Columbia County Local Histories

Significance and Use of Local Histories

Columbia County local histories can be valuable research tools. They provide historical context that may assist you when utilizing other types of genealogy records in your family research. Columbia County has a number of local histories that may be of use and can be a great source of genealogical information.

However, a little bit of a caution should be taken when reviewing these types of older history publications. Any information you find in these works should be verified through other sources, preferably primary sources. Generally, these publications can vary greatly in terms of substantive information and correctness. Having said that, information they contain may provide a “jumping off point” to assist you in continuing your research.

All of the publications mentioned in this blog are accessible digitally. Content within the books can be either searched directly on the website or can be downloaded to your computer.

Columbia County Histories

The publishers of the county histories referenced below relied on local officials and residents to provide historical content. Both are basically organized the same way, providing the following topics on both a county-wide and town level:

  • Geographical descriptions
  • Early settlers
  • Military rosters and history
  • Religious organizations
  • Town leaders and officials
  • Educational institutions
  • Agricultural and business development
History of Columbia County New York

History of Columbia County, New York With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers” was published in 1878. This work of 600+ pages is available through the Internet Archive.

Columbia County at The End Of The Century

Columbia County at the end of the century : a historical record of its formation and settlement, its resources, its institutions, its industries, and its people” was written about 20 years after “History of Columbia County”. It is comprised of two volumes and is available through FamilySearch. Please note: You will need to sign up with FamilySearch to view these volumes (it’s free to sign up).

Hillsdale Town History

A History of Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York”. This book, published in 1883, is available through the Internet Archive. It was compiled by John Francis Collin who had conducted research on his own ancestors from the area. In chapter one, he mentions the resources he used during his research, which included historical publications and materials he collected personally. This work is an interesting read and he makes mention of many of the early residents of Hillsdale.

History of the City of Hudson

History of the City of Hudson New York

A History of the City of Hudson” is also available through the Internet Archive. Published in 1908, the author, Mrs. Anna R. Bradley, provides information on the resources she used in her research. The book’s introduction includes an in-depth biographical sketch of Henry Hudson. The contents of this book on Hudson’s history describes the development of the city along with the individuals who helped to establish it through the creation of industrial, religious, educational, political and social institutions.

What Will Your Search of  Columbia County’s Local Histories Reveal?

After reviewing these digital publications, did you find anything new or interesting that you can add to your family history research? If so, I’d be interested to learn about it. Feel free to leave a comment below, or better yet if you haven’t done so already, join the Columbia County Genealogy Facebook Group.

Genealogy Research Assistance

Do you have a research question about your Columbia County ancestors? Click the button below to submit your research question. I would like to hear from you about your research and assist you with any projects you are working on!

Hillsdale Reformed Dutch Church: Columbia County Genealogy

Learn about Columbia County genealogy records associated with the Dutch Reformed Church and cemetery in Hillsdale, New York.

Also known as the Krum Church, the Hillsdale Reformed Dutch Church was formed in 1776. The name Krum seems to have derived from the association of the Krum family, whose property was in close proximity to the church.

At first, the church building serviced both Lutheran and Reformed congregations, and was known as the Reformed Lutheran Unity Church. Around 1806 or 1808, the church was reorganized as the Reformed Dutch Church of Hillsdale. Due to the formation of other Reformed churches in the neighboring town of Claverack, the membership of the Krum Church dwindled. The church was formally dissolved in 1851.

The church building was lost many years ago, but the cemetery is still in existence today.

Krum Church cemetery, Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York
Krum Church Cemetery

Hillsdale Reformed Dutch Church Genealogy Resources

Birth Record Krum Church
  • Available Krum Church records span from 1776 to 1849 and include transcriptions of
    • Baptisms
    • Marriages
    • Lists of congregants

The gravestones within the Krum Church Cemetery not only document dates of death, but a great deal of them provide ages at death, making calculation of birth years possible.

Krum Church cemetery, Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York

In addition, many of the inscriptions document family relationships, identifying wives, husbands, sons, and daughters.

The image to the left is the gravestone for “Caty, wife of Abraham Rivenburgh died Dec 28, 1837 aged 45 years 4 mos & 16 days

Although most of the gravestones are in poor condition, about 75 of the graves have been documented on the Find A Grave website.

Krum Church cemetery, Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York

Inscriptions and epitaphs were also transcribed in a publication produced about 50 years ago and contain information on just over 110 gravestones that were visible at that time.

To the right: “In memory of Charity Hall daughter of John and Phebe Becker who died Dec 1, 1827

The combination of these church and cemetery resources provide invaluable genealogical information on the early settlers of this part of Columbia County.

Genealogy Research Assistance

Do you have a question about ancestors who may have lived in the town of Hillside, or in other parts of Columbia County? Would you like assistance finding records? I would definitely be interested in learning about your family history research! Click the button below to submit your research question.