Town of Greenbush
This page was last updated 25 May 2009


The following information is from Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State by J. H. French, 1860. It was transcribed by Debby Masterson. Ray Brown's website Ray's Place has town histories as published in Landmarks of Rensselaer County by George Baker Anderson (Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1897). For Chapter XIX, Town of Greenbush, click here.

Greenbush1 was formed from "Rensselaerwyck," April 10, 1792. Another act of incorporation is dated March 17, 1795. A part of Sand Lake was set off in 1812, and "Clinton" (now East Greenbush) and North Greenbush in 1855, leaving but the corporate bounds of the village as defined by the act of April 9, 1852. Its surface consists of the flat intervale on the river and a portion of the adjacent hillsides. The soil is clay mixed with sand and alluvial deposits. Greenbush (qv) was incorporated April 14, 1815.2 Pop. about 3,303. The upper part of the village, locally known as "East Albany", contains the depots, freight houses, and machine shops of the several railroads which terminate opposite Albany, and is a place of considerable business. The first settlement was made previous to 1631.3 A ferry was established at the mouth of Beaver Creek in 1642 and was first kept by Hendrick Albertsen. The country around "Beverwick" was thrown into alarm by the news of the Indian massacre at Esopus [Kingston, Ulster County, NY] in June 1663, and the settlers took refuge in Fort Crailo, on the patroon's farm, and a night watch was established.4 There are 4 churches in the village.5

1It was named Greene Bosch by the Dutch, from the pine woods which originally covered the flats. Called by the Indian names of Pe-tu-qua-poen and Tus-cum-ca-tick in early documents. A part of Sand Lake was annexed in 1843.
2 The village was purchased and laid out in 1806, and for several years after, its growth was quite rapid. During the War of 1812, it contained from 50 to 70 houses.
3 In that year, it is mentioned that Gerrit Teunissen de Reus occupied a well-stocked farm. Cornelius Maessen Van Buren, an early settler on the river below, died in 1648. Evert Pels Van Steltyn lived on Mill Creek at an early day.
4 The following names of persons constituting this watch have been preserved. Chief Officer, Cornelius Van Ness; Cornelius Stephenson Mullen, Adam Dingermans, Gerrit Van Ness, Jan Juriaensen [Westfall], Jan Van Ness, Jacobus Jansen, Tyman Hendricksen, Wm. Bout, (Corporal) Jan Outhout, Hendrick Van Nes, Hendrick Maessen [Van Buren], Gerret Teunissen, Hans Jacobsen, Hendrick Williamsen, and Claes Claessen.
5 Presbyterian, Roman Catholic (Saint John's), Protestant Episcopal, and Methodist Episcopal.


The following information is from Gazetteer and Business Directory of Rensselaer County, N. Y., for 1870-71, compiled and published by Hamilton Child, 1870.

Greenbush, called by the Dutch Greene Bosch, from the pine woods which originally covered the flats, and by the Indians Pe-tu-qua-poem and Tus-cum-ca-tick, was formed from Rensselaerwyck, April 10, 1792. Another act of incorporation is dated March 17, 1795. A part of Sand Lake was set off in 1812, and Clinton (now East Greenbush) and North Greenbush in 1855, leaving the present town only the corporate limits of the village as defined by the act of April 9, 1852. The surface consists of the flat intervale on the river and a portion of the adjacent hillsides. The soil is clay, mixed with sand and alluvial deposits.

Greenbush was incorporated April 14, 1815. The upper part of the village is locally known as East Albany and contains the depots, freight houses and machine shops of the railroads terminating there. It is a place of considerable business.

The first settlement was made previous to 1631. In that year, Gerrit Tunissen de Reue is mentioned as occupying a well-stocked farm. Cornelius Maessen Van Buren, an early settler on the river below [Lin Van Buren adds: Cornelis Maessen Van Buren resided on the island of Papscanee in the Hudson River], died in 1648. Evert Pels Van Steltyn lived on Mill Creek at an early day. On Bleeker's map of Rensselaerwyck, made in 1767, we find the names of John Witbeck, Peter Douw and Henry Cuyler, located about where the village of Greenbush now is.

A ferry was established at the mouth of Beaver Creek in 1642 and was first kept by Hendrick Albertson.

