Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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Local Government Structure in New York

For those of you not familiar with the local government structure in New York, dealing with Towns, Cities and Villages can be confusing. Basically, a village is an incorporated part of a Town. Residents of a village are also subject to taxes of the town. Cities are incorporated areas that are not part of any town. Adding to the confusion are many place names that are not local governments, such as New Kingston, and Arena . We generally refer to those as hamlets. --Ray LaFever, April 4, 2000

Townships of Delaware County, New York

From the notes of Howard F. Davidson
(Dated April 15, 1971)
transcribed by Ed Davidson, March 30, 2006

Although several of the Patents granted included township rights, no town was erected, in what is now Delaware County, until the formation of the Town of Harpersfield April 11, 1787. This town included all the land in Harper Indian Purchase plus the land in Sir William Johnson purchase south of the Charlotte and Sesquehanna rivers between the east and west lines of the Harper purchase, extended one mile to the rivers.

The following year, 1788, all land in New York State was placed into townships for the first time. There were one hundred and twenty towns in all. The existing town of Woodstock, in Ulster County, extended its bounds westward to the West Branch of the Delaware, thus placing part of Delhi village in the Town of Woodstock, Ulster County and part in the Town of Harpersfield, Montgomery County.

The Town of Middletown was erected March 3, 1789 from portions of Rochester and Woodstock. Middletown now contained that portion of Delhi which had been in Woodstock.

The Town of Harpersfield was divided on April 10, 1792; a new town by the name of Franklin was erected. The division line between these two towns being the Patent line dividing the Whitesborough and the Franklin Patents. Ironically, the Franklin Patent was left in the Town of Harpersfield while the Whitesborough Patent was part of the new Town of Franklin.

The next year, on March 12, 1793, another new town by the name of Kortright was formed from a portion of Harpersfield. The Franklin Patent was included in this new town.

When Delaware County was erected on March 10, 1797, it placed all Delhi Village in one county, but in three different townships: Franklin, Kortright, and Middletown. Under a clause in the Act erecting Delaware County the courthouse and jail must be erected within a distance of two miles of the confluence of the Little Delaware and the West Branch. Thus the county seat could possibly be in any one of these three towns.

A new town by the name of Walton was erected March 17th, in the only one week old county.

The Board of Supervisors of Delaware County, on November 16, 1797, purchased land in the Town of Walton from Levi Baxter and George Fischer for the court house square. But fate again intervened and another new town was erected on March 23, 1798 from portions of Walton, Kortright and Middletown. This new town, called Delhi, was the first town to contain land on both sides of the West Branch. It also placed all land now in Delhi Village in the same county and the same township for the first time.

Fletcher Davidson


"The Town of Bovina shall contain all that part of said county bounded as follows - Beginning at the maple tree on the height of land at Ebenezer Hobbys, seventy chains south to the Delhi line, and running thence south seventy-five degrees west eighty two chains to a beech tree on the mountain; then along the ridge of mountains south seventy-three degrees west one hundred and three chains to a birch tree; thence due south four hundred and ninety four chains, to the old Middletown line, then along the said line north fifty one degrees east three hundred and fifty five chains to a point northerly of Tunis Lake; then south seventy five degrees east, two hundred and six chains to the ridge above Weavers hollow at a beech tree marked A.A.G and T.W.; then north fifty degrees east two hundred and fifty seven chains, to the top of Burnt hill; then north thirty-five degrees east one hundred and ninety eight chains, to the ridge above Micah's hollow; then due north seventy nine chains, to the ridge of mountains south of Roses's brook; then along the said ridge north sixty degrees west, two hundred and ten chains, to Carmen's notch; then north seventy five degrees west, one hundred and fifty four chains to the mountain back of William Kidzie's; then south fifty four degrees west three hundred and forty chains to the place of the beginning."

The above is taken from an old copy of the Revised Statutes of the State of New York
Title IV

"The several towns of the State"


Chapter 11
of the Civil Divisions of the State
(Took effect January 1st, 1830)

Fletcher Davidson

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