New York Church History

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Old Dutch Church

Church Development[edit | edit source]

The first churches established in New York during the seventeenth century were the Dutch Reformed, French Protestant (Huguenot), and Lutheran churches. As New Englanders continued to migrate to New York, the Congregational Church (Puritans) and Society of Friends (Quakers) grew. Many New Yorkers joined both the Baptists and Presbyterians. By 1775 the Presbyterian Church was the largest denomination in New York.

In the mid-1800s, the Methodist Church was the largest, followed by the Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, Congregational, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends (Quakers), Universalist, Lutheran, Union, Christian, Unitarian, and Jewish.

Since then, the Roman Catholic Church has been the largest denomination (particularly in the larger cities) due to the large number of immigrants from Ireland and eastern and southern Europe.[1]

Historical Records Survey[edit | edit source]





Baptist[edit | edit source]

  • Eltscher, Susan M. The Records of American Baptists in New York and Related Organizations. The book is available in the FHL Collection. For a copy nearest you, use WorldCat.


Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]

The Year Book of the Holland Society of New York, available in the FHL Collection, contains historical material as well as church record abstracts and passenger lists. To use the year books, first consult the Index to Publications listed under the periodical De Halve Maen described in the "Periodicals" section. It indexes publications by name, subject, and locality. Most of the church records in these year books have been extracted for the International Genealogical Index (IGI).


Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
ELCA Archives
321 Bonnie Lane
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
Phone: (847) 690-9410

Moravian[edit | edit source]

  • 1755-1756 - Scott, Kenneth. "Quakers and Moravians in New York in 1755 and 1756," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 58 (1970):253-257. FHL Book 973 B2ng v. 58 (1970).

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Society of Friends (Quakers)[edit | edit source]

  • Bowden, James. The History of the Society of Friends in America. 2 vols. London: W. & F.G. Cash, 1850-1854. Digital version of Vol. 1 at Google Books; FHL Collection 973 F2bj v. 1 [Volume 1 includes New York.]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). FHL Book 973 K2ah.