The country around Beverwyck was thrown into alarm by the news of the Indian massacre at Esopus in June 1663; the settlers took refuge in Fort Crailo, on the patroon's farm, and a night watch was established. The following names of those constituting this watch have been preserved, viz.: Cornelius Van Ness, chief officer; Cornelius Stephenson Mullen, Adam Dingermans, Gerret Van Ness, Jan Juriaensen [Westfall], Jan Van Ness, Jacobus Jansen, Tyman Hendricksen, William Bout, Jan Outhout, Hendrick Van Ness, Hendrick Maessen [Van Buren], Gerrit Teunissen, Hans Jacobson, Hendrick Williamsen and Claes Claessen.

The village plat was purchased and laid out in 1806, and for several years thereafter, the growth was quite rapid. During the War of 1812, it contained from fifty to seventy dwellings.

The population of the town in 1864 was 4,779, and its area was _____ acres.

The number of school districts is two, employing four teachers. The number of children of school age is 1,938; the number attending school, 908; the average attendance, 412; and the amount expended for school purposes for the year ending Sept. 30, 1869, was $14,080.59.


The following information is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, 1880.

Early Settlers
Maessen, Cornelis
Maessen, Van Buren [sic - the surname was Van Buren]
Van Vechten, Teunis Cornelissen
Van Vechten, Teunis Dircksen
Van Steltyn, Evert Pels
Van Wesselse, Gysbert Cornelissen
Witbeck, John
Douw, Peter
Cuyler, Henry
Van Rensselaer, John
Haussen, C.
Lombus, R.
Yates, John
McLallen, _____
Cuyler, H.
Van Schaick, J.
Van Rensselaer, John J.
Hausen, D.
Vischer, _____
Van Hoesen, _____
Sickles, _____
Douw, Volkert P.
Van Vechten, _____
Van Denbergh, Gysbert
Cummings, Alexander
Gale, Harrow
Staats, John
Rockwell, James and John W.
Hausen, _____
Vischer, Colonel
Yates, Rebecca
Fryer, M.
Van Housen, H.
Van Deusen, A.
Cuyler, Henry
Van Schaick, John J.

Early Churches
First Presbyterian Church, organized 1823.
Methodist Episcopal, organized March 1833.
St. John's Church (Roman Catholic), founded about 1850.
Church of the Messiah (Protestant Episcopal), organized 1851.
Baptist Church of Greenbush, organized 1870.

The military history of the town is brief, as the village was sparsely populated prior to 1800. In the War of 1812, a large number of the citizens took part, although few were on active service under hostile fire. The names of soldiers who participated in the Civil War are listed below. This list is prepared from the reports of the census of 1865, and from the muster-in rolls of the state.

