Rensselaer County
Place Names
including Bodies of Water

This page was updated 2 July 2011.


Rensselaer County, New York is today divided into two cities and 14 towns; all these, plus our six incorporated villages, are shown on our map of the county and are described on our Cities, Towns and Villages page. For ease of reference, I have also listed the cities, towns and villages below, without elaboration.

Here on this page, we concentrate on the unincorporated place names in Rensselaer County, NY. These are numerous. Some of our hamlets have the air of small cities, with post offices, shopping precincts, hotels, restaurants and other amenities; others have none of these features and are virtually undetectable today, even if you are right on the spot.

Old deeds often mention place names, some of which cannot be found on modern maps. Our mission with this page is to help you locate your ancestors' properties through the use of place names mentioned in the relevant deeds. We therefore include as many of the hamlets and crossroads as we can find. We also include below a table of localities whose names have changed.

Now we include bodies of water and some islands in the Hudson River. On some of these islands, the very earliest Dutch settlers made their homes and established their farms as long ago as 1631. Many of the islands of 1631 are no longer islands; movements of the watercourse of the river, natural silting up and human interventions such as dredging, landfilling and bridge building have caused the river to change in the more than 370 years since that time. Also, many old deeds from the 19th century and earlier refer to bodies of water in defining the boundaries of the land being conveyed. Again, our mission with this page is to help you locate your ancestors' properties through the use of names of bodies of water mentioned in the relevant deeds. Therefore, we are assembling (as is the case with the rest of this GenWeb site, this is a work in progress) here as many as we can find of Rensselaer County's rivers, creeks, streams, kills, lakes, ponds, channels and reservoirs. Kill is an old Dutch word for a stream, creek or channel; I am told that it is not much used in modern Dutch, having been superseded by stroom (stream), kreek (creek), inham (creek, bay or inlet), kanaal (channel or canal) and gracht (canal or ditch). But the word kill survives well in the Hudson River Valley of New York state in the names of the watercourses that, from the earliest European presence in the 1630s, provided water power for industrial activity. Were it not for the Wynantskill and the Poestenkill, what became the great American Industrial Revolution city of Troy might never have grown beyond a sleepy farming village.

We also include below a table of localities whose names have changed.

For origins of place names in Rensselaer County, click here.


Our Two Cities
Troy
Rensselaer

Our 14 Towns
Berlin Brunswick East Greenbush Grafton Hoosick
Nassau North Greenbush Petersburgh Pittstown Poestenkill
Sand Lake Schaghticoke Schodack Stephentown .

Our Six Villages
Castleton-on-Hudson, Schodack East Nassau, Nassau Hoosick Falls, Hoosick
Nassau, Nassau Schaghticoke, Schaghticoke Valley Falls, Pittstown

