Rensselaer County, New York
Genealogy and Facts
Rensselaer County, New York genealogy and family tree research page. Discover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to assist you to you track your personal Rensselaer Co. ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
Rensselaer County was created on February 07, 1791 from Albany County. This particular county was named in honor of the family of Kiliaen van Rensselaer (before 1596 – after 1643), the early landholder in the Dutch New Amsterdam colony .
The Rensselaer County Seat can be found in Troy and in addition the county government website is rensco.com/
Regions neighboring Rensselaer County include Washington County (north), Bennington County, VT (northeast), Berkshire County, MA (southeast), Columbia County (south), Greene County (southwest), Albany County (west), Saratoga County (northwest) .
Cities and Towns to be found in Rensselaer County consists of Averill Park, Berlin (town), Brunswick (town), Castleton-on-Hudson (village), East Greenbush (town), East Nassau (village), Grafton (town), Hampton Manor, Hoosick Falls (village), Hoosick (town), Nassau (town), Nassau (village), North Greenbush (town), Petersburgh (town), Pittstown (town), Poestenkill (town), Rensselaer (city), Sand Lake (town), Schaghticoke (town), Schaghticoke (village), Schodack (town), Stephentown (town), Troy (city), Valley Falls (village), West Sand Lake, Wynantskill.
Rensselaer County does have Federal Census Schedules to help in looking into your family tree. United states federal Population Schedules are present for 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
Rensselaer Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Rensselaer Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Rensselaer 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.
Rensselaer County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Rensselaer County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- New York State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Rensselaer County Historical Society , 57 Second Street , Troy, NY 12180 , Phone: 518-244-6846, Research Library Collection
- Capital District Genealogical Society, Empire State Plaza Station, PO Box 2175, Albany, NY 12220-0175
- Central New York Genealogical Society, Box 104, Calvin Station , Syracuse, New York 13205
- Troy Public Library, Troy Room Collection, 100 Second St., Troy, NY 12180; Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest Online, Jewish Data, Proquest Obituaries subscriptions. Vital records, newspapers, city directories, censuses, church and cemetery records, published genealogies, immigrant lists, military records, school records, wills, biographies, ethnic research.
- New York Genealogy Research Community (facebook.com)
- Rensselaer County, New York Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Rensselaer County
- Rensselaer County, New York Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Rensselaer County
- USGenWeb Archives for Rensselaer County (usgwarchives.net)
Rensselaer County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers frequently overlook the significance of Rensselaer 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 Rensselaer 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.
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.
The following specifics denotes whatever birth, death, marriage, land, probate, and legal records will be in Rensselaer County. The years pointed out listed below tend to be the first known records in this county.
- Rensselaer County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 80 Second Street, Troy, NY 12180
- 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.
- Rensselaer 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.
- Address: 105 Third Street, Troy, NY 12180
- Phone: (518) 270-4080
- Land Records: 1791 (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: 1791
- 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.
- Rensselaer 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) 285-6100
- Probate Records: 1794 (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)
- Rensselaer County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
- Rensselaer 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: 59 Second Street, Troy, NY 12180
- Phone: (518) 272-7232
- New York Department of Health 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. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
Rensselaer County Links
The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Rensselaer 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 Rensselaer County genealogy or family history related sites.
Rensselaer Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications
Rensselaer Co. NY Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Rensselaer Co. NY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Rensselaer Co. NY Census Records
Rensselaer Co. NY Cemeteries & Graveyards
Rensselaer Co. NY Church & Bible Records
Rensselaer Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Rensselaer Co. NY General and History Websites
Rensselaer Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization
Rensselaer Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Rensselaer Co. NY Military Records
Rensselaer Co. NY Schools & Directories