New York State History - Towns and Counties

Print of a street in colonial Albany, On the right is a large three-story, brick house, and several people, on foot or horseback, are walking along the street.
Engraving of early Albany street scene. Click on image for larger version.

The State Library strives to be comprehensive in its collection of histories relating to the counties, cities, towns and villages of New York State. County, city, town and village histories provide biographical information on early settlers, prominent citizens, and local war heroes and depict all periods and aspects of New York State history from colonial times to the present day. Selected county and town histories have been digitized, as well as statewide publications like French's Gazetteer.

Digital Collections FAQ

Gazetteer of the State of New York…by J.H. French (1860): Also known as French's Gazetteer, this one-volume work contains information on the geography, geology, institutions and general history of New York State. It also contains a history and description of every county, city, town, village and locality in NYS and includes founding dates, leading institutions, early settlements, prominent citizens, etc.

Selected New York State Town and County Histories

Forty-one county and town histories selected from the State Library's collection have been digitized, including:

Note: Many New York State town and county histories have already been digitized by a commercial vendor and are included in HeritageQuest, ProQuest's genealogy and local history collection. This online database is available at the New York State Library.

Last Updated: October 3, 2012