Our Numerous Hamlets and Crossroads
Hamlet Town in Which It Lies Notes
Akin's Corners Pittstown in south, on border of Town of Brunswick
Alps Nassau .
Averill Park Sand Lake .
Barberville Poestenkill .
Berlin Berlin was a village in 1855
Best East Greenbush in the east, on County Highway 55
near Sand Lake border
Boyntonville Pittstown also called Boynton
Braeside Schodack in east, on west shore of Nassau Lake
Brainard Nassau now part of Village of East Nassau;
earlier name was Brainard's Bridge
Brookview Schodack formerly Schodack Depot
Brunswick Center Brunswick incorporated before 1860
Buck's Corner Berlin .
"The Burgh" City of Troy Local slang for "Lansingburgh", i. e., North Troy
Buskirk Hoosick was formerly called Buskirk Bridge
Center Berlin Berlin incorporated before 1855
Cherry Plain Berlin formerly Village of South Berlin;
name changed after 1890
Clinton Heights East Greenbush on Columbia Turnpike, near Town Hall,
on hill before descent to City of Rensselaer
Clum's Corners Brunswick .
Couse Corners East Greenbush near junction of Interstate 90 with US Highway 4
Cropseyville Brunswick incorporated before 1860
Defreestville North Greenbush formerly, and sometimes still, called Blooming Grove
Denault Corners Nassau on border between Towns of Sand Lake and Nassau
Dunham Hollow Nassau in the northeast, east of Alps
Dutch Church Berlin at north end of Cherry Plain State Park
Eagle Bridge Hoosick guards bridge over Hoosick River
into Washington Co, NY
Eagle Mills Brunswick formerly Millville;
Eagle Mills post office existed by 1890
East Buskirk Hoosick grew up on railway line
East Brunswick Brunswick incorporated before 1860
East Grafton Grafton on NY State Highway 2, east of Grafton Center
East Greenbush East Greenbush .
East Hoosick Hoosick about 0.6 mile from Vermont border
East Pittstown Pittstown .
East Poestenkill Poestenkill .
East Schaghticoke Schaghticoke .
East Schodack Schodack on NY State Highway 150
Garfield Stephentown Garfield kept its own vital records in 1891.
Glass Lake Sand Lake on lake of same name
Grafton [aka Grafton Center] Grafton formerly Patroon's Mills;
became hamlet of Grafton before 1855
Grant Hollow Schaghticoke .
Harrogate East Greenbush name given to the largest of several sulphur
springs in the town, opposite Albany; named after
the English spa town of Harrogate in Yorkshire
Haynersville Pittstown formerly Village of Cooksborough
Hemstreet Park Schaghticoke stands on Hudson River opposite City
of Mechanicville, Saratoga Co, NY
Hoag's Corners Nassau now part of Village of East Nassau
Hoosick Hoosick also called Hoosick Corners
Ives Corner Poestenkill just east of Barbersville
Jack's Corner Nassau on US Highway 20 between Village
of Nassau and Village of Brainard
Johnsonville Pittstown .
Luther East Greenbush in the southeast, on State Highway 151
Manory's Corner Sand Lake on State Highway 150 south of West Sand Lake
Maple Grove Sand Lake .
The Meadows Pittstown on southwest shore of Tomhannock Reservoir
Melrose Schaghticoke .
Miller's Corners Nassau in northwest, at south end of Burden Lake
Millertown Pittstown .
Muitzeskill Schodack site of earliest church in Schodack
North Berlin Berlin .
North Hoosick Hoosick .
North Nassau Nassau on County Highway 18, east of Miller's Corners
North Petersburgh Petersburgh at junction of State Highways 22 and 346
Town of Hoosick
North Pittstown Pittstown .
North Schodack Schodack in northeast; grew up around the Particular
Baptist Church of Schodack
North Stephentown Stephentown on State Highway 22 north of Village of Stephentown
Petersburgh Petersburgh Hamlet of Petersburgh was formerly Rensselaer Mills
Petersburgh Four Corners Petersburgh .
Petersburgh Junction Hoosick less than 0.5 mile from border
with Town of Petersburgh
Pittstown Pittstown formerly Village of Pittstown Corners
Pleasantville Schaghticoke was part of the Town of
Lansingburgh for over 100 years
Poestenkill Poestenkill .
Ponokose Hill East Greenbush name of the main hill of the town,
rising up from the Hudson River and
climbed by Columbia Turnpike
Potter Hill Hoosick in the southwest
Potterville Hoosick perhaps another name for Potter Hill
Prospect Heights East Greenbush near Clinton Heights
Quackenkill Grafton existed before 1855; in the west, on State
Highway 2 west of Grafton Center
Raymertown Pittstown .
Rice Corners Schodack at junction of Interstate 90 and State Highway 150
Sand Lake Sand Lake near Averill Park
Schaghticoke Hill Schaghticoke .
Schodack Center Schodack in north, near East Greenbush border
Schodack Landing Schodack on Hudson River; dates from early 17th century
Sherman's Mills Pittstown .
Shiver's Corners Schodack in northeast, at junction of State Highways 150 and 151
Slab City Nassau Slab "City", despite its name, is a hamlet.
Sliter's Corners Sand Lake in southwest, on State Highway 150
Snyder's Corners North Greenbush in east on Poestenkill border
South Sand Lake Sand Lake .
South Schodack Schodack southeast of Castleton-on-Hudson
Speigletown Schaghticoke was part of the Town of Lansingburgh
for over 100 years
Stephentown Stephentown .
Stephentown Center Stephentown .
Stillman Petersburgh near hamlet of Petersburgh
Stony Point Schodack just north of Castleton-on-Hudson
Sycaway Brunswick adjoins City of Troy
Taborton Sand Lake in northeast, on County Highway 42
Tamarack Brunswick in the east, on County Highway 129
Tomhannock Pittstown .
Walloomsac Hoosick .
West Berlin Berlin .
West Hoosick Hoosick .
West Sand Lake Sand Lake in northwest; formerly called Ulinesville
West Stephentown Stephentown .
White Church Brunswick in the southeast, on State Highway 351
Wynantskill North Greenbush .
Wyomanock Stephentown in southeast corner, near Massachusetts border