Civil War Soldiers
Abbott, John, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 159th Regt.
Ackley, Charles, enl. May 1861, 99th Regt.
Ackley, John, enl. Sept. 15, 1864, 18th N.Y. Regt.
Adams, William H., enl. Sept. 1, 1864, 91st Regt.
Akin, Henry P., enl. Oct. 11, 1863, 10th Regt.
Aldrich, Stephen M., enl. Dec. 6, 1863, 2d N.Y. Regt.
Aldrich, William S., enl. Jan. 25, 1864, 14th U.S. Inf.; wounded in the heel.
Anderson, James, enl. Nov. 1861, 81st Regt.; re-enl. 21st Colored Regt.; pro. to corp., to sergt., and 2d lieut.
Anderson, William, Navy.
Ashley, Charles B., enl. Aug. 28, 1864, 146th Regt.
Bailey, Patrick.
Baker, John, sergt., enl. Dec. 23, 1863, 41st Regt.; wounded twice.
Banks, Wilson, enl. Jan. 1865.
Bearington, Lewis, enl. Aug. 17, 1862, 43d Regt.
Bonacker, Adam, enl. 86th N.Y. Regt.
Bradly, Henry, enl. March 1862, 71st Regt.; pro. to Capt.
Brightmeyer, William, enl. 1864.
Brockwold, John A., enl. July 31, 1862, 2d Mounted Rifles.
Brooks, James H., enl. Aug. 29, 1864, 91st Regt.
Brooks, William, enl. April 1861, 25th Regt.
Brown, Henry C.
Brown, John H., enl. May 1862, 19th Regt.
Bryan, James H., enl. May 27, 1861, Navy, ship Onward.
Bullent, Robert H. C., enl. May 1861, 32d Regt.; pro. to corp. and ord. sergt.; re-enl. Sept. 5, 1864, 8th H. Art.
Case, Dwight C., enl. Aug. 19, 1862, lst Mounted Rifles.
Catt, Conrad, enl. Jan. 14, 1864, 7th H. Art.; wounded twice.
Cavanagh, John, enl. Sept. 6, 1861, 43d Regt.; pro. to Capt.; wounded in the wilderness.
Claxton, Wm., enl. July 27, 1862, 169th Regt.; pro. to sergt.; prisoner at Andersonville; supposed to be dead.
Collins, Barnard F., enl. April 20, 1861, 11th N.Y. Regt.
Conner, William, enl. Aug. 1863, 157th Regt.
Cormen, William, enl. Dec. 1862, Navy, ship "Wamsutta"; pro. to 2nd asst. eng.
Cornell, Philip R., eng. Sept. 15, 1864, 18th Cav.
Cotigan, Patrick, enl. May 1861, 3d Regt.; re-enlisted.
Counteinau, William H., enl. Sept. 1862, 43d Regt.
Curreen, Grove H., enl. Aug. 21, 1862, 115th Regt.; pro. to sergt., to 2d lieut., and lst lieut.
Dandaraw, Cornelius, enl. Mar. 1862, Navy; pro. to engineer, ship "Uncas".
Dandaraw, Paul, enl. March 1862, 3d engineer, ship "Uncas".
Dearstyne, John, enl. Aug. 28, 1864, 91st Regt.; pro. to corp.
Decker, George D., enl. May 14, 1861, 3d Regt.; re-enl. May 14, 1863.
Doran, John, enl. May 1861, 17th Regt.; wounded.
Drum, Glenn V. R., enl. April 1861, 25th N.Y. Regt.
Dunn, James H., ord.-sergt., enl. Sept. 22, 1862, 164th Regt.; pro. to 2d lieut., to 1st lieut., and capt.
England, George, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 43d Regt.; trans. to 12th Vet. Res. Corps.
England, Joseph, enl. Aug. 21, 1862, 43d Regt.; wounded.
Fagen, John
Flanigan, John, enl. Oct. 30, 1861, 9th Conn. Regt.
Foyle, William, enl. Aug. 29, 1864, 91st Regt.; wounded.
Francis, John, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 113th Regt.; wounded.
Freeman, John, enl. Jan. 5, 1864, 7th Art.
Fulk, Lewis, enl. June 1861, 103d Regt., disabled in service.
Gale, William A., enl. Sept. 16, 1861, 43d Regt.; disch. for disability.
Golden, John W., enl. Aug. 28, 1862, 43d Regt.
Haley, James, enl. May 1861, 18th Regt.; re-enl. June 24, 1863, 12th Mass. Art.
Ham, Monroe, enl. Aug. 28, 186491st Regt.
Ham, Rasom, enl. Aug. 28, 1864, 91st Regt.
Handerhan, John, enl. Aug. 31, 1864, 91st Regt.
Hegins, William, enl. Mar. 7, 1864, Navy, ship "Pocahontas".
Herbert, Oliver, enl. Sept. 16, 1861, 43d N.Y. Regt.; pro. to corp.; prisoner ten months.
Hermance, Alfred, enl. March 29, 1864, 81st Regt.; lost right arm.
Highland, Thomas, enl. Sept. 6, 1864, 16th U.S. Inf.
Hough, William, enl. July 1862, 125th N.Y. Regt.
Houghton, J. W., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 7th N.Y. Regt.; three buckshot in his leg.
Hoyle, William H., enl. Aug. 31, 1864, 23d Regt.; trans. to 8th H. Art.
Hunt, Bernard, enl. June 4, 1862, 25th N.Y. Regt.
Hyler, Aaron, enl. May 1861, 25th N.Y. Regt.
Jackson, William J., enl. Jan. 9, 1864, 26th Regt.
Johnson, Nicholas, enl. May 20, 1864, 7th N.Y. Regt.
Johnson, Oscar, enl. Sept. 1, 1864, 91st N.Y. Regt.
Johnson, William, enl. July 1, 1861, 34th Regt.
Johnston, William, sergt., enl. Sept. 25, 1861, 45th Regt.; trans. to 146th Regt. Oct. 10, 1864.
Jones, Gouverneur H., enl. Aug. 9, 1862, 125th Regt.
Kaufman, Stephen, enl. Feb. 15, 1864, 7th H. Art.
