New York Books - Putnam County
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New York - Putnam County

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Books on County Genealogy and History

Brewster Public Library

Buddhist Association of the U.S. (Carmel)

Carmel (county seat) Website

Carmel (Reed Memorial) Library

Map of Putnam Co. (1895)

Official NY State Website

Official Putnam Co. Website

Putnam Co. GenWeb Project

Putnam Co. Historian Office

Lying on the east shore of the Hudson River, between Westchester and Dutchess counties, is Putnam County. This section embraces nearly all of the Highlands east of the river; has an area of 234 square miles: is one of the scenic regions noted for its variety of hills, valley and lake, and through which are scattered the estates and homes of many of the wealthy of New York City. The mountains of this region are of the abrupt rocky sort, with deep narrow valleys, of which the best known are: Peekskill Hollow, Canopus and Pleasant. The Croton River reaches into the county and in the valleys are numerous picturesque lakes, among which the most notable and largest are: Mahopac, nine miles in circumference; Canopus, two miles by one; Gleneida, with an area of 170 acres and 130 feet deep.

There are a number of minerals of minor value in the hills of this district, but none of them are utilized to any great extent. Nor has agriculture or manufacturing ever been followed in any large way. The most of the land in Putnam is incapable of being brought under the plow, but there are a number of fertile areas which have been cultivated since the founding of the first settlements in the county. Dairying takes the lead in agriculture. Milk, the main product, is shipped out over the railroads which tap the region.

During the Revolution the mountains, or rather the passes through them, were considered of high strategic value and carefully guarded. Many large bodies of troops were stationed among the hills, with General Putnam as the commander-in-chief of the forces the most of the time. This latter fact was the reason for the naming of the county after him, when it was set off from Dutchess June 12, 1812. One of the several points fortified was Martlear's, or Constitution Island, in 1775, and from which, 1778, a huge chain was stretched across the river to West Point. This chain was 1,500 feet long with links weighing 125 pounds. Although of no service during the conflict, it at least held together, which was more than could be said of the greater one placed across the stream from Anthony's Nose to Fort Montgomery two years earlier.

It seems strange that the county was not named after the owner of the greater part of the land out of which it was formed. Probably the name Philipse was in disrepute when the county was formed in 1812, because of the litigation started by John Jacob Astor and others, and the worry which had been borne by the purchasers of pieces of the property previous to this time. The Highland patent granted to Adolph Philipse June 17, 1679, who died without issue in 1749, willed it to his nephew Frederick Philipse. The latter's decease brought the land into the hands of his four children, Philip, Susannah, Mary and Margaret. The territory concerned not only covered Putnam County, except that portion known as the "Gore," to the north, and the "Oblong," a strip forming the west border of Putnam, but a part of Dutchess as well. At the time of the Revolution, the heirs to the patent had been attainted, and their lands confiscated by the Commissioners of Forfeiture. But as a third of the estate was vested in the children of Col. Roger Morris and, therefore, not legally open to seizure, the State had to come to the rescue of the small purchasers of this particular part of the patent lands by settling with the Morris heirs.



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From what or whom did the name of each county originate? Click here to find out.

County Date
Parent County County
Albany 1683 original county Albany
Allegany 1806 Genesee Belmont
Bronx 1914 New York Bronx
Broome 1806 Tioga Binghamton
Cattaraugus 1808 Genesee Little Valley
Cayuga 1799 Onondaga Auburn
Charlotte 1772 Albany renamed Washington in 1784
Chautauqua 1808 Genesee Mayville
Chemung 1798 Tioga Elmira
Chenango 1798 Herkimer, Tioga Norwich
Clinton 1788 Washington Plattsburgh
Columbia 1786 Albany Hudson
Cortland 1808 Onondoga Cortland
Delaware 1797 Ulster, Otsego Delhi
Dutchess 1683 original county Poughkeepsie
Erie 1821 Niagara Buffalo
Essex 1799 Clinton Elizabethtown
Franklin 1808 Clinton Malone
Fulton 1838 Montgomery Johnstown
Genesee 1802 Ontario Batavia
Greene 1800 Ulster, Albany Catskill
Hamilton 1816 Montgomery Lake Pleasant
Herkimer 1791 Montgomery Herkimer
Jefferson 1805 Oneida Watertown
1683 Original county Brooklyn
Lewis 1805 Oneida Lowville
Livingston 1821 Genesee, Ontario Geneseo
Madison 1806 Chenango Wampsville
Monroe 1821 Genesee, Ontario Rochester
Montgomery 1772 Albany (as Tryon to 1784) Fonda
Nassau 1899 Queens Mineola
New York City
1683 Original county New York
Niagara 1808 Genesee Lockport
Oneida 1798 Herkimer Utica
Onondaga 1794 Herkimer Syracuse
Ontario 1789 Montgomery Canandaigua
Orange 1683 Original county Goshen
Orleans 1824 Genesee Albion
Oswego 1816 Oneida, Onondaga Oswego, Pulaski
Otsego 1791 Montgomery Cooperstown
Putnam 1812 Dutchess Carmel
Queens 1683 Original county Jamaica
Rensselaer 1791 Albany Troy
Staten Island
1683 Original county St. George
Rockland 1798 Orange New City
St. Lawrence 1802 Clinton, Herkimer, Montgomery Canton
Saratoga 1791 Albany Ballston Spa
Schenectady 1809 Albany Schenectady
Schoharie 1795 Albany, Ostego Schoharie
Schuyler 1854 Tompkins, Steuben, Chemung Watkins Glen
Seneca 1804 Cayuga Ovid, Waterloo
Steuben 1796 Ontario Bath
Suffolk 1683 Original county Riverhead
Sullivan 1809 Ulster Monticello
Tioga 1791 Montgomery Owego
Tompkins 1817 Cayuga, Seneca Ithaca
Tryon 1772 Albany (renamed Montgomery 1784)
Ulster 1683 Original county Kingston
Warren 1813 Washington Lake George
Washington 1772 Albany (see Charlotte) Hudson Falls
Wayne 1823 Ontario, Seneca Lyons
Westchester 1683 Original county White Plains
Wyoming 1841 Genesee Warsaw
Yates 1823 Ontario, Steuben Penn Yan

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