Rensselaer County, New York Genealogy Guide

Rensselaer County, New York (Map It) was created on February 07, 1791 from Albany County. The 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 .

Rensselaer County is bordered by Washington County (north), Bennington County, Vermont (northeast), Berkshire County, Massachusetts (southeast), Columbia County (south), Greene County (southwest), Albany County (west), Saratoga County (northwest) .

Rensselaer County Cities and Towns include 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, New York Courthouse Records

Rensselaer County, New York Courthouse
Rensselaer County, NY Courthouse

The Rensselaer County Courthouse is located in Troy, New York. 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. Learn More About State of New York Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.

Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes.  The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH.  The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues.  Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research.

The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Rensselaer county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.

  • Rensselaer County Clerk has Land Records from 1791, Court Records from 1791 and 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. The 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.
  • Rensselaer County Surrogate Court Clerk has Probate Records from 1794. The 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.
  • 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.

Rensselaer County, New York Census Records

Rensselaer County, New York Vital Records

Rensselaer County, New York Resources

Rensselaer County, New York External Links