Keegan, Thomas, enl. May 1861, 18th Regt.; re-enl. Oct. 30, 1863, 16th H. Art.
Keene, David, enl. July 1863, 2d V. Cav.; pro. to capt. Feb. 24, 1864.
Klein, Charles A., enl. Aug. 1862, 120th Regt.
Kraft, Chas., enl. Oct. 1861, 52d Regt.; re-enl. Jan. 1864, 13th Art.; wounded.
Krous, Frank, enl. Aug. 8, 1862, 125th Regt.; pro. to sergt.
La Flouse, John, enl. May 18, 1861, 18th N.Y. Regt.; re-enl. Feb. 18, 1865, Navy, ship "Portsmouth".
Lanigan, James, enl. April 15, 1861, 25th Regt.; pro. to sergt.; re-enl. 42d Regt. July 1861, and March 1864, 59th Regt.; wounded.
Lanigan, Thomas, enl. Oct. 15, 1862, 43d Regt.; wounded.
Larkin, James, enl. Oct. 9, 1861, 53d N.Y. Regt.; trans. to 43d Regt.; wounded in left arm.
Lavery, William, enl. July 1861, 44th N.Y. Regt.; wounded in right leg.
Levenus, George, enl. May 5, 1861, 38th N.Y. Regt.
Lodewick, Henry, enl. March 3, 1862, 91st Regt.; pro. to sergt.; re-enl. Jan 1, 1864.
Loughlin, Charles, enl. April 17, 1861, 22d Regt.; re-enl. Feb. 28, 1864, 2d Cav.; pro. to corp.
Majory, Lewis W., enl. Nov. 1863, 10th Regt.
Markoe, Joseph, enl. Oct. 1862, Navy.
Marshall, Philo, enl. Sept. 18, 1861, 43d Regt.; disch. for disability.
Mason, James W., enl. Sept. 2, 1864.
Mattice, John, enl. May 1861, N.Y. Guard.
McClench, Daniel, enl. Sept. 10, 1862, 18th Art.; re-enl. Feb. 12, 1864, Navy; disabled fireman of ship "Wabash".
McDade, John, enl. Aug. 25, 1863, Navy, ship Minnesota; trans. to Crusader.
McGinnis, William, enl. July 20, 1862.
McGraw, John, enl. May 20, 1861, lst Cav.
Mitch, Henry, enl. Feb. 1864, 7th H. Art.
Mitchell, Patrick, enl. Sept. 7, 1861, 43d Regt.; re-enl. 1863.
Mullen, Thomas, enl. April 10, 1865; trans. to 8th H. Art.
Murray, Michael, sergt., enl. May 1861, 14th Regt.; re-enl. June 24, 1863, 12th N.Y. Regt.
Murry, Patrick, enl. May 21, 1862, 25th Regt.
Nesbit, James, enl. Dec. 29, 1861, 12th Bat.
Nolan, Michael, enl. 25th Regt.
Otthuyser, Joseph, enl. Feb. 11, 1864, 7th H. Art.; prisoner at Salisbury.
Philips, George E., enl. June 1864.
Philips, Jeremiah, enl. July 11, 1864, 26th Regt.
Philips, Jonathan, enl. July 17, 1864.
Pruyn, Charles, enl. Dec. 1863, 20th Regt.
Pulner, Aaron, enl. Mar. 6, 1862, 91st Regt.; wounded; pro. to color-sergt.
Quinn, John, enl. Sept. 1864, 21st Cav.
Regan, Daniel, enl. Apr. 19, 1861, 25tth Regt.; disch. for disability.
Regan, Matthew, enl. April 1861, 25th Regt.
Remington, George, enl. Aug. 23, 1861, 25th N.Y. Regt.
Reynolds, Waterman B. enl. Jan. 27, 1862, 81st Regt.
Riley, Patrick, enl. Oct. 1863, 16th H. Art.
Rockefeller, William T., enl. Sept. 1862, 43d Cav.; trans. to Com. Dept. at Washington.
Rogers, John R., enl. July 1, 1861, 34th Regt.
Salter, William, enl. Aug. 27, 1862, 125th Regt.
Savage, Simeon, corp., enl. Sept. 1, 1864, 18th Regt.
Schadt, John, enl. Oct. 1862, 10th Regt.; disabled in the service.
Schinfer, Frederich, enl. Aug. 19, 1864, 46th Regt.; wounded twice.
Schultz, Charles, enl. Feb. 8, 1865, 91st Regt.
Schultz, Theodore, enl. Feb. 8, 1865, 91st Regt.
Smith, Alonzo, enl. Sept. 1862, 43d N.Y. Regt.; trans. to 6th Vet. Res. Corps.
Smith, Jacob, enl. Sept. 11, 1861, 43d Regt.; re-enl. Jan. 1864; wounded at the battle of the Wilderness.
Smith, Jeremiah, enl. Sept. 15, 1864, 18th Cav.
Stanidge, George, enl. Dec. 16, 1862, 22 Regt.
Stanton, Josiah, enl. Sept. 1, 1862, 43d N.Y. Regt.; wounded; taken prisoner.
Teeling, Rufus A., enl. Sept. 25, 1861, 44th Regt.; pro. to sergt.; re-enl. Sept. 18, 1864, 23d Bat.
Thomas, Joseph, corp., enl. Feb. 23, 1864, 7th H. Art; pro. to sergt.; wounded.
Traver, Martin, enl. Sept. 4, 1864; 159th Regt.; pro. to ord. sergt. wounded three times.
Underwood, Nelson, enl. Mar. 1, 1864, 13th Cav.
Van Allen, Henry S., enl. Sept. 15, 1864, 18th Cav.
Van Allen, Peter, corp., enl. Sept. 12, 1864, 18th Regt.
Van Hoesen, Jacob, enl. Sept. 22, 1862, 25th Regt.; trans. to 44th Regt.; then to 140th Regt.
Van Patten, Nicholas P., enl. 1861, 57th N.Y. Regt.; re-enl. 1st Dist. Col. Vols.
Weekes, Charles, enl. Oct. 1862, 18th Regt.; re-enl. Aug. 1864; wounded.
Whipple, William W., enl. July 1863, 18th Cav., commissary clerk.
Williams, Charles B., enl. April 25, 1858, 10th U.S. Inf.
Wilson, Alexander, enl. Jan. 1864, 2d Regt.
Wright, Charles, enl. Aug. 19, 1862, 145th Regt.; trans. to 10th N.Y. Regt.; pro. to corp.
York, William, enl. April 1864.
Young, George, enl. April 19, 1861, 22d Regt.; lost left arm.

