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Walter Greenspan ( explained the various Boroughs, Townships, and Counties of New York City at Different times in this post to NYC-Roots:

"I'm only English so I get confused about what IS part of NYC and what ISN't."

No need to be confused anymore ...

For a full explanation of the idiosyncrasies of the geography and 
governmental organization of New York City, read on:

Downstate New York State has its own special geography ... where things can 
be a bit confusing to outsiders as well as to long time residents.

Beginning on November 1, 1683, the City and County of New York included only 
the Island of Manhattan (and a few small islands in the East River). Then in 
1873, the City and County of New York annexed the "western" Bronx (the area 
west of the Bronx River and south of the City of Yonkers) from Westchester 
County. This was followed in 1895, when the City and County of New York 
annexed the "eastern" Bronx from Westchester County as well.

There is a small change on June 15, 1886 when the Lloyd's Neck peninsula is 
transferred from the Town of Oyster Bay, then in Queens County to the Town of 
Huntington, Suffolk County.

The big change comes in 1898, when the City and County of New York, the City 
of Brooklyn/Kings County, Richmond County (Staten Island) and the 
western-third 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 consolidated into the new New York City. On January 1, 1899, 
as the eastern two-thirds of Queens secede and form Nassau County, the 
Rockaway peninsula of the Town of Hempstead remains behind as part of Queens. 
Then in 1914, the Bronx County separates from New York County. (Thus, for 
16 years, from 1898 to 1914, New York City was made up of 5 boroughs, but 
only 4 counties.)

Simultaneous to these changes, in 1851, Kings County consists of 2 cities 
(Brooklyn and Williamsburgh) and 6 towns (Bushwick, Flatbush, Flatlands, 
Gravesend, New Lots and New Utrecht). In 1854, the City of Brooklyn annexes 
the City of Williamsburgh and the Town of Bushwick; in 1886, the City of 
Brooklyn annexes the Town of New Lots; in 1894, the City of Brooklyn annexes 
the Towns of Flatbush, New Utrecht and Gravesend; and, in 1896, the City of 
Brooklyn annexes the Town of Flatlands and becomes coterminous with King 

Now, to make this even more complicated, the U.S. Postal Service has divided 
the City of New York into 7+ postal cities: New York (covers Manhattan and 
the Bronx), Staten Island, Brooklyn (covers most of Brooklyn and parts of 
northwest and southeast Queens), Long Island City (the original Town of 
Newtown in Queens), Flushing (includes all of Flushing and parts of Newtown 
in Queens and also Bushwick in Brooklyn), Jamaica (includes all of Jamaica in 
Queens and a small area in East New York in Brooklyn) and Far Rockaway (in 
Queens). (Additionally, a few small areas in the Bronx are serviced by post 
offices located in Westchester County and hence have "Westchester" mailing 
addresses, such as "Yonkers, NY", "Pelham Manor, NY", etc.)

Lastly, but not last by any means, New York City is divided into 5 boroughs 
(city administrative districts) and 5 vestigial counties (sub-divisions of 
New York State) as:

. Borough County

. Manhattan New York
. Staten Island Richmond
. Brooklyn Kings
. the Bronx the Bronx
. Queens Queens

A more detailed geography of NYC follows my name.

Wishing all a ziessen Pesach
and a glorious Easter,

Walter Greenspan

The following detailed geography was derived from information in an eMail 
sent by Nancy Coleman ( to 
"" on January 17, 2000.

The Bronx County/Borough
the only part of NYC that is on the mainland, is a peninsula, north of 
Manhattan, separated from Manhattan Island by the Harlem River. Also 
includes North Brother Island, South Brother Island, Riker's Island, City 
Island, Hart Island, and numerous other small islands in the Long Island 
Sound. It is bordered to its north by Westchester County. 

Kings County/Borough of Brooklyn
is the westernmost part of Long Island and it is bordered on the northeast by 
Queens County/Borough and also includes many sanctuary islands in Jamaica 
Bay, to its southeast. It is bordered to its south by the Rockaway Inlet, 
the Atlantic Ocean, Gravesend Bay, Lower NY Bay, and to its west, Upper New 
York Bay and the East River. 

New York County/Borough of Manhattan:
is an island, bordered on the West by the Hudson (aka North) River, the east 
by the East River and the Harlem River, and on the north by the Harlem River. 
Also includes Roosevelt Island, Governors Island, and Randalls/Wards Island, 
as well as Ellis and Liberty Islands.

Queens County/Borough
is on Long Island and has, and within its jurisdiction is the Rockaway 
Peninsula, and many islands within Jamaica Bay. Most of its islands are a 
part of the Gateway National Recreation Area (National Park Service) and are 
wildlife refuges and bird sanctuaries. Broad Channel being the exception, 
which is residential. Queens runs the entire width of Long Island with the 
East River and Long Island Sound to the north, Kings County/Borough of 
Brooklyn to its southwest, Nassau County to its east, and Jamaica Bay and the 
Atlantic Ocean to its south.

Richmond County/Borough of Staten Island
is an island, lying south of Manhattan Island, bordered by New Jersey to its 
west (separated by the Arthur Kill), NJ to its north (separated by the Kill 
Van Kull), Upper NY Bay to its east, and Lower NY Bay and the Atlantic Ocean 
to its south. Also includes Shooter's Island, Prall's Island, and Island of 
Meadow - all of which are bird sanctuaries. Also, to its south, are Hoffman 
Island and Swinburn Island which are part of the Gateway National Recreation 
Area, administered by the US National Park Service.

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