Did your colonial ancestor live in Long Island City, New York?

+4 votes

The answer is No.

Long Island City was established in 1870, so your ancestors who were born or died in years like 1698 or 1742 could not possibly have had life events there.

I see this place name on numerous profiles for people who died long before 1870. I can only surmise that when people started to enter Long Island in their genealogical software, and auto-complete feature kicked in and made it Long Island City, Queens, New York.

If this place name appears on the profile of a long-ago ancestor, check your data. Maybe the place should be simply Long Island, New York, or perhaps Queens County, New York, or maybe there is more specific information that will help you localize their event to a place such as Newtown, Queens County, New York.

in The Tree House by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)

Addition to discussion, in reference to current day place names - referring to Long Island (in New York) is generally ambiguous:

* Geographically, Long Island consists of 4 counties:

  • Kings County (which is the borough of Brooklyn in New York City)
  • Queens County (the borough of Queens in New York City)
  • Nassau County
  • Suffolk County

* People who are from that general area, however, think of Long Island as only Nassau and Suffolk counties.

As Ellen mentioned, Long Island City is a community located in Queens, therefore, (to a native like me) it is definitely not in Long Island.

* Technically, by the accepted WikiTree place name hierarchy, Long Island is not any kind of place - it only groups 2 specific counties together (Nassau and Suffolk).

I brought up once that I have seen Long Island called only “Island of Nassau” in every 17th century deed I have seen. So is that more appropriate than “Long Island” when writing a placename from that period?
That's a modern perspective, Gaile. Those of us who spend a lot of our genealogical time in the 17th and 18th centuries often deal with records and historical accounts where places are described as (for example) "Lange Eylant" or where locations now regarded as neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens are documented as villages on Long Island.

1 Answer

+2 votes
You are correct. Every time I see Long Island City I change it on Ancestry. I have lots of ancestors from Long Island and I see that error a lot.
by Susan Ellen Smith G2G6 Mach 4 (47.8k points)

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