that has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to suggest your own favorite Columbia County genealogy or family history related sites.

Columbia Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications

Columbia Co. NY Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Columbia Co. NY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Columbia Co. NY Census Records

Columbia Co. NY Cemeteries & Graveyards

Columbia Co. NY Church & Bible Records

Columbia Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Columbia Co. NY General and History Websites

Columbia Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization

Columbia Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Columbia Co. NY Military Records

Columbia Co. NY Schools & Directories

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