Bodies of Water
Name Location
Black Brook in the town of Stephentown.
Black River rises in the town of Stephentown; flows from south to north; flows into the
town of Berlin and very soon thereafter empties into Black River Pond.
Black River Pond in Cherry Plains State Park, in the southern part of the town of Berlin; fed
by the Black River, flowing in from the town of Stephentown.
Burden Lake actually a series of three lakes, bisected by the boundary between the town of
Sand Lake and the town of Nassau; a man-made lake system planned in 1829,
flooding a valley north of the much smaller Martin's Lake.
Cleveland Pond in the town of Nassau.
Crooked Lake in the town of Sand Lake.
Crystal Lake in the town of Sand Lake.
Dunham Reservoir in the town of Grafton.
Dyken Pond on the boundary line between the southeastern part of the town of Grafton
and the northwestern part of the town of Berlin.
East Brook in the town of Stephentown.
Glass Lake in the town of Sand Lake.
Hoag's Pond now known as Nassau Lake.
Hoosick River flows more or less from east to west; rises in western Massachusetts; flows
across the extreme southwestern corner of Vermont; flows into Rensselaer County,
NY at its extreme northeastern corner, in the town of Hoosick; is traversed by the
only remaining covered bridge in Rensselaer County, Buskirk's Bridge; forms part
of the border between Rensselaer County and Washington County, NY; forms the
town of Pittstown's northern boundary with the town of Schaghticoke; flows through
the village of Valley Falls in the town of Pittstown; flows through the village of
Schaghticoke in the town of Schaghticoke; flows across the town of Schaghticoke;
empties into the Hudson River near the northwestern corner of Rensselaer County,
opposite the village of Stillwater in Saratoga Co, NY, and close by Lock 4 of the
New York State Barge Canal system; see also Origins of Place Names.
Hudson River one of the most important rivers of colonial America and of the formative
years of the independent USA; forms the entire western boundary of Rensselaer
Co, NY; flows from north to south; has a length of 315 miles (507 km); has its
source in Lake Tear of the Clouds in Essex Co, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains;
flows into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor in New York City; has an
estuary exhibiting ebb and flow of tidal forces for the last 150 miles (240 km),
the head of which is at Troy, Rensselaer Co, NY; has a major tributary in the
Mohawk River; has numerous smaller tributaries; has been known by various names
(see Origins of Place Names).
Kinderhook Creek rises in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts; flows into Rensselaer
Co, NY in the southern part of the town of Stephentown; flows from northeast to
southwest across the town of Stephentown; exits Rensselaer County into the town
of New Lebanon in Columbia Co, NY; then follows a winding course, crossing the
straight-as-an-arrow county line between Rensselaer Co, NY and Columbia Co, NY
five times; flows across the southeastern part of the town of Nassau; flows through
the village of East Nassau; finally leaves Rensselaer County from the town of
Nassau and flows into the town of Chatham, Columbia Co NY, where it feeds into
Kinderhook Lake before eventually emptying into the Hudson River in the town of
Stockport, Columbia Co, NY.
Little Bowman Pond in the eastern part of the town of Sand Lake; fed by Tackawasick Creek.
Little Hoosick River the principal watercourse of the town of Petersburgh; it flows from south to
north and empties into the Hoosick River just before the latter flows out of the
town of Petersburgh and into the town of Hoosick.
Little Walloomsac River in the town of Hoosick.
Long Pond in the town of Grafton, in Grafton Lakes State Park.
Lyons Pond in the town of Nassau.
Mill Brook lies entirely in the town of Stephentown; flows from northwest to southeast;
empties into Kinderhook Creek just west of the hamlet of Garfield.
Mill Creek the principal stream of the town of East Greenbush; it flows into the Hudson
River at the City of Rensselaer.
Moordener Kill rises in the western part of the town of Sand Lake; flows from north to south
into the northeastern part of the town of Schodack; then flows mostly from east to
west across the town of Schodack; empties into the Hudson River just north of the
village of Castleton-on-Hudson.
Moules Lake (Moules Pond) in the town of Poestenkill, between Spring Avenue and NY State Route 355, near Weatherwax Road
Mud Pond in the town of Nassau.
Muitzes Kill in the town of Schodack.
Nassau Lake formerly known as Hoag's Pond; lies in the extreme eastern part of the town of
Schodack, on the boundary with the town of Nassau.
Pike's Pond in the northeastern part of the town of Nassau.
Poesten Kill flows more or less from east to west; rises in the eastern part of the town
of Berlin; flows across the town of Poestenkill, across the southwestern part
of the town of Brunswick and through the city of Troy before emptying into the
Hudson River.
Quacken Kill mostly in the town of Brunswick.
Reichard's Lake in the northwestern part of the town of Sand Lake.
Sand Lake near the center of the hamlet of Sand Lake, in the town of Sand Lake; see
Origins of Place Names.
Smith Pond in the town of Nassau.
Snyder's Lake in the eastern part of the town of North Greenbush.
Stone Bridge Pond in the town of Stephentown; Mill Brook flows both into it and out of it.
Stump Pond in the town of Stephentown.
Tackawasick Creek rises in the eastern part of the town of Sand Lake; flows more or less from
north to south; flows into and back out of Little Bowman Pond; flows southward
into the eastern part of the town of Nassau; flows into Tsatsawassa Creek near
the hamlet of Dunham Hollow, in the town of Nassau.
Taplin Pond in the town of Stephentown.
Tomhannock Reservoir large reservoir that almost completely separates the town of Pittstown from
the southwestern corner of the same town.
Tsatsavassa Creek rises in the eastern part of the town of Sand Lake; flows from north to south;
flows into the eastern part of the town of Nassau; flows into and back out of
Tsatsavassa Lake; then empties into Kinderhook Creek, still in the town of Nassau.
Tsatsavassa Lake in the eastern part of the town of Nassau.
Valatie Kill rises in the northern part of the town of Nassau, just east of Burden Lake;
flows from north-northeast to south-soutwest; flows into and back out of Nassau
Lake (formerly Hoag's Pond); forms the southern part of the boundary between the
town of Schodack and the town of Nassau; flows into the town of Chatham in
Columbia Co, NY, where it feeds Kinderhook Lake.
Vierda kill lies entirely within the town of Schodack; flows from east to west; empties into
the Hudson River just south of Staats Island.
Vlockie Kill lies entirely within the town of Schodack; flows from east to west; empties into
the Hudson River just south of the village of Castleton-on-Hudson.
West Brook in the town of Stephentown.
Wynants Kill flows more or less from east to west; rises in the town of Sand Lake; flows
through the town of Sand Lake, the town of Brunswick and the city of Troy before
emptying into the Hudson River.
Wyomanock Creek the Rensselaer Co NY portion flows entirely within the town of Stephentown;
rises in the southeastern part of the town of Stephentown, less than a mile
from the Massachusetts state line; flows mostly from north to south; exits
Rensselaer County into eastern Columbia Co, NY; then takes a wide semicircular
bend towards the west before emptying into Kinderhook Creek in the town of New
Lebanon, Columbia Co, NY.

