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Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church Consistory Books, Kings County Long Island New York
Coordinated Records of Marriages and Baptisms from the
Flatbush RDC Consistory Books
And the Registers of its Daughter Church at New Lots
Kings County, Long Island, New York
Derived from the
Register of Marriages (1787—1872) and Baptisms (1792—1872)
Of the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church Consistory Records
(the Van Cleef Transcriptions, The Holland Society of New York Collections)
And the Marriage and Baptismal Records of The New Lots Reformed Church
Recompiled, Reformatted and Cross-Referenced
-with Some Annotations-
And Keyed to the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Record
And its anthological companion
Genealogies of Long Island Families
By Richard A. McCool and John G. Storm
All Rights Reserved
Dedicated to Jacob Tipton Rapelje
Anna Bergen Hitchings
Baptized Together at New Lots
On 27 June 1902 and
Married -15 June 1929
M = marriage
B = baptism
GLIF = Genealogies of Long Island Families. Ed. Henry B. Hoff
NLRDC = New Lots Reformed Dutch Church
NYG&B[S] = New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, Publishers of the NYG&B Record
The Reformed Church at Flatbush was formed in about 1654, almost immediately upon settlement of this section of Kings County, Long Island. A portion of Flatbush, called Oostwout, or East Woods, and the New Lands or New Lotts of Flatbush, extended from the east of Flatbush proper to the border with Queens County. On the north stood today's Cypress Hills, an area of dispute between the town of Flatbush and the town of Newtown. Oostwout shared a common border in the southwest with Flatlands, also in Kings County, and extended easterly to the Queens County border along Jamaica Bay. Distribution of the New Lotts began in 1677, in the right of Flatbush, with thirty-eight farm lots apportioned to certain Flatbush residents. Alter F. Landesman, in his book "A History of New Lots, Brooklyn" (Kennikat Press. 1977), notes that the first, or one of the first, settlers in the New Lotts was Dominie Polhemus, spiritual leader of the Flatbush Church. It appears that his home there may have predated the 1677 Charter and distribution. The Dominie's neighbors on the new farms were primarily members of the Flatbush Church.
Over the years, the Flatbush Dominies frequently had responsibilities to other congregations as well. Thus, they saw to the record keeping as was convenient to their travel schedule among the Dutch congregations they sheparded. Ceremonies over which they officiated, therefore, might take place within the precincts of one church, but be recorded on another congregation's books. In some cases, such records found their way into the Consistory books of a congregation, as is the case with the Flatbush Church records compiled here. Marriages were not performed in the Dutch churches but rather at the home of the bride, typically, or at some other domicile, or at the minister's home, in the case of out-of-towners. For nearly 150 years, the East Woods boers made their way west to the Flatbush Church for Sunday services and the baptisms of their children. Concurrently, nuptials performed at New Lotts by the Flatbush minister were recorded at Flatbush, or elsewhere along his route.
The population growth in the New Lotts was slow; the several farms remaining intact among the pioneer families for generations. Though those families were typically large, the Lots were infrequently subdivided--the excess population generally taking up land outside of Kings County, or obtaining a local farm by dower or outright purchase. Out-migration, then, and relatively permanent property lines, kept the population stable and low.
This began to change dramatically in the 19th century. As Landesman points out, in 1822, ". . .New Lots increased sufficiently in population for it residents to work seriously for a place of worship of its own." Primary activists in this plan, such as Abraham Van Siclen, Tunis Schenck, Isaac Snediker, John Blake, Christian Duryea, John Wyckoff, John Williamson, Jr., Nicholas Linington and Johannes Vanderveer-, are seen to have had many of the religious rites performed within their families recorded in the Flatbush Consistory records compiled here. Often sharing their Dominie with the Mother Church at Flatbush and with other congregations, though the New Lotters now had church books of their own, ceremonial records continued to find their way into affiliated church books. We see also that residents of Old Town Flatbush continually reached into the New Lotts for spouses, and vice versa.
The marriage and baptismal records of the New Lots Church were compiled several decades past; a typescript is available at the Long Island Room of the Queensboro Public Library at Jamaica, Queens, Long Island. The originals were photo-copied by the Latter Day Saints as well and are available on microfilm, a copy of which is available at the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. The LDS photostats are used for the present effort. Not all of the New Lots Reformed Church records are used in this compilation, but rather only those records that correlate to those found in the Van Cleef transcriptions are abstracted.
Similarly, the Flatbush Reformed Church marriage and baptismal records were compiled long ago by Harriet Mott Stryker-Rodda, C.G. whose typescript is available at the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. A published version is found in the Holland Society Yearbook, 1898. The Flatbush Church records compiled here, however, as the title makes clear, are found in the Van Cleef translations of the Consistory books among the Collections of the New York Holland Society. These have remained largely out of sight to researchers, nearly hidden, except to the more knowleable genealogists. Many of the records found here are not used in the standard genealogies published on the families featured, leaving gaps which may now be filled.
Within the marriage and baptismal records obtained from the Consistory book, the compilers take note of a subsection of baptismal records, separate from, and out of order to, the other christenings listed. In the Van Cleef transcriptions these are provided under the heading "Baptisms by the Revd. Martinus Schoonmaker as far as accounts have been received." This page begins with a baptism performed in 1804, then skips to an entry subheaded 1810, followed by two entries subheaded 1811, before returning to the subheading 1810. The next record in this sequence is subheaded 1811 (Van Cleef page numbers 21 & 22, actual page number 59). This would seem to indicate that the Consistory had become aware that some baptisms had not been duly recorded upon the Church books and they therefore applied to Schoonmaker for a more complete listing. The data from this separate record, designated by the compilers as the Schoonmaker Addendum, are now chronologically comingled, but remain identified as derived from Schoonmaker.
The history of many individual New Lots family groups begins in the Flatbush records and continues in the New Lots Church books. The compilers have occasionally accessed other resources, particularly in cases where the continuity between the records of the two Churches may not be readily apparent, or supplementation of published accounts might be useful, or long posed genealogical questions might now be answered.
|Richard Alan McCool
||John Garrison Storm
||Brooklyn, New York
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