Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ancestral Churches Project

Researching our ancestral families at some point will bring us back to a church that our ancestors called home for several generations.  In that church we find the records of baptisms, marriages and burials that enable us to link together the generations.  However the attachment to an ancestral church goes beyond the records that can be found in that church.  There is also a bond with church because it was the church of our ancestors.

The Palatines to America web-site,  began a project last fall that is meant to provide information on the churches our German ancestors attended, both those in Europe as well as those.  Information about several churches has already been posted on the web-site.  The information on the site has pictures and more extensive narrative, but here I can only give a listing and brief details.  The following churches are online.

New Hanover Lutheran Church (2941 Lutheran Rd, Gilbertsville, PA 19525):  The congregation was established around 1700 and is claimed to be the first German Lutheran Church in America.

St Paul’s Dutch Reformed Church is also known as the Mannheim Reformed Church or Snell’s Bush Church, Mannheim, New York.  The first church was built around the time of the American Revolution.

Fort Herkimer Church (German Flats, Herkimer County, New York):  The first church was built of logs in 1725 by the Palatines who lived in the area.  A more substantial structure was erected in the years from 1751 to 1753.

Stone Arabia Reformed Church, (near Nelliston, Montgomery County, New York):  The church was constructed sometime prior to 1743, since the first church book that is in existence was dated October 1742.

St. Servatius ev-lutheran Kirche, (Duderstadt, Eichfeld, Niedersachsen):  The oldest part of the current church is dated from around 1370, while the tower was constructed in the first half of the 16th century. 

(The Field Chapel) Flurskapelle,  (Ulmet, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany):  The first church at the site was probably built in 1091.  It was destroyed during the 30 year war. The current church was rebuilt in 1737.

St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, (323-327 Sixth St., New York):  The building was the home of a German speaking Lutheran community in what was at the time Manhattan’s Kleindeutschland (Little Germany).  The congregation was devastated in 1904 when the General Slocum sank in the East River with many of the congregation aboard for a church picnic on Long Island.  The building now houses a synagogue.

If you have an ancestral church and can provide a picture and some information about that church, you are invited to add your ancestral church to those already published.  Send your information to