Rensselaer County
Cities, Towns and Villages

This page was last updated 17 July 2014

Rensselaer County, New York is today divided into two cities and 14 towns; these are all shown on our map of the county and are described in the tables below. There is no part of Rensselaer County that does not lie either within one of the two cities or within one of the 14 towns. Our glossary defines locality terms, most importantly town in the New York state sense of the word.

In the tables below, we show both of our cities, all 14 of our towns and all six of our present-day incorporated villages. Click on a town or city name in the left column for its history as of 1880, including the names of early settlers, the details of early churches and the names of men who participated in the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the US Civil War. The exception is the City of Rensselaer, which didn't exist in 1880; we link you instead to the city government page that explains about the city's charter. On our Place Names page, we also list as many of our unincorporated hamlets as we can find.

City Date Chartered Website
City of TROY* (see footnote) Created as Town of Troy from Manor of Rensselaerwyck March 18,1791;
Incorporated as Village of Troy April 2, 1801;
Chartered as City of Troy April 12, 1816
City of Troy
City of RENSSELAER Chartered as City of Rensselaer from Town of Greenbush April 23, 1897;
there never had been a town named Rensselaer; see Town of Greenbush in
link below to table of Localities Whose Names Have Changed
City of Rensselaer

*WEST TROY West Troy was always in Albany County, NY.
It lay across the Hudson River from Troy.
It was not a part of the City of Troy.
It was a village in the town of Watervliet,
and its name was later changed to Watervliet.
*NORTH TROY North Troy is not an incorporated entity;
the term is used informally to refer to the
northern part of the City of Troy.
*EAST TROY Although I've never found
an "East Troy" in any written records,
one of our guests kindly emailed to say,
"I lived in South Troy, and we always called
the Albia area `the East side'." If any of you can
shed any further light, please do let us know!
*SOUTH TROY South Troy is not an incorporated entity;
the term is used informally to refer to the
southern part of the City of Troy.

Town Date Founded or Incorporated Created From Website/Notes
Berlin Created as Town of Berlin March 21, 1806 Towns of Petersburgh, Schodack
and Stephentown
Berlin website;
pronounced "BURR-lin"
Brunswick Created as Town of Brunswick March 20, 1807 Town of Troy Brunswick website
East Greenbush Created as Town of Clinton February 23, 1855;
renamed Town of East Greenbush April 14, 1858
Town of Greenbush;
Town of Clinton
East Greenbush website
Grafton Created as Town of Grafton March 20, 1807 Towns of Troy and Petersburgh Grafton website
Hoosick Hoosick Patent granted June 3, 1688;
designated District of Hoosick March 24, 1772;
created as Town of Hoosick March 7, 1788
Original Hoosick website
Nassau Created as Town of Philipstown March 31, 1806;
Name changed to Town of Nassau April 6, 1808
Towns of Petersburgh, Schodack
and Stephentown;
Town of Philipstown
Nassau website
Village Green Newsletter
North Greenbush Created as Town of North Greenbush February 23, 1855 Town of Greenbush North Greenbush website
Petersburgh Created as Town of Petersburgh March 18, 1791; not
sure when (or even whether) the final h was dropped;
modern sources and maps use both spellings.
Town of Stephentown Petersburgh website
Pittstown Designated a "township by patent" July 23, 1761;
created Town of Pittstown March 7, 1788
Original Pittstown website
Poestenkill Created as Town of Poestenkill March 2, 1848 Town of Sand Lake Poestenkill website;
pronounced "POOSE-ten-kill"
Sand Lake Created as Town of Sand Lake June 19, 1812 Towns of Greenbush and Berlin Sand Lake website
Schaghticoke Designated a district March 24, 1772;
created Town of Schaghticoke March 7, 1788
Original Schaghticoke website;
pronounced "SCAT-uh-cook"
Schodack Created as Town of Schodack March 17, 1795 Manor of Rensselaerwyck Schodack website;
pronounced "SKOH-dack"
Stephentown Created as Town of Stephentown March 29, 1784 Manor of Rensselaerwyck Stephentown website

Village Town in Which It Lies Notes
Castleton-on-Hudson Schodack incorporated in 1827;
has its own Castleton-on-Hudson website
East Nassau Nassau incorporated after 1996;
had previously been incorporated as a village prior to 1880;
original name had been Schermerhorn's Village;
has its own East Nassau website
Hoosick Falls Hoosick incorporated April 14, 1827
Nassau Nassau chartered as Village of Nassau on 12 March 1819;
charter revised 17 April 1866;
original name had been Union Village;
has its own Nassau village website
Schaghticoke Schaghticoke formerly Village of Hart's Falls
Valley Falls Pittstown formerly Pittstown Station

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Debby Masterson

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