October County Roundup

Discover the origin of your county’s name


Published:

Albany: Taken from Duke of Albany, the Scotch name for the Duke of York (later James II of England)

Voorheesville: named for the director of the Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad, Theodore Voorhees.

 

Columbia: Derived from Christopher Columbus

Claverack: from the Dutch, “klaver-akker,” or “clover field,” perhaps due to expansive fields of clover at the time the town was settled.  Another theory still attributes the name to the Dutch, but claims the first part of the word means “opening” or “side gorge,” while the latter refers to a division of the river.  The Hudson was divided into 13 “racks.”

 

Dutchess: Named after Mary of Modena, Duchess of York and second wife of King James II of England

Tivoli: named after the razed chateau of Hudson Valley resident and Frenchman, Peter de Labigarre, who was forced to sell his property due to bankruptcy. 

 

Greene: Named after the American Revolutionary War General, Nathanael Greene

Catskill: Of Dutch origin, the mountains were originally called “katsbergs,” because of their large wildcat population, while the creek was called Kats Kil, or “cats stream.”

 

Orange: Named for William IV of the Dutch Republic, who was a Prince of the House of Orange 

Newburgh: A small number of German immigrants originally called the town Palatine Parish by Quassaick, but English and Scottish settlers later changed its name to Newburgh.

 

Putnam: Named for American Revolutionary War General, Israel Putnam

Rhinebeck: A combination of William Beekman (Dutch immigrant and former Mayor of New York) and his hometown, Rhineland.

 

Rensselaer: Derived from Rensselaerswyck, the name of the estate of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, one of the founders of the Dutch East India Company

Schodack: debased version of the Mohican word, “Esquatak,” meaning “the fireplace of the nation” because it was the location for the Mohicans’ fire councils.

 

Rockland: Named for its extensive quarries of red sandstone

Nyack: Although there are several theories, the most likely is that it was named by the Lenni-Lennapes tribe who frequented the area in summers to feast on oysters and fish from the Hudson River. Their name for the area near Hook Mountain was Nyack, which indicated "at the corner, or bend.”

 

Ulster: Named after the Irish province of Ulster

Saugerties: Two possible definitions: 1) Native American word meaning “at the outlet.” 2) Derived from Dutch words for “sawyer’s creek.” Given because a sawmill was erected on the town site.

 

Westchester: Named after the city of Chester in England

Peekskill: Peek’s stream. Named after Jan Peek, a Dutch mariner.

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