Islands in the Hudson River
Name Town or City Location
Adams Island City of Troy lies off River Street, between Rensselaer Street and Vanderheyden Street.
Center Island Albany County, NY large island lying between Troy and Green Island; inhabited today; this
is the island you see below you when you cross the Collar City Bridge (NY State
Highway 7) and the Green Island Bridge; it is not part of Rensselaer County.
Green Island Albany County, NY no longer an island; is not now and never has been part of Rensselaer County,
even though it has long been closely associated with the city of Troy and lies
directly opposite it, on the west side of the Hudson River.
Lower Schodack Island Town of Schodack formerly a fairly large island, now a peninsula; now joined at its northern
end to Upper Schodack Island, which in turn is now joined at its northern end to
the mainland of the town of Schodack, just south of the village of Castleton-on-Hudson;
the southern end of Schodack "Island" is part of the town of New Baltimore, Greene
Co, NY, which lies on the right (west) bank of the Hudson River; Upper Schodack
Island and Lower Schodack Island together now form Castleton Island State Park.
Papskanee Island Town of Greenbush formerly a sizeable island in the Hudson River, now silted up and part of the mainland
on the left (east) bank; site of very early Dutch settlement in 1631, including the
farms of Cornelis Maessen VAN BUREN, Juriaen WESTFALL and Evert PELS.
Schodack Island Town of Schodack see Upper Schodack Island and Lower Schodack Island.
Staats Island Town of Schodack formerly an island, now a peninsula; lies just south of the boundary line
between the town of Schodack and the town of East Greenbush; has a 17th-century
stone house that has been in the Staats family for over three centuries.
Story Island Albany County, NY to the west of Adams Island; is not now and never was part of Rensselaer County.
Upper Schodack Island Town of Schodack formerly an island, now a peninsula; now joined at its southern end to
Lower Schodack Island; now also joined at its northern end to the mainland;
Upper Schodack Island and Lower Schodack Island together now form Castleton
Island State Park.

Localities Whose Names Have Changed
Old Name New Name Dates and Details of Changes If Known
Akins Junction Hamlet of Johnsonville .
Albia southeastern part of City of Troy .
Bath-on-the-Hudson part of City of Rensselaer prior to April 23, 1897, this was the "principal village" of the Town of North Greenbush
Blooming Grove DeFreestville .
Brainard's Bridge Brainard .
Town of Clinton Town of East Greenbush created as Town of Clinton from Town of Greenbush February 23, 1855;
name changed from Town of Clinton to Town of East Greenbush April 14, 1858
Cooksborough Haynersville .
DeLaet's Burg Greenbush This was the earliest settlement on the east bank of this stretch of the Hudson
River; it was established in 1632; the name seems to have been supplanted
by t'groen bos ["the green woods", eventually "Greenbush"] in the mid-1650s.
East Albany part of City of Rensselaer .
Elizabethtown Brunswick During the days prior to the creation of Rensselaer County in 1791, when the area was
known as the east side of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, what is now the town of
Brunswick was known as Elizabethtown. Source: NYS library, finding aid, manor
records 1630-1899, call number mscbr 02734 poster-teachers' institute, Oct 27, 1862,
Elizabethtown, subject social life and customes. Container to Rensselaerwyck land
surveys box 1 folders 1-12 dating from 1789. Thanks go to Christine Oppedisano
for contributing this information.
Ferry Hook part of City of Troy .
Glass House [---?---] located in Town of Sand Lake
Town of Greenbush City of Rensselaer created as Town of Greenbush from Manor of Rensselaerwyck April 10, 1792;
split into Towns of Greenbush, East Greenbush and North Greenbush February 23, 1855;
Town of Greenbush became City of Rensselaer April 23, 1897
Village of Hart's Falls Village of Schaghticoke incorporated as Village of Hart's Falls in 1867
Hastings Village Brainard Source: Taconic Valley Echo Feb 1985
Hoose's Mills Hamlet of Johnsonville .
Town of Lansingburgh part of City of Troy created as Town of Lansingburgh from Towns of Troy and Petersburgh March 20, 1807;
absorbed into City of Troy January 1, 1900
"The Lick" Hamlet of Johnsonville .
McNaresville North Hoosick .
Mechanicsville Stephentown Center Source: Taconic Valley Echo Feb 1985
Middletown Sand Lake .
Millville Eagle Mills name was still Millville in 1890, although Eagle Mills post office existed by then
New City part of Town of Lansingburgh .
Patroon's Mills Grafton Center .
Town of Philipstown Town of Nassau During the days prior to the creation of Rensselaer County in 1791, when the area was
known as the east side of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, what is now the town of
Nassau was known as Philipstown. Source: NYS library, finding aid, manor
records 1630-1899, call number mscbr 02734 poster-teachers' institute, Oct 27, 1862,
Elizabethtown, subject social life and customes. Container to Rensselaerwyck land
surveys box 1 folders 1-12 dating from 1789. Thanks go to Christine Oppedisano
for contributing this information. Philipstown was named for Philip Van Rensselaer.
Pittstown Corners Pittstown .
Village of Pittstown Station Village of Valley Falls .
Platesville Brunswick Source: Taconic Valley Echo Feb 1985
Rensselaer Mills Petersburgh .
Rensselaer Village Glass House located in Town of Sand Lake
Roxborough Grafton During the days prior to the creation of Rensselaer County in 1791, when the area was
known as the east side of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, what is now the town of
Grafton was known as Roxborough. Source: NYS library, finding aid, manor
records 1630-1899, call number mscbr 02734 poster-teachers' institute, Oct 27, 1862,
Elizabethtown, subject social life and customes. Container to Rensselaerwyck land
surveys box 1 folders 1-12 dating from 1789. Thanks go toChristine Oppedisano
for contributing this information.
Schermerhorn's Village Village of East Nassau originally named for John W. Schermerhorn
Schodack Depot Brookview .
Scott's Corners East Schodack .
South Berlin Cherry Plain South Berlin incorporated before 1855;
name changed after 1890, probably in about 1917
Ulinesville West Sand Lake .
Union Village Village of Nassau .
Van Der Heyden's Ferry City of Troy Van Der Heyden or Van Der Heyden's Ferry became Troy on January 5, 1789



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