Civil War Soldiers Who Died in Service
Brightmeyer, George, enl. Aug. 1862, 7th Art.; died about Jan. 1, 1865 at Andersonville.
Brightmeyer, Philip, enl. spring of 1892; killed in battle near Petersburg, Va. May 1865.
Finlay, Andrew, enl. Aug. 1862, 7th H. Art.; died of starvation Dec. 3, 1864 at Andersonville.
Fryer, John, enl. April 21, 1861, 25th Regt.; pro. to ord. sergt., to 2d lieut., to 1st lieut., to maj., and to lieut.col., 43d Regt.; died May 12, 1864 at Andersonville.
Gester, Conradt P., enl. 1862, 125th Regt.; pro. to corp.; died May 29, 1863 in Virginia.
Hatch, George, enl. July 15, 1863, 125th Regt.; died April 5, 1864 at Chicago, Ill.
Kinsley, Jefferson, enl. Aug. 19, 1862, 113th Regt.; trans. to 7th H. Art.; died June 20, 1864 at Washington.
Manny, Thomas, enl. Aug. 1863; died 1864 at Newport News.
Marshal, John, enl. Sept. 1861, 43d Regt.; pro. to corp. and sergt.; died Nov. 18, 1863 at Hagerstown, Md.
McElroy, John, enl. Aug. 22, 1862, 43d Regt.; died of starvation Aug. 1864 at Andersonville.
Mooseman, Nicholas, enl. Feb. 1864, 7th H. Art.; died in 1864 at Petersburg, Va.
Schinfer, Joseph, enl. June 19, 1863, 18th Cav.; died Aug. 7, 1864 at New Orleans
Schultz, William, enl. July 19, 1862, 7th H. Art.; died June 30, 1865 at Andersonville.
Slocum, John, enl. May 1864, 8th Art.; died Jan. 1865 at Greenbush.
Smith, Augustus, enl. March 1864, 7th H. Art.; died of ill treatment Dec. 16, 1864 at Richmond.
Snyder, William, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 7th H. Art.; killed in battle June 17, 1864 at Cold Harbor.
Warner, Charles, enl. Sept. 1861, 43d Regt.; pro. to corp.; died April 24, 1864 at Greenbush.



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