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July 2006


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Walter Greenspan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 3 Jul 2006 09:29:00 EDT
text/plain (118 lines)
In today's (Monday, July 3) article, NEWSDAY reports that history buff, Gary 
Laube of Southold, purchased an 18th-century trunk at an estate sale in 1992 
that had a textile balled up in the bottom of the trunk.

This textile -- a dark beige wool flag, 31-by-33 inches, with a green-fabric 
pine tree, the symbol for New England in colonial times, and a red cotton 
cross of St. George, the symbol for England, in the upper left corner -- has 
proved to be the oldest-known relatively intact flag made in America, probably 
dating to the mid-1700s, and to the French and Indian War..

Further research revelaed that the flag was probably the property of Jacob 
Woodward of Southold, who was commissioned as an ensign in 1755 of the 6th 
Company of the Fifth Regiment in Connecticut.

To read the complete article,"HIS Banner Find: Pre-Revolutionary War flag is 
the real deal, experts say", please go to (you'll probbaly need to manually 
copy and paste the entire URL into your browser to access the article):


It is important to know that there are 3 "Southolds" (from smallest to 
largest, in order of acreage):

1.  There is the Hamlet of Southold;

2.  There is the Southold, NY 11971 postal zone, and it includes the Hamlet 
of Southold and parts of other surrounding hamlets within its service area; 

3.  There is the Town of Southold, and it includes one village and 10 hamlets 
as well as the Southold, NY 11971 postal zone and other postal zones, within 
its borders.

The pertinent geography:

Southold is a hamlet (an unincorporated area) in the center of the Town of 
Southold, in the northeast part of Suffolk County. There are 1 village 
(municipal corporation) and 10 hamlets (unincorporated areas) in the Town of Southold.  
There are no cities and 10 towns in Suffolk County.  There are 2 Indian 
reservations in Suffolk County.  (I'm including after my name a NYS Geographic 
Glossary with the NYS definitions of county, city, town, village, hamlet and 
postal zone.)

Beginning on the north and moving in a clockwise direction, the Hamlet of 
Southold in the Town of Southold is bordered on the north by Long Island Sound; 
on the east by the Hamlet of Greenport West; on the south by the Little Peconic 
Bay; and, on the west by the Hamlet of Peconic.

And, as occurs in every one of Suffolk County's 157 communities (0 cities, 32 
villages and 125 hamlets), the Hamlet of Southold has a different border than 
does the "Southold, NY 11971" postal zone (i.e., a place can have a Southold 
mailing address and not be in Southold and a place can have other than a 
Southold mailing address and be in Southold).  Those places that have a "Southold, 
NY" mailing address that are not in the Hamlet of Southold are in the Hamlet 
of West Greenport; and, at the same time, there are places in the Hamlet of 
Southold with a "Peconic, NY 11958" mailing address.

For those who have their copy of the 2005 or earlier edition of the LI 
Population Survey or have already downloaded the report from the Long Island Power 
Authority web site (eMail me directly if you need instructions on how to access 
and download the report), you'll find the Hamlet of Southold in the Town of 
Southold, Suffolk County on pages 15 & 30 (map) and 31 (population estimate).

I hope this information is useful or, at least, interesting.


Walter Greenspan
Great Falls, MT & Jericho, NY

   Cities, Towns, Villages, Hamlets and Postal Zones in New York State

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 

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 

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 "City" and "Town" 
may not (but are encouraged to) conform to municipal or community borders.  
Thus, postal zone location does not always determine city, village or hamlet 

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.