Geographic History of Queens County
Today's Queens County is one-quarter its original size, with the eastern
three-quarters of Queens County seceding and forming Nassau County on
January 1, 1899.
Queens County was one of the original 12 counties created in 1683 when
the General Assembly of Freeholders reorganized the governmental
structure in all of the province of New York into 12 counties, each of
which was sub-divided into towns. (The other original counties were
Albany, Cornwall, Dukes, Dutchess, Kings, New York, Orange, Richmond,
Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester.)
Queens County created and includes 5 towns: Newtown, Flushing, Jamaica,
Hempstead and Oyster Bay.
The Town of North Hempstead secedes from the Town of Hempstead and
Queens then has 6 towns (Newtown, Flushing, Jamaica, North Hempstead,
Hempstead and Oyster Bay).
The Village of Flushing incorporated with the Town of Flushing.
The Village of Jamaica incorporated within the Town of Jamaica.
The Village of Astoria incorporated within the Town of Newtown.
The Village of Hempstead incorporated within the Town of Hempstead.
The Village of College Point incorporated within the Town of Flushing.
The Village of Whitestone incorporated within the Town of Flushing.
The City of Long Island City (includes the Village of Astoria and parts
or all of adjacent hamlets) seceded from and became independent of the
Town of Newtown and Queens County then had 1 city (Long Island City) and
6 towns (Newtown, Flushing, Jamaica, North Hempstead, Hempstead and
The Village of Sea Cliff incorporated within the Town of Oyster Bay.
The Lloyd's Neck peninsula in the Town of Oyster Bay is transferred
(excluding riparian rights) to the Town of Huntington, Suffolk County.
The Village of Far Rockaway incorporated within the Town of Hempstead.
The Village of Freeport incorporated within the Town of Hempstead.
The Village of Rockville Centre incorporated within the Town of
The Village of Richmond Hill incorporated within the Town of Jamaica.
The Village of Lawrence and the Village of Rockaway Beach incorporated
within the Town of Hempstead.
The western-quarter of Queens County (the City of Long Island City, the
Towns of Newtown, Flushing and Jamaica and the Rockaway peninsula of the
Town of Hempstead) are annexed by the new New York City. The eastern
three-quarters (the Towns of North Hempstead, Hempstead and Oyster Bay)
remained part of Queens County, but is not part of New York City. Thus,
for one year, part of Queens County is in New York City and part is not
in New York City.
The eastern three-quarters of Queens County (the Towns of North
Hempstead, Hempstead and Oyster Bay) seceded from and became independent
of Queens County and formed Nassau County.
NYS Geographic Glossary with the NYS definitions of county, city, town,
village, hamlet and postal zone.
New York State is divided into counties.
A county is a municipal corporation, a subdivision of the state, created
to perform state functions; a "regional" government. All counties are
divided into cities, towns and Indian reservations.
A city is a unique governmental entity with its own special charter.
Cities are not sub-divided, except into neighborhoods, which are
informal geographic areas.
A town is a municipal corporation and encompasses all territory within
the state except that within cities or Indian reservations. Towns can be
sub-divided into villages and hamlets.
A village is a general purpose municipal corporation formed voluntarily
by the residents of an area in one or more towns to provide themselves
with municipal services. The pattern of village organization is similar
to those of a city. A village is divided into neighborhoods, which are
informal geographic areas.
A hamlet is an unincorporated area in one or more towns that is governed
at-large by the town(s) it is in. A hamlet is divided into
neighborhoods, which are informal geographic areas.
Postal Zone "City" and "Town"
A postal zone "City" and "Town" is an administrative district
established by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the mail. Postal zone
"Town" may not (but are encouraged to) conform to municipal or community
borders. Thus, postal zone location does not always determine city,
Please be aware: In many areas of New York State, the problem of
non-conforming postal zones leads to a situation where the majority of
places have a different community name in their mailing address than the
community where that